Waris Dirie - speakerbookingagency

Waris Dirie Speaker & Booking Information

Somali Model, Author, Actress and Social Activist; Former UN Special Ambassador for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation

Category: Activists, Actors-Actresses, Authors, Models

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About Waris Dirie

Waris Dirie Biography

In 1965, Waris Dirie was born into a nomadic household in the Somali desert near the Ethiopian border. She was forced to endure the cruel operation of female genital mutilation at the early age of five. This heinous habit is still followed today in many locations throughout the world " by both Muslims and Christians." Every day, over 8000 girls become victims of this horrible crime, according to United Nations figures. Waris abandoned her nation at the age of 13 after being forced to marry a man who was old enough to be her grandpa. She came in London after a daring escape and numerous trials, initially working as a housemaid and afterwards at a McDonalds. Terence Donovan, one of Britain's best fashion photographers, noticed her at the age of 18 and felt she would make an ideal model. She swiftly rose to international prominence. She was cast in the blockbuster The Living Daylights, a James Bond epic starring Timothy Dalton as 007. Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, named Waris Dirie as a UN Special Ambassador for the abolition of female genital mutilation in 1996. She has traveled widely for the UN, attending various conferences on the subject, meeting with national leaders, Nobel Prize winners, and international celebrities, rallying support for this critical problem and earning big donations for the UN. Waris Dirie has earned several major medals and accolades for her work and publications, including President Mikhail Gorbachev's Women's World Award. In 2007, French President Nicolas Sarkozy awarded her the Chvalier of la L�gion d'Honneur. The World Demographic Association named her the first woman to receive the Prix de la Gnration, and the Martin Buber Foundation named her the first woman to receive the Martin Buber Gold Medal. Desert Flower, Waris Diries' biography, was published by Harper Collins in 1997. The book rapidly became a worldwide best-seller. It has since been published in 65 licensed versions, reached No. 1 on bestseller lists in numerous countries (for example, in Germany, the book remained in the Top Ten list of best-selling novels published in the magazine Der Spiegel for a total of 120 weeks), and has sold over 11 million copies worldwide. "Desert Dawn," "Desert Children," and "Letter to My Mother" are among her other works. In 2002, she established her own charity, the Waris Dirie Foundation, to assist her efforts as an anti-FGM activist. The Desert Flower Foundation was renamed in 2010 to reflect the foundation's larger aim to combating Female Genital Mutilation via economic projects in Africa. The organization's international headquarters are now in Vienna, Austria, while regional offices are located in Berlin, Basel, Montreux, Amsterdam, Monaco, Barcelona, Djibouti, Sierra Leone, and Poland. English, German, French, and Spanish are the official languages. The foundations team is made up of men and women who are passionate about gender equality and human rights, and they all share Waris Diaries' objective of ending female genital mutilation.

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