We got up around 05:30 in the morning and prayed Faj’r and packed up ready to leave Kosovo. In dim daylight we discovered that we were around Mitrovica and were now waiting for the bus at 06:00 which will take us somewhere (no idea where but into enemy territory of Serbia).
06:00 came and went, no bus.
07:00 came and went, no bus.
Around 07:30 a bus came heading out of Kosovo and we had no choice but to board (hoping) that we are heading somewhere in the general direction of Bosnia.
We were wrong!
The bus actually took us to Podgorica (Montenegro) and I know that you are reading this and thinking O No! But Allah (SWT) is the Most Merciful of those who show Mercy because this meant that we were now entering Serbia from Montenegro and not Kosova so the immigration issues disappeared to a large extent.
From Podgorica (Montenegro) we had to find our way to Sarajevo (Bosnia).
We were thinking about buying bus tickets but there are no direct bus Service. Allah (SWT)’s Mercy descended and we soon discovered that there were some “Muslims” in town clearly distinguishable with women in Hijab etc.
Spoke to a Yusuf and he told us that he will drive us to Novi Pazar (Serbia) and we know that from there we should be able to get a Bus directly to Sarajevo (Bosnia). Roads are mountainous and not very good so the workhorse for Balkans like so many countries around the world is the ever dependable and reliable Mercedes 190E (W201) and Yusuf had the right car for the right environment.
He spoke little English so the 6 of us piled in the back and proceeded towards Serbia.
½ a mile before the border from Montenegro the “white guy” had to get off the car and walk with a cap on his head and chocolates in his hand, pretending to be backpacking through the mountains.
The authorities at Montenegro didn’t really care about him or us and we were waved straight through. He kept walking towards the into enemy territory of Serbia while we were in the car.
Yusuf (the driver) was a seasoned campaigner and he told us to be careful and do exactly what he tells us.
The “white guy” was waved straight through while we were held up at Serbian border for about 45 minutes, searched and then made to wait for no reason.
The Serbian authorities use a VISA STAMP with a big X on it and they put it directly on top of the Kosovan Visa (although we didn’t have it on the passport but on a paper) and this means that they are cancelling out the existence of (Muslim) Kosova!
Finally we reunited and Yusuf dropped us off at Novi Pazar (Serbia) and it was eassy to get a direct bus to Sarajevo (Bosnia).We noticed that all
throughout Serbia and Montenegro there are Mosques all along the Roads and countryside and this should make you wonder! Why should two countries which hate Islam re(build) so many Mosques? This is because they are vying to be part of Europe and (re)building Mosques is their way of showing that they are moving on (from the past).
The town had loads of Muslims and Muslim families but we didn't go past the bus station because there wasn't much time. However, almost every Muslim family shared their food with us or tried to converse with us and Novi Pazar (Serbia) is also an Ex-Ottoman town and a trade centre. Novi Pazar actually means something like "New Bazar" in Turkish.
We decided to call Sarajevo (Bosnia) and reconfirm our Hotel. The rooms were booked under the brothers (Christian) name and the owner (a Muslim) had no idea that we were Muslims. He greeted the brother and said that he is ready to provide good Service and he has a special girl "Nafeesa" who will make all of very happy in one night!
He asked for the approximate time of our arrival so he can get "Nafeesa" ready for us and there will no charge for this special service!
We boarded the bus and headed to Sarajevo (Bosnia)