Twenty years ago, beginning on April 6 1994, more than 800,000 people were killed in Rwanda in a horrific genocide that spanned 100 days. Genocide continues to be a tragic global issue. Paul Rusesabagina, whose autobiography “AN ORDINARY MAN,” inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda,” will join us from Brussels Belgium.
As the manager of the exclusive Hotel Milles Collines he sheltered more than 1,200 Tutsis and Hutu moderates from the mass killing going on around him. In his book, he relates the anguish of those who saw loved ones brutally murdered, and describes his ambivalence at pouring scotch and lighting the cigars of killers in the Swimming Pool bar, even as he was trying to cram as many refugees as possible inside the guest rooms upstairs.
Rusesabagina describes his inner turmoil as he discusses the racial complexity within his own life (he is a Hutu married to a Tutsi) and his complete estrangement from the madness that surrounded him during the genocide.
Paul Rusesabagina will discuss the story of his youth and how he became the first Rwandan to hold a general manager position in a Belgian-owned chain of hotels, including the Hotel des Milles Collines; facts about the Rwandan genocide, particularly the shocking lack of attention paid by the United Nations and the West in general to the crisis; and parallels between the Rwandan genocide and other genocides throughout history.