Čika Mišo

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Husein Hasani
Born (1931-12-22)22 December 1931
Ferizaj, Vardar Banovina, Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Died 6 January 2014(2014-01-06) (aged 82)
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Cause of death
heart attack
Resting place
Vlakovo
Other names Čika Mišo
Years active 1952–2014
Spouse(s) Džemila (deceased)

Husein Hasani (22 December 1931 – 6 January 2014) was the last shoeshiner in the city of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.[1] He was popular with Sarajevans and was known by all as "Čika Mišo" (Uncle Misho).[2][3]

Background and personal life[edit]

Uncle Mišo was born as Husein Hasani in 1931 in Ferizaj, Kosovo, which was a part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia at the time of his birth.[4] He had eight or nine siblings, and was the last living of all the Hasani children.[5]

He was an ethnic Kosovar Roma and moved to Bosnia with his family as a teenager in 1946, just after the end of World War II.[6] The nickname Mišo was given to him by his Hungarian boxing coach, who could not pronounce his name.[7] He had said that his true love was boxing.

His wife, Džemila, predeceased him.

Shoeshiner[edit]

In 1952 Mišo took over the job of shoe-shiner from his father, a job he would keep until his death six decades later. He was the last one to keep up with the traditional trade, which has deep roots in Bosnia, inherited from the centuries-long Ottoman rule of the region. His original "base" was in front of the Marijin dvor building. He later moved himself to Marshall Tito Street, about twenty years before his death.

He sat on his chair on the sidewalk throughout the Siege of Sarajevo during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1992 and 1995, avoiding sniper fire.[8][9] During the war years, when he could hardly be convinced to move to a shelter during the shelling. Despite food shortages and poverty during the war, he always kept treats for Sarajevo's stray dogs, which he called his "faithful comrades" in the streets.[10]

In 2009 Mišo was awarded a medal for merit by city authorities, as well as an apartment and a pension.

In an interview, he said: "There were shoe-cleaners in every street when I started and now, I'm the only one, why? Because I have been brave and people laughed at my jokes."

Death[edit]

Uncle Mišo died of a heart attack in the morning hours of 6 January 2014 at the age of 82.[11] The mayor of Sarajevo Ivo Komšić called Misho a "symbol of the city" of Sarajevo and stated that his death had left the city "emptier".[12] Upon his death, the chair where he sat daily was adorned with candles, roses and shoes by passers-by.[13]

He was buried in a graveyard in Vlakovo on 8 January 2014.[14][15]

The day after his death, a petition calling for a memorial to be placed in the spot where he sat everyday was started on Facebook.[16][17][18][19] On 11 January 2014, the workers of the McDonald's fast food restaurant in front of the spot where he worked paid for and set up a commemorative plaque that reads: "Here worked čika Mišo, the last shoe-shiner in Sarajevo. Husein Hasani 1931–2014.[20]

His death was reported by Bosnian, American, Finnish, African, Albanian, Serbian and Italian news outlets.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Preminuo čika Mišo,legenda Sarajeva". B92. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Kako je govorio Čika Mišo: 'Rekli ste da sam vaša legenda, hvala vam'". RadioSarajevo. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Décès du dernier cireur de chaussures et symbole de Sarajevo". Tempsreel. 8 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "ODLAZAK LEGENDE GRADA: Umro čika Mišo!". Slobodna-Bosna. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Preminuo čika Mišo, posljednji ulični čistač cipela i legenda Sarajeva". Oslobođenje. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "Ovako je govorio čika Mišo: U životu je najvažnije da ne ukaljaš obraz!". Kurir-info. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "Sarajevo mourns unlikely icon". iAfrica. 9 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  8. ^ "Paying tribute". ThePeninsulaqatar. 9 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "Sarajevo, addio a zio Misho lustrascarpe di guerra". Repubblica. 9 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  10. ^ "Sarajevon legendaarinen kengänkiillottaja kuoli – edes piiritys ei pitänyt Miso-setää poissa kadulta". YLE. 8 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "Preminuo Čika Mišo, jedan od simbola grada Sarajeva". RadioSarajevo. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "Sarajevo pays tribute to its last shoe shiner". Yahoo. 9 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "Čika Mišino radno mjesto prazno...". RadioSarajevo. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "Sarajevo se danas u 13 sati oprašta od čika Miše". RadioSarajevo. 8 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  15. ^ "Posljednji pozdrav Čika Miši - Počivaj u miru, uvijek ćeš biti dio našeg grada". RadioSarajevo. 8 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  16. ^ "Sarajevo pays tribute to its last shoe shiner". MiamiHerald. 9 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  17. ^ "Peticija i Facebook stranica za spomenik čika Miši". RadioSarajevo. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  18. ^ "Sahrana čika Miši: U srijedu se Sarajevo oprašta od svoje legende". RadioSarajevo. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  19. ^ "Sarajevans Mourn Their Much-Loved Shoeshiner". BalkanInsight. 8 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  20. ^ "Radnici McDonald's-a postavili spomen-ploču čika Miši". Avaz. 11 January 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2014.