Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Desert Children” as Want to Read:
Desert Children
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Desert Children

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  375 ratings  ·  20 reviews
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 through the desert; being discovered by Terence Donovan and becoming a top fashion model—in her book, the worldwide bestseller, Desert Flower. In Desert Dawn she wrote abo ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 28th 2008 by Virago UK (first published 2005)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Desert Children, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Desert Children

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 704)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Amanda - Go Book Yourself
I really enjoyed reading Desert Flower and Desert Dawn but it seems like Waris didnt have enough material for this book. She re uses material from the first 2 books and repeats herself over and over again.

I lost a little respect for Waris after reading of her harrowing story and discovering that she circumcised her own son because she believed it was "cleaner". Was that not the same reasoning her parents had when mutilating her? They thought she would be cleaner and make a better wife.

She also c
Helene Koloway
Dec 28, 2007 Helene Koloway rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Menceritakan perjuangan Waris Dirie sbg foto model and duta besar special dr PBB utk membebaskan adanya praktek Female Genital Mutilation di Eropa. Krn praktek FGM ini banyak juga dilakukan di negara-negara Eropa maupun di negara asal mereka.

Dan pada saat ini hanya Perancis yg satu-satunya negara Eropa yg memberlakukan Undang-Undang anti Female Genital Mutilation ini. Di buku ini, diceritakan pula bagaimana perasaan atau keadaan mental para wanita ataupun anak-anak korban FGM ini.

Dng membaca buk
The third of Waris Dirie's books. This one takes the focus away from her own life and zooms in on the lives and experiences of African women living in Europe with FGM. The book was published in 2005, so this is now ten years out of date. Things may have gotten better, or the status quo may remain. I don't know. But I'm sure the problem hasn't gone away. In this Waris travels around speaking to activists, doctors, victims in Austria, France, England and Germany, and is horrified to find that it's ...more
Carol Harrison
I'm rating this book so highly because of its topic and the author's passion for eradicating it from the world. The topic is FGM, female genital mutilation, and she examines its prevalence in Europe, and how it is being responded to. The book was published in 2005 so it would be interesting to find out if the situation has changed for the better since then. It is a book that will make you squirm, will cause you to be angry, sad, frustrated and incredulous. If it increases your awareness and unde ...more
Dirie's previous two books were straight-up memoir: In Desert Flower, she talks about her childhood in Somalia, running away to avoid an unwanted marriage, and becoming a model. In Desert Dawn she talks about her return to Somalia, to visit her family, after years away.

In this third book, although it's informal and largely about her own journey to learn more about FGM* in Europe and elsewhere, the point is less about her life and more to inform. She tackles FGM from a different direction than I'
In ihrem Buch „Schmerzenskinder“ schreibt Waris Dirie über die Situation der weiblichen Genitialverstümmelung in Europa. Sie schreibt von Begegnungen mit anderen Opfern, von Gesprächen mit Experten, von der Willkür der Behörden, dem großen Tabu, dem dieses Thema nach wie vor unterliegt und vor allem aber auch von einigen Prozessen und der gesetzlichen Lage in den unterschiedlichen Ländern. Im Anhang werden auch die einzelnen Formen der FGM und ihre Folgen genauer erläutert. Waris erzählt wie ihr ...more
Nach ihrer Autobiographie "Wüstenblume", die ich verschlungen und geliebt habe, fand ich im Bücherregal meiner Mutter dieses Buch von Waris Dirie. Es ist ihr drittes Buch. Das zweite Buch besitze ich leider nicht, möchte ich aber auch bald lesen.
Dennoch macht es von der Handlung her nichts aus, da ihr drittes Buch sich weniger um einen Roman, sondern mehr um ein Sachbuch mit Informationen handelt. Sie versucht auf diesem Wege ihre Leser über die Aktualität der weiblichen Verstümmelung aufzuklär
I find that the first 75% part of the book's mostly either a repetition of what she's already written in her previous two, if not of itself! It does get a bit long and tiring to keep having to read how she's traumatized by the procedure that's done to her or to other African women... ok, ok! I got the point! It hurts! It's traumatizing! It's bad! And?! What next?!

However, when she did finally got to the new bits it does get interesting again... took a bit long to get there, though.

Anyway. What I
I think this is the most interesting of her books - though you probably have to read the first two to fully get it. Having written her autobiography over the first two books, this is much more about the issue of FGM and how best to fight it.
She compares the approaches of different European countries and identifies the best from each. Hugely moving and insightful - her descriptions of how she feels now were for me more compelling than those of her suffering as a child - perhaps they underlined th
In Dirie's third book re: FGM (I haven't read the second one yet), she focuses on researching how widespread FGM is in Europe. She discovers that while there are "laws" to protect women and children from being mutilated in Europe, this precaution is still not enough and for most part, it's not really working. The parents just either do it in secret or go back to Africa to get it done by 'mutilators' there. This book is a real eye-opener of the backwardness of this custom. Read and learn.
In the desert of ignorance
her life began
she feared not the wild beasts
of Africa,
but the rusted razors
of her clan.
Ravaged by the tradition
that sliced through
her labia like fire
as screams pierced her
tender psyche
mutilating desire;
now trauma and shame
fill her dowry
and caesarean daughters
will be next
as even European surgeons
now redesign
the weaker sex.
Jacquie South
This is really an extended report on the FGM situation in Europe, of which I'm sure most people (me included) would be completely unaware. In that way it's not particularly entertaining or enjoyable as a read, but it's certainly interesting and thought provoking, and presents the situation to a wide audience.Reading this will make you want to be able to DO SOMETHING ...
Diane Brown
Desert Children looks at the issue of female genital mutilation and compares the approaches to dealing with it in European countries. It is quite insightful on this issue of FGM
it was hard to read how many girls and women in Europe are affected by genital mutilation.
but on the other hand it was good to read that Waris is working against FGM.
Great cause, hopefully will come a day where people are well educated about the horrifying, useless practice of FGM
story doesnt change much from beginning to end. while it did open my eyes to FGM, not my kind of book.
This book makes you want to join Waris Dirie and speak out against FGM. Very interesting!
Not completed yet - OMG so shocking and sad - poor African women who suffers cruel .....
Very compelling a very good read!!
Johanna Marjoniemi
Johanna Marjoniemi marked it as to-read
Apr 27, 2015
Andy Phanachet
Andy Phanachet marked it as to-read
Apr 24, 2015
Darshani marked it as to-read
Apr 21, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 23 24 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Aman: The Story of a Somali Girl
  • The Torn Veil: The Best-Selling Story of Gulshan Esther
  • Crossbones
  • Born in the Big Rains: A Memoir of Somalia and Survival
  • The Blood of Lambs: A Former Terrorist's Memoir of Death and Redemption
  • Sufferings in Africa: The Incredible True Story of a Shipwreck, Enslavement, and Survival on the Sahara
  • Endings and beginnings
  • The God Squad
  • AMA
  • My Religion
  • Kathryn Kuhlman
  • Welcome to Hell: One Man's Fight for Life Inside the Bangkok Hilton
  • The Girl with Three Legs: A Memoir
  • Lyckliga i alla sina dagar: Om pengar och människors värde
  • The Sabi
  • Love in a Torn Land: Joanna of Kurdistan: The True Story of a Freedom Fighter's Escape from Iraqi Vengeance
  • Pojkarna
  • Baby Driver: A Story About Myself
Waris Dirie (Somali: Waris Diiriye, Arabic: واريس ديري) (born in 1965) is a Somali model, author, actress and human rights activist.

In 1997, Waris abandoned her modeling career to focus on her work against female circumcision. That same year, she was appointed UN Special Ambassador for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation(FGM).
More about Waris Dirie...
Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad Desert Dawn Waris Dirie Omnibus Mijn woestijn / Dochter van de nomaden Brief An Meine Mutter

Share This Book