HARGEISA, 10 August 2009 (Somalilandpress) – Waris which actually means Desert Flower, By the way I have Somali colleagues who I work with, to my surprise they couldn’t translate the meaning of her name but thanks to the internet world I finally found out that Waris means a flower that can bloom even in the roughest climate.

Who is Waris?

Let me tell you a little real story I learned about Waris Dirie, she was born in 1965 in the region of Gallcaio, Near the Ethiopian border at a Somali desert. At the tender age of five, she underwent the inhuman procedure of genital mutilation. This horrible tradition is still practiced worldwide today, both by Muslims and Christians. According to estimations of the United Nations, more than 8 000 girls become victims of this cruel crime every day.


At the age of 13 Waris fled from a forced marriage to a man, who could have been her grandfather in age. After an adventurous escape she arrived in London and worked there as a housemaid and at McDonald’s.

Messenger of Peace!

Waris was appointed UNFPA Special Ambassador for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on 18 September 1997. As Special Ambassador, Ms. Dirie has toured African countries speaking out against the practice and lending support to UNFPA and national programmes that seek to eradicate FGM. As a young girl in Somalia she survived the traditional form of FGM that kills hundreds of women every year.

After achieving international success as a fashion model, she decided to tell the public of her ordeal and to dedicate her life to ending the practice and improving the status of women. Ms. Dirie’s work is part of an international advocacy campaign to stimulate awareness of and support for human rights, gender equality and reproductive choice, especially for women in developing countries.

The Movie

A Recently a movie is made which tells the story Waris Drire journey from Somalian Desert to the biggest catwalks of the world. The movie is going to be released on 08.10.2009.

Filming Locations: UK, Germany, Austria 2009
Genre: Drama
Running time: 120 minutes
Distributor: Rialto Film AG
Trailer : Desert Flower 2009


Desert Flower is a shocking story that compassion and disbelief causes. Ethiopian Super Model Liya Kebede, who plays the leading role, Liya is a credible actress for the story of Waries. It is supported by the lively presentation by Marilyn Sally Hawkins.

The Story is actually goes as follows:

At 18 years, the Somalierin Waris Dirie (Liya Kebede) in a London fast-food restaurant by star photographer Terry Donaldson discovered. Within a short time it becomes a sought-after top model in the international fashion world. Despite the luxury and success of the young woman to earth and always remembers to its African roots.

As a child Dirie grew up in the simplest situations in the African desert. At the age of three she was the brutal tradition of female circumcision to the victims, what their life has changed severely. With 13 years before she escapes a forced marriage to Mogadishu, where they are the family of the mother is protected. This gives her a job in the Somali Embassy in London. Some years later it is in danger of deportation to her homeland. Dirie appeared in, lives on the street and accidentally learns the living artist Marilyn (Sally Hawkins) know. With its help she succeed in starting a new life.

In an interview with Marie Claire describes her difficult childhood, and makes the subject
of circumcision to the public.

Well readers , Waris Dirie decides to end her life as a model and dedicate her life to fighting this archaic ritual. What can we do to help her achive her goal? What can we do to Eliminat Female Genital Mutilation? I will leave this to you guys! Leave your comments and discuss about it and support Waris Dirie.

Biniam Negessu


    • With out teaching our peoples to eliminate traditional beliefs but not only FGM we can actually solve the bigger problems – So we need to treat this as one problem of Somalia and the horn of Africa!

  1. A pagan and an outdated tradition that must be be eliminated from this peninsula. I don't understand what is the benefit of it in our society. It is one of the harmful diseases in our social fabric.

  2. harmfull traditional blieves are very hard and will last long time to eradicate amoung the society FGM is on of the anti human activities practiced most of african countries and some Arab countries, somaliland community strongly blieved that this activity is safe guarding the the women from illegal human desires so taking that strong hold traditional bliefes of the society we as somaliland intelectuals,religiouse leaders,government officials,health workers and other far sighted members in the community are expected to come up with new techniques and awarness programs of presuading our community how harmfull will this action have on our bleved girls how are one of the most preciouse asset that we have

    liban yusuf
    somaliland(Hargeisa university)

  3. firts it is better to talk this tissue whom it concerns, secondly this cruel crime is a somalian traditional beliefs and is seems that they will not give up easily bcz most of the society are illeterate since that, the person doesn't know about the health problems that this cruel crime can yearn.
    anyway social mobilization can decrease this FGM.