He Ran Sudan’s Iconic Acropole Hotel. Then He Had to Flee Khartoum.

When in mid-April, heavy fighting broke out between the country’s army and the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, Mr. Pagoulatos cooped up in the hotel with his sister-in-law Eleonora, three staff members and four guests, and waited. Makis was in Greece at the time, and the hotel’s 50 rooms were mostly unoccupied, in part because of security concerns.

“We thought, ‘It will pass, it always does,’” he said in a recent interview in Athens, where he reluctantly evacuated to join the rest of his family.

Losing his beloved brother George, Eleonora’s husband, months earlier, had already made this a terrible period for the Pagoulatoses. How much worse could it possibly get?

It turned out, quite a lot.

For the first few days of the fighting, encouraged by Mr. Pagoulatos, the group — one Sudanese and two Philippine staff members, two German tourists, and a Brazilian and an Italian archaeologist — stayed calm.

They had no running water or electricity, but the kitchen had a basic stock of food and drinking water. Mr. Pagoulatos couldn’t fully fathom the chaos that was spreading across his beloved city, but he did know that it was at his doorstep.

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