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Bookreport on”an Ordinary Man”

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    Tom Zoellner, writes in his bibliography “An Ordinary Man” about the period of the Rwandan Genocide. Its impact and repercussions on the people, and how one hospitality-employed leadership figure by the name of Paul Rusesabagina saved 1,268 Tutsis through goodwill and courageous negotiations, are chronically ordered and told in detail. Ominously, the author introduces you into a standard of life that to us seems inexistent. The Tutsi tribe was historically seen as the ruling class of Rwanda while Hutu were considered farmer folk.

    Following World War I the Belgians were authoritarian rulers in the region, fueling further disputes between the Hutu and the Tutsi people by dividing them stereotypically-the Hutus being the poorer folk while Tutsis were the higher class folk with a relatively lighter skin tone through European mixes. It was because of the divide, a disagreement about the separation of powers arose- just as the Dutch rule came to an end. Following a new reign the Belgians left their power to the Tutsis, further fuming the fire that had already grown for far too long.

    Disputes and historical milestones had occurred in between the Rawandan Genocide and the handover, yet none that refract the hopelessness of this dispute into a favorable direction. Amongst a very heated past, what contributed to the start of the Rwandan Genocide was the assassination of the Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana on the 6 of April 1994. As a result the Hutu people started violently rebelling to further disservice the Tutsis-a minority group, yet one with higher power, seemingly trying to take over their government.

    Having a Tutsi wife himself, Paul Rusesabagina is slung into a situation calling for solid, fearless leadership. His choice changed the lives of hundreds affected by the Rwandan genocide. Main Body: Throughout the colonial period after World War I Germans and Belgians had used Tutsi monarchs and their chiefs to administrate Rwanda indirectly. On a historical summary, Paul Magnarella’s (HR&HW; 2002) work states that: The colonialists developed the so-called Hamitic hypothesis or myth, which held that the Tutsi and everything humanly superior in Central Africa came from ancient Egypt or Abyssinia.

    The Europeans regarded Hutu and Twa (about 3% of the population) as inferior to Tutsi. Sixty years of such prejudicial fabrications inflated Tutsi egos inordinately and crushed Hutu feelings, which coalesced into an aggressively resentful inferiority complex. ” Not only would this explain where the ethnic disputes stem from but also in what situation Paul Rusesabagina found himself in as the conflict escalated into another shocking downfall. The mentality that these stereotypes are described under are in the least reflected by Paul Rusesabagina and his family.

    Paul Rusesabagina, a man with good intentions was married to a Tutsi woman called Tatiana in 1987. He didn’t pertain to ethnic differences and aided hisr wife in escaping ethnic prejudices at her workplace. Tatiana adopted his two children into their family and they had a child of their own. “Character makes trust possible. And trust makes leadership possible. That is the Law of Solid Ground. ”(Maxwell,2007, p. 64). Due to his affiliation to a Tutsi woman, bearing a Tutsi child, Paul Rusessabagina was exposed to completely clashing divides.

    After invasion of his neighborhood by the Interhamwe and increasing slaughters, Paul offered his home to 30 neighbor Tutsis. Unfortunately his home was also invaded for Tutsi searches. After death threats to the Tutsis, Paul quickly reacted and offered monetary compensation to the soldiers, for the life of his affiliates. After a quick negotiation lacking compensating on the soldiers side, the freedom of the found Tutsis was granted and they were delivered to the hotel for a large sum of money.

    Paul was able to gain trust by displaying his leadership potential. This potential was created through the fearlessness in his negotiations with the Interhamwe. In retrospect, it is quite hard to predict ones actions given these circumstances. My premise is that through the foundation of his character and his background to non-violent solutions, his instinct and solution from the beginning was to peacefully confront the opposition. With the power of his identification, being a Hutu, he felt responsible to act as the negotiator between this ethnic divide.

    Certain tools will exist in your life and the way you chose to use them determine character and a sense of responsibility towards those not as fortunate. Paul stood his ground and instead took the long moral highroad that his position was able to provide and started contacting local and foreign governments asking for aid and protection. Following a number of phone-calls the UN agreed to evacuate foreign guests yet to Paul disappointment refused security for the hotel amidst the raging crisis.

    Helping those stranded in his hotel, he encouraged them to phone any connection one may have to influential roles. It was a success-a number of guests were picked up after discussions with foreign governments were held. They were all safely evacuated, without a single harm done to those that were in Paul Rusessabagina’s good graces. Considered to be an ordinary man, Paul Russesabagina saw opportunities where others saw circumstances. With the gift of being able to keep his calm given the situation and to utilize, by all means, all tools that existed in aiding their situation.

    By continuing operations in the hotel, his staff members were an important constituent of the success of his plan. Summary: By reflecting on the act of Paul Rusessabagina we can learn that there are always options in any given situation. By utilizing our environment without the influence of fear, any individual is capable of achieving something for the greater good of others. Fear in essence is just a feeling of the unknown and often restricts us to go further.

    Luckily with our standard of living, we are spared the circumstances that Paul Rusessabagina found himself in after the assassination in 1994. Given a near to obstacle-free world and our means to navigate ourselves to achieve virtually anything we aspire to become, we are left with a position of responsibility in which we should-every once in a while-utilize out skillset to support the other 85-90%. References besides book: http://news. bbc. co. uk/2/hi/1288230. stm http://www. du. edu/korbel/hrhw/volumes/2002/2-1/magnarella2-1. pdf

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