When Sarajevo was pockmarked and seized in collapse, people began to believe in destiny.

It happened to Marko when a bullet missed him by no more than a foot and grazed the forehead of the man in step beside him. Then a dead artillery shell ricocheted around his apartment and spun to a stop, unexploded. A rocket-propelled grenade crashed into the south side of the apartment and did explode, but it was one wall behind his family’s north-facing rooms. By the time he escaped in 1994, Marko counted six times that he nearly lost his life.


Name changed to protect identity.