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Memories Kept Alive by Rwanda’s post-genocide guide – RWANDA

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Genocide Survivor

Source: (Reuters)

 

Every weekday, Aline Uwase Turatsinze gets up, washes her face and rides a motorbike to the site where more than 60 members of her family were buried after being murdered.

Aline Uwase, a Rwandan genocide survivor stands near the pictures of victims donated by survivors inside the Genocide Museum in Gisozi within Kigali, Rwanda April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana

The quiet woman with the long braids is a guide at Rwanda’s genocide museum, a memorial to the killing that claimed 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu lives after the then-president’s plane was shot down on April 7, 1994.

Uwase, who turns 25 on Friday, was two days old when the bloodshed began.

“I lost a lot of people,” she said.

“It’s a responsibility to be standing here … I am protecting the memory but as well putting the ‘Never again’ slogan in action so that it might not happen anywhere in the world. Not in Rwanda, not anywhere in the world.”

The Gisozi Memorial site is the final resting place of more than a quarter of a million people killed during the 100 days of genocide. Uwase wants visitors to see the memorial as a place of respect and learning, not bitterness or recrimination.

“We have reconciled,” she said, echoing the line of a government that strongly discourages any talk of ethnicity. “It doesn’t matter who I marry, the son of a survivor or the son or a perpetrator. The future is brighter.”

Each day, she walks through the memory room filled with the photos of children who were killed, accompanied by details about their favorite toys and the manner of their deaths. UNICEF estimated more than 300,000 children were killed. Most were hacked or beaten to death.

“You never get used to this,” she said, with tears in her eyes. “Every time I enter that room, I am never the same person when I get out.”

For a long time, Uwase avoided the videos of bodies floating down the river and of Hutu militias killing people with machetes because it makes her think of the father she never knew, a designer and painter whom she feels still watches over her.

“I don’t know how he was killed, but I imagine his death resembles this video. The murderers had machetes. Clubs…” she tailed off.

Other rooms contain an exhibition of genocidal violence around the globe, and Rwanda’s search for justice through an international tribunal and traditional local courts.

After the killings ended, shattered communities had to rebuild themselves as survivors sometimes returned to live next to those complicit in the killings of their families.

As the country recovered, some opposition leaders have criticized the government of President Paul Kagame for keeping a tight reign on the media and politics. Kagame won nearly 99 percent of the vote in 2017 polls on a 96 percent turnout.

Uwase dismisses such criticism, pointing out that Kagame ended the genocide when he fought his way to the capital at the head of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) rebel force.

“I should have been dead like any other person but I am here because of the RPF,” she said. “I can tell those critics: you can’t talk about something you don’t know.”

Now Rwanda is focused on the future, she said. While some of its neighbors stagnate in corruption, the small east African nation stands out for its ease of doing business and rising investment. Although there is still poverty in parts of the country, downtown Kigali is full of new buildings lining its clean and well-kept streets.

Many visiting business people come to the memorial, Uwase said. One recent visitor was Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who stars in the television series “Game of Thrones”.

“Every person who comes here has questions to ask … Every time someone comes here it challenges them,” Uwase said. “I have something to teach the world about what happened to Rwanda and my family.”

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‘Greatest comeback story in sport!’ Stars pay tribute to Tiger Woods

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If Donald Trump and Barack Obama are in agreement, you know something incredible has happened.

Both presidents were united in their admiration of Tiger Woods, the golfing phenomenon who returned to the top of the sporting world by winning the Masters on Sunday.

The 43-year-old’s win sent social media into a frenzy, with a host of stars rushing to congratulate the now 15-time major winner.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Congratulations to @TigerWoods., a truly Great Champion!

32.7K people are talking about this

Barack Obama

@BarackObama

Congratulations, Tiger! To come back and win the Masters after all the highs and lows is a testament to excellence, grit, and determination.

42.8K people are talking about this

Many consider Woods to be the greatest golfer of all time and another GOAT, Serena Williams, was overcome by what he had achieved.

Serena Williams

@serenawilliams

I am literally in tears watching @TigerWoods this is Greatness like no other. Knowing all you have been through physically to come back and do what you just did today? Wow Congrats a million times! I am so inspired thank you buddy.

14.7K people are talking about this

PGA TOUR

@PGATOUR

Winning never gets old.@TigerWoods has won the Masters FIVE times.

916 people are talking about this

A who’s who of sporting royalty were quick to hail Woods’ sixth victory at the iconic Augusta course.

Stephen Curry

@StephenCurry30

Greatest comeback story in sports! Congrats @TigerWoods Let me hold one of those 5 jackets one time!

7,130 people are talking about this
305 people are talking about this

While many were calling the 43-year-old’s win the most incredible of sporting triumphs, not everyone was so generous.

Gary Lineker

@GaryLineker

Second most thrilling sporting achievement I’ve seen. The best: Leicester winning the league.

913 people are talking about this

And even his fellow golfers were delighted for Woods, even Phil Mickelson – who has been doing battle with his compatriot for over 20 years.

Phil Mickelson

@PhilMickelson

What a great moment for the game of golf. I’m so impressed by @TigerWoods‘ incredible performance, and I’m so happy for him to capture another Green Jacket. Truly a special day that will go down in history. Congratulations, Tiger! 😎

8,145 people are talking about this

bubba watson

@bubbawatson

Amazing to see @TigerWoods win the @TheMasters again!! Thankful to get to see it in person… congratulations!!

1,022 people are talking about this

Justin Thomas

@JustinThomas34

I think I speak for a lot of the golf world when I say… We’re happy for you TW! @TigerWoods what a victory 🙌🏽

3,095 people are talking about this

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AntMedia TV

What Rich Middle Eastern Princes Spend Money On

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This list is surely going to blow your mind. Here are the awesome, are they awesome? No.. Let me take that again. Here are the extremely, out-of-the-world things Saudi princes have spent money on.

When money is just a footnote

1/7

When money is just a footnote

“Money can’t buy you love” but it can surely buy a royal life.

Well, some people take luxury to a whole new level.

Take a look

It's a gold car
2/7

It’s a gold car

Buying a Lamborghini is itself a big deal, but what about a gold plated beast in your garage?

Saudi billionaire Turki Bin Abdullah has a fleet of cars – Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe, Mercedes jeep, Lamborghini Aventador SuperVeloce and gold Bentley.

All of the exotic motors are wrapped in gold vinyl, with a model for every occasion.

Flight for falcons
3/7

Flight for falcons

What is the weirdest check-in baggage you have ever heard?

Recently Saudi prince was in the news as he booked individual seats for each of his 80 falcons. You read it right.

He was flying in United Arab Emirates and the airlines took special care of the prince’s priced possessions.

Golden toilet as a wedding gift
4/7

Golden toilet as a wedding gift

Bizzaro alert! Saudi Arabia’s king Abdullah gifted a golden toilet on his daughters wedding.

The toilet was completely fitted with gold furnishings including this golden commode and the golden bidet in the background.

Diamond ring? No, car
5/7

Diamond ring? No, car

Buying a luxurious Mercedes Benz is not enough for Prince Al Talal bin Abdulaziz, so he crusted some diamond all over the car for his 38th birthday.

You read it right, that’s a diamond studded car.

Exotic pets

6/7

Exotic pets

Having a cat or dog as a pet is too mainstream, no? So, this guy has a pet cheetah.

Exotic animals such as lions, cheetahs and tigers are regulars. Don’t be sacred if you see a lion peeking through car window in Dubai.

Gold from ATM
7/7

Gold from ATM

While you have to stand in a queue for hours to get a Rs 500 note, there is an ATM machine in Dubai which expenses gold bar.

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