Fashion model, UN ambassador and courageous spirit, Waris Dirie is a remarkable woman, born into a traditional family of tribal desert nomads in Somalia. She told her story - enduring, at five years old, the ancient and savage custom of female circumcision; running away at twelve on foot through the desert in order to escape an arranged marriage; being discovered by Terence Donovan as she worked as a cleaner in London; and becoming a top fashion model - in her book, the worldwide bestseller, Desert Flower. Although Waris Dirie fled her homeland, she never forgot the country and culture that moulded her. The world of famine and violence, where women have no voice and no place - the very world that nearly destroyed her also gave her the tools to survive. She traces the roots of her courage, resilience and humour back to her motherland, and most particularly to her mother. Desert Dawn is the story of that return and a testimony to the stubborn fact that you can love something dearly and yet not love all that it represents. Desert Dawn is about coming home.
Waris Dirie is an internationally renowned model. In 1997 she was appointed by the UN as special ambassador for women's rights in Africa, in its efforts to eliminate female genital mutilation. She lives in New York with her son. The film rights to her story have been sold to Elton John's production company, Rocket Pictures.