More thrills than skills – A half-life in journalism, part 83

Over the next few weeks, is to publish, each weekday, edited extracts from the memoirs of Scottish war correspondent, Paul Harris. ‘More thrills than skills: A half-life in journalism’, is being scheduled for publication next year.

THE human toll of the siege of Sarajevo was appalling by any standards.

This may have been just one death but it was also the story of Bosnia in microcosm. A family shattered by a shell which, without warning, suddenly came from nowhere.

Nothing personal, of course. Thousands fell almost every day in Bosnia during the war.

But Adem, in the end, could no longer stand being closeted inside and went out into the summer sunshine – never to return alive to his cosy home on the first floor.

Alas, he was not unique: half a dozen people a day who dared to venture onto the streets of Breza died on the dusty pavements in the baking sun, their bodies ripped by shrapnel.