Commonwealth National Podcast

Paul Rusesabagina; Activist; Author, An Ordinary Man

Duration: 
1:05:59
SPEAKER: Paul Rusesabagina; Activist; Author, An Ordinary Man

TITLE: Behind Hotel Rwanda

The Rwandan Hotel Manager Paul Rusesabagina -- the inspiration for the Oscar nominated “Hotel Rwanda” -- will describe how he was able to shelter and save the lives of more than 1,200 Tutsis and moderate Hutus during the Rwandan genocide of 1994.
Dubbed by some as the "Oskar Schindler of Africa,” Rusesabagina will explain how as acting general manager of the Mille Collines Hotel he used his negotiating skills and the power of words to successfully hide his family, orphans and refugees from the horror outside. He will retrace those harrowing 100 days and share what he took away from the experience. Risking his own life throughout, Rusesabagina and his family suffered countless atrocities during this time. Finally, Rusesabagina and his family were able to escape to Tanzinia and then received asylum in Belgium.

Rusesabagina has received many awards for his heroic actions. In 2005 President George W. Bush honored him with the U. S. Presidential Medal of Freedom. He also received the Immortal Chaplains Prize for Humanity in 2000 and the National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Award in 2005.

This program was recorded live on March 14, 2007