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Paul Rusesabagina: A Rwandan Hero

On Wednesday, February 23, Mr. Joel Stoltenow organized an after school field trip to listen to Paul Rusesabagina speak about the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. The trip was open to everyone and a bus ride was provided to Doane College where the presentation was held. The event was very much enjoyed by the 20 or so people who attended from Lincoln Lutheran.

Rusesabagina played a major role in the saving of thousands of refugees’ lives in Rwanda by offering the hotel he managed as a safe shelter from the atrocious genocide. The genocide killed an estimated one million lives total of Hutus and but mostly Tutsis in less than 100 days. The things this man went through in order to help these people were traumatic to say the least. Paul spoke of all the events and tragedies he witnessed. Rusesabagina credits the love of his family and God for providing him with courage and strength to help others and himself to survive.

Rusesabagina’s story has also been made into a movie, Hotel Rwanda. The movie came out in 2004, just ten years after the genocide. Rusesabagina is glad to see that the event is recorded and available for people so that they may learn about the tragic event. After the genocide Rusesabagina left the hotel business and is now managing a trucking business in Zambia in Southern Africa. He works in Africa and lives in Europe. He hopes to return someday to Rwanda, but does not now because there is no lasting peace. Rusesabagina also now travels to speak, telling his story and educating people about the unnoticed genocide that killed hundreds of thousands of people in Rwanda.

Thank you Mr. Stoltenow for organizing this great trip!

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