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Rwandan humanitarian headlines UTPA speaker series
By Josue Esparza, Photographer
381-2741
Posted: 01/31/2008
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Hundreds of students, faculty, staff and the general public packed The University of Texas-Pan American Fine Arts Auditorium Jan. 30 to hear from Paul Rusesabagina, famed humanitarian from Rwanda, Africa, who has been internationally-honored for saving more than 1,000 civilians during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. During the event, sponsored by student fees as part of the Distinguish Speaker Series, Rusesabagina talked about the killing and exile of many people in his native country. He also addressed the problems that led to 1994 genocide. Rusesabagina's story was chronicled in the Academy Award-nominated film Hotel Rwanda (2004), in which actor Don Cheadle memorably played the role of Rusesabagina. During his visit, Rusesabagina met with student leaders at a dinner prior to his presentation. The final speaker in this year's series will be leading Latina playwright and author Denise Chávez, who will speak Tuesday, March 25. Her appearance is part of a weeklong schedule of presentations, readings, performances and other cultural activities during FESTIBA (Festival of International Books and Arts) scheduled for March 24-29 at UTPA. For more information or if special accommodations are needed, contact the Student Union at 956/316-7989.