I-MAG STS    Corporation
Rena Sharon could have enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a classical pianist and professor of piano in her native
Canada.   However, under the auspices of the Canadian consulate and eminent physician and University of British
Columbia researcher Dr. Reva Adler, Ms Sharon has travelled to Rwanda in 2005 and 2006 for performances and teaching.
In 1959 members of the majority ethnic group, the Hutus, overthrew the Tutsi king. After independence from Belgium
and though the 1960s  thousands of Tutsis were killed , and 200,000 left or were driven into exile. The children of these
exiles formed the core of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, which started an insurgency in 1990. In 1994 nearly one million
Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed, but by July the RPF had defeated the Hutu regime and ended the killing. More
than two million Hutus fled Rwanda. Cross-border violence continues intermittently to this day. In addition, Rwanda
has been involved in two wars largely centered on the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo.  There are other
complications: the number of adults who are HIV positive will soon reach 500,000 and we would expect in excess of 50,000
deaths from AIDS per year. This always shatters families and creates a staggering number of orphans. A terrible shortage
of medical professionals, limited access to clean water and the prevalence of malaria and dengue (with chikungunya to
follow) make a difficult public health situation a disaster. Being landlocked with few natural resources, and struggling
with literacy (70% claimed), poverty (65% live on less than $2 US per day), widespread unemployment and grinding
inflation (at least 8%) limits Rwanda's hopes for a recovery. Yet another major volcanic eruption from Mount
Nyiragongo, the most active volcano in the world, or a mammoth methane explosion over Lake Kivu that kills millions
would cripple Rwanda. Professor Sharon is apparently headed back to Rwanda for a third tour next spring. We would
not care to speculate what Johann Sebastian Bach would say about adding African drums to The Inventions, The
Well-Temepered Clavier and any of his many other immortal masterpieces for keyboard. He would certainly be pleased
that his music was being played hundreds of years and thousands of miles away. We suspect that Bach would be very
proud that both Rena Sharon and Rwandan musicians believe his music will help Rwanda. We await word from CNN
that a world-class philharmonic orchestra has landed in force in Gisenyi. For the cellist of Sarajevo         
click here