Waris Dirie (the name means desert flower) lives a double life - by day she is a famous model and UN spokeswoman on women's rights in Africa, at night she dreams of her native Somalia. Waris, one of 12 children, was born into a traditional family of desert nomads in East Africa. She remembers her early childhood as carefree- racing camels and moving on with her family to the next grazing spot - until it came her turn to meet the old woman who administered the ancient custom imposed on most Somalian girls: circumcision. Waris suffered this torture when she was just five years old. Then, aged 12, when her father attempted to arrange a marriage with a 60 year old stranger in exchange for five camels - she took flight. After an extraordinary escape through the dangerous desert she made her way to London and worked as a maid for the Somalian ambassador until that family returned home. Penniless and speaking little English, she became a janitor in McDonalds where she was famously discovered by a fashion photographer. Her story is a truly inspirational and extraordinary self-portrait of a remarkable woman whose spirit is as breathtaking as her beauty.
- Paperback | 256 pages
- 132 x 197 x 18mm | 215g
- 17 Nov 2009
- Little, Brown Book Group
- Virago Press Ltd
- London, United Kingdom
- Section: 8, B&W
Waris's story is one of remarkable courage. From the deserts of Somalia to the world of high fashion ... she emerges a real champion. She is the most beautiful inspiration to anyone ELTON JOHN
Dirie's story is an extraordinary one. * SUNDAY TIMES * She was circumcised at five, fled an arranged marriage at 12, then became a Pirelli girl in her teens. Now, at twenty-eight, Waris Dirie is an ambassador for the UN. Her mission? To rid Africa of its most barbaric ritual * OBSERVER * A story that traverses continents, spans worlds of human experience and human pain ... Waris Dirie was a victim once, but she never will be again * EXPRESS * Waris's story is one of remarkable courage. From the deserts of Somalia to the world of high fashion ... she emerges a real champion. She is the most beautiful inspiration to anyone * ELTON JOHN *
About Waris Dirie
Waris Dirie is an internationally renowned model and face of Revlon skincare products. She was appointed by the United Nations in 1997 as a special ambassador for women's rights to eliminate the practice of female genital mutilation. She lives in New York with her boyfriend and their son.
Our customer reviews
I really wanted to like this book. The subject matter is a serious one and the stories told are both shocking and heartbreaking. However the letdown for me was the bad editing (or lack thereof). I felt like Waris didn't have an editor to point her in the write direction languistically so it felt a bit lacking. Unfortunate because the message it gave is really a beautiful one. This might be a better book for teenagers to read than adults.show moreby Khrystyne Cordi