FORMER CHELSEA manager Avram Grant is in Kigali to join Rwandans in commemorating the 20th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis.
Grant is in the country since Wednesday on the invitation of USC Shoah Foundation to undergo a weeklong mission to learn about the institute’s work in Rwanda, reinforce their commitment and share the experience with others.
The delegation is also made up of USC Shoah Foundation’s senior leadership, supporters, partners and colleagues and will commemorate USC Shouah Doundation’s 20th anniversary as well as the 20th anniversary of the Rwanda Tutsi Genocide.
Grant alongside other delegates visited Kagarama Secondary School, visited Kigali Genocide Memorial, the main site of memorial of 250,000 murdered Tutsi in and around Kigali.
Avram Grant was born in Petah Tikva. His father Meir Grant fled his native Poland in 1941 at the age of 13, together with his parents and six siblings. They were exiled to the far north of Russia, where it was -40C during winter and any food that could be found was rock solid.
Only he and one brother survived. They dug graves in the forest for their loved ones. “I was named after my grandfather,” said Grant, who learned at the age of 15 what his father had lived through. He had heard him screaming in his sleep and was told of the reason for the bad dreams.
Grant who takes after his father, with his personable nature and fierce determination, is married to Israeli television personality Tzufit Grant.
In October 2009, Grant’s father died aged 82 from complications following surgery to remove a kidney stone. Grant had flown to Israel and was by his side.
Grant moved to England in 2006 to become Technical Director of Portsmouth before being appointed Director of football at Chelsea in July 2007. Two months later, in September 2007, following the departure of José Mourinho, Grant was appointed manager of Chelsea.
Despite steering the team into the Champions League final, the League Cup final and contesting the Premier League title to the last day, his contract was terminated at the end of the season.
Grant returned to Portsmouth as Director of football in October 2009, and was made manager the following month. After the club’s relegation to the Football League Championship Grant resigned and, on June 3, 2010, was appointed as manager of West Ham United, a role he held up until May 15 2011, when he was sacked after the club was relegated to the Football League Championship.
On January 13, 2012, Avram Grant was named the new manager of Partizan Belgrade. After guiding Partizan to their fifth consecutive Serbian championship, Grant resigned on May 14, 2012.