KIGALI

“Never Again”

I am staying at Hotel Isimbi in the city center. Because it is on the street, I chose one of the rooms at the back. Within a hundred meters, everything is under my foot. Many souvenir shops, all colorful, except import from the Asia, all of them are real Africa. There are grocery stores, foreign exchange bureaus, street money sellers, banks, cafes, restaurants, second hand clothes sellers… I have a grocery store run by the Indians against the hotel. Samosa, cake, pizza are came to the market every morning; microwave heating and selling. I do breakfast and food here, it is more economical to eat at the hotel or at the restaurants. Two streets below there is Kigali City Market. Vegetable, fruit, meat and dairy products are sold on the lower floor of this four-storey shopping mall. When I go to for fresh fruit a Turkish flag comes out. When I see the flag on the pole on the vegetable bench, I go as if the bee stuck to the flower and stick to the counter. The sellers say that a Turkish customer living in Kigali gave them a flag. A few Turkish local market language words learned also. It’s a lot of fun.

The next day I go to the Kigali Memorial Center (genocide memorial museum). In 1994, they exhibited the causes and consequences of massacres between Hutus and Tutsis and more than one million people were killed in pockets in just three months in a simple but striking manner. The colonial states bloomed their exquisite seeds a hundred years ago, and Hutus killed their Tutsi neighbors, including infants, who lived together in the same garden, and moderate Hutus did not survive this massacre. Even Coskun Aral, who had been a war correspondent for many years and photographed, says “It was the greatest savage I’ve ever seen.” Since the events are not part of the country but in general, it is possible to come across a house or church converted into a museum in almost every settlement.

According to the results of the UNICEF National Trauma Survey, 80 percent of the Rwandan children have lost at least one of their families, 70 percent have witnessed the killing or injury of one of them, and 90 percent believed that they would also be killed. It turned out that all the children in the country have suffered deeply because of the traumatic effects of the massacre and need psychological support.

This three-month bloody period is a dark, blackish shadow cast on the beautiful people of this beautiful country… That’s why they shout everywhere everytime: “Never Again!”

On the top floor of the museum, there are a few other stories of genocide in world history. Unfortunately, the so-called Armenian genocide was also included. I leave a note addressing the museum administration; even I know it not read, even I know it not changed anything.

At one point I hear a few visitors speak loudly in a quiet museum, but I do not pay attention. After a long time, the words they use in the sentence are familiar, then all the words… My ear is so accustomed to the foreign language that I realize it is Turkish for a minute. This family took a bride from Kigali or Kigali gave the groom. The day before, their son had a wedding with a Rwandan girl. After going to the Akagera National Park in the east of the country and doing a few days safari, they will return to Turkey.

I look at every photo carefully, watching every video, reading every post, wiping my tears, changing my mood, changing my face, washing my face for three hours. After leaving I want to sit in the garden and get air, to walk away from the gloom and come to myself. I go towards the rose garden, where the mass graveyard where 250 thousand people are buried comes out. Okay, it’s time to walk away from the museum. The roses are already gone!

I’m going to Kimironko Market hopping on the mototaxi. They said it is the biggest local market in the city. The outside of the market is made up of hardware companies and sellers of meat, fish and dairy products. On the inside there is a section where there are fruit and vegetable markets and clothes, shoes, clothers, gift shop sellers. This section consists of narrow streets. These are the narrowest market streets I’ve seen so far. In order for the second person to pass, the first person must take refuge in a void. 99 percent of clothes and shoes are used. As seen in the bazaars and streets of other countries of the continent, clothes, shoes, and supplies collected for help from around the world through churches are unfortunately paid to the public. The sellers sink the water shoe in a hive and clean the soil, mud and stones on the bottom of the needle, then rub it with soapy water and cloth. Then, if necessary, they can sell it by painting or just polishing it. Some are so beautifully cleaned that they are brand new as not being used. The prices on the market are very reasonable. For example, in the shops on the side of my hotel 1000 Rwandan vendors wanted handcrafted tablets here are 400 Rwandans. The most favorite part of the market is the fabrics and tailors waiting for customers at the beginning of their machines next to them. You can take your fabric and make it sew what you want on the spot.

I will be home the next day. My flight is at 1 am after midnight. I ask permission to use the room until 2 pm after talking to reception. In the meantime I go to Kigali City Market and buy passion fruit and cheese that my family wants to taste. The food I put in the valve does not make a problem in the area. The food is not taken into the cabinet, but if it is given in the luggage, it’s ok. I go to the presidential palace museum a few km away from the airport to spend time. The entrance is 20 USD and there is an hour to close. Worthless. I’m going to the airport. I enter Bourbon Café internet, I record my notes on computer, I upload my photos. The Turkish Airlines departs on time, arrives in Uganda-Entebbe in an hour, expecting a few passengers to continue to Istanbul, the inside of the plane being cleaned, the passengers going from Entebbe to Istanbul. The destination is Turkey !..

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