Clemantine's family reunion
PAGE 5
In 1994, Clemantine was a 6-year-old child in Rwanda when she and her 16-year-old sister, Claire, were forced to hide in a banana tree as their family members were murdered in one of the bloodiest genocides in history. In just 100 days, 800,000 people—including members of Clemantine and Claire's family—were massacred with machetes, their bodies dumped into rivers and piled onto roads.

Terrified, alone and convinced their entire family had been killed, the sisters spent six years in refugee camps. Finally, in 2000, they emigrated to the United States and were taken in by foster families.

After years of searching, an acquaintance told Clemantine and Claire that their parents were alive. The family reconnected over the phone, but Clemantine and Claire hadn't seen them in person since the genocide began 12 years earlier.

When Clemantine heard about an essay contest Oprah's Book Club held in conjunction with Elie Wiesel's holocaust memoir, Night, she submitted a winning essay about how his history was a chilling reflection of her own life. She and her sister Claire were invited on Oprah's show.

As the girls stood on Oprah's stage in 2006, Oprah announced that she'd flown their parents to Chicago for a surprise reunion.

Watch the emotional reunion

Oprah says that moment is one of her all-time favorites. "There are a few times over the past 25 years when I can say that I witnessed a miracle on this show. This is one of those times," Oprah says. "I believe that it was one of the single best reunions ever done in the history, not just of this show, but of television. God had a hand in this one."


FROM: Oprah's Most Memorable Guests: The Ultimate Reunion
Published on May 19, 2011

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