Real Life Hero of Hotel Rwanda
In 1994, Paul Rusesabagina was a young man who was going places. A Rwandan hotel manager employed by Sabena to run one of the most important properties in Kigali, Paul knew all the movers and shakers and how to keep them happy.
Paul worked at the Hotel des Mille Collines and then the Diplomat Hotel. His career was moving. In the Spring of 1994, he and his wife along with his youngest son had just returned to Rwanda from a business trip to Europe. The future was very bright.
But, on April 6, 1994 something happened in that small African country that changed everything. Read More >
The Real Life Hero of Hotel Rwanda
"Paul was wonderful. We had many, many compliments from our attendees. I think the greatest testament to how much they valued his message and stood in awe of his story is the fact that they stayed after the lecture to spend time with him, taking photos, asking additional questions, telling their stories. He was extremely gracious and remained until the very last family."
"Paul and Tatiana were delightful and inspiring. We began with a dinner with about 70 faculty and students and there were other Rwandans present who are involved with an organization called Orphans of Rwanda. The 7 p.m. lecture was a smashing success.
The Yale Law School Auditorium seats 500 and we squeezed in about 650 in the auditorium with students, faculty and community residents sitting on the floor, windowsills and lining the walls. It was so crowded that there ended up being no seat for Tatiana or me for that matter so we improvised and placed Paul, Tatiana and about 15 VIP's in chairs on the stage. Another 700 students who couldn't get in went to a classroom and saw the event via a satellite connection.
Paul gave an extremely powerful and impassioned speech, very well received by our constituencies. This was one of the best events we've ever had."
"Fabulous! Wonderful! The audience - a sell-out - was rapt. He received a standing ovation as he entered and at the end - the longest and most heart-felt standing ovation I've heard in a long time. He was charming and we had a French translator for Tatiana. Thank you so very very much."
"It was a pleasure to meet Mr. Rusesabagina. His story is inspiring and it was great that he is so gentle and humble and that he seeks to help those outside of his home country. I think the students really appreciated the fact that he's a "regular guy" who did great things.
All I have to say is wow. That man left an impression on me that I will never forget. We filled the ballroom, 1150 people, and had to turn away another 150 at the door due to capacity limits."
"Paul was absolutely delightful! We had a more than sold-out crowd of 1,000. I think he received 3 standing ovations. I will do an “official” review that is more thorough for you if you want me to in a couple of days. He has been so wonderful with all of the people who want to shake his hand, get their picture taken with him, get his autograph, hug him, etc. He has been extremely generous with everyone, including the press!
Thanks! You made me a hero today!"
"It has been an honor and a privilege to have Paul Rusesabagina speak to our Senior Executives. The participants felt the same way as you will see from the comments they wrote. We were only sorry that he could not stay longer with us. We are also delighted that he will be coming back in May to speak to another group of participants. The last class made a voluntary contribution to the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation after hearing Paul's story."
"Everything went really well except for the lack of seats. With a live feed to another venue we managed to set about 1,800 people, and had to turn several hundred away. But his talk was great, and he is a truly wonderful, humble man. People who did meet him were quite taken with him. All in all a great success, thank you for your help."
"I would like to offer a heartfelt thank you to Paul for participating in the 2005 Global Institute for Leadership Development. We have had very strong feedback from our attendees about the quality of this event and the timeliness of the issues it addressed. Praise for the speaker line-up was widespread and enthusiastic, and it was a pleasure to see so much interactive dialogue and learning going on during the sessions and breaks.
This success would not have been possible without the expertise, time and care given by Paul. We sincerely appreciate his support and effort above and beyond the call."
"We overflowed our house last night. We would estimate 1500-1600 people were here and we only hold 1450 at capacity. Every chair and floor space that we had was filled. Paul was a wonderful speaker and excellent with students and in answering questions. With such a dynamic story, and a dynamic presentation, he has left an impression on Luther that will not soon be forgotten. Quite the lead off event for me, but I hope to repeat the showing and campus interest as we plan for next year."
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