Words for Christchurch: Atka Reid and Hana Schofield

coverSisters Atka and Hana and their family were sponsored by a Christchurch family to move to Christchurch from war-torn Bosnia 18 years ago. They’ve written a book about their story, Goodbye Sarajevo, which will be published in early May by Bloomsbury UK. They sent these Words for Christchurch:

Christchurch has been home to our family.

When we first moved there from Bosnia it was the generosity and kindness of several Christchurch families that helped us through the tough times. We will always be grateful for that and Christchurch has a special place in our hearts.

We wrote Goodbye Sarajevo at the Christchurch Central Library. The book launch was scheduled to be in Christchurch next month, at Scorpio book shop, but due to the earthquake that’s been moved to Auckland. We do hope that once Scorpio is up and running again we will be able to celebrate the occasion with our Christchurch family and friends.

Our thoughts are with the people of Christchurch where most of our family still live. Our hearts go out to many people who have lost their loved ones, their homes and livelihoods and we hope that our story can give them a glimpse of hope and some comfort in these times of hardship. To quote one of the reviews:

Goodbye Sarajevo is a beautiful story that turns from sorrow to happiness, redemption, restoration. Goodbye Sarajevo shows that sometimes out of dire circumstances, new lives, new beginnings are possible.

Best wishes,
Atka and Hana

7 thoughts on “Words for Christchurch: Atka Reid and Hana Schofield

  1. Flora Willis 28 April 2011 / 9:39 pm

    Watch an interesting interview with Atka Reid and Hana Schofield on YouTube, where they talk about Goodbye Sarajevo and what compelled them to write the book:

  2. Frank Hunt 15 August 2011 / 5:52 am

    Thank you for the book……I have not read much apart from academic books for many years….this book has left me with the bug! I visited Sarajevo in May 2008…..a very sad but wonderful visit. What great people!.
    Greetings to Samir, who, with his father, showed us around the cemetery above the city where Itzatbegovic rests. I hope life is good for his family.
    Thank you Atka and Hana, good health and much happiness to you and your families.

  3. Derek Truscott 16 October 2011 / 5:02 pm

    Derek Truscott comments– I am 83 years old and started life in England where just outside London bombing was a nightly affair, and the war affected my time at school too. Now I have retired at age 81 after 56 years as an optometrist in Christchurch and the experience of our earthquake has been devastating to many. I do not know what made me ask my daughter to give me this book for a birthday but I can say that it is the most inspiring narative I have been fortunate to read and one can only admire the courage that this family displayed. This title would serve as a wonderful way for those less fortunate in our city now to find their way out of the depression that many are suffering because of their loss.

  4. Marie 19 October 2011 / 8:37 pm

    I have just read your book it is such a moving and inspiring story, I cannot believe we were so insulated from your struggle, I thought I was reading something out of the second world war, the media tried its best and despite this life in the world went on, I felt shame and sadness and wished I could of helped back in that time. Tears come when writing this.God bless you and your family.
    New Zealand is a beautiful home.

  5. nicola shirley 4 January 2012 / 12:51 am

    Thank you for sharing your memories – I still find it hard to believe that this is within my lifetime yet only now am I starting to grasp the full tragedy of the situation. It seems a cruel trick of nature to torment your familey again in the ‘shakey city”, my thoughts are with you – wishing you peace health and happiness. Nicci-Auckland NZ

  6. Alice Murray 8 January 2012 / 6:29 pm

    just read your booked, thanks so much for educating me about the struggles of your city/ country! After the war did your family choose to stay in NZ or go back (visit?) ?
    Do you still plan to do a launch in chch at Scorpio Bookshop (now that its open again)?

  7. Sandra 26 January 2012 / 12:40 pm

    My husband and myself have just read your book Goodbye Sarajevo. I have found it the most moving story I have ever read. (My husband) has also written a book about some of things you and your family went through although nothing can ever touch the human side you both describe so well.
    Three years ago we travelled through Bellgrade, Sarajevo, Mostar and the Dalmatian coast. We saw the remains of some of the atrocoties you brave people have been. I hope you and your family are now living a happy contented life in New Zealand.
    Thank you for sharing your story.

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