Waris Dirie

Waris Dirie, 1965-, model, author, social activist
Waris Dirie, 1965-, model, author, social activist

Waris Dirie was born into a nomadic family in 1965 in Galkayo, Somalia. When she was thirteen, she ran away to Mogadishu, traveling across the desert by foot, to escape an arranged marriage to a man in his 60’s.  There, she stayed briefly with an older sister and her family. Waris along with a few relatives later moved to London, where she lived with and worked for an uncle who had been appointed Somali ambassador. When his term in office ended, Waris remained in the city and held a job at McDonald’s. She also began evening classes to learn English.

By chance, she was discovered by a photographer who helped her get her first modelling job, which eventually led to a successful modelling career. In 1997, she spoke for the first time about the female genital mutilation ( FGM) she underwent at the age of five, along with her two sisters. She left her modelling career to focus on her campaign against FGM. In 2002, she founded the Desert Flower Foundation to raise awareness of the dangers of FGM and in 2009, she established the PPR Foundation for Women’s Dignity and Rights.

In 1998, Waris wrote Desert Flower, an autobiography that became an international bestseller, and has since written other successful books. In 2009, a film based on Desert Flower was released.


The Waris Dirie doll is posted on Ebay, available for bidding.


30% proceeds will be donated to the Desert Flower Foundation.

Mighty dolls are all hand-painted OOAK (one-of-a-kind) prototypes and will not be reproduced by Wendy Tsao.

Please visit my ebay site http://www.ebay.ca/usr/wunnieshopper
to follow and bid for these dolls. 30% proceeds will be donated to support the foundations or causes of the inspiring role models.


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