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For Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina, a local Muslim family specializing in the trade of carving and woodcraft was awarded the honor to work on a chair that the Pope will use during his stay.

A specially designed chair is usually a vital centerpiece on the Pope’s public appearances or during mass, providing a resting refuge for the 78-year-old pontiff.

According to the Hajdarovac family, the design will remain a secret as of the moment. But they hinted that it will be made out of a walnut tree and will depict a mixture of symbols of the Pope and Bosnian churches. The family has pledged to work on the chair for free and the materials shall be purchased out of the local people’s contribution.

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Salem Hajdarovac was filled with joy and excitement upon being informed and contracted for such very rare job opportunity. According to the Hajdarovac patriarch, he hasn’t been able to sleep for a week after hearing the good news. The devoted Muslim family is happy and privileged to carve a piece for one of the world’s most important & well-known persons. The family-run workshop located in Zavidovici has long been engaged in carving decorative pieces for numerous churches and mosques as well as souvenir items for tourists.

In his recent public appearance for his weekly blessing, Pope Francis has announced that he will visit Bosnia-Herzegovina on June 6. The main purpose of the visit is to strengthen the unity, sense of brotherhood, and inter-religious dialogue for the small country that has recently been ravaged by war. According to news reports, political and criminal prosecutions related to the Bosnian war are still ongoing even to this day. Pope Francis is noted as one of the most popular and well-respected leaders not only for Catholics and Christians but across other religions as well.

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