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

6 Responses to “A Letter from Waris”

  1. klararg September 6, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    I would just like to tell you that I think you’re doing an AMAZING job! You are a fantastic source of inspiration. Im 18 years old and doing a project work in school of female circumcision, and after having watched the desert flower movie and read about your life I feel even more angry, disgusted and determined to do something about it! Thank you! Also, would it be possible to ask you some questions for our work?

  2. Gabi Weber September 24, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    Hallo Waris Dierie, ich lese gerade Ihr Buch – Schmerzenskinder – es hat mich sehr betroffen gemacht. Ihre anderen Bücher hatte ich bereits bereits gelesen. Auch ich beschäftige mich seit ca 10 Jahren mit FMG und habe schon viele Gespräche mit Afrikanerinnen geführt. Auslöser war eine Reise nach Afrika. Ich lebe in Berlin und würde Sie gern unterstützen. Leider wusste ich nicht, das es gerade in Berlin so viele FMG Betroffe gibt. Ich war immer der Meinung, es passiert nur in Afrika. Was kann ich tun ? Wie kann ich helfen.? Ich wünsche Ihnen weiterhin viel, viel Kraft für Ihre Arbeit, ohne Sie hätten viele Europäer überhaupt keine Ahnung von FMG. Danke dafür.

    Gabi Weber aus Berlin

  3. Maria December 5, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    Well done, Dirie! I have emailed you almost two months ago, because I am a postgraduate student and working on you book Desert Flower, could you give me a small interview per email? I will try to write you soon:)
    We love you too, Maria (Cyprus)

  4. Anita Jahrbacher January 23, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

    I’m just reading your book “Schwarze Frau, weißes Land” an I come from this “strange” small country called Österreich! I think, you are not understanding german yet, so I try to write in english: I already read three of your books and saw the film “Wüstenblume” and I’m touched in my heart so much.

    1. Why must girls and women suffer such a lot all over the world and through all times?
    I read a book called “Weißt du nicht wie schön du bist?” from Stacy Eldredge: In the bible we can read how god created the world and all what is! And at last HE created woman! She is the completion of creation she is perfection, she is beauty! But the devil is fighting against god since then and so he wants to destroy in terrible anger us (women), gods most loved daughters, since the beginning of the time. I think this is THE EXPLANATION!

    2. A few minutes ago I saw the film “Child 31” of the foundation “Mary’s Meals”: with only € 10,– a child can have education and one warm meal every day for ONE YEAR! So families send their children to school. Children have not to bag. And so they are not too tired and week of hunger. At the moment more than 700.000 children have a warm meal every day and can go to school.

  5. dave January 28, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    when the 1st time 1 read your story,i think you are the most lucky woman in the world, and i was surprised that you are a moslem and i really appreciate when you dont want to be photo without your clothes but its change n i also change my opinion about you. you just like another person that only need money to stay alive and money can change you and your personal behavior. you same like other western woman. you know Allah give you with many fortune waris but you reply all Allah give to you by something disgusting like that, but its your life, your choice

    • Kris E January 30, 2014 at 4:26 pm #


      i dont know if you are a woman or a man.. Probably a man..Maybe Allah sent her on earth just to follow this way.. To bring the change.. To make world a better place..
      Do the same.. Starting by changing a little bit your mind!! No offence..:-)

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