God Sleeps in Rwanda

A Journey of Transformation

By Joseph Sebarenzi; Laura Ann Mullane
Atria Books, Hardcover, 9781416575733, 272pp.

Publication Date: September 8, 2009

List Price: $25.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.
Shop Local
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.




Description

A harrowing tale of survival and reconciliation by a Rwandan Tutsi who flees his homeland before the 1994 genocide and later returns to be elected speaker of the Rwandan parliament, only to be forced into exile once again

This memoir tells the story of Joseph Sebarenzi, whose parents, seven siblings, and countless other family members were among 800,000 Tutsi brutally murdered over the course of ninety days in 1994 by extremist Rwandan Hutu -- an efficiency that exceeded even that of the Nazi Holocaust.

Outbreaks of ethnic violence had been occurring in Rwanda since colonial times when the Belgians ruled the region. As a child, Sebarenzi twice hid with his mother during episodes of killing, narrowly escaping with his life. When he was a teenager, his father sent him away to school in Congo, telling him, "If we are killed, you will survive." Sebarenzi returned to Rwanda after the genocide and was elected speaker of parliament. But he then learned of a plot to assassinate him, leading him to once again flee the country in a daring escape.

The poetic title of the book is taken from an old saying, "God spends the day elsewhere, but He sleeps in Rwanda," but this African nation is not alone in having had a shameful history of ethnic violence. God Sleeps in Rwanda demonstrates how horrific events can occur when the rest of the world stands by and does nothing. It also shows us how the lessons of Rwanda can prevent future tragedies from happening in that country and other parts of the world. Readers will be inspired by the eloquence and wisdom of a man who has every reason to be bitter and hateful, but chooses instead to live a life of love, compassion, and forgiveness.




About the Author
JOSEPH SEBARENZI is the former speaker of the Rwandan parliament, a position he held from 1997 until 2000. In this role he represented his country all over the world, including as a speaker at the United Nations, the European Union Assembly in Belgium and France, the Inter-parlimentary Union in Egypt, and the U.N. Human Rights Commission in South Africa.A survivor of the 1994 genocide, today Mr. Sebarenzi is a professional public speaker who has spoken about reconciliation and conflict management to thousands of people at high schools, colleges, universities, and fundraising events across the United States and Canada. He has also provided expert commentary on National Public Radio, BBC, and the Voice of America on matters related to genocide, reconciliation, and restorative justice.In addition, Mr.Sebarenzi serves on the faculty at the School for International Training in Vermont, teaching reconcilation and conflict management courses. He holds a master's degree in international and intercultural management from the School for International Training and is a doctoral candidate in peace studies at the National University of Ireland. In 2001, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of law from Marlboro College in Vermont.LAURA MULLANE is a freelance writer who has been published in the "Washingtion Post" and "Hemispheres" magazine. She also authored a book, "Bridges of Opportunity: A History of the Center for Adult Learning "(American Council on Education, 2001) and serves as editorial consultant for the American Council on Education's Center for Lifelong Learning, writing extensively about issues related to higher education.



Praise For God Sleeps in Rwanda

"A thoughtful critique of Kagame's regime." --Stephen Kinzer, Washington Post




NPR
Saturday, Sep 5, 2009

There's a saying in Rwanda: "God spends the day elsewhere, but he sleeps in Rwanda." It alludes to Rwanda's physical beauty, but also to the brutality that has sometimes haunted the country. Joseph Sebarenzi captures both in his memoir, God Sleeps in Rwanda. More at NPR.org

NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.

Indie Bookstore Finder
EBbooks and EReaders
Find great gifts: Signed books
Link to IndieBound