A Story of a Family's Faith, Hope, and Courage in a Time of Ethnic Cleansing
There are books that ought to be read. Nana’s Shoes, a memoir by Aisa Softic, is not one of those books. Nana’s Shoes is a book that must be read. Aisa, a Bosnian Muslim, has written an odyssey, a story that takes its readers through a range of challenges that pit the human spirit against the odds and provide lessons in courage for us all. The story of Aisa and her family is a Bosnian and a Muslim story, but it is above all else a human story. Born in 1950 to a hard-working farm family that owned its own land but wrested only subsistence from it, Aisa was destined to half an education and a life of hard work, little financial gain, and the obscurity of the poor. But God decreed otherwise, and gave to Aisa gifts that cannot be purchased with money: the gifts of faith, an abundance of family love and support, intelligence, courage, and an indomitable spirit. Aisa earned her education and became a teacher and a high school principal. And, when Yugoslavia (which included Bosnia) broke up and descended into violence and the ethnic cleansing of Muslims, she held tight to her family at the risk of her own life and saw all of her family members – her husband, their daughter and son, and herself – safely to the United States to begin life anew. Nana’s Shoes is about a brave woman and her family. At the same time it is a story of how, when the human spirit rises up and speaks courage to violence, courage wins out. A book that must be read.