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Quotes About Rwanda

Quotes tagged as "rwanda" (showing 1-27 of 27)
Christopher Hitchens
“I once spoke to someone who had survived the genocide in Rwanda, and she said to me that there was now nobody left on the face of the earth, either friend or relative, who knew who she was. No one who remembered her girlhood and her early mischief and family lore; no sibling or boon companion who could tease her about that first romance; no lover or pal with whom to reminisce. All her birthdays, exam results, illnesses, friendships, kinships—gone. She went on living, but with a tabula rasa as her diary and calendar and notebook. I think of this every time I hear of the callow ambition to 'make a new start' or to be 'born again': Do those who talk this way truly wish for the slate to be wiped? Genocide means not just mass killing, to the level of extermination, but mass obliteration to the verge of extinction. You wish to have one more reflection on what it is to have been made the object of a 'clean' sweep? Try Vladimir Nabokov's microcosmic miniature story 'Signs and Symbols,' which is about angst and misery in general but also succeeds in placing it in what might be termed a starkly individual perspective. The album of the distraught family contains a faded study of Aunt Rosa, a fussy, angular, wild-eyed old lady, who had lived in a tremulous world of bad news, bankruptcies, train accidents, cancerous growths—until the Germans put her to death, together with all the people she had worried about.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

Roméo Dallaire
“Rwanda will never ever leave me. It's in the pores of my body. My soul is in those hills, my spirit is with the spirits of all those people who were slaughtered and killed that I know of, and many that I didn't know. … Fifty to sixty thousand people walking in the rain and the mud to escape being killed, and seeing a person there beside the road dying. We saw lots of them dying. And lots of those eyes still haunt me, angry eyes or innocent eyes, no laughing eyes. But the worst eyes that haunt me are the eyes of those people who were totally bewildered. They're looking at me with my blue beret and they're saying, "What in the hell happened? We were moving towards peace. You were there as the guarantor" -- their interpretation -- "of the mandate. How come I'm dying here?" Those eyes dominated and they're absolutely right. How come I failed? How come my mission failed? How come as the commander who has the total responsibility-- We learn that, it's ingrained in us, because when we take responsibility it means the responsibility of life and death, of humans that we love.”
Roméo Dallaire

John Rucyahana
“We are preaching hope, standing on the bones of the past.”
John Rucyahana, The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones

Philip Gourevitch
“The West's post-Holocaust pledge that genocide would never again be tolerated proved to be hollow, and for all the fine sentiments inspired by the memory of Auschwitz, the problem remains that denouncing evil is a far cry from doing good.”
Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families

Rick Warren
“In all my travels, I've never seen a country's population more determined to forgive, and to build and succeed than in Rwanda.”
Rick Warren, The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones

John Rucyahana
“I knew that to really minister to Rwanda's needs meant working toward reconciliation in the prisons, in the churches, and in the cities and villages throughout the country. It meant feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, caring for the young, but it also meant healing the wounded and forgiving the unforgivable.

I knew I had to be committed to preaching a transforming message to the people of Rwanda. Jesus did not die for people to be religious. He died so that we might believe in Him and be transformed. I'm engaged in a purpose and strategy that Jesus came to Earth for. My life is set for that divine purpose in Jesus Christ. I was called to that--proclaiming the message of transformation through Jesus Christ.”
John Rucyahana, The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones

Philip Gourevitch
“Genocide, after all, is an exercise in community building.”
Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families

Roméo Dallaire
“Many signs point to the fact that the youth of the Third World will no longer tolerate living in circumstances that give them no hope for the future. From the young boys I met in the demobilization camps in Sierra Leone to the suicide bombers of Palestine and Chechnya, to the young terrorists who fly planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, we can no longer afford to ignore them. We have to take concrete steps to remove the causes of their rage, or we have to be prepared to suffer the consequences.”
Roméo Dallaire, Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda

Christopher Hitchens
“George Bush made a mistake when he referred to the Saddam Hussein regime as 'evil.' Every liberal and leftist knows how to titter at such black-and-white moral absolutism. What the president should have done, in the unlikely event that he wanted the support of America's peace-mongers, was to describe a confrontation with Saddam as the 'lesser evil.' This is a term the Left can appreciate. Indeed, 'lesser evil' is part of the essential tactical rhetoric of today's Left, and has been deployed to excuse or overlook the sins of liberal Democrats, from President Clinton's bombing of Sudan to Madeleine Albright's veto of an international rescue for Rwanda when she was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Among those longing for nuance, moral relativism—the willingness to use the term evil, when combined with a willingness to make accommodations with it—is the smart thing: so much more sophisticated than 'cowboy' language.”
Christopher Hitchens, Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left

James  Riordan
“What I learned in Rwanda was that God is not absent when great evil is unleashed. Whether that evil is man-made or helped along by darker forces, God is right there, saving those who respond to His urgings and trying to heal the rest.”
James Riordan

Bill Clinton
“..each bloodletting hastens the next, and as the value of human life is degraded and violence becomes tolerated, the unimaginable becomes more conceivable.”
Bill Clinton

“In Rwanda, one person's God is another person's Satan

-Thérèse Nyirabayovu”
Karl Maier, Into the House of the Ancestors: Inside the New Africa

Jared Diamond
“(On the beginning of the mid-1990s' genocidal war in Rwanda:)

Within six weeks, an estimated 800,000 Tutsi, representing about three-quarters of the Tutsi then remaining in Rwanda, or 11% of Rwanda's total population, had been killed.”
Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

John Rucyahana
“The perpetrators of genocides are usually men of the herd, men who follow orders without questioning them. Rwanda was no exception.”
John Rucyahana, The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones

Christopher Hitchens
“The last time I heard an orthodox Marxist statement that was music to my ears was from a member of the Rwanda Patriotic Front, during the mass slaughter in the country. 'The terms Hutu and Tutsi,' he said severely, 'are merely ideological constructs, describing different relationships to the means and mode of production.' But of course!”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

John Rucyahana
“{President] Kayibanda's government [in Rwanda] continued the persecution against the Tutsis and began to make use of the media it controlled to launch a propaganda campaign against us. In a country where more than half the people cannot read or write and very few have televisions, radio is the dominant media. The fact that some newspapers were still printing the truth didn't matter much to the part of the population that couldn't read.

Most of the literate people were already politically aware. While an educated person might question what they read or hear from the media, the uneducated tend to accept it. The uneducated are more easily affected by threats and the emotional trauma that propaganda like this can create.”
John Rucyahana, The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones

Gil Courtemanche
“You see, each country has a colour, a smell, and also a contagious sickness. In my country the sickness is complacency. In France it's arrogance, and in the United States it's ignorance."

"What about Rwanda?"

"Easy power and impunity. Here, there's total disorder. To someone who has a little money or powere, everything that seems forbidden elsewhere looks permissible and possible. All it takes is to dare it. Someone who's simply a liar in my country can be a fraud artist here, and the fraud artist gets to be a big-time thief. Chaos and most of all poverty give him powers he wouldn't have elsewhere.”
Gil Courtemanche, A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali
tags: rwanda

John Rucyahana
“...The typhoon of madness that swept through the country [of Rwanda] between April 7 and the third week of May accounted for 80 percent of the victims of the genocide.

That means about eight hundred thousand people were murdered during those six weeks, making the daily killing rate at least five times that of the Nazi death camps. The simple peasants of Rwanda, with their machetes, clubs, and sticks with nails, had killed at a faster rate than the Nazi death machine with its gas chambers, mass ovens, and firing squads. In my opinion, the killing frenzy of the Rwandan genocide shared a vital common thread with the technological efficiency of the Nazi genocide--satanic hate in abundance was at the core of both.”
John Rucyahana, The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones

“Rwandans have a funny relationship with God, which they convey through a story that anyone can tell you: "God worked very hard for six days creating the heavens and the earth. But on the seventh day, he needed a break, so he picked Rwanda as the place to take a much needed sleep. God sleeps in Rwanda, then keeps busy at work everywhere else."
This story has two meanings: The negative take is that God is not in Rwanda to protect you or answer your prayers, that He comes here only to shut His eyes. The other interpretation of "God sleeps in Rwanda" is that the country is a mile up, cooler and more beautiful than any other place, and so, naturally, this would be where God comes when He is not punching the clock. His favorite place. It was the second interpretation that we needed to believe.”
Josh Ruxin, A Thousand Hills to Heaven: Love, Hope, and a Restaurant in Rwanda
tags: god, rwanda

Naomi Benaron
“Wherever God spends the day, He comes home to sleep in Rwanda.”
Naomi Benaron, Running the Rift

Enock Maregesi
“Kiswahili ni lugha ya Kibantu na lugha kuu ya kimataifa ya biashara ya Afrika ya Mashariki ambayo; maneno yake mengi yamepokewa kutoka katika lugha za Kiarabu, Kireno, Kiingereza, Kihindi, Kijerumani na Kifaransa, kutoka kwa wakoloni waliyoitawala pwani ya Afrika ya Mashariki katika kipindi cha karne tano zilizopita.

Lugha ya Kiswahili ilitokana na lugha za Kisabaki za Afrika Mashariki; ambazo nazo zilitokana na Lugha za Kibantu za Pwani ya Kaskazini Mashariki za Tanzania na Kenya, zilizotokana na lugha zaidi ya 500 za Kibantu za Afrika ya Kusini na Kati.

Lugha za Kibantu zilitokana na lugha za Kibantoidi, ambazo ni lugha zenye asili ya Kibantu za kusini mwa eneo la Wabantu, zilizotokana na jamii ya lugha za Kikongo na Kibenue – tawi kubwa kuliko yote ya familia ya lugha za Kikongo na Kinijeri katika bara la Afrika. Familia ya lugha za Kikongo na Kibenue ilitokana na jamii ya lugha za Kiatlantiki na Kikongo; zilizotokana na familia ya lugha za Kikongo na Kinijeri, ambayo ni familia kubwa ya lugha kuliko zote duniani kwa maana ya lugha za kikabila.

Familia ya lugha ya Kiswahili imekuwepo kwa karne nyingi. Tujifunze kuzipenda na kuzitetea lugha zetu kwa faida ya vizazi vijavyo.”
Enock Maregesi

“Weber also saw that a bureaucratic world contained risks. It produced increasingly powerful and autonomous bureaucrats who could be spiritless, driven only by impersonal rules and procedures, and with little regard for the people they were expected to serve. Weber famously warned that those who allow themselves to be guided by rules will soon find that those rules have defined their identities and commitments.”
Michael Barnett, Eyewitness to a Genocide: The United Nations and Rwanda

Roméo Dallaire
“I was on the ground, I was in command, I had been given the mission, and I took the decision.”
Roméo Dallaire, Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda
tags: rwanda

Enock Maregesi
“Kiswahili ni lugha rasmi ya nchi za Tanzania, Kenya na Uganda. Ni lugha isiyo rasmi ya nchi za Rwanda, Burundi, Msumbiji na Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo. Lugha ya Kiswahili ni mali ya nchi za Afrika ya Mashariki, si mali ya nchi za Afrika Mashariki peke yake. Pia, Kiswahili ni lugha rasmi ya Umoja wa Afrika; pamoja na Kiarabu, Kiingereza, Kifaransa, Kireno na Kihispania. Kiswahili ni lugha inayozungumzwa zaidi nchini Tanzania kuliko nchi nyingine yoyote ile, duniani.”
Enock Maregesi

“One is reminded of Primo Levi's observation about the Holocaust: 'Things whose existence is not morally comprehensible cannot exist.”
Michael Barnett

Philip Gourevitch
“But did it have to be that those who were most damaged by the genocide remained the most neglected in the aftermath? Bonaventure Nyibizi was especially worried about young survivors becoming extremists themselves. "Let's say we have a hundred thousand young people who lost their families and have no hope, no future. In a country like this if you tell them, 'Go and kill your neighbor because he killed your father and your seven brothers and sister,' they'll take the machete and do it. Why? Because they're not looking at the future with optimism. If you say the country must move toward reconciliation, but at the same time it forgets these people, what happens? When they are walking on the street we don't realize their problems, but perhaps they have seen their mothers being raped, or their sisters being raped. It will require a lot to make sure that these people can come back to society and look at the future and say, 'Yes, let us try.'"

That effort wasn't being made. The government had no program for survivors.”
Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families
tags: rwanda

“I frequently detect a hint of satisfaction in the accounts that manage to excavate moral and individual responsibility from the historical debris. Perhaps it is because of the unspoken belief that changing the people will change the outcome. 'No Hitler, no Holocaust.' If only a few individuals had resolved that it was unconscionable to be a bystander, then perhaps thousands would have been saved. I suppose there is some solace in recovering a history in which altering an isolated event transforms all that follows. But personalizing the story in this way can obscure how these were not isolated individuals operating on their own but rather were people situated in an organizational and historical context that profoundly shaped how they looked upon the world, what they believed they could do, and what they wanted to do. The UN staff and diplomats in New York, in the main, were highly decent, hard-working, and honorable individuals who believed that they were acting properly when they decided not to try to put an end to genocide. It is this history that stays with me.”
Michael Barnett

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