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Paul Rusesabagina    

Real Life Hero of Hotel Rwanda

For two months of his life, Paul Rusesabagina held insanity at bay as he watched his country fall into the grips of genocide in 1994. A Hutu manager of a luxury hotel in Rwanda, he sheltered over 1,200 people, including his own Tutsi wife and children, saving their lives at a time when extremists massacred more than 800,000 members of the Tutsi and moderate Hutu tribes in just 100 days.

Considered the “Rwandan Schindler,” his wrenching story and that of the genocide is chronicled in the critically acclaimed film, Hotel Rwanda, a riveting account of a man finding courage within himself to save others in the midst of his country’s darkest moment.

When Rwanda descended into madness, Rusesabagina took action. A fastidious, crafty, and yet highly principled businessman, he resorted to desperate tactics. While militants threatened and surrounded the well-groomed grounds of the hotel, he spent hours on the phone, pleading with influential leaders, his international connections his only defense against attack. He bartered luxury items such as money, gold, cigars, and aged bottles of wine he hoarded in his hotel, for the lives of strangers seeking refuge in the chaos. Miraculously, no one who housed at his hotel died.

As the world turned its back on the horrific tragedy, Rusesabagina was one man who saved few among the many lost. Now, through emotionally stirring words, he shares his story first-hand, in hopes that future events of this type can be prevented. “I hope this will be a wake-up call, not only for Rwanda, but the whole international community."

Speech Topics

Hotel Rwanda: A Lesson Yet to Be Learned


Paul Rusesabagina author biography
Paul Rusesabagina biography: Paul Rusesabagina is the former general manager of the Mille Collines Hotel in Kigali, Rwanda. He grew up on a farm in the ...
Hotel Rwanda hero decries oppression two decades after genocide ...
Paul Rusesabagina may have an eye on the Rwandan presidency but said his life would be in danger at home.

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