Rwandan Hero to Speak At Denison Convocation
Posted: March 20, 2006
The real-life hero of the "Hotel Rwanda" story, Paul Rusesabagina, will present "Hotel Rwanda: A Lesson Yet to be Learned" at a convocation at Denison University at 7:30 p.m. on Friday (March 31) in Livingston Gymnasium. Sponsored by the Denison Lecture Series, the presentation is free and open to the public.
Ten years ago, as the country of Rwanda descended into madness, one man made a promise to protect the family he loved -- and ended up finding the courage to save over 1,200 people. Paul Rusesabagina's story is told in the movieHotel Rwanda. Over the course of 100 days nearly one million people were killed in Rwanda; Rusesabagina, a hotel manager, used his courage to shelter more than a thousand refugees from certain death.
Rusesabagina has traveled the world telling his story and carrying a message of hope, peace and "never again." He has founded the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation (HRRF), which provides support, care and assistance to children orphaned by and women abused during the genocide in Rwanda. He has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Award and the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award.
"I've become a humanitarian and I never thought I would become one," says Rusesabagina. "And, as a humanitarian, I wanted to take this message on a wider scale, to raise awareness of what happened in my country so that the international community can help others who suffer now." The son of farmers, he studied at the Seventh Day Adventist College of Gitwe, a missionary school, and at the Faculty of Theology in Cameroon. After employment as a front office manager in a hotel, he decided to pursue a career in hotel management and studied at the Kenya Utalii College in Nairobi and also in Switzerland. He was serving as the general manager of the Diplomate Hotel in Kigali when the genocide began but returned to an earlier post at the Mille Collines Hotel for the remaining 100 days of the massacre. In 1996 he left Rwanda and went to Belgium as a refugee. He is now the owner of a transport company.
CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville -- Real-life hero Paul Rusesabagina, whose story was portrayed in the movie "Hotel Rwanda," will talk on "Hotel Rwanda: A Lesson Yet to be Learned"; 7:30 p.m., Friday (March 31), Slayter Hall Auditorium (200 North Road). Free and open to the public. Call 740-587-5730 to confirm information.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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