Speaker to Share ‘Hotel Rwanda’ ExperienceOGDEN, Utah – The hotel manager who saved more than 1,000 people during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda” will speak at Weber State University Feb. 1 at noon in the Shepherd Union Ballroom.
Paul Rusesabagina managed the Mille Collines Hotel in Kigali, Rwanda in April 1994, when a plane carrying the president of Rwanda was shot down, reportedly by Hutu extremists, igniting 100 days of slaughter by Hutu militia aimed at their Tutsi rivals.
In an effort to protect approximately 1,200 Tutsis and moderate Hutus from death, Rusesabagina risked his life by converting the Mille Collines Hotel into a shelter for them. During that time more than 800,000 people were killed by the Hutu rebels.
In 2004, the film “Hotel Rwanda,” starring Don Cheadle as Rusesabagina, introduced his story to millions. The film was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards and three Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
In 2005, Rusesabagina received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from U.S. President George W. Bush in honor of his efforts during the Rwandan Genocide.
Rusesabagina has continued to help those affected by the genocide in his homeland. He currently operates the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation, which provides support and care to orphans and women refugees of the Rwandan Genocide.
The event, part of WSU’s Convocation Lecture Series, is free to the public.
ATTENTION REPORTERS & EDITORS: If you are interested in covering this event, please contact the office of Media Relations at 626-7212 or Student Activities at 626-7850 at least 24 hours before the event so we can reserve a seat for you and/or for a photographer. Thank you for your continuing coverage of WSU.