Hotel Rwanda manager speaks on campus

Paul Rusesabagina speaks on April 13 in the Cintas Center about lessons yet to be learned | March 21, 2005

Paul Rusesabagina, the hotel manager portrayed by Don Cheadle in the critically acclaimed film "Hotel Rwanda," is speaking on Wednesday, April 13, at 7:00 p.m. at the Cintas Center. His talk is titled, “Hotel Rwanda: A Lesson Yet to be Learned.”

Nearly 11 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 more than 1,200 people. Over the course of 100 days, almost one million people were killed in Rwanda.

A middle-class Hutu married to a Tutsi and the father of four children, Rusesabagina's hotel, the Mille Collines, became a refuge for those fleeing the violence. For three months, the hotel was a sanctuary for the terrified and targeted, as Rusesabagina used his wits, international contacts and even the swimming pool's rationed water to keep the refugees alive. When the wave of violence was over, 1,268 people who were sheltered at the hotel were still alive because of Rusesabagina's compassion and cunning.

Rusesabagina went to Belgium as a refugee. Since that time, Rusesabagina has worked as a businessman and owns a transport company. He is also still involved in charitable organizations aiding survivors of the Rwandan tragedy.

This event is sponsored by the Brueggeman center for dialogue and student government association.

Tickets are $5 for the general public and can be purchased at the Cintas Center box office by calling 513 745-3411. Xavier students are free, but must obtain a ticket from the Cintas Center box office.