Desert Flower by Waris Dirie

WarisDirieDesertFlowerI’m taking a brief foray out of urban fantasy to read another autobiography. I’m a big fan of (auto)biographies, especially when they’re written by people who’ve faced a lot of adversity. The woman in question this time is Waris Dirie, a model turned activist from Somalia.

In Desert Flower, she recounts her life story. While she’s not the most compelling writer, her story deserves to be told. Born a Somali nomad, she was circumcised and fled her family when she was a teenager. She made her way on her own, illiterate and poor, eventually getting to the U.K., where her modeling career got underway. She eventually became a supermodel (although not one I would recognize) and then spoke out against female circumcision. She then became a U.N. special ambassador in the fight for human rights. Her story is one of courage and inspiration.

I really enjoyed learning more about this extraordinary woman and the struggles she’s faced. It was interesting to read her words, even if her writing style isn’t the most sophisticated. Her personality definitely shines through and I’m really glad I picked this book because it’s reminded me about how fortunate I am, as are millions of other people, to have basic amenities and education. She’s also inspired me because she came from so little but got so far by relying only on herself, which makes me feel like I should be able to conquer my (admittedly less mountainous) obstacles too.

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