In the last three days I’ve gone through Waris Dirie’s three books – Desert Flower, Desert Dawn and Desert Children – not without struggle though. There were parts that brought me to tears and sent a shudder through my body.

Fashion model, UN ambassador and courageous spirit, Waris Dirie was born into a family of tribal desert nomads in Somalia. She told her story – enduring female circumcision at five years old; running away though the desert; being discovered by Terence Donovan and becoming a top fashion model – in her book, the worldwide best-seller, Desert Flower. In Desert Dawn she wrote about becoming an UN Special Ambassador against FGM (female genital mutilation) and returning to her family in Somalia.  

Desert Children tells us how she and the journalist Corinna Milborn have investigated the practice of FGM in Europe – they  estimate that up to 500,000 women and girls have undergone or are at risk of FGM. At the moment, France is the only country in which offenders are convicted and no European country officially recognises the threat of genital mutilation as a reason for asylum. Here are the voices of women who have felt emboldened by Waris Dirie’s courage. They speak out for the first time and move us to action. 
Patrick and I have spent the last few hours talking about her story and the issues that she raises about FGM, culture, religion and being a woman. I’m not sure what I want to do with the knowledge that I’ve just acquired but I do know that I don’t want to just sit with it, so as a tiny first step I’m telling you about the books. Over the next few days I hope to post more about FGM.

I know books are really expensive in Fiji but I’ve done a search and Desert Flower is available at the USP library.

Have you read these books? 
What did you think? 

3 comments on “Books by Waris Dirie”

  • Anonymous says:

    I really liked her simple and honest ways.

  • Samara says:

    I was on a family holiday once and over a week I managed to read Desert flower and then passed it onto two aunty's who also managed to read it within the week. I couldn't put it down, a gripping, powerful read.

  • Rekha Monger says:

    How I wish to read all these books! Its not available in Bhutan, our local bookstore doesnot sell any of her books, sigh :(.

    I only watched the movie Desert Flower and it sent shudders throughout the movie.

    Nice Posts V.

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