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Desert Dawn

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  1,899 Ratings  ·  81 Reviews
Fashion model, UN ambassador, and courageous spirit, Waris Dirie is a remarkable woman. Born into a family of tribal desert nomads in Somalia, she told her story in the worldwide bestseller Desert Flower: enduring female circumcision at the age of 5; running away through the desert at12 to escape an arranged marriage; being discovered by photographer Terence Donovan as she ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Virago UK (first published 2001)
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Links by Nuruddin FarahBlack Mamba Boy by Nadifa MohamedClan Cleansing in Somalia by Lidwien KapteijnsFrom Somalia with Love by Na'ima B. RobertCrossbones by Nuruddin Farah
Books Set in Somalia or Written by Somalis
9th out of 40 books — 29 voters
Cutting for Stone by Abraham VergheseThere Is No Me Without You by Melissa Fay GreeneYohannes Ishi by Nabse BamatoSeason of Migration to the North by Tayeb SalihThe Snows Of Kilimanjaro And Other Stories by Ernest Hemingway
East Africa
42nd out of 173 books — 51 voters

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Community Reviews

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Nov 16, 2015 Nikoleta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
3,5 αστεράκια.
Αρκετά καλό. Μας παρουσίασε την Σομαλία, την ζωή, τα ήθη και τα έθιμα της χώρας και φυσικά τα πάρα πολλά προβλήματα. Ήταν ευχάριστο, ξεκούραστο και μικρό. Νιώθω όμως ότι πολλές φορές η Γούορις φάσκει και αντιφάσκει όσον αφορά τις σκέψεις τις και τα αισθήματα της. Νιώθω ότι παλεύει με το παρελθόν και το παρόν της, την Σομαλική της ταυτότητα και την "Δυτική" ποιο μοντέρνα γυναίκα μέσα της.
I read this autobiography many years ago so my memory is a bit fuzzy about the details. But what I'm sure of is that Waris Dirie is a brave, resourceful and inspiring woman who risked all to make a better life for herself despite the challenges she faced. But most importantly, she gave back to the world by fighting for the human rights of others and opposing female genital mutilation (FGM). I look forward to rereading this book soon.
Ankur Rastogi
Apr 07, 2014 Ankur Rastogi rated it it was ok
Desert Dawn is the sequel to the very popular & appreciated book "Desert Flower". While the first one was excellent from almost all aspects be it content, writing style, readability, somehow the second one fails in almost everything.

The first one had an agenda, a message which was put across very strongly. The issue of female genital mutiliation was shocking which was presented with utmost care and sensitivity.

This one is about Waris journey back to her roots in Somalia. But it just come acr
Yumi Learner
Jun 16, 2014 Yumi Learner rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A couple of days ago I finished reading my twenty first book this year in English. I've been reading a book every day, and my goal for this year is also to accomplish to read forty eight books in English. I've been keeping it for three years.

My twenty first book was as great as my twentieth book. It was sequent to the book. I learned and thought a lot of things about Africa, Muslim, male dominated society and female circumcision. Before reading these books, I've never heard the word before. I've
Sep 06, 2015 Stefanieliza rated it it was amazing
I got this book from a friend as a second hand and I immediately concluded that it might not be any good because she willingly gave it away. But hotdamn I was wrong! This book, reporting on Waris Dirie's return to her family in Somalia, is both heartfelt and informative. She has a way of explaining things so as to give a good insight into her culture and her country. I am amazed by this incredibly strong woman and her unbelievable story. Who would think that someone who never went to school coul ...more
This was a really beautiful, and fascinating book... partly because Waris is such an interesting woman, and has experienced such extremes of human experience - and partly because it is just beautifully written.

I recommend it very highly. I really want to give it four and a half stars, but can't seem to do it.
Waris Dirie erzählt in ihrem aktuellen Buch „Schwarze Frau, weißes Land“ von Europa, ihrer neuen Heimat, aber auch von ihrer Sehnsucht nach ihrem Heimatland Afrika und ihren Plänen das Leben für die Menschen dort zu verbessern. Ein großes Thema dieses Buches ist wieder ihre Aufklärungsarbeit über weibliche Genitalverstümmelung und wie wichtig der Kampf für die Natur und die Frauenrechte in Afrika.
Was ich als sehr anregend empfunden habe, ist das jedes neue Kapitel mit einer afrikanischen Lebens
Sep 05, 2012 Manja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In diesem Buch erzählt Waris von ihrem Kampf gegen die Genitalverstümmelung bei jungen Mädchen. Ihr Buch "Wüstenblume soll verfilmt werden und sie reist zu den Dreharbeiten in ihr Heimatland Afrika. Problematik ist, das es auch auf der ganzen Welt, wo es Landsleute gibt, die an der Tradition festhalten wollen.
Sie selbst ist ja auch ein Opfer dieser Verstümmelung. Da sie mittlerweile als Model ja ziemlich bekannt ist, nutzt sie dies auch um eine eigene Foundation zu gründen und sie ist auch UN-Bo
In Desert Flower, Dirie told her story of a nomadic childhood in Somalia and her eventual escape immigration to the West; here she describes returning to Somalia for a visit after more than twenty years away.

It's true what they say; there is no feeling like it--there is no feeling like home. Oh how I missed that feeling of belonging to something much greater than myself. (180)

It's a homecoming, but Dirie also knows that she was right to leave Somalia, that she is better off in New York. Her visi
Tina ♥ Bookaholic
Liked that book and it's still a though way for Waris Dirie, but she is still a strong and admirable woman. I respect here and she is great.

Diese Geschichte setzt fast 20 Jahre nach der Flucht von Waris Dirie aus Somalia an. Erzählt wird wie sie, nach einer privaten Krise, den Entschluss fasst zurück in ihre Heimat zu gehen um ihre Familie zu finden. Dort muss sie sich mit ihrer Vergangenheit und mit der Widerbegegnung ihrer Familie auseinander setzten und die Herausforderung meiste
Joana Gomes
Jan 07, 2015 Joana Gomes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing
Logo nas primeiras páginas fiquei horrorizada...
«As mulheres midgaan que fazem a circuncisão usam uma lâmina de navalha ou uma faca afiada numa pedra para o corte. [...] Recorrem a uma pasta de mirra para estancarem o sangue, mas quando as coisas correm mal não dispomos de penicilina. Mais tarde, quando a rapariga se casa, o noivo tenta abrir à força a infibulação da noiva na noite de núpcias. Se a abertura for demasiado pequena, a rapariga é aberta com uma faca.»
A verdade é que o facto de o liv
Mar 06, 2011 Susan rated it liked it
The story itself was good, easy to read, and honest. In terms of the Author, considering she wrote this book about herself you would think that you finish thinking that this woman was beautiful and lovely and just a really good person ultimately. But to be honest I felt that she DIDN'T paint herself in a good light and this made the book all the more charming for me, and real.

Waris talks about some VERY difficult subjects with honesty but succinctly so that you don't feel bad for reading and ta
Apr 29, 2011 jazz-ee2 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bookcrossing
This book was sent by the lovely bookfrogster, to be read before starting off on another journey of a joint bookring along with the first book Desert Flower.

I was really looking forward to finding out more about the next instalment of Waris Dirie's life, and wasn't disappointed. Whilst Desert Flower looked back on her experience as a child and young adult, growing up in a Nomad family in the Somali desert, in this book Dirie returns to Somalia as an adult to see her family and country once more.
Uthpala Dassanayake
Aug 10, 2013 Uthpala Dassanayake rated it really liked it
After telling us her story in ‘Desert Flower’, Waris Dirie has dedicated Desert Dawn entirely for her long awaited visit to her relatives. It was a troubled time in Somalia and against all the warnings from people around her, she decides to make the visit. You can see the same stubborn and determined spirit which made her to run away as a young girl urging her to make the visit against all advices.
The incidents and feelings are presented in a very straight forward, yet moving manner. Waris’ stru
Feb 01, 2014 Ape rated it liked it
Bookcrossing journal:

Very fascinating read about Somalia - of which I knew so little beforehand. And in some respects it sounds a bit nightmarish living there - eg. repression of women, female circumcision. But Waris is a Somalian herself, equally frustrated by these problems and yet she still loves her country and her people and this really comes through in her writing and allows you to see other aspects of the country.

She ran away from the country in her early teens to escape an arranged marri
The second memoir of Waris Dirie, a Somalian woman from a nomadic family who ran away from home at the age of 13 to avoid a forced marriage to an old man. In her first book (which I have not read), she tells the story of her childhood in Somalia, her infibulation, her escape across the desert to Europe, and her eventual "discovery" there by a modeling agent. In the intervening years Dirie has made a career as a model and become the outspoken UN Ambassador for Women's Rights, focusing on female g ...more
Vilma / Dola
En bok som rörde upp många känslor kring hur kvinnor behandlades/behandlas i länder som t.ex. Somalia. Jag förstår verkligen inte varför kvinnor och män ska behandlas så olika och att kvinnor inte får göra vissa saker som män får.

Jag tycker att Waris Dirie är en oerhört modig ung kvinna som vågar stå upp mot de saker som är "vanliga" i hennes hemland och kämpa för att det ska undanskaffas. Som det här med könsstympning. Det ju helt sjuk!!! Liksom hur kom man ens på det här??

Förlåt, det är myck
Waris has her new life in the USA but her mind returns to the family she left behind in war torn Somalia and she decides she must go home with her brother. On the journey she finds her new Western ideals clashing with the teachings she was brought up with in Somalia, and she struggles to be taken seriously because she is a woman.

This was fascinating to read although I have not read her first book where she escapes an arranged marriage in Somalia. Here we see all the differences between two cult
Feb 05, 2016 RainbowWriter rated it really liked it
Shelves: africa
This bravely honestly told story left me deeply impressed. I chose to read this, because I'm interested in human rights and women's position in the world. It tells a story about being a top model from a different ankle and it succeeded to dispel my prejudice towards models and the modelling branch. Waris Dirie uses at times so bold language and tells her story so honestly without even trying to embellish it that at some points it made me gasp in shock. I knew before about the dangers of female c ...more
Sabrina Rutter
Jun 14, 2009 Sabrina Rutter rated it it was amazing
I read this right after reading Desert Flower! I'm thinking about getting her third book Desert Children.
Waris goes back to Somalia after being gone for 20 years, and reunites with her family! This book made me tear up a few times. I also got angry at the way women are treated in Somalia. On the journey back to the airport that will take them home, Waris and her brother stop at a resturaunt. The people running the resturaunt expect Waris to eat in the back by the restroom (which is more like an
Jun 14, 2009 Kristy rated it really liked it
This book was really good. Great book if you want to get cultured or are feeling sorry for yourself because you think you are poor or have it bad in this country.

I was telling my husband Alen about how the author critized the U.S. when she was living there and then when she went back to Somali how she critizing that country too. It was kind of like she was never satisfied in either place. Alen told me he has relatives who live in France who are the same way. Always complaining about France but
May 22, 2011 ABC rated it it was amazing
I've read "Desert Flower" about how Waris Dirie escaped an arranged marriage, left Somalia and ended up becoming a model and a spokesperson against female genital mutilation. It was fascinating. I skipped the next book "Desert Children" because it wasn't in our library. So this is the third book "Desert Dawn."

It is about how she returns to her home of war-torn Somalia, despite the fact that her British passport forbids British citizens to go to Somalia and how everyone tells her it is too dange
Amanda Morris
Jan 13, 2012 Amanda Morris rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
I liked this second book better than the first, by a little. I loved hearing the journey of Waris, who had come so far in the first book, all the way from Somalia to be a model in New York. Pretty amazing story in itself. But this second book is the journey of her return to Somalia after creating a new life for herself in New York. Oh, how the cultures are so very different. It is great to read about the differences and I loved it from Waris' perspective. How she loves her family so much and res ...more
Jun 30, 2010 مليحه rated it it was amazing
از متن کتاب :
مادرم نام یکی از شاهکارهای طبیعت را روی من گذاشت. واریس به معنی گل صحراست. گل صحرا در محیط های بی آب و علف می روید، جایی که کم تر موجود زنده ای می تواند در آن زنده بماند. گاهی اتفاق می افتد که یک سال هم در کشورم باران نمی بارد. اما وقتی بالاخره باران می بارد و زمین پر گرد و خاک می شوید، معجزه رخ می دهد و گل ها ظاهر می شوند. گل صحرا رنگ نارنجی مایل به زرد درخشانی دارد و به همین دلیل زرد رنگ محبوب من است
چه قدر خوندن کتاب گُل صحرا که زندگینامه دختری آفریقایی است جذاب بود. داستان مبارز
May 29, 2016 Jo rated it really liked it
Although Waris Dirie fled her homeland, she never forgot the country and culture that moulded her. The world of famine and violence, where women have no voice and no place - the very world that nearly destroyed her also gave her the tools to survive. She traces the roots of her courage, resilience and humour back to her motherland, and most particularly to her mother.
Desert Dawn is the story of that return and a testimony to the stubborn fact that you can love something dearly and yet not love
Janet Render
Mar 13, 2014 Janet Render rated it really liked it
I ususually only read fiction, but my aunt recommended this book to me because I am currently taking a course in uni on islam, and she thought this book would give me more insight in the world of the musllims. I do not agree with that statement, as this book is more about Somalia and the culture of nomads than it is about islam. Still, I found the book to be informative, interesting, and very touching since this is a rather personal report. This is the kind of book that somewhat unintentionally ...more
Jan 13, 2011 Elie rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, africa
The next installment of Dirie's memoirs--before her next book, which is dry to the point of unreadable and focuses only on FGM--follows her as she returns to Somalia after a decade away. Dirie's joy at being home and seeing her family are interrupted by occasional frustration at the limits on women imposed by Somali culture, and she expresses both feelings clearly and with lyricism (or her ghost writer does). This is a quick and rather engrossing read, as Dirie's story is quite an exceptional on ...more
Jessica Nilsson
Feb 08, 2016 Jessica Nilsson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
Great book! I wasn't so fond of the first chapters, but when Waris finally comes to Africa (which the whole book is about) it becomes a very interesting portrait of desert life, and family relations, in Somalia. As a female reader I got both frustrated and scared due to the situation for women there, but Waris way to tell her story also makes you smile. I wonder if there are more books out there, which describe African "countryside-life" in a similar way? If there is I'd gladly read them!
May 27, 2012 Stella rated it it was amazing
This is an incredibly beautiful and inspiring story! I had read Dirie’s first book, Desert Flower, years ago and was completely fascinated by her life story. I enjoyed this book equally as much. Reading of her journey back to Somalia and her reunion with her family was incredibly touching. Looking forward to starting Desert Children and learning more about Dirie’s work to end FGM as a UN ambassador. Inspiring! Inspiring! Inspiring!
Janith Pathirage
Dec 01, 2014 Janith Pathirage rated it liked it
I find this book very disturbing. Number of occasions I threw it away telling myself 'That's enough!', but it was too compelling so I had to finish what I started. I feel so sorry for what happened to this poor woman and those who suffered the same fate as she did. This's not an enjoyable read like Nicholas Nickleby but truly an unforgettable book in a very sad way. You might have nightmares about it so be aware !!
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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...

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