Ilibagiza, Immaculée 1972(?)-

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Ilibagiza, Immaculée 1972(?)-


Born c. 1972, in Rwanda; immigrated to the United States in 1998; married Bryan Black; children: Nikeisha, Bryan, Jr. Education: Studied electronic and mechanical engineering at the National University of Rwanda. Religion: Catholic.


Home—Long Island, NY.


Worked at the United Nations, New York, NY, as part of the United Nations Development Program.


(With Steve Erwin) Left to Tell: Discovering God amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, Hay House (Carlsbad, CA), 2006.


Immaculée Ilibagiza was born in Rwanda, where she was caught up in the 1994 genocide. Most of her family were killed during the devastating tragedy, but Ilibagiza managed to survive by huddling with seven other women in a bathroom at a pastor's house for a period of three months. The experience changed her life forever, giving her a strong faith and a sustaining relationship with God. Four years after the genocide, Ilibagiza immigrated to the United States, where she began working at the United Nations and became a member of the United Nations Development Program. She met her future husband, Bryan Black, who had also come from Rwanda, while working there. Black was part of the team organizing the court to try those accused of participating in the slaughter, and Ilibagiza took his presence as a sign. On the Left to Tell Web site, she says of her husband that he was "sent by God, courtesy of the UN, all the way from America!" Ilibagiza wrote about her ordeal and the faith she took from her experiences in the book Left to Tell: Discovering God amidst the Rwandan Holocaust. She discusses her thoughts and emotions while she was in hiding and how she handled the aftermath of the genocide. Anita Jackson-Hall, in a review for the U.S. Catholic, called the book "an inspiring story of how tragic circumstances can transform the human spirit." A contributor for Publishers Weekly wrote that Ilibagiza's effort is "a precious addition to the literature that tries to make sense of humankind's seemingly bottomless depravity."



Ilibagiza, Immaculée and Steve Erwin, Left to Tell: Discovering God amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, Hay House, (Carlsbad, CA), 2006.


Bookseller, March 3, 2006, Benedicte Page, "Forgiving the Killers," author interview, p. 22.

Publishers Weekly, January 16, 2006, review of Left to Tell, p. 60.

U.S. Catholic, September, 2006, Anita Jackson-Hall, review of Left to Tell, p. 44.


Independent, (April 9, 2006), Immaculée Ilibagiza, "This Is Not My Time to Die."

Left to Tell Web site, (November 25, 2006).

Telegraph, (April 7, 2006), "Rwanda's Anne Frank."