Released recently on DVD, the film Desert Flower, based on a true story about Waris Dirie, a woman born in Somalia, who goes on to become a top model after being discovered by photographer, Terry Donaldson. Waris, at a very young age, was a victim of the practice of genital mutilation, or female circumcision. It is a cruel procedure done by some groups, for a spectrum of reasons, ranging from cultural and religious to medical. In the film, as in her book and real life journey, Waris Dirie, played by model and philanthropist Liya Kebede, eventually uses her fame in order to shed light on the practice, in hopes of ending its existence.
The trailer for the film:
(Source: National Geographic YouTube Channel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCpXLQTQepo)
To learn more about genital mutilation and what you can do to help the victims, spread awareness, make a donation and learn about the new medical advances, you can go to the Desert Flower Foundation website:
In the late 90s, Waris shifted her focus from modeling to the efforts to eradicate genital mutilation. She became appointed by the United Nations as UN Special Ambassador for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation. It’s important to note here that genital mutilation, female circumcision, is a practice not only occurring in African countries, but the world over.