Desert Flower

Waris Dirie

Published by Virago Press Ltd
ISBN 10: 1860497586 / ISBN 13: 9781860497582
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Synopsis: 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.

Review: By age 6, Waris Dirie was herding her family's sheep and goats, fending off hyenas and wild dogs as the family carved a path through Africa. She was just twice that age when she ran off into the vast furnace of the Somali desert to escape an arranged marriage to a much older man. Traveling for days without food and water, she made her way to Mogadishu and later to London as a servant to her uncle, the Somalian ambassador. There she wrestled with culture shock and got her first taste of the modeling life that eventually brought her into the public eye. Dirie is resilient, having survived drought, hunger, and the ritual female genital mutilation that marks a step toward womanhood among some traditional Moslems but, argue critics, steals or ruins many girls' lives. "As we traveled throughout Somalia," says Dirie, "we met families and I played with their daughters. When we visited them again, the girls were missing. No one spoke the truth about their absence or even spoke of them at all." As a special ambassador to the United Nations, Dirie has spoken out loudly on this subject and championed environmental causes, too. How much of her sometimes breathless story is gospel truth and how much embellished is hard to say. Like Dirie herself, though, the combination is intriguing, powerful, and unique. --Francesca Coltrera

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Desert Flower
Publisher: Virago Press Ltd
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: GOOD

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Dirie, Waris
Published by Virago (2001)
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Book Description Virago, 2001. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. Desert Flower This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. . Seller Inventory # 7719-9781860497582

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Book Description Virago 18/01/2001, 2001. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Seller Inventory # 6545-9781860497582

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