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

Desert Dawn

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  1,620 ratings  ·  68 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)
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 Dawn, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Desert Dawn

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
10th out of 39 books — 25 voters
Cutting for Stone by Abraham VergheseYohannes Ishi by Nabse BamatoSeason of Migration to the North by Tayeb SalihThe Snows Of Kilimanjaro And Other Stories by Ernest HemingwayThere Is No Me Without You by Melissa Fay Greene
East Africa
38th out of 163 books — 46 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,546)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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.
Pam Geemul
I never came across this book in mainstream bookshops here in Mauritius, so I consider myself lucky that I got it in a charity shop, for less than one pound. On the other hand though, it is very sad that this book, extraordinary in so many ways, was found in a small charity shop in a sorry state, whilst books like 50 shades of grey are being lauded everywhere.
This is the second autobiographical book by Waris Dirie and this one recounts Waris’ journey back to Somalia to meet her mother. I have no
Ankur Rastogi
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
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
Janet Render
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
Joana Gomes
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Janith Pathirage
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 !!
Als zweites Buch von Waris Dirie habe ich Nomadentochter gleich im Anschluss an das erste gelesen. Sehr enttäuscht war ich, da sich doch einige Anekdoten wiederholten, die bereits im ersten Buch beschrieben waren. Zwar ist der Besuch bei Diries Familie nett zu lesen, aber durch die Wiederholungen hat das Buch leider für mich seinen Reiz verloren.
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
✟Sabrina Rutter✟
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
Amanda Morris
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
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
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
nice book...i feel i am so lucky i born at the country men and women are equally.
the culture that stated in the book very cruel to women. i hope any powerful organisation and people can help Somalia ladies to change their life.
Hodan A
The movie ruined the book for me...but it's a nice book. A look into a society that has problems like any other, but it is the civil war that really ruined everything(there was not enough about that in the book- maybe because Ms Dirie already left the country). The book was not brutal enough though, it fell short to show the real image of post-war Somalia which is far more ugly.
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
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
Peta Smith
Amazing book, I'd been advised my an Indian friend of mine to read it as she took note to the types of books I was reading at the time. This was the second book by Waris, her first being Desert Flower. I found her and her books to be uplifting although sad... She is truly a strong person with a beautiful soul. I loved Waris Derie ;)
interessting. but the story is incoherent - it changes from the making of the film Desert Flower to her past to her plans for the is all strings but no ties.
June Crossman
This book is a reminder of how blessed I am to live where I do and to read how Waris overcame her circumstances and now fights for others to do the same.
Melissa Clarke
Amazing story of an amazing woman! I have read this book many times and I still enjoy it as much as when I first read it.
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 84 85 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Aman: The Story of a Somali Girl
  • Born in the Big Rains: A Memoir of Somalia and Survival
  • To the Edge of the Sky: A Story of Love, Betrayal, Suffering, and the Strength of Human Courage
  • The Perfect Gentleman: A Muslim Boy Meets the West
  • Passarola Rising
  • Black Mamba Boy
  • Gifts
  • Sweeney Todd: The Real Story of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  • The Storyteller's Daughter: One Woman's Return to Her Lost Homeland
  • Reunion in Barsaloi
  • Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction
  • AMA
  • Tusen gånger starkare
  • Mayada, Daughter of Iraq: One Woman's Survival Under Saddam Hussein
  • Secrets Of The Red Lantern: Stories And Recipes From The Heart
  • Growing Up Asian in Australia
  • Heart of Fire: One Girl's Extraordinary Journey from Child Soldier to Soul Singer
  • My Forbidden Face: Growing Up Under the Taliban: A Young Woman's Story
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 Children Mijn woestijn / Dochter van de nomaden Waris Dirie Omnibus Brief An Meine Mutter

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »