Clemantine Wamariya was separated from her family in the Rwandan genocide; 12 years later she was invited to appear on the Oprah Winfrey show…

I t was an event that could easily have passed in an emotional blur: the moment Clemantine Wamariya was reunited with the family she’d last seen 12 years earlier, and had for a long time feared were dead. Instead, she can recall every second: the moment she threw herself into her father’s arms, before clinging to her mother and, in a gesture of disbelief and gratitude, raising an arm to the heavens.

The reason everything is still so clear 12 years on is because the reunion took place on television, and she has rewatched it many times. “I thought in that moment I’d died,” Clemantine says. “You hear about how you’re united with the people you love in heaven, and I thought, this must be heaven. I was so happy, but I was also scared: had I died?”

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