|Healing the Wounds of History, 2012 Rwanda Conference. NARRATORS|
As a singer, songwriter, and musician from Rwanda, Jean Paul Samputu has established himself as one of the most prominent African artists on the world stage.
A winner of the prestigious Kora Award (the “African Grammy”) in 2003, Samputu travels the world as a cultural ambassador for Rwanda,
bringing to his audiences not only traditional African singing, dancing, and drumming, but also a message of peace and reconciliation.
A survivor of the genocide in Rwanda, Samputu takes us to the most positive place of humanity through his spirit and graciousness.
When her father, Sir Anthony Berry MP, was killed in the IRA Brighton Bombing during the 1984 Tory Party Conference, Jo Berry was thrown into a conflict she knew very little about. Since then she has visited Ireland many times and worked with victims and former combatants from all sides. In November 2000 she met Pat Magee, the man responsible for her father’s death. This was when she realised that “no matter which side of the conflict you’re on, had we all lived each others lives, we could all have done what the other did”. Jo is the founder of ‘Building Bridges for Peace’ in order to help individuals and groups to understand the roots of war, terrorism and violence, and to promote dialogue and mediation or other non-violent expedients as the means of peace in situations of conflict.
|Assad Emile Chaftari
Born in Beirut, Assaad participated actively in the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) and became Deputy Intelligence Director. After the War, through the work of Initiatives of Change, Assaad began a long “change of heart” journey. In February 2000, he wrote a public letter of repentance and openly apologised to his victims during the War. Since then, he has worked relentlessly towards civil peace in Lebanon. His recent work includes filming a documentary entitled ‘You and I Knowing each other’s religion’. He makes regular visits to schools, universities and NGOs to share his experiences and journey of change; giving talks for the media, and at national and international gatherings, conferences and other events.
At twenty years of age, joined the IRA (Irish Republican Army). In 1986 he was sentenced to Life imprisonment for his role in the bombing of the Grand Hotel, Brighton.
After his release in 1999 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement he met Jo Berry, whose father he killed.They continue to meet, sharing platforms, conferences, interviews at which they share their experience of meeting the ‘other’, both convinced of the need for dialogue and inclusivity as prerequisites for dealing with all political grievances. He has also engaged with ex British soldiers as well as ex Loyalists, finding much to learn and understand from these meetings. He now sees violence as a weakness but holds with the truth that at that time there were no other choices open to his community.
|Philippe Ngirente, Teresphore Uzabakiriho
In 1994 when one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered in the Rwandan genocide, Uzabakiriho Teresphore (a Hutu) murdered the father of Ngirente Philippe (a Tutsi). Thirteen years later, Philippe came face-to-face with his father’s killer at a Gacaca court trial. Gacaca courts are a participatory justice system traditionally used in Rwanda to settle disputes in local communities. The Gacaca courts, set up between 2001-2012, were specifically intended to deal with the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide and had a large reconciliatory component.