West of Mecca is a new RTÉ series, which profiles Muslims living in five different European countries: Ireland, Germany, Poland, Sweden and Croatia.
In each of the five parts of the series we meet two Muslim people from each country as they discuss their lives, beliefs, fears and plans for the future. We meet people who are a minority in the place they call home and discover how this affects their everyday lives.
Croatia has a population of 4.5 million and 1.28% of the population is Muslim. The majority of Muslims are Bosnian nationals who moved from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Croatia, searching for higher education and better work opportunities. This week we hear from two of these, Behija Berberovic and Elvis Keranovic.
Behija Berberovic is a young doctor, born and educated in the Croatian capital of Zagreb. A typical young, modern woman, Behija is no different from her friends of Croat origin, but Behija wants to marry a Muslim. To find one in small Croatian Islamic community would be a jackpot so Behija has to search little bit further afield, in a country of her family's origin: Bosnia. Will she replace comfortable Zagreb life for not so secure Sarajevo, for love?
A year ago Elvis Keranovic graduated from Islamic high school and became an Imam. In the meantime the law has changed and he has to study at least two to three more years to work in an Islamic community. Since Croatia still has no university of Islamic sciences, he applied to one in Libya. But Elvis has a dilemma; he is not sure should he go to study or work on his football career. In only a few days his life will turn upside down.