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Desert Flower

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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. Hide synopsis

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Reviews of Desert Flower

Overall customer rating: 5.000
francophile

powerful and moving

by francophile on May 24, 2010

the synopsis supplied by the site is quite sufficient to round up the story, but to read the book is an entirely different experience. An essential read for any woman looking for a new perspective on life. This book is a descriptive and enveloping autobiography, whose author embellishes nothing, and tells in plain language her harrowing yet uplifting story. Waris Dirie holds nothing back, and the graphic detail of her life experiences is captured in Desert Flower. The reader will never be the same; I know I wasn't.

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