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Paul Rusesabagina

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Date(s) - 02/15/2017
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Cox Auditorium, Alumni Memorial Building


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.”


Ticket Information:
FREE: Opted-In UTK Students
$5: General Public

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This event is funded by the Student Programs and Services Fee. Events are free for students who chose Option 1. Students that selected Option 2 and the general public should expect to pay an entry fee. Student ID is required for all events. For more information or to arrange disability accommodations, please contact the Center for Student Engagement at (865) 974-5455.


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