Lilia Kaminskaia

Sarajevo is a safe city!

Lilia Kaminskaia, a Russian, has been living in Sarajevo for years now. She finished university in our city and, after getting her first job here, decided to make Sarajevo her second home. She now works at the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan.


Lilia first heard of Sarajevo when her mother got married to a Sarajevan while they were still living in Moscow. When the couple decided to move to our city, Lilia ventured out and joined them.

She heard of the unfortunate events from the war which had struck our country shortly before her arrival, so Lilia imagined Sarajevo as a gray, dark city in ruins. However, she was pleasantly surprised when she arrived because most of the demolished buildings had been renovated. Her impression was that Sarajevo was like a small metropolis and the positive atmosphere in the city was truly refreshing.

While Sarajevo seemed tiny after living in Moscow, the goodness and hospitality she met every step of the way made life in our city more bearable, so she was able to adapt without any serious problems and Sarajevo has become greater in her eyes.

As for Sarajevo, it’s the people she has liked the most and who have always fascinated her. She highlights the fact that Sarajevans are totally different from the rather cold and reserved Moscovians and, given their sociability and kindness, she has managed to find many sincere friends in our city very quickly and with whom she feels at home.

As for some of Sarajevans’ shortcomings, she points to the fact that they can sometimes be passive and their greatest virtue is their generosity and willingness to always help. She adds that Sarajevans are very friendly and peace loving, two traits which she values greatly.

She was also pleasantly surprised and impressed by the “wishing well”, a custom followed by Sarajevans, regardless of their religious confession, where once a year they offer money at the Tomb of the Seven Brothers, the Franciscan Church of St. Anthony and the Old Orthodox Church in Baščaršija.

The hardest thing for her to get used to was the fact that, for her, Sarajevo is a small city. She laughs while adding that this has its advantages, since everything is close and within an easy stroll.

When she wants to have a rest from everything and escape the bustle of the city and clear her mind, Lilia has her own little ritual which helps: she goes up to Žuta Tabija late in the evening and enjoys the silence and lovely view of the city at night.

One of Sarajevo’s great advantages is the low crime rate, compared to that of Moscow. She says that she has become much calmer since living here; she feels safe in our city and wouldn’t change this for anything in the world.

Lilia has no hesitation when choosing a symbol of Sarajevo – it is definitely Sebilj in Baščaršija and the many pigeons that inhabit this square every season of the year.

As for those who are visiting for the first time, Lilia recommends that they relax and thoroughly enjoy the beauty, history and diversity of this city and try to meet some of the locals, who will help you feel and experience Sarajevo.

In closing our conversation, Lilia also suggests that one should definitely take a morning walk through Baščaršija – the experience of wandering in the silence, along with the smell of roasted coffee, is truly priceless.