The world has always been imperfect. I just didn't pay much attention, like so many people who go about their lives ignoring atrocities, war, hunger as if such things happened only in books or films. And even when I found myself in the middle of the chaos of war, for a long time I thought that I would awaken into a beautiful spring morning and realize it was all a bad dream.

In those years, my life spun around one word: survival. That meant coping with existence without water, electricity, and with very little food; queuing in lines for hours under incessant shell and sniper fire to get basic things that are normally taken for granted.

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