Early life[ edit ] Dirie was born as one of twelve children into a nomadic family in in the area of Galkayo , Somalia. Her first name Waris means desert flower. When she was five, she herself suffered circumcision in the form of Infibulation. At the age of thirteen, she fled through the desert to Mogadishu in order to escape an arranged marriage to a year-old man.

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Early life[ edit ] Dirie was born as one of twelve children into a nomadic family in in the area of Galkayo , Somalia. Her first name Waris means desert flower. When she was five, she herself suffered circumcision in the form of Infibulation. At the age of thirteen, she fled through the desert to Mogadishu in order to escape an arranged marriage to a year-old man.

She first stayed there with relatives, but later she was told that she could not stay any longer because her escape was not tolerated. One of her uncles, who was then Somali ambassador to the United Kingdom, was looking for a maid. So she was brought to London, where she worked at the Somali embassy without pay.

When the uncle had to leave London after the outbreak of the civil war in Somalia, Dirie fled the embassy and lived first in the streets of London, later in a home of the YMCA. She also began evening classes to learn English. By chance, she was discovered by photographer Terence Donovan , who photographed her in together with the then still unknown model Naomi Campbell for the title of the Pirelli Calendar.

She later paid her mother a visit in her native Somalia. The foundation collects money to raise awareness about the worldwide problem of FGM and to help those affected. In the same year, she received the Corine Literature Prize.

The European Union then put the fight against female genital mutilation on its agenda, after which laws were tightened up and preventive measures initiated in many European countries. She spoke for the first time on an Arab channel in front of over million viewers about the taboo topic "Female Genital Mutilation".

Benjamin Herrmann and Waris Dirie were co-producers. Dirie has campaigned extensively to draw attention to the brutal ritual of female genital mutilation. For Waris Dirie the photo shoot with Rankin in London was a comeback as a model. There is also a library and a computer centre.

Dirie has received many prizes and awards for her humanitarian work and books including: Woman of the Year Award by Glamour magazine. Gold medal of the President of the Republic of Italy for her achievements as a human rights activist.

Paulo A. Dirie apparently suffered minor injuries when her assailant threw her to the floor. He was arrested when neighbours called the police, [39] and was later given a five-month suspended sentence by an Austrian court. It was reported that the suspect had met Dirie six months earlier when his brother was working at her previous residence in Wales. He later broke into that home and stole items of her clothing. She was found alive on 7 March , by a Brussels policeman.

Since Dirie lives in Gdansk , Poland. Temporarily also in Vienna. She is mother of two sons Aleeke, Leon. Aleeke, the older of the two, comes from a relationship with jazz musician Dana Murray. Since March , Dirie has held Austrian citizenship. Desert Flower - The drama is based on the autobiographical novel and bestseller. Over 11 million copies have been sold worldwide to date, 3 million in Germany alone number 1 on the Spiegel bestseller list from 11 to 17 January and from 25 January to 18 July A dangerous adventure, as Somalia has been plagued by civil war and famine for years.

Her second book, which will also become an international bestseller first place on the Spiegel bestseller list from 8 to 28 April and from 13 May to 23 June , describes the trip to her home country. Genital mutilation is not only practiced in Africa, but also in the western world. It reports on encounters with victims and perpetrators, on their research, setbacks and successes. Letter to my mother Dirie says about this book on the website of the Desert Flower Foundation: "This is my most personal book.

My longing was great to meet my mother again, to forgive my mother, but I had to realize that love and suffering are often inextricably linked. Working on this book was a painful but vital experience for me. Saving Safa Little Safa comes from a bitterly poor family in Djibouti. Raised in a slum, she is selected for the role of little Waris Dirie in the biopic of the world bestseller Desert Flower.

The dramatic scene, in which the little girl is violently circumcised, makes people cry in cinemas all over the world. In real life, Safa is still intact. And she does everything in her power to save the girl from this cruel practice. The book tells the story of the little "desert flower" Waris and her brother Mo, who go on a journey together to discover their home continent Africa. On their adventures they get to know the flora and fauna of Africa. In addition to the story, the book also contains numerous writing exercises, which are intended to promote the reading and writing skills of children.

Gallen , Switzerland that her extraordinary life story would become a musical. The lyrics are by Frank Ramond. The music is contributed by producer and composer Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen wrote the music for " de Luftballons " by Nena.

On February 22, the musical was premiered at the theater St. Gallen in the presence of Waris Dirie. After bestseller book and film , her life story is also present on the theatre stage.


Waris Dirie Quotes

Meet extraordinary women who dared to bring gender equality and other issues to the forefront. From overcoming oppression, to breaking rules, to reimagining the world or waging a rebellion, these women of history have a story to tell. At about age 13 she ran away from home to avoid an arranged marriage with a much older man; she embarked on a long and treacherous journey that took her through the desert to Mogadishu and, from there, eventually to London to serve as a maid in the home of an uncle who was beginning a term as an ambassador. When his tenure ended, Dirie elected to stay in London illegally. She was illiterate, but she found work in the kitchen of a fast-food restaurant and a room in a facility run by the YMCA , and she took classes to learn to read and write English. In , at age 18, a woman on the street approached Dirie about modeling and directed her to the British photographer Terence Donovan.


Desert Flower

Waris Dirie Waris Dirie was born as a daughter of a nomadic family in in the region of Gallacaio, in the Somali desert on the border with Ethiopia. At the age of five years, she suffered the inhumane procedure of female genital mutilation. This terrible crime against women is practiced worldwide by Muslims and Christians. According to WHO estimates, 8, girls become victims of this incredible brutality every day. At the age of 13, Waris fled from a forced marriage with a man who could have been her grandfather. After an adventurous escape, she arrived in London and worked as a housemaid and at McDonalds. She moved from London to New York and became one of the first African Supermodels receiving an exclusive agreement with the cosmetic group Revlon.


Waris Dirie


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