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Travel to Tajan

New book by Academician Ferid Muhic, member of the International Expert Team of the Institute for Genocide Research Canada.
Tražeći Bosnu, našao sam sebe. Tražeći sebe našao sam Bosnu.

Marija Dunn,

Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh

Ferid Muhic, Putovanje u Tajan, novel, Connectum, Sarajevo 2021

The novel is conceived as a story within a story or, more precisely, a journey within a journey, Putovanje u Tajan is part lndiana Jones, part Marcel Proust, part Ernest Hemingway, wrapped in a Ferid Muhić’s philosophy: searching for the beginning, questioning the reason for being, contemlating the end, while leaning and counting on Love, as a spiritual and moral imperative of the universe, and the core of his beliefs.
The author’s trip from Skopje Macedonia to Bosnia and his native Mahoje on the slopes of Tajan mountain, almost 500 miles on foot, over the mountains, a kind of pilgrimage to the home of his ancestors by day, becomes a journey back in time to his earliest memories and, ultimately, to the origin of his identity, by night.
In these night travels, Tajan is both the location where young Ferid spent the earliest years of his childhood, and a symbol of his spiritual identity, looming large in the lives of almost all members of his family at various points in time.
Thus, in this true story and a memoir, all roads lead to Tajan.
Searching for the beginning, before awareness, Muhić reflects on why a mountain has felt like home his entire life with the horizons as walls and the skies as roof.
Who says “you can’t go home again” should read this one man’s journey to his inner home, to find his own Tajan, his own origin, which is also the origin of all living beings and everything that is! As we are all sparks of a primordial fire in the sky.
Do we ever detect when our personal life really begins!? A logical question when we consider that we are symbolic beings, and our memories are part of who we are. Muhić seems to have found the first tone in the symphony of life which determines all tones that follow, to celebrate his life and all life, and to honor, in a magnificent way, the people who loved him first, loved him best, loved him most and for eternity! In other words, he wrote this book.
Or did he!?
And what about our going through life alone!!?
Some may disagree with the author’s declaration: Za predah su prijatelji – na putu čovjek je sam. (Friends are for the moments of rest – on his road man travels alone).
Doesn’t that depend on one’s conception of life and life experiences!?
In this regard, Muhić appears rather self-sufficient. Was it his choice “to go it alone” or is it “the curse of the genius!?”
Is this the source of our sadness for the little boy who could fly, and for the man who has lived with a profound awareness of the transient nature of human life?
But we don’t have to learn to fly in the rarified air where he soars, we don’t have to invent a special imagination to understand his joy, his questions, and doubts. Muhić lays them bare – with a vulnerability common to the strong and courageous.
Some of us are on a quest for something greater than ourselves and for our place in the cosmic scheme of things, longing to belong. We ask the ancient quesfions about the meaning of life, often looking at the stars for answers.

On his Travel to Tajan, Muhić seems to have fulfilled his quest.