A Life Less 'Ordinary'

In Rwanda, Paul Rusesabagina never tried to be a hero, but his belief in the 'triumph of common decency' helped him save 1,268 people from almost certain death


For hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina, the most terrifying moment of the Rwandan genocide came early. On April 9, 1994, two days after the killings began, a squad of soldiers drove onto the front yard of his home and demanded he let them into the luxury hotel he ran. Rusesabagina agreed, on the condition that he also could bring his family and a van-load of "relatives" from the neighborhood.

When the caravan reached a lonely spot on the road, an army captain ordered Rusesabagina out of the car and led him to a place where corpses were piled.

Book talk Paul Rusesabagina discusses An Ordinary Man at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Enoch Pratt Free Library's central library, 400 Cathedral St. A screening of the movie Hotel Rwanda will be shown at 12:30 p.m. Call 410-396-5430 or visit www.epfl.net.

CityLit Festival

Paul Rusesabagina's appearance is part of the third annual CityLit Festival, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Enoch Pratt Free Library's central library, and co-sponsored by the CityLit Project.

Other speakers include Thomas Glave, author of Words to Our Now; Imagination and Dissent, a collection of essays about contemporary prejudices and hatreds; award-winning poet Tyehimba Jess, author of leadbelly, a biography of the blues musician told through poetic forms; and mystery writer Laura Lippman, editor of Baltimore Noir, an anthology of crime-fiction stories with Baltimore settings.

For a complete schedule of events, visit the library's Web site at www.epfl.net or call 410-396-5430.

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