Salem Hajdarovac says he didn’t sleep for a week when he heard his workshop had been granted the honor of carving a special chair that Pope Francis will sit on during his visit to Bosnia.
Hajdarovac, 61, and his 33-year-old son Edin, both devout Muslims, started working on the chair on Monday in their little workshop in the central Bosnian town of Zavidovici.
They have put all other orders on hold to produce the perfect chair by June 6, when the pontiff will hold a Mass in Sarajevo aimed at boosting efforts toward brotherhood in the country ravaged by war two decades ago.
For decades, the family-run workshop has been carving religious souvenirs for visitors of the Catholic Medjugorje shrine and decorations for churches and mosques, but they see the chair as the highlight of their careers.
“It makes me extremely happy, because to make the chair for such a person is a huge and important thing,” Edin Hajdarevac told The Associated Press.