Sarajevo is a City Right Out of a Fairy Tale!

Indira Kučuk-Sorguč is a Sarajevan writer and the author of the book series, Ja, mahaluša. 


Indira relates for Sarajevo Navigator readers how she feels about mahala and mahalanje:

- The term mahalanje stands for people who poke their noses into others’ business, but usually with only the best of intentions! And a mahala is a special community which has its own rhythm, and I wanted to remove the negative label associated with it.

Indira grew up in the mahala Žagrići, which is located on the rather damp side of town, between Drvenija, Bistrik and  Širokača. It is said to be one of Sarajevo’s oldest mahalas; known for its many springs, it was place where they used to cut leather during the Ottoman period.

Indira is most inspired by the old part of town – the soul of Sarajevo. She considers the Islamic Faculty an architectural highlight of Sarajevo and says that Baščaršija is the most spiritual Ottoman čaršija in the world. Her favorite street, Čizmedžiluk, is also located in Baščaršija.

Indira usually drinks coffee in the café Miris dunja (The Smell of Quince), on Čizmedžiluk Street, and she frequents the nearby café, Belle Epoque, as well as the Book Club Connectum. As for where to take lunch and dinner, Indira chooses Galija and the restaurants Maroko and Barhana. She goes to Rahatlook on Fridays for their halva, and eats ćevapi at ćevabdžinica Specijal. In the evenings she usually goes to the restaurant, Četiri sobe gospođe Safije, and she likes the cult Sarajevan café, 071, which has recently re-opened behind the Music Academy.

Indira loves to take long walks, and she often pretends to be a foreigner in her own town, which allows her to discover it anew. She recommends visitors to take the sightseeing bus, and her personal tour would start at Gazi Husrev-Bey’s Mosque, and then continue with a stroll to Kuršumlija Medresa, Sevdah Art House, Sebilj and then to Vijećnica. The walk would continue
with a visit to the Seven Brothers Turbe, the Church of Saint Anthony of Padua, the Old Orthodox Church, the Synagogue and, of course, the Cathedral of Jesus’ Sacred Heart.

For Indira, Sarajevo is a city right out of a fairy tale!

- Sarajevo’s beauty lies in the fact that it contains the whole world. Everything you have in the world, you have in Sarajevo, but all that you find in Sarajevo is not to be found in the world.