On Wednesday afternoon, MICDS’ Director of Housekeeping, Senad Hadzisalihovic, spoke to the 6th grade class about his experiences leaving his home country of Bosnia during that country’s civil war in the 1990s.
Mr. Hadzisalhovic visited with the students as part of the 6th graders’ study of human migration, particularly the arrival of Bosnian and Syrian refugees and immigrants to St. Louis. He spoke about leaving his hometown of Tuzla and first settling in Germany as the war devastated the towns and villages of eastern Bosnia. When the war ended and the German government told the Bosnian refugees they had to return back home, Mr. Hadzisalihovic was granted entry to the United States and moved to St. Louis, where his brother had settled earlier that same year.
What resonated with the students was that when Mr. Hadzisalihovic came to the United States with his wife and two young children, they could not speak English and they had only one suitcase and very little money when they arrived in St. Louis. With the help of the International Institute, he and his family were able to find a place to live and he was hired in the Housekeeping Department here at MICDS. Mr. Hadzisalihovic proudly shared with the students that he and his family have been United States citizens since 2005! His daughter and son are both graduates of Saint Louis University and Fontbonne University, respectively. His son was also captain of Fontbonne’s Conference Champions volleyball team.
Our 6th grade students are very grateful to Mr. Hadzisalihovic for sharing his story. What a deeper understanding of migration they have from one of MICDS’ very own!