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Dirie, Waris

Waris Dirie is a former supermodel, internationally known author, human rights activist, and actress. She works to raise awareness and eliminate the practice of female genital mutilation of young girls around the world. Her books have sold over 11 million copies worldwide. She has received critical acclaim for her film, Desert Flower; is the founder of several human rights organizations; and has received numerous appointments and awards.

Born in a nomadic tribe in Gaalkacyo, Somalia, Dirie can only guess her age, as her clan in Somalia keeps track of seasons-not years. At a young age, Dirie was taken by her mother and sister to become a woman, which meant undergoing female genital mutilation. She was infibulated and later stitched together with thorns, recuperating ...

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