Thursday, October 2, 2008

Seeds of love for Rwanda


-->One year ago, I watched this poignant movie Hotel Rwanda which tells the true story of hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina who managed to save a thousand Tutsi refugees against the Hutu militia hunt. I was in tears at the end of the movie and my only question was why ? why? this hatred..the massacre which made nearly a million of victims. I cannot believe this genocide could not have been avoided.

This is what declared General Romeo Dallaire, : (..) As the head of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Rwanda, I warned New York headquarters before the 1994 genocide began that a widespread killing spree was being methodically planned. My pleas for assistance went unanswered and the eyes of the dead still haunt me today. There was no political will, no national interest compelling enough to incite governments on the Security Council to pass a resolution demanding intervention to protect hundreds of thousands of people from certain death.(...)



This morning as I was having a break, I started surfing in blogland and read Corine's message which then led me to Maryam in Marrakesh who's just come back from Rwanda with an extremely appalling story.

Please read it. And..help if you can…


Of course...we all have our worries and the world is constantly in turmoil here and there. Like you, certainly…I feel so helpless but if I can help a bit, if I can do my little contribution then maybe there will be a tiny ray of light somewhere.

As a French citizen, I feel ashamed that France did contribute to the arming and training of Rwandese army.

What we also need to know is that before Rwanda was colonized by Germans then Belgians, Hutus and Tutsi were not antagonized ethnics and represented two social-economic groups. A Hutu could easily be integrated in the Tutsi group and vice versa.
They formed only one ethnic, called Banyarwanda, speaking the same language, sharing the same religion, the same customs and living on the same land. In the 30’s, the Belgian colonizers declared the Tutsi were of a superior race, considering them as “white negroes” and an identity card was established stating the Hutu or Tutsi ethnic.

At the end of the 50's, the Tutsi started to rebel themselves and claimed independence for their country. The catholic church then showed its preference to the Hutus and declared their racial supremacy hence creating tensions between the two ethnics. The question is : what is the actual responsibility of colonialism in that case ?

The question is : why in regards of powerful nations, some lives count more than others ?


The question is : can we keep our mouth and eyes shut ?

****

Please, pay a visit to Maryam and to Corine today. Maryam would like to raise some money in aid to a Rwandan NGO called AVEGA which helps widows of the genocide. It can be done through a paypal account but she doesn't have one, living in Morrocco. So Corine is collecting the money through her paypal account. You can give whatever you want : 25$, 50$....I was about to spend 100$ on a new jacket this saturday. I'm only too glad to give this money to someone who really needs it....


17 comments:

Dori said...

Five years after the genocide I had the privilege of visiting Rwanda. It is an amazing, beautiful country. Hills upon hills upon hills. Green forests as far as the eyes could see. The people were also amazing. There was such a sense of healing. Almost as if they simply wanted to heal and move on--rebuilding their country. And they are and have. I was actually invited to have dinner at that particular hotel. It was extremely humbling to sit there and over soup realize the events--the heroism--that had taken place in that very building. Even now it's overwhelming.

Thank you, Lala, for helping spread the word about this important organization!

Claire, said...

Wonderful post.
hear no evil see no evil speak no evil
human life has less value now than ever.
I pray for Peace. And unity.

willow said...

Thank you for this touching post, Lala. I'll go visit your links...

corine said...

Your super generous donation makes the total amount pledged via my blog to $533 so far!

Can you believe maryam is actually hearing those accounts directly from the mouth of women who lived through the genocide? I don't know how she can function through this, and my heart bleeds for the horror victimized human beings have to suffer throughout our very imperfect planet.

I will send you a paypal bill to your e-mail address, I will then gather the funds and wait for Maryam to tell me where to send.

Again, thank you for sending the love.

hugs,

corine

tangobaby said...

Lala,

I came here and then rushed right over to read Maryam's story. Thank you for telling us about this and I would be happy to add my donation to yours...thank you.

Gillian said...

Lala
I admire your acknowledgement of this story, and I'll have to visit Corine. What a tragedy to endure. Maryam has eloquently handled such a horrific tale, and to meet these survivors head on and hear their stories, well, I imagine she'll have a few sleepless nights in her future. But some good may come, she is a catalyst for change. Her blog is a powerful medium for portraying such an important message. Her thousands of readers should step up to the challenge of raising money, whether they have a blog or not. After all, we are like minded people, that is what draws us to each other day in and out. We read because we care. Usually to escape, from our ordinary lives, as with Maryam's usual content of boutique hoteling in Marrakesh...such a beautiful escape. But to hear such blunt truths, from someone who delivers gorgeousness everyday...it makes me want to do something constructive. To burst out of my delicate little bubble and stop my bitching and do something!!!
We have one chance to make a difference. The choice to do something, or not.
I'm with you, I'm choosing to do something.
Sending you love sweet Lala, you are an inspiration!!!!
xoxo
Thank you!

odessa said...

hi lala,
i'm new here and came over via your comment on my post - thanks! and thank you for sharing this. i'll head over to your links to learn more. its such a pleasure to meet you!

cheers,
~odessa

Kristen said...

I haven't had the courage to watch Hotel Rwanda yet...sometimes other people's pain is so overwhelming. The capacity of humans to do such evil and then for some to do such good. I pray that I would be full of such grace to respond in goodness like the you man mentioned in the movie...that I will try to sit tonight-as it has been sitting on my shelf for a year! Thanks for the reminder. Kristen PS> I had to walk out of the movie theater while watching Schindler's list, so I may have to stop hotel rwanda if it gets too much. and to think of Maryam hearing these stories first hand. wow!

Christina said...

I will head over and read both links you have left for us.

l'air du temps said...

dear Lala, thank you so much for your thoughtful and intense information. it really is heartbreaking. and so often it all seems so big we wonder what can we do that will help. i think all our little helps added up can make a big difference.

watching Hotel Rwanda or learning about such violence and hatred is deeply heartbreaking. in your previous post you mentioned how you may be uninspired because people are looking for glitz for christmas cards. your messages share peace and beauty and love! please continue to be inspired. we really need it all. we need to be one and support ones who are physically trying to bring peace, though the doing is a big one, and we also need ones with good hearts and good messages to keep the light shining so we can know which way to go... as you so often do.

you have encouraged me to rethink my fears and feelings of not being able to help, to knowing that help is possible, and to ask myself what can i do and do it.

sending you good thoughts.
(i'll be in touch soon... ok. just want to digest what you have shared and read the links you suggested.)
besos

Vanessa said...

I'm with you on this, Lala! I am working in the same field at the moment, and my heart breaks every day at the stories and accounts of such violence. Much remains to be done, I think it's going to be a life's work. It's wonderful that you are drawing attention to this issue!

Stephanie said...

Wonderful of you to post this story, I see it over at Maryam's. I read the book Hotel Rowanda....one of the hardest things I've every read...thank you and Maryam and Corine for helping.

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

Just seeing this now and I can't thank you enough. The card alone made me want to burst into tears for your generous heart!

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