Hotel Rwanda Hero Paul Rusesabagina campaigns to end genocide in Darfur

While the world around him was disintegrating into chaos and violence during the Rwandan genocide of 1994, Paul Rusesabagina, then the manager of the Hotel Milles Collines, simply "did not do anything special. I just remained who I was . . . a hotel manager."

Hotel Rwanda's Paul Rusesabagina

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Rusesabagina's humility downplays the personal courage and ingenuity he exhibited as he set about protecting more than 1,000 Tutsi and Hutu refugees who descended upon his hotel as the insanity of the 1994 genocide enveloped the small compound in Kigali. His heroic experience was recently depicted in the film Hotel Rwanda.

Rusesabagina was honored by the American Refugee Committee on November 11, 2005 in Chicago where he spoke with editors from Salt of the Earth and U.S. Catholic (the interview will appear in the February issue of U.S. Catholic). Rusesabagina continues his advocacy for peace and reconciliation in Rwanda as he begins a new campaign to publicize the violence in Darfur, Sudan in the hopes of ending what he describes as a genocide there.

“We are delighted to have Mr. Rusesabagina speak to our supporters in Chicago,” said Hugh Parmer, President of the American Refugee Committee. “Mr. Rusesabagina continues to tell his own inspirational story and the story of Rwanda to draw attention to a similar tragedy now taking place in Darfur, Sudan. He is proof that one person can make a difference.”

ARC—an international humanitarian relief organization founded by several Chicago businessmen more than 25 years ago—operates relief programs in both Rwanda and Darfur, Sudan. ARC manages three camps housing more than 39,000 refugees in Rwanda, and this past year alone ARC provided health care and clean water to more than 200,000 displaced people in South Darfur.—Kevin Clarke

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