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Desert Children

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  471 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
U.N. Special Ambassador Waris Dirie was born to a family of tribal nomads in Somalia. She told her story—enduring female circumcision, fleeing through the desert, and, improbably, becoming a top model—in her first book, Desert Flower. In Desert Dawn, she wrote about her return to Somalia and her work as a U.N. Special Ambassador against FGM (female genital mutilation). Her ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by Virago UK (first published 2005)
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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
23rd out of 40 books — 28 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
139th out of 164 books — 50 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 906)
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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 really liked it
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
Mar 15, 2015 Ape rated it liked it
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
I was a great admirer of the work that Waris did and I very much enjoyed her first two books which I certainly recommend to readers. When I heard about a third book on FGM I was interested in reading it. Sadly I ended up angry and frustrated by the attitudes of Waris to Western people which bordered on racism. Not impressed at all by her now.

First thing is, I am totally opposed to FGM and I can't imagine the trauma of what these girls go through. I'm not against giving them medical help here in
Carol Harrison
Apr 16, 2014 Carol Harrison rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 06, 2013 Austenlove rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
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
Nov 04, 2008 Nux rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ethnic-cultural
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
Uthpala Dassanayake
Jul 13, 2015 Uthpala Dassanayake rated it liked it
Desert Children is more informative than enjoyable compare to the two previous books. It talks more directly about FGM and gives a detailed picture on how much women have to go through and how ignorant rest of the world including African men on the matter.
Nur Islah
Aug 05, 2015 Nur Islah rated it it was ok
Cerita usaha menentang Mutilasi Genital Perempuan (MGP)...sambil baca ini jadi manggut2 sendiri, oow ada ya khitan kayak begitu.
Saya baca edisi bahasa Indonesia dengan cover yang berbeda.
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
Jan 23, 2016 Marcia rated it really liked it
This BOOK assist me so much as I learn more on FGM
Erin Dethick
Oct 07, 2015 Erin Dethick rated it it was amazing
A sad relalisation that FGM is occurring under our noses!
Mar 14, 2008 Juliet rated it it was ok
Shelves: truestory, 2008
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.
Aug 06, 2010 Sandra rated it liked it
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
Aug 27, 2015 Belinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: waargebeurd
Wat een ellende doen mensen elkaar aan uit naam van Religie. Waris Dirie is Ambassadeur tegen vrouwen besnijdenissen. Ze onderging het zelf. Dit verhaal is minder vloeiend geschreven als brief aan mijn moeder maar het onderwerp is dan ook dermate heftig dat een vloeiende stijl hier niet echt bij past. De moed van deze vrouw verdient wel 10 sterren!.
Dec 08, 2008 Melanie rated it really liked it
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.
May 09, 2014 Ron.K. rated it liked it
Great cause, hopefully will come a day where people are well educated about the horrifying, useless practice of FGM
Aug 04, 2008 Connie rated it did not like it
story doesnt change much from beginning to end. while it did open my eyes to FGM, not my kind of book.
Feb 05, 2015 Eifos rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interessant verhaal. Nederlandse zinsbouw niet altijd even interessant. Slechte vertaling?
Aug 02, 2011 Kirby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!!
Tania Tiberia
Oct 12, 2013 Tania Tiberia rated it it was amazing
amazing. a must read.
Jul 10, 2013 Johan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shocking truth ...
Gosia rated it liked it
Apr 27, 2016
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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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