The books

In 1997, Waris Dirie published her autobiographical novel “Desert Flower”, which was to become an international bestseller and continues to be a book that is read all over the world. In 2009, the book was turned into a movie, which has since been released in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, in France, Spain, Greece, most central and eastern European countries, in Japan and South Korea, in Israel, the Benelux states and Scandinavia. In March 2011, the movie will celebrate its premiere in the US.

1997 erschien Waris Diries autobiographischer Roman “Wüstenblume”, der zu einem internationalen Bestseller wurde. 2009 wurde das Buch zur Vorlage des Kinofilms “Wüstenblume”, der mittlerweile in Deutschland, Österreich, der Schweiz, Frankreich, Spanien, Griechenland, Südkorea, Israel, Japan, in vielen Osteuropäischen Ländern und den Benelux Ländern sowie in Skandinavien in die Kinos gekommen ist. Im März 2011 wird der Film auch in den USA in die Kinos kommen.

Since the triumphant release of Desert Flower, Waris Dirie has published three successful books. “Deser Dawn” (2002) tells the story of her return to East Africa after spending years in Europe and the US as a model. For the book “Desert Children”, which was published in 2005, Waris Dirie and her team conducted in debth research in African communities throughout Europe and uncovered how shockingly widespread FGM is being practiced in Europe. “Letter to my mother” (2007) is a very personal book in which Waris Dirie addresses the cultural conflicts between her and her Somali family.

Seit dem Triumphzug von “Wüstenblume” veröffentlichte Waris Dirie vier weitere erfolgreiche Bücher. “Nomadentochter” (2002) erzählt die Geschichte ihrer Rückkehr nach Ostafrika. Für “Schmerzenskinder” (2005) recherchierte Waris Dirie mit einem Team in afrikanischen Communities in ganz Europa und deckte die erschreckend weite Verbreitung von FGM in Europa auf. 2007 erschien das sehr persönliche Buch “Brief an meine Mutter”, in dem Waris Dirie sich mit dem kulturellen Konflikt zwischen sich und ihrer Familie auseinander setzt.

Das neue Buch von Waris Dirie “Schwarze Frau, weißes Land” (Droemer Knaur) ist seit dem 05. Mai 2010 erhältlich.

“Ich bin immer eine eine Nomadin geblieben”

Schwarze Fraue, weißes Land erzählt von Waris Diries Leben in ihrer neuen, weißen Heimat – und von ihrer Sehnsucht nach Afrika und dem tiefen Wunsch, ihrem Heimatkontinent zu helfen, sich von Armut, überkommenen Traditionen und Abhängigkeit zu befreien.”

“Ihr Mut ist ihr Verdienst, dafür wurde Waris Dirie zum Vorbild, zum Symbol, zum Standbild für die Ewigkeit.” ZEITmagazin

Kaufen Sie hier eine signierte Ausgabe des Buches “Schwarze Frau, weißes Land” zu Gunsten der Waris Dirie Foundation.

Waris Dirie’s new book “Black woman, white country” was released in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on May 5th 2010 by Droemer Knaur. So far, the book is available only in German, but will be released internationally in the course of this year.

You can buy a signed copy of the book at the Waris Dirie Foundation website. All proceeds go directly to the foundation.

41 Responses to “The books”

  1. Judy Breinbauer August 10, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    Hi there,
    I was wondering where and when I could buy an English version of the new book “Black Woman, White Country”. I seem to not be able to find it anywhere!
    Kind regards

    • warisdirie August 18, 2010 at 9:47 am #

      Dear Judy,

      the book is not yet available in English (although you can find translations of longer excerpts from the book on this blog!).

      Of course, my readers here will be the first to know when the English version is released!

      LOVE, Waris

      • Marina June 1, 2011 at 11:02 am #

        Dear Waris,
        Where can I find your books “Black woman, white country” and “Letter to my mother” in English? Are they already released in English?
        Thank you very much!

        Kind regards,

      • Jamilah March 26, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

        Please let me know when a Letter to my Mother is printed in English. I would love to have a copy and to share with my book club. God bless you in your endeavors! Love, Jamilah

      • warisdirie April 13, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

        Dear Jamilah,

        Very sorry about the late reply. Unfortunately, the book Letter to my Mother, has not been published in english yet.
        Thank you very much for your support and your will to share the book with others!

  2. Xieba October 1, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

    I want to thank you for the humanitarian work you are doing to end FGM. I have a sister
    Who is blessed with four beautiful girls. We grew up having respect for parents above all else. Anyhow, her first born daughter, my niece, was at the age of 10 when I got a phone call from my sister asking whether she should follow our “so-called” tradition and have the girl circumcised. I was furious, angry and gave my advice not to follow any tradition rather do what feels right, and not to panish an innocent girl depriving her from future happiness with regretful scars. Thank god, she listened and none of girls, my four nieces will undergo FGM. Thanks to you Ms. Dirie.

    I want to thank you so much for the education, the awareness and the peace you bring while politically fighting FGM.

    May Allah, bless you all the way. Amiin.

  3. Angela November 19, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    I must waiting when the book will be an Polish version and i’m very impatient !!! Yours books are the best and I’m so happy that You write the next book !

  4. Jelena November 30, 2010 at 8:26 am #

    Dear Waris,
    I can not wait for books to be available in Serbian.Best regards to one of the bravest woman in the world.

  5. Emilyn January 19, 2011 at 5:55 am #

    Dear Waris,
    I have just finished reading Desert Flower & Desert Dawn and i fell in love with what you are doing. I know how it feels (probably not to the same degree as yourself), to be invisible in my culture becaues i’m a woman. It’s very hard to change the way people think when they’ve been preached something and practised being that way all their lives and they know no other way. What you’re doing is awesome and inspiring! i cried when i read about FGM in the books, i knew that it existed a while ago but i had no prior knowledge of what it actually is and that it still happens! its heart breaking. the movie was only just released in NZ last week and was only playing in my city for a week so i totally missed it!! its typical there was hardly any advertising for it and i’m so disappointed because we have quite a big Somalian community here. I’m wanting to know if it will be coming out on DVD anytime soon as i’m eager to watch it. Maybe if you sold it online on your website and proceeds could go to your foundation? thank you for writing your story! i look forward to reading your other books.


  6. Paulina February 15, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    I read the book “Flower od desert” and after that I saw the film based on it. I was in shoch when I learned more abuot this cruelty. I also knew something before but now I’m completely thrilled. I wish you all the best and a lot of success in your action! Love from Gdańsk that I knew you like very much:)

  7. Sasha-Aliya Khan March 9, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    Asalaam Walaikum
    Your story has bought me to tears, by the time I reached the last chapter of your book I has so many tears welled up inside of me, but I was scared to start bawling on the subway.
    I have been deeply hurt and offended by the act of FGM since I was in high school and had done a research paper on the topic. It was then learned about the different types of mutilation, the cultural practices that are behind it and the lack of knowledge that everyone that I knew had about it. I was proud to present my paper and inform the girls in my class room but it was also then when I really made the decision that I wanted to make a difference and help stop this hideous crime.
    Now I am in my first year of university and my goal is to graduate and hopefully get a job in an organization to fight for women’s rights. I cannot express my devotion and dedication to this and inshAllah I will be able to fulfill my goals.
    Waris Dirie, you are a remarkable person and I thoroughly enjoyed reading your book, Desert Flower. I hope to read your other pieces in the near future. You are strong and independent, and you can put up a great fight especially for what you believe in. I am so so so inspired by you, your life story and your work; you will be a constant motivation for me in my career and my life goals. You make me proud to be a woman on nothing other than that.

    Sasha-Aliya Khan

  8. Natalia Rivero September 22, 2011 at 12:13 am #

    Dear Waris,

    I saw the movie about your life and I was wondering where can I get spanish versions of your books in Argentina.
    I’m really interested on your books in my native language, because you are a revelation for all women of every cultures.
    I’m trying to get these versions also in US, but I can’t find neither.

    Could you help me with this?

    Regards and thanks,

    Natalia Rivero

  9. Zohara parveen September 26, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

    Assalamu Alaikum Mrs Waris!how are you?I’m Zohra from india.I’m desperately searching for your books& i cannot miss reading the books of one of my most loved friends-thats u!may i know how to purchase it online.May Allah bless u&your family abundantly i pray.Salaams to mum.I would love to give u a call&speak to u loads!With fond

  10. Magda February 23, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    Dear Waris, I loved your books (especially the Desert Flower one) and I have a question I didn’t find the answer for in them – what was the name of the Old Man? You never gave it. May you also write the names of all your siblings? Btw, what’s the average age of marriage in Somalia in nomadic tribes? was your age normal for marriage or was it very early even by the standards of the tribes?

    • warisdirie February 29, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

      Dear Magda,

      Could you please write us to our Foundation at and we will be happy to answer all the questions
      you have.



  11. najma March 13, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

    i need the book
    my mum read it for me when i was young i can remember it.
    plz were can i find the book
    (desert flower)
    i’m realy glad that i’m from some country with storng person like u

  12. Sandra April 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    Dear Waris,

    I read your books “Desert flower” and i’m so admiring you.
    I gave this book for my mother and sister, she is fourteen. I explained that is the genital mutilation.
    I told about you and your books for my friends, other people, because lithuania people didn’t known about this problem. They surprise. I believe that your books and film changed the Somali girls live.

    PS. Forgive me for my english language.
    With love
    Sandra, Lithuania

  13. Anisa April 30, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

    Dear waris

    Im a student living in london completing my second year of university and i would like to ask if you take interns in your organisation?, as i would really like to gain some experience in this field of work.I myself went through the same experinces you have gone through, and i would like to dedicate my career in this sort of work and fight Early marriges, FGM,poverty. May i also add i read your book and it brought me to tears,your bravery and determination is insipirational.

    It has also insipired me to write my own book, to help women all over the world that even through any pain and suffering you still can overcome and build a better future for yourself.wish All the best in your endeavours.
    Kind Regards Anisa

    • warisdirie May 30, 2012 at 10:05 am #

      Dear Anisa,

      I am very sorry about my late reply and let me say how sorry I am that you had to go through
      the same torture. At the moment we do not have any intern in our foundation, but please
      send us an email to and we can keep you in our database for any future
      opportunities. Thank you so much for your support my darling!



  14. Osama Abudalbouh July 12, 2012 at 3:21 am #

    I just wana say GOD bless u waris for what u had done in your life,,,,,the desert flower was one of the most nice stories i ever read in my life,,,,,best wishes and good luck inshallah Osama Abudalbouh,,,,,USA_OHIO

  15. mamoun omer July 16, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    hello dear waris, i came with your book desert flower when i crossed with when you had interview with austrial magazine weekly women and you told about your story and your bookG.M ( CUTTING THE ROSE) AND MOST PEOPLE STAY IN VILLAGEs, love to read your new books in english and like to translate the desret flower to my language arabic for the favour for peole in my countries hope you reply me and tell me your idea about that< will try to read all your books and see movies< still keeping desert flower with me, hope to hear from you soon
    mamoun omer

  16. mamoun omer July 16, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    iam mamoun , sent you above but not well posted < i told you i read your story in weekly women an austrial magazine long before and searched for desert flower till i found it and eagerly read it and love to translate it in my language arabic as iam from sudan and staying in a vilage and most people staying in villages in my country and still ptactising f.g.m . – cutting the rose, hope you agree to translate it and wish i can see the movie and read all your books, please reply to me about that and how to reach you
    mamoun omer

    • mamoun omer September 25, 2012 at 10:39 am #

      why not replying to me madam , hope you are not in temper

      • warisdirie April 5, 2013 at 10:44 am #

        Dear Mamoun,

        Thank you for the lovely words.
        What exactly can we do for you?
        God bless you,



  17. Shirley September 18, 2012 at 11:09 pm #

    Liebe Waris,

    ich lese gerade Dein Buch “Schwarze Frau, weißes Land”. Es tut einfach total gut, Deine Gedanken zu lesen und Deine Gefühle nachzuempfinden. Du bist für mich wirklich eine Vorbildfunktion, denn Dein Engagement, Deine Stärke und Dein Wille etwas zu ändern in dieser paradoxen Welt ist wirklich bewundernswert! Durch Dein Buch habe ich viele Dinge erfahren, deren Lösungsansatz bzw. die ersten Schritte zur Veränderung sehr interessant sind. Ich bin noch relativ jung und muss mich zunächst in das “System” einfinden.. oder versuchen es zu verstehen, warum Dinge so sind, wie sie sind oder warum sie so entstanden sind. Aber vorallem weckt Dein Buch in mir den Impuls mich aktiv für die Wahrheit und die Gerechtigkeit einzusetzen. Bücher wie Deine bringen mich ein ganzes Stück näher, an meinen Wertvorstellungen festzuhalten und niemals aufzugeben – sei der Weg auch noch so schwer und mühsam. Ich danke Dir sehr dafür!

    Liebe Grüße,

  18. Julie November 12, 2012 at 6:06 am #

    I watched Desert Flower for the first time last night. I’ve spent today researching more facts about FGM and staring at my very privileged year old daughter, reminded of the horrific act depicted in the movie.

    I feel compelled to do something. I’ve discovered some foundations online that are making strides to educate those who practice FGM with the ultimate hope of eliminating it. Most of the websites I’ve seen are based in Europe/the U.K. I was hoping to get info on how I can help here in the U.S. By help I mean donations/fundraisers/raising awareness and even providing medical care (I am a PA-C).

    Thank you for sharing your difficult story and inspiring the world to get involved.


  19. 2011 nfl draft cbs rankings January 23, 2013 at 3:03 am #

    I’m still learning from you, as I’m improving myself.

    I definitely love reading everything

    that is written on your website.Keep the posts coming. I

    enjoyed it!

  20. Sophie March 4, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    Dear Waris!
    I hope you can understand it, because i can not speak english very well…
    I am 13 years old and have readed 4 of your books.
    After every book I read I thougt”,What is with your mother? Can she understand you now? Was she in Vienna for a second time?”
    Are you going to write a new book?

    I hope really theese questions are not to personaly!
    You should know, I live in Austria and I am really proud, that a strong person like you lives here to.
    Love Sophie:)

  21. Stephanie Malli March 18, 2013 at 11:25 pm #

    Liebe Waris,
    mit leib und seele habe ich deine Bücher gelesen.
    Sie sind eine sehr starke, selbstbewusste und stolze Frau.
    Ich bewundere Sie sehr.
    Immer wenn in der Schule Referate gehalten werden, halte ich sie über das sehr umstrittene Thema. Leider kann ich nicht richitg Englisch schreiben, doch ich hoffe sehr das es Ihnen jemand übersetzen kann.
    Thank you very much.

    in love

  22. Tiffany April 20, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    Liebe Waris
    Vor etwa 4.Jahren Ehrzählte mir meine Nachbarin von dem Buch dort verstand ich noch nicht richtig um was es im Buch geht. Jetzt haben wir in der Schule über Frauen rechte und Verstümmelung…. gesprochen unser Lehrer teilte uns mit das wir den Film in der schule schauen werden da erinnerte ich mich wieder und freute mich den Film zu schauen in dem Zeitpunkt hatte ich nicht so grosse Erwartungen und wusste nicht genau was auf mich zu kam. Doch jetzt da wir ihn heute zu ende geschaut hatten hat er alle meine erwartungen übertroffen du bist für mich ein RIESEN Vorbild und du faszinierst mich soo. Einer meiner grössten Wünsche ist es auch mal später um die Welt zu reisen und Kindern helfen etc..Ich finde es stark wie du dich dafür einsetzt mit der verstümmelung…
    Mach so weiter du bist hammer
    Liebe Grüsse Tiffany:)

  23. Takudzwa Tukkleberry August 29, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    Dear Warris am In Africa and i really want to read your book Desert Flower and see the film but where can i get them coz i cannot find them?

  24. Madavi Gunaratne November 27, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    Hi! I’m from Sri Lanka and my friend recommended your book. I could not find it but I will. I watched the movie instead. It is really touching.

  25. Maëva January 7, 2014 at 8:52 am #

    Hello waris, i am a young french woman (sorry for my english ). I would like to speak with you because i have to make a project with friends for school. We have to choose a subject about health and social field. i known the excision during a test at school.I choosen the excision because i saw the movie désert flower and i was so moved by your story so i think that excision is not know enough and i would like informations by you for make my project and show to every french students what excision is. Please, give me an answer by e-mail..


    • warisdirie June 2, 2014 at 11:59 am #

      Chère Maeva,

      Merci pour votre intérêt. Desormais vous pouvez nous contacter aussi en francais à notre adresse mail. Dans notre site internet en francais vous trouverez des informations pour nous contacter. Malheureusement, notre blog n’est pas le bon mmoyen pour traiter des questions relatives aux informations comptementaires ou des projets, pour cela il faut toujours s’adresser à nous par téléphone ou par e-mail.

      L’équipe de Desert Flower Foundation

  26. Agnieszka Swirniak July 3, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

    Dear Waris,
    I have just found out your book exists in Polish (I’m Polish) language! I’m going to buy it nearly when I’m back home. Actually, I live in Paris with my husband and daughter, I’m translator and journalist and I really regret there is almost nothing written in Polish (neither in French!) about your foundation! Maybe we can change it?



    • warisdirie July 7, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

      Dear Agnieszka,

      Thank you very much for your interest in the Desert Flower Foundation and our work. That would be great if you coud write an article in polish or in french about us, we would be very happy and willing to help you. You can contact us per e-mail at Again, thank you very much!

      Your Desert Flower Foundation Team


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