Category Archives: In-Depth

Why am i reading about it?

(Rwanda Genocide)


“Leontius, the son of Aglaion, was going up from the Piraeus along the outside of the North Wall when he saw some corpses lying at the executioner’s feet. He had an appetite to look at them but at the same time he was disgusted and turned away. For a time he struggled with himself and covered his face, but, finally overpowered by the desire, he pushed his eyes wide open and rushed towards the corpses, saying, “Look, you damned wretches, take your fill of the fair sight.”

Plato, Republic


“Like Leontius, the young Athenian in Plato, I presume that you are reading this because you desire a closer look, and that you, too, are properly disturbed by your curiosity. Perhaps, in examining this extremity with me, you hope for some understanding, some insight, some flicker of self-knowledge – a moral, or a lesson, or a clue about how to behave in this world: some such information. I don’t discount the possibility, but when it comes to genocide, you already know right from wrong. The best reason I have come up with for looking closely into Rwanda’s stories is that ignoring them makes me even more uncomfortable about existence and my place in it. The horror, as horror, interests me only insofar as a precise memory of the offense is necessary to understand its legacy.”

– Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families

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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Books, In-Depth


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In-Depth – Rwanda Genocide

As i mentioned in Monday’s In-Depth reading post i want to explore certain subjects and the first is the Rwanda Genocide which took place in 1994 when around 20% of the country’s population is estimated to have been killed within 100 days. Between 500,000 to 1,000,000 people.

I had read Shake Hands With the Devil a few years ago which was written by Romeo Dallaire. Dallaire was the Commander of the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda at the time of the genocide. It’s a tremendous and disturbing book to read. My only other experience with Rwanda, was the film Hotel Rwanda. I am not just interested in what happened over those 100 days but in the aftermath of the genocide as well.

The reading list comprises of 4 books, 1 article and possibly a re-read of Shake Hands With the Devil . I am starting with We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families, by Philip Gourevitch.

Reading list

Shake Hands With The Devil, by Romeo Dallaire

We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families, by Philip Gourevitch

Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak, by Jean Hatzfeld

A Thousand Hills: Rwanda’s Rebirth and The Man Who Dreamed it, by Stephen Kinzer

As We Forgive: Stories of Reconciliation from Rwanda, by Catherine Claire Larson

Bystanders to Genocide, by Samantha Power (Atlantic article)


Posted by on February 22, 2012 in Books, In-Depth


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In-Depth reading

A weakness (and strength) of my reading is that I’m interested in a wide variety of subjects. It can be on topics I’ve never read anything about before and never will again. Fiction and non-fiction alike. But I don’t mind. Even though it’s easier for the information to stick when your reading is more focused (e.g. only Sports books) I don’t mind since I find the “journey” of reading enjoyable and rewarding enough. At the end of the day, i don’t think it’s about the names and dates. It’s about the issues and the ideas which will stay with you.

However, I would like to be more focused every now and explore subjects which interest me. Subjects which warrant the extra effort and time. It can be on specific periods in history. It can be on football tactics, or fiction books written by the same author.

I have already settled on a few topics and I will posting the first one this week along with the planned reading list.

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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Books, In-Depth


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