Paul Rusesabagina is the former general manager of the Mille Collines Hotel in Kigali, Rwanda. He grew up on a farm in the town of Murama about 50 miles south of the capital. He was educated at the Faculty of Theology in Cameroon and studied hotel management at Kenya Utalii College in Nairobi.
In 1984, Rusesabagina became assistant general manager of the Belgian-owned Mille Collines. In November 1992, he was promoted to general manager of the nearby Diplomat Hotel. Confronting killers with a combination of diplomacy, flattery, and deception, Paul Rusesabagina managed to shelter more than 1,200 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in his hotel, while homicidal mobs raged outside with machetes during the Rwandan genocide. Finally, threatened with harm for his role in shielding 1,268 Tutsis and moderate Hutu from near-certain death over 100 days during the Rwandan genocide, he sought asylum in Belgium and found work driving a taxicab.
An Ordinary Man is his autobiography, telling the story of the life that was made famous by Oscar-nominated Don Cheadle in the film Hotel Rwanda. Bringing the reader inside the hotel during those 100 days, relate the anguish of those who saw loved ones hacked to pieces, and describe Rusesabagina's ambivalence at pouring the Scotch and lighting the cigars of killers in the Swimming Pool bar, even as he was trying to cram as many refugees as possible inside the guest rooms upstairs. The book explores Rusesabagina's inner life as he discusses the racial complexity within his own life (he is a Hutu married to a Tutsi) and his complete enstrangement from the madness that surrounded him during the genocide.
Rusesabagina now owns a trucking company operating in Zambia and lives with his wife Tatiana and their four children in a suburb of Brussels.
This biography was last updated on 07/16/2011.
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