A Somali girl escapes arranged marriage

Waris Dirie and Cathleen Miller. Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad. William Morrow, 2011.


is an amazing biography of a nomadic Somalian girl’s coming-of-age story and her looking to find a different way forward.
A word of warning though, the book discusses the process and practicalities of FGM clearly and accurately,


By age 6, Waris Dirie was herding her family’s sheep and goats, fending off hyenas and wild dogs as the family carved a path through Africa. She was just twice that age when she ran off into the vast furnace of the Somali desert to escape an arranged marriage to a much older man. Traveling for days without food and water, she made her way to Mogadishu and later to London as a servant to her uncle, the Somalian ambassador. There she wrestled with culture shock and got her first taste of the modeling life that eventually brought her into the public eye


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