On Tuesday April 22nd 2014, the president of the World Youth Alliance, Mr. Obadias Ndaba, gave a talk at the American University of Beirut (AUB) challenging the single-story portrayals of development in Africa and the Rwandan genocide. The talk was organized by the Interns of the WYA regional office in collaboration with the AUB and the Lebanon chapter of Junior Chamber International.
Mr. Ndaba started his talk with a presentation of false perceptions on development in Africa. He highlighted the history and richness of the African continent and the normal reality of living in an African country. With this presentation, Mr. Ndaba tried to break some stereotypes about African people, which assume that they live in permanent conflicts and are dependent on humanitarian aid to survive.
In the second part, the president talked about the Rwandan genocide that happened in 1994, during which approximately one million people were killed over a period of 100 days. As a Rwandan, Mr. Ndaba explained the trigger of the genocide and showed the buildup over centuries that led to one of the darkest episodes of modern history.
The final part of the event was prepared and presented by the regional interns of the World Youth Alliance regional office, who linked the idea of the Rwandan genocide to the nature of the human person. The interactive discussion aimed at showing that every person is capable of killing another human being when he denies the equal value of all human beings. The rational justification of murder is the first step to a dark path that has shadowed human history throughout time and space. The interns stressed the idea that all human beings share a common value, the dignity of the person, which must be the basis of our existence and coexistence.
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