Maja Ručević

The Symbol of Sarajevo is the Feeling of Warmth and Love!

Maja Ručević is from Zagreb, but has been living in Sarajevo for a few years now. As a translator and freelance journalist, her work has allowed her to move to Sarajevo, a city she fell in love with at first sight. During our short conversation, she revealed what it is about Sarajevo that has captivated her.


Maja says that she first heard about Sarajevo during her childhood, when her uncle would tell her stories about skiing up on the surrounding mountains.

She first came to the city on the Miljacka as part of an amateur Francophone theater troupe, which she was a member of during her studies.

When she first arrived in our city she was taken by the exotic architecture and the people who were far more approachable than the Zagrebians she was accustomed to. She liked the fact that the city is comprised of so many different elements which coexist so well.

What she likes most about Sarajevo is that there is always something that intrigues, amazes, forces her to question, charms and fills her with joyful expectation.

Maja has made many friends during her stay. Besides the “raja”, or the larger circle of acquaintances with whom she can always have a chat over coffee, she stresses that she has met several hard-working, worthy and honest people whom she has come to appreciate and love and she considers them true friends.

As for Sarajevans’ mentality, she says that our city’s residents are adorned with sociable and personable natures, and she makes special mention of the eternal and incomparable Bosnian humor.

- This really is a special quality for people today, for humor to come out of suffering, and to serve as a form of self-defense, or to originate from something very primeval, says Maja.

As for Sarajevo’s disadvantages, she points out the fact that very few Sarajevans preserve the original spirit of the city, which is valuable and needs to be taken care of.

Since she comes from a neighboring country, Maja hasn’t been especially surprised by any customs, and has had no problem with Sarajevo traditions. However, she says that she is especially proud that she is one of the few “enlightened” Zagrebians who will never refer to sirnica (cheese pie) as burek with cheese!

While living in our city, Maja has acquired certain habits. She loves to wander around Sarajevo and explore the streets, and when she is tired of walking around town, she goes to the restaurant, Kod Bibana, where she can enjoy the lovely view. As for daily coffee and evenings out, she usually chooses Balkan Express, a place with a positive atmosphere, and where she is even known to “take over” the DJ podium and treat those present to her music selection.

Maja has been especially delighted with Bosnian cooking. She loves all Bosnian specialties, but makes special mention of Ramazan somun with black seed, as well as pita, ćevapi and dolma.

For Maja, the symbol of Sarajevo is something immaterial – the feeling of warmth and love that one can experience here and which has kept her coming back to our city for years.

This young Zagrebian recommends that a first-time visitor should have nerves of steel and learn to let go of planning things.

She invites visitors to imbibe all that Sarajevo has to offer – from the beautiful streets, fantastic people, excellent cuisine, great parties and simple pleasures to the cute stray dogs and disturbing Sarajevo Roses.