Monday, June 16, 2014

Book Review - Desert Flower by Waris Dirie and Cathleen Miller

Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert NomadDesert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad by Waris Dirie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I started this book when I went to bed last night and finished it around 3:30 this morning. I've owned it for a few months having bought it after seeing something about Waris Dirie on the internet. I am glad she told her story and hope that her allowing the world into her private life will benefit those she told the story for, other women all over the world who not only try to succeed in their lives, but also live where FGM is an "accepted" occurrence, a part of their "religious" beliefs. I say it like that because it is so VERY clear that this is only one of many ways MEN have developed to make sure they are not only the true father of their children, but that they get the most out of sexual experiences regardless of how the damage their women or how their women feel. Waris explains the culture so well that one feels not only her pain, but her sympathy and love for her parents who she views as victims as much as she was/is. I love the rawness of her telling of the story. She doesn't make excuses just tells the story from the only point of view she can, hers. Her story might be unique, but not really if one looks the world over. There are strong, dedicated, vibrant women everywhere and they help this world tick, even if they are mutilated and made to feel inferior. Yep. She really touched me with her passion and real-ness. I recommend this to anyone who wants to better understand the world around them, with all its faults and beauty. Waris Dirie, Cathleen Miller

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  1. Sad that's the attitude of men in some cultures.
    You read fast!

  2. Dear Lisa,

    I horrified about the number of cases I've been made aware of about FGM. How any culture can consider this acceptable just outrages anybody of sound moral values. This book sounds like it has a brutal rawness that needs to be publicised. Thank you for this, dear Lisa.

    A peaceful weekend to you and your loved ones.


  3. HI Lisa - there's so much of this around - it's dreadful and thankfully the media are bringing it to our attention ... and this book sounds as though it would be a very informative read - from a very courageous woman. I saw a film, our film society brought to us .. "Wadjda" about a young 9 year old girl in Saudi Arabia and what her life is like there, and how restricted she is .. and how closed in they are .. I did think of FGM then .. not realising it is very probably a culture there too - let alone Africa ...

    thanks for bringing her book to our attention .. Waris Dirie .. deserves to be read .. Hilary

  4. She is an amazing woman. The idea of female "circumcision" is so horrific. It is not circumcision, it is mutilation. It removes not only the foreskin but the entire clitoris and labia as well as creating terribly painful scarring. I can't imagine it taking ten minutes to urinate as Waris describes, and when she opted to get surgery to repair the damage, a man came and told her that she was betraying her people by doing this.
    The thing I can't understand is they claim to do this mutilation for religious reasons, but if one truly believes, then would it not stand to reason that God knew what he was doing when he created women's genitalia as they are?
    Thank you for sharing this book. People need to know the truth, particularly as spoken by those who have lived through it.
    I'm visiting from the A to Z road trip list. One of my team's blogs is Crazy Town in Looney Land.

  5. Hi Lisa. Yes, I agree Waris' book (I think she has more than one now) is both chilling and thrilling in that she exposes such an unspeakable practice. I read another disturbing story recently where in a marriage break up, the father of the child was given unsupervised access to his daughter in Australia. His culture practised female circumcision, so you can guess what he and his family did when they got the daughter to themselves thanks to the social services.

    Thanks for sharing this review.



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