- Paperback: 235 pages
- Publisher: Hay House (20 April 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1401908977
- ISBN-13: 978-1401908973
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,99,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Left to Tell: One Woman's Story of Surviving the Rwandan Genocide Paperback – 20 Apr 2006
|Paperback, 20 Apr 2006||
Paperback, Large Print, Import
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About the Author
Immaculee Ilibagiza is a member of the United Nations Development Program. She survived the savage Rwanda genocide and has devoted her life to sharing the importance of the virtues of understanding and forgiveness.
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Her family was well known for their kindness. They were catholics who prayed together and who lived as true christians in every sense of the word. For instance, when Immaculee was finally made safe in a French army base, she heard the laughing of another Tutsi survivor. The woman laughed because of the sheer delight of being alive. The woman looked at Immaculee and told her she had the face of her mother, the face of her father. Immaculee did not know the woman. The woman told her that she had been supported in her education by her mother, who had heard of her scholarship and gave to her mother so she could continue in school. Year after year Immaculee’s mother sent the money to help the young student. The woman said that Immaculee’s mother was truely a saint. She said that she had promised God that she would do anything for that family if she ever could. She ended up taking fifteen Tutsi survivors in her own home.
Immaculee, later forgave the man who lead the murderers in her own tiny town. Why? He had always been very well dressed and always acted as a friend of the family. She saw him now as a pitiful creature, famished and sickened. She learned it was his voice who searched for her so many times. He was trying to find her so he could kill the last family member and take their farm. She forgave him because that was all she could offer.
The family of Immaculee and the many situations that happened in the story, has had a profound effect on me. I pray silently during the day. I have a new lease on life where I am nurturing the concept of gratitude in my son. I believe in God more intensely that I ever had. Dr Wayne Dyer, a noted psychologist, wrote the forward. He said it is the most important book of all of his thousands. Now it is my most imporant book.
"Left to Tell" is told by Immaculee llibagiza of her horrific experiences of the genocide and how faith became front and center throughout her plight. Immaculee, born a Tutsi, was raised in a small village, where both Tutsis and Hutus lived in harmony. Her parents were well known and respected in the community. No such ethnic differences ever existed to Immaculee. That was until April 7th when the president's plane was inexplicably shot down, igniting the fuel that would begin the killing of thousands of ethnic Tutsis.
The core setting takes place in a small, tightly, confined bathroom in the home of a Hutu pastor. This bathroom is what would become a sanctuary for these women. Immaculee is sent to the pastor's home by her father, knowing that he would take her in. For 3 months, Immaculee and 6 other women were kept hidden inside the pastor's bathroom, sheltered from the atrocities surrounding them and surviving on meager scraps of leftover food and a whole lot of prayer. It is prayer, faith, and forgiveness that are the themes of the book.
The Interhamwe's search through the home created an intense environment for Immaculee and the other women. But, a hopeful and spiritual Immaculee, using the rosary given by her father, prayed fervently to the Lord in what ultimately gave her sanity, serenity, and strength. In the end, Immaculee was saved when she made it to safety at the French army base and eventually the RPF base in Kigali. Hearing the tragic news of her parents' death along with two brothers, left Immaculee devastated; she is indeed the only one "Left to Tell." Faith enabled Immaculee to forgive. With forgiveness, she moved on, started a family, and continues to give public speeches about the tragic event, keeping alive the legacy of the Rwandan genocide.
20 years have passed since the slaughtering occurred. Numerous books have since been published on genocide. Testimonies such as "Left to Tell" questions our moral obligations to humanity and world peace. The responsibility lies in each of us; strengths in numbers against genocide sends a strong message to political leaders. Leaders will act based on those pressures from the countless individuals, who are looking to put an end to atrocities. For example, an era in U.S history I can reference from is the Vietnam war. Regular, ordinary people stood as a united front together protesting to end the war. People from all over the country stood for a common cause. I believe the same method could be applied to issues like this. Genocide can be something that existed in the past and that has no place in the present or future.