SABAN IBRISIMOVIC INTERVIEW
22 July 2021
Interview with Saban Ibrisimovic, President of the Association of the Guardians of the Bosnian Crown of Bobovac, Vares.
1. I would like to thank you for your time and for speaking to us for the Eastern Mining blog which is part of the „Living History project“. First of all, could you tell us more about yourself?
My name is Saban Ibrisimovic, I was born in 1965 in Kolakovici village. I am married and I have three sons. I live in Mijakovici. I have been an activist and President of the local community Dragovici-Mijakovici for many years. For twelve years I have been the President of the Association "Guardians of the Bosnian Crown Bobovac Vares", I performed certain functions in the hunting association "Zvijezda" Vares, and I became the Deputy President of the Association of Beekeepers "Polen Vares" where I lead the Vares honey branding project. I am also president of the political party and I am a member of your Public Liaison Committee.
2. What was your first job?
My first job was at Energoinvest's lead, zinc and barite mine. I worked as a scholarship holder at a painter's place where we painted and prepared plants. There were 400 employees in that period of time. After that, I worked in flotation at the 96 pump plant, then moved to the Iron Ore Mine where I got the opportunity to finish the fifth degree of the Mining - Geological - Petroleum School in Varazdin. After completing the fifth degree, I moved to the supervisory technical staff and performed the function of the Chief Manager in the mine at Brezik.
3. Did any of your family members or relatives work in the mine?
My wife's brother worked in the mine as well.
4. At the time you had worked at the Lead, Zinc and Barite mine, were any women employed?
Yes. The women were mostly employed in flotation and filtration and in the laboratory.
5. When you look at life then and now, in the area of the Vares municipality, can you make a comparison?
Given that these are now two different times in my life, it is very difficult to make a comparison of the present and the past. I have changed my business, I am no longer in the mining sector and my views have changed too, but I must say that I remember many good things from the Yugoslavian period. Today the situation is quite different; primarily in economic terms. In the past, the local community Dragovici - Mijakovici had a maximum of four cars, and today every household has at least one car. I think less work is done today and it is much easier to live than before.
6. How did Vares look like at the peak of its power at the time when the lead, zinc and barite mine was operating?
Vares was a town for example. Compared to the neighboring places, Vares was a step higher in cultural, economic and social terms. The majority of the population worked, I would even say that there was no unemployment. Jobs were available to everyone, and today it is not quite so, unfortunately.
7. When the mine and ironworks were operating, was sufficient attention paid to environmental protection and compliance with the laws of that period?
I compare your company, I can see how much you respect not only the Bosnian and Herzegovinian legislation but also international law. Back then when mine and ironworks were operating, no care was taken to protect the environment.
8. Is there a bus line in your local community today?
Today, we only have school transport financed by the Ministry, and workers who work in Vares or somewhere else travel with their own cars.
9. How many children are there in the local community Dragovici-Mijakovici?
In the primary school up to the fifth grade we have ten children, in the upper grades also ten, and in the secondary school in Vares, we have five pupils.
10. Do you have any message for youth who are just starting to build their careers?
I would like to tell young people to be active, to follow world trends in education and to choose their profession based on that. For those who still want to stay in Vares, I would recommend that they adapt to the Vares business environment and that they also choose which school and faculty to enroll in. I would like them to stay here because with will and effort, they can succeed and build their careers here.
Thank you for your time, we hope that this cooperation will continue and improve!
Thank you for your visit and a chance to speak for your „Living History Project“.