Research Portfolio Post #9

Meeting with Professor Mohammed Abu-Nimer


Duration: 20 minutes

The meeting began discussing the changes that I have made in my research and my plan moving forward. I explained that my intended question is “How is it possible that the representation of churches as a safe place became major sites of massacres during the Rwandan Genocide?” He recommended that I use that interpretivist question as an umbrella question and develop sub-questions as I continue to research. For example, thinking about subjects like relationship between military and the church, economic aspects, and implications of local Rwandan Catholic Churches and its disconnect from Rome. These addition factors can help augment the original question. He also suggested that I not only look at why the shift in meaning for churches existed, but also how did the Catholic Church handle the shift in the function of the Church. Professor Abu-Nimer encouraged me to look into the purification that occurred in Catholic Churches after the genocide in response to Catholic involvement.

We then spoke about where I would begin collecting and researching this question. One of the major places that I plan to collect information is from first-hand accounts, especially testimonies from Catholics. Another source is the official reports and messages from the Vatican. To ensure the verification of these sources through triangulation, Professor Abu-Nimer suggested conducting 2-3 interviews at the Cathedral and the Vatican embassy. He finally said that if I wanted to take my research a step farther I could speak with the Rwandan embassy. I had not considered conducting interviews with the Vatican or Rwandan embassy but speaking to them for sources could provide a more official lens to add to the research.

Moving forward, I will continue to research about the Rwandan genocide and develop sub-questions to supplement my overarching umbrella question. I will also continue reading testimonies from the genocide.[1] During the break between 206 and 306, I will further my knowledge about the overall history and aftereffects of the genocide and the Catholic Church’s influence in it.

[1] “Genocide Archive Rwanda.” n.d. Accessed December 5, 2019.




“ Genocide Archive Rwanda.” n.d. Accessed December 5, 2019.



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