Damir Bešlija studies English language and literature. For the third year of studying he doesn’t know any other grade than 10. At the Foundation “Source of Hope”, he shares his precious time with other scholarship recipients and is selflessly helping them.
He participates in a number of projects of the Inter-religious Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and gladly writes poetry and prose. He likes to research literature and language so he hopes that in the future linguistics will be his field of work and research.
Who, for those who don’t know, is Damir Bešlija?
Damir Bešlija is a student at the International Burch University (IBU) in the English department language and literature, mentor at the Foundation “Izvor Nade” and participant in a number of projects of Inter-Religious Council in BiH (IRC).
Are you active in the NGO sector? Can you name some of the jobs you do that are fulfilling your free time?
What I prefer to do with the non-governmental sector are projects in the field developing dialogue organized by the Inter-religious Council. In my spare time, I translate newspaper articles and media reports, but when I can choose, I would choose a cup of coffee and a good book.
Do you write poetry and prose? What works can the public read?
It would be more accurate to say that I sometimes write something. These are mostly sonnets and dashes because for more complex and more complete expressions I am not yet mature. Two poetry collections with mine came out this year poems (“Ljubavi od stakla” and “Luka osjećaja”), one collection of prose with my dash (“Zimske priče: Svako ima svoju Eminu”) and a personal favorite travel article (“U Maroku će svanuti dan”). Some rhymes, as I often call them, because they are really just tries of poetic expression, were also published on literary portals.
Are you a student with an average grade of 10.0? What is the secret of success?
There’s nothing secret about that. Success of any kind requires surrounding yourself with the people you love and who support you, you need to know how to organize your time, prioritize and be aware of your qualities.
From an expert standpoint, do you also enter the world of translation? Whether and to what extent it is today a life-giving profession?
Without some insight into labor market demand or without research I cannot speak in general, but I do I always have something to translate. Of course, I don’t live off that, but any translation is welcome. I think that it is very important to do every job, including the translation, because it will be heard and then people can find you.
Do you see yourself in the future as a translator and what are the biggest challenges a translator can have?
I don’t necessarily see. Translation and interpretation is a fine craft. When you translate inevitably you read a lot, you research, you build your general education. Translation is in some ways a noble occupation. Andrić once said that the people who are close today should be thankful to the interpreters who are the best mediators in this divided world of ours. However, I much prefer to explore literature and language as such, and I hope to engage linguistics.
The Internet has made it possible for a quality lecturer to have “their place under the sun”. You hold online courses and teach English to users worldwide. What are your experiences in that field?
I used to hold online classes and I can say that they represent a great experience in working with people of different personalities, educational backgrounds and occupations. When you teach the same lesson to an eighteen-year old and to a sixty-year old, only then you figure out how much the library knowledge is limited, and how important is resourcefulness. That’s why these lectures often were Tantalum’s anguish.
Are you one of the coordinators and mentors for working of the Foundation “Izvor nade”? What is your opinion on the work of the Foundation?
The work of the Foundation is transparent and most noble, especially after the change of management in 2016. It mainly concerns education and upbringing. About the projects implemented by the Foundation there is not much to talk about; it is better to stop by, have a cup of coffee with the management that is always willing to receive its guests and see in person what the Foundation is doing.
More and more young people are leaving BiH, some constantly and some are staying for temporary residence and study? What are your plans for the future?
I plan to graduate from college in Bosnia. For the rest we will see later.
Many friends describe you as a person who is fond of different types of art. In what areas and works do you find life inspiration?
I love language and literature and everything that comes from it. If I have to choose one thing, I would choose theater. I like to watch a good show, especially at the Chamber Theater. That place is warm, I have speacial memories from it.
What is your life motto?
An aphorism of Imam Bugari from his book of proverbs: With your every step honour others, that is a true pilgrimage.
What is your message to young people living in our country?
Set priorities in your lives, organize your time and distance yourself from people who are constantly complaining, doing nothing to change their condition. Such ones deserve to complain a lot.
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