JAKARTA / SARAJEVO, January 4 (FENA) – ‘I am Amelia’ is the title of a book written by former Indonesian ambassador to BiH Amelia Achmad Yani, which was the reason for talking to the author of the book written in English and Indonesian.
“Somehow I am falling more and more in love with BiH and I considered it my second home. Everything about BiH is just wonderful, the country is so beautiful, people are warm and always ready to help, the landscape is magnificent. I miss BiH so much,” says the interlocutor, explaining the background for writing the book.
In the continuation of the conversation about the book, she says that her life is very diverse.
“My life is so colorful, happy, sad where tears and laughter intertwine all in one like the Beatles song The Long and Winding Road. I think we all go through different periods in our lives, but despite that, life is still beautiful,” Yani points out, referring to the family tragedy, the assassination of Achmad Yani’s father in 1965, the General of the Indonesian Army.
Diplomacy chose Amelia, who, after the murder of her father, retired to a small place where she was a farmer. She produced silk, rice, fruit, had chickens … She became an ambassador at the suggestion of General Wirant, who was a minister in the then Government of Indonesia.
She believes that it is not a coincidence that her diplomatic engagement brought her to BiH, which was part of the former Yugoslavia.
“My father, he was in the army, and he came here in 1962. At that time, our country was buying weapons from Bosnia and Herzegovina (which was part of the former Yugoslavia) because this country has a good military industry. He came to Yugoslavia in 1963 and then met Josip Broz Tito. This is a history that we should not forget,” Yani points out the connection between her father’s military and her diplomatic engagement in BiH.
Connecting the people of Indonesia and BiH is the main reason why the book was written in Indonesian and English, which Amelia Yani worked on intensively during her diplomatic engagement, connecting universities and cities of the two countries, and through business forums, visits of BiH delegations to Indonesia. All delegations and officials coming to BiH from Indonesia visited the Potočari Memorial Center. Ambassador Yani accompanied them always. She visited Potočari a total of 19 times.
“I wrote the book in two languages, English and Indonesian (Bahasa) so that non-English Indonesians could read it. I decided to write a book in English because of the people in Bosnia and Herzegovina and because I do not speak Bosnian, so both nations can get to know Indonesia, its people and culture and vice versa. The book also contains a lot of photos and I’m sure readers will like it. I also wrote about my youth, my parents, brothers and sisters and many stories until I became an ambassador to BiH,” says the interlocutor.
The reactions of those who have read the book are wonderful.
“The Indonesians to whom I gave my book are so excited that they had the opportunity to ‘walk’ through BiH and I am glad about that. On the other hand, Bosnians will be able to learn about Indonesia by meeting my family and much more,” explains the author of the book.
The book was published on July 7, 2021, almost a year after Amelia Yani’s return from BiH to Indonesia. The gathering of photographs, documents and notes of the author and consultations with the publisher lasted almost six months, from September 2020 to June 2021.
“The first 1,000 copies were published using luxury, art paper and they are with me. The other 2,000 copies for bookstores are not finished yet, and I don’t know exactly when they will be out of print. The publisher said to wait. The price of these first 1,000 copies of the book is quite expensive, while different paper will be used for bookstore sales, to make the price more convenient for customers,” said Amelia Yani.
At the end of the conversation, Amelia Yani says that she is still in contact with everyone in BiH with whom she has collaborated, communicating with numerous ambassadors who have been in BiH during her tenure.