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  ·  394 ratings  ·  22 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)
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

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
21st 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
137th out of 163 books — 46 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 737)
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
...more
Helene Koloway
Dec 28, 2007 Helene Koloway rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
...more
Ape
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
chucklesthescot
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
...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
Liralen
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'
...more
Lisi
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
Austenlove
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
...more
Nux
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
...more
Uthpala Dassanayake
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.
Anna
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
...more
Juliet
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.
Sandra
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
Melanie
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.
Ron.K.
Great cause, hopefully will come a day where people are well educated about the horrifying, useless practice of FGM
Connie
story doesnt change much from beginning to end. while it did open my eyes to FGM, not my kind of book.
Kirby
This book makes you want to join Waris Dirie and speak out against FGM. Very interesting!
Carol
Not completed yet - OMG so shocking and sad - poor African women who suffers ........so cruel .....
Caitlyn
Very compelling a very good read!!
Tania Tiberia
amazing. a must read.
lahiru madhumal
lahiru madhumal marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2015
Veronica
Veronica marked it as to-read
Jul 22, 2015
Sabry Nka
Sabry Nka marked it as to-read
Jul 12, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 24 25 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
  • My Religion
  • Hundra procent fett
  • Endings and beginnings
  • Kathryn Kuhlman
  • The Sabi
  • AMA
  • Hatet: En bok om antifeminism
  • Pojkarna
  • The God Squad
  • A Labyrinth of Kingdoms: 10,000 Miles through Islamic Africa
  • Welcome to Hell: One Man's Fight for Life Inside the Bangkok Hilton
  • Belonging
5675
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
More about Waris Dirie...
Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad Desert Dawn Mijn woestijn / Dochter van de nomaden Waris Dirie Omnibus Brief An Meine Mutter

Share This Book