Archive | 4:31 pm

A Letter from Waris

5 Sep

Dear friends,

It was again an eventful summer and I want to tell you about it:

The British Sunday Times asked for an interview, because a reporter – distressed by my book “Desert Children” – started an undercover investigation in which he revealed that as many as 100.000 women in the UK have undergone FGM with medics offering to carry out the illegal practice. I was shocked by this revelation, but at the same time it was important that the issue was finally discussed in the media.











At the 3rd International Congress about Coloproctology in Berlin, I was invited to speak about the fatal consequences of FGM such as obstetric fistulas in front of 400 physicians. These are holes between the vagina and the rectum, which lead to uncontrolled urination and fecal incontinence. Affected women are expelled from their usual social environment, because of their smell and wet. These physicians can help me with making life worth living for victims of FGM.








Afterwards, my Desert Flower Foundation was represented at the first conference on FGM in the UK, led by young people and FGM victims. Under the title “Integrate Bristol FGM Conference” these strong young women called for stricter measures from politicians to end this brutal practice. The fact that female genital mutilation is not taken as serious as other human rights violations, caused outrage among the participants.








After the released article about FGM in the Sunday Times, the BBC shot a TV documentary on the issue, and invited me as a live guest to talk in the “BBC Newsnight”. Unfortunately, here again it showed how little European politicians care about this terrible violation of human rights and the fate of little black girls in Europe. You can abuse them, mutilate them, and no one wants to know about it, despite the fact that hundreds of thousands girls are affected.








The reactions to this show were huge and Suzanne Malveaux, CNN’s correspondent at the White House, invited me to a live interview about measures against FGM.

In the interview I told the story of Safa, the little Somali girl who plays me in the movie “Desert Flower” and who lives in the slums of Djibouti. I could save her from FGM and many people were deeply touched by her story, willing to guarantee not only her physical integrity but also her education.








Next, I got an invitation to visit Austria with my children. The famous Austrian actress Elfriede Ott collected 10,000 euros for my new school project in Africa as part of the Maria Enzersdorfer Festival and it was a big honor to be on stage with her and her ensemble.










Another highlight of this summer was the first broadcast of the movie “Desert Flower” on the German TV station ARD. 5.3 million people watched the movie, so it was the most popular film on German television this summer. The reactions were incredible: I have never got so many emails and great support in such a short time.













Thank you!

I love you all,

Waris Dirie