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81 Reviews
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible story
This was an amazing story of courage in the face of adversity. Reading about the hardships Waris has been through had me in tears but she is an inspiration to all women.
Eveyone should read a book like this, it makes you realise how lucky you are and apreciate what you have got.
Published on 7 Jan 2004 by sarahant

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars read this again
Read this again!!
Good book second time I have read it
Still a good read recommend it to others ,
Published 2 months ago by Peg leg Sue


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible story, 7 Jan 2004
This review is from: Desert Flower (Paperback)
This was an amazing story of courage in the face of adversity. Reading about the hardships Waris has been through had me in tears but she is an inspiration to all women.
Eveyone should read a book like this, it makes you realise how lucky you are and apreciate what you have got.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This Book Has An Important Message, 10 Nov 2002
By 
Imperial Topaz (Marrakesh, Morocco) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Desert Flower (Paperback)
I don't think it matters that this book is not "world-class" literature.
Waris Dirie has a wonderful story, full of hardship, striving, and pain. But due to her continual striving, she has made a success of her life, in spite of the odds.
Her experiences meant something to me. One of the most vivid was the description of her circumcision in the bush.
This is an inspiring book, showing what can be accomplished with fortitude and a positive attitude.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never forgotton once read, 2 April 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Desert Flower (Paperback)
This is one of the most amazing books I have ever read. It was sad, funny, exciting and above all inspirational. This lady is courageous, fiesty and no matter how bad her life got she retained a sense of humour throughout. I couldn't compare this book to any other as her life story is unique. No matter what type of book you are used to reading, this one will never be forgotton once devoured.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stop being ignorant - read this book, 29 Dec 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Desert Flower (Paperback)
I think all women should read this book. Stop worrying about what make-up goes on your face day to day and do something positive by educating yourself on the plight of over 130 million women world-wide who are subjected to FGM.
The story in this book amazed me, upset me but mostly inspired me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Books I've Ever Read!, 9 Nov 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Desert Flower (Paperback)
I loved this book! I was given an option to read any cultural book in my class and my teacher had shown us this and talked about it briefly. When I went to pick a book, this one stuck in my head and I'm glad it did. The things she has endured are incredible. I really liked how powerful she was and how hard she worked to get what she wanted. It's amazing how far she has come and is now fighting to help those young girls that she used to be like. I'm glad someone is fighting against FGM because when I heard about it I was terribly shocked and confused about why people would actually do this. This was one of the best books I've read and I would definitely recommend it to anyone. It truly is a blessing that someone has gone through this and leads such a successful life as hers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I read this book in a day and a half !!!!!!!, 13 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Desert Flower (Paperback)
What a fantastic book .... I can't believe what Waris went through to get where she is today, and grateful to her for being able to talk out about this subject!! Everybody needs to be educated in the plight of these women.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable life of an incredible lady, 14 Jun 2010
By 
James Powell (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Desert Flower (Paperback)
The great strength of this fascinating autobiography is the enormous juxtaposition between Waris Dirie's childhood and her later life. Surely few - if any - other people have undergone such a dramatic change in their culture and lifestyle in such a short space of time. From herding livestock as part of a nomadic community in the remote Somalian wilderness to strutting on the catwalks of Milan, London and New York in just a few short years. The journey from one way of life to the other was certainly not smooth, relied on plenty of luck and trusting to fate and was spurred by the prospect of forced marriage to an elderly man when she was just 13.

The most disturbing part of the story is Waris' circumcision (or, female genital mutilation) and the particularly harsh and painful manner in which she underwent the procedure. It's something that becomes a theme throughout the book as she reflects on it throughout her adult life with sadness and - particularly - bitterness at how it has denied her of her right to happiness in such a profound manner.

I have no interest in the lifestyle of a model per se, but this is a fascinating account of a girl who seized the initiative to change her life in a way beyond the wildest imaginings of most people.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book and think about it, 2 July 2007
This review is from: Desert Flower (Paperback)
I might have seen Waris Dirie in many magazines over the years, advertising make-up or clothes, a stunning supermodel. Flicking through those pages without a second thought, really shows how many times we can be fooled by appearances. There's a story beyond any of us and who would have thought that that lovely, proud African lady had such an incredible, painful one to recount.

This is a difficult book to read, not because of its prose, but for its contents, especially the ones related to the female genital circumcision. What Waris had to endure and her accomplishments in life later on, after her escape from native Somalia, are something quite amazing. She is currently an Ambassador for the UN, focusing on the fight against FGC in Africa and in the Western World.

This is a book that will often make you stare into space, trying to come to terms with the reality that Waris describes. It is not, however, written in hatred or spite. The love for her native country and for her family is there, so strong, despite everything. This book is an eye-opener and an educational one, as well as an autobiography.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning, 19 Oct 2004
By 
Christine Stokoe "christinestokoe" (Saltburn By The Sea) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Desert Flower (Paperback)
I had read, in 1997 in a Sunday magazine, the story of Waris and it stayed with me for a long time, although the magazine article was only an abridged version to say the least. The writing of this young woman is amazing. She is uneducated and although she had help, she comes across as an articulate person. Her story was one that could not be put down and I am looking forward with delight to reading Desert Dawn. She gives hope to people who have not share her plight. I only hope that she can get things changed in the African continent regarding FGM and hopefully save the lives of countless young girls who do not deserve to go through what Waris did for the sake of tribal culture. What happened to Waris was barbaric and I cried many tears at her plight. Thank God she came through it and survived to tell the world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enlightening, 21 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Desert Flower (Paperback)
The subject matter of this book is something everybody needs to know about, and hopefully give their backing to opposition to the horrible treatment of women in certain societies. This lady is very brave and strong to write about her life.
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Desert Flower
Desert Flower by Waris Dirie (Paperback - 18 Jan 2001)
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