Edin Numankadić

Sarajevo, my love!

Just as the 33rd Anniversary of the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympic Games is upon us, we spoke with Edin Numankadić, Director of the Olympic Museum in Sarajevo, who is also an artist and one of the founders of the Ars Aevi Museum of Contemporary Art.

Edin was born in the old part of town, near Svrzo House, which he used to visit while still a boy because his great-great-grandmother was a member of the famous Svrzo family. It was her stories about old Sarajevo that made him love this city and, as he says, its cultural treasures are like surprises when walking through Baščaršija.

- In the decade that I was born, in the 1950s, people of all faiths lived like they were one big family and that innate multicultural dimension always made Sarajevo exciting.

He says that the sacral objects of the old town – Cathedral, the old Orthodox church, synagogue and mosques – are its real treasure and it is this rich diversity of Sarajevo that makes it unique.

- It is up to the younger generations to preserve the connections between people and to maintain a love for what is different, so that Sarajevo may continue to shine like the city that I have in my memories from childhood.

Edin says tourists should take walks to Vrelo Bosne, Vratnik and Bistrik and to be sure to visit Vijećnica and the mountains around town.

- My favorite museum in Sarajevo is Brusa Bezistan, Svrzo House testifies to the high culture of old Sarajevo and the Tunnel of Hope is unique.

For Edin, the best Sarajevo festival is the MESS Theater Festival, which serves as a door onto the world and he has been following the Sarajevska Zima International Festival since its inception, when the Olympic Games were held.

As for food in Sarajevo, he recommends Bey’s soup at Hadžibajrić Aščinica, ćevapi at Petica and the sweets, ružica, tufahija and kadaif. He adds that he likes to have coffee at the modern spots, Dialog and Bombon.

- There are many places that have been popular for decades and which maintain a tradition. For example, the specific ice cream at the sweetshop, Egipat, has the same flavor it has always had. As a young man, I used to hang out with colleagues in the outdoor seating area at Europe Hotel, when I was younger I enjoyed the arts scene at Collegium Artisticum’s club and saw some fantastic exhibits at the National Gallery.

For Edin, a real Sarajevo souvenir is the minimalistic Sarajevo Cube and he describes our city with the following:

- Sarajevo, my love!