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Shvoong Home>Books>Novels & Novellas>Left to Tell Review

Left to Tell

Book Review   by:dynamic     Original Author: IMMACULEE ILIBAGIZA with Steve Erwin
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There has always evolved wars-even ethnically motivated-in Africa,but for the first time the 1994 Rwanda War spewed forth the seldom used vocabulary:Genocide.Many stories have been relived by persons who are either directly or remotely affected  by the Rwandan ethnic cleansing War.The ethnic designations of "Hutu" and "Tutsi" became media notorious after the war but one fact remains that whenever the anomalies of war is recounted from whichever perspective,it remains fresh and evokes sorrow in our inner psyche as humans since the Rwandan genocide is multifaceted!
Here enters the harrowing reliving of a yet to be easily erased memories of one woman's story of surviving the Holocaust as vividly portrayed by Immaculee Illibagiza-herself a direct victim-in her book,LEFT TO TELL.She exibited how far reaching and catastrophic religious and ethnic sentiments could devastate a once peaceful and thriving country.Imagine a country where everybody was living in a close-knit communities later to be affected with the plague of ethnic hatred  to the extent that a particular tribe(Hutus) saw the issue of cleansing another tribe(Tutsis) as a "job that must be done".A war were the affected tribe amidst the death dealing confusion of trying to seek divine security in churches were pursued and given burial rites in the pews of the churches,smearing bloodbath everywhere.Can we forget so easily the vivid picture of six ladies staying a bathroom hadly the size of a cubicle for more than three months with one of them learning a new language?
The book LEFT TO TELL portrays a vivid picture of postwar reconstruction dificulties,both physical and psychological,the power of seeking spiritual light in times of heartrending distress and above all a victims sheer will and delibrate thought out penchant and determination to forgive and met out penance to all and sundry who erased her entire family from the surface of the earth.Infact, it became an ironic twist of tale that she sometimes covet the times of solitude in the bathroom because it enhances her communal space with God.The Rwandan genocide amidst bloodbath enabled this lady to find the true essence of God in nature and to give credence to the fact that without faith it is impossible to please God well.This she explored in her consistent effort to land the United nations jobs both in Kigali and New York.Although,Paul Kagame leader of the Rwandese Patriotic Front(RPF) and a Tutsi by tribe now President of Rwanda is doing everything to heal the scars of genocide,but as Immaculee puts it:
                       As for the land of my birth,i know Rwanda can heal herself if each heart learns the lesson of forgiveness.Tens of thousands who were jailed for killing during the genocide are starting to be released into their old towns and villages,so if there was ever a time for forgiveness,it is now.Rwanda can be a paradise again but it will take the love of the entire world to heal my homeland.And that's as it should be for what happened in Rwanda happened to us all-humanity wounded by the genocide.
Indeed,she said further that "the love of a single heart can make a world of difference.I believe that we can heal Rwanda-and our world-by healing one heart at a time
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Published: July 08, 2009   
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