Reviewing The Somalia Book Desert Flower English Literature Essay

Last twelvemonth, I watched the altered film of the book, “ Desert Flower ” in the film. That film has fascinated, motivated and similarly evoke involvement in me. In my sentiment it is unbelievable how people can populate under those bad conditions in Africa. For that ground, I wanted to read the book. In the undermentioned essay I will concentrate on the antediluvian imposts and the civilization of the nomads. There are several inquiries to believe about when discoursing about the function of adult females in Somalia. In peculiar, I will happen out about the importance, significance and intent of the female venereal mutilation. After composing my thesis I would wish to research in what manner the adult females in Somalia are treated and if they are put under force per unit area by their work forces and whether there is equalitarianism in their society. In add-on, during those researches, I want to develop my ain point of position.


Desert Flower is the true Story based on the life of Waris Dirie. All actions, mentioned in the text are factual. The writer of the book, “ Desert Flower ” , Waris Dirie, is a really industrious miss. She is one of the kids born into a traditional household of tribal desert nomads of Somalia in East Africa. With her household, she has experienced a really closed and formative civilization, whose wonts and rites, in the truest sense of the word, left cicatrixs behind. She has a really good relationship with her household. However, Waris Dirie is adversely affected by the pattern of the painful female Circumcision. Subsequently, she is traveling to describe about the venereal mutilation due to her household tradition and to pull attending to what happens with the misss in her place land.

Efficient Examination with my subject

1. Characteristic Lifes of Nomads in Somalia

To get down with, in the extraordinary journey of a desert nomad Dirie speaks from her ain day-to-day experiences in a traditional life nomad household during her epitaxial growing. Therefore, the reader gets to cognize about the parents, learning their kids all the accomplishments they need to last. They neither learn how to read nor to compose because the household can non afford to pay for their kids instruction. Her female parent Teachs Dirie to care about her younger siblings and how to supply her household with adequate nutrient, whereas her male parent teaches her how to take attention of their animate beings. Normally nomads are uneducated. They merely live really simple and know about things that have been passed on throughout coevalss. At times, there is non adequate nutrient for the whole household. The precedence is to feed the smallest kids, so the older 1s. Waris Dirie can non retrieve of all time seeing her female parent eat. Her female parent ever has waived her rights. Somalia remains a really profoundly troubled state because everyone lives the manner their ascendants had for 1000s of old ages. Like most of Somalis, Diries ‘ household lives the life style of herder. That means Somali nomad ‘s ne’er stay at a topographic point longer than four hebdomads. They ever look for another topographic point where new H2O resources are available and travel at that place. That is why they do non hold a certain habitation. ( p. 40- 41 )

The male parent of every household is the caput and defender. He makes all the determinations which concern the whole household. At many times, Waris Dirie has to experience the barbarous round of her male parent because he wants to remind her of taking her work earnestly. Bing nomads, the household of Dirie does non hold any material prosperity like cars, electricity or telephones. They do non hold any unreal clip buildings like redstem storksbills and calendars. That is why Dirie do non truly cognize how old she is, she can merely think. Dirie ( 1998 ) argues that “ In Africa there was no haste, no emphasis. African clip is really, really slow, really unagitated ” . ( p. 42 ) I believe that nomads have a much different position of life. Generally talking, their modus operandi of the twenty-four hours is uncomparable. They decide every forenoon anew what they have to make and therefore they are populating by the seasons and the Sun. In peculiar, Waris negotiations about kids in Somalia who are non allowed to go to to her parents personal businesss. She merely has to obey all the clip, sing her parents with great regard, following their wants. In add-on, it is usual for the adult male holding multiple married womans. The adult male wants to hold a batch of kids but after a piece, the adult females are either physically non able to transport out kids any longer or are mentally against another birth due to trouble during gestations or for other emotional grounds. As a consequence, the adult male leaves and looks for another married woman that is willing to transport out kids. ( p. 41- 43 )

Harmonizing to Dirie ( 1998 ) , “ The nomad ‘s life is a rough one, but it is besides full of beauty- a life so affiliated to nature that the two are inseparable ” ( page 58 ) . A better manner for nomads to set this is that H2O is a really of import but an infrequently and scarce resource in life because they do non hold any water- lights-outs. They have a deep regard for H2O and they love it. Dirie ( 1998 ) describes the beginning of H2O as “ such an uninhibited feeling of freedom and joy ” . ( p.322 ) Peoples have to pray for rain and if there are non any raindrops, they have to travel on a long hunt for it. “ Simply looking at it gives me great joy ” . ( Dirie, 1998, p. 60 ) This citation shows that people in Somalia appreciate the simple things they have in their lives. Furthermore Dirie tells about their jubilations where they thank God for holding such a cherished and beautiful life where all are praying, singing, dancing and eating together. ( p. 43, 47- 61 )

1.2 The babyhood of Waris Dirie: Turning up with animate beings

For Waris Dirie, her household, nature and the animate beings ( compare App. p. 12, figure 2 ) are the chief elements of life. “ We grew up with animate beings, prospered when they prospered, suffered when they suffered, died when they died ” ( Dirie, 1998, p. 17 ) . Animals are really critical and helpful for nomads and they likely have the first precedence, because they keep the tribes alive. ( p. 16- 17 )

Peoples in Somalia have big herds of cowss, sheep, caprine animals and camels. When Dirie was a immature miss, she had been responsible for these herds of her household. Every forenoon she had to acquire up really early to travel the herds to a fresh country. While the animate beings were croping, she had to watch for other marauders, like hyaenas. A loss of the herd meant for Somali nomad ‘s the worse. A really of import animate being for the Somali nomads is the camel. No animate being is such as suited und valuable for life in the wilderness like camels. In add-on, the camels have a particular significance for the civilization of the Somalia-nomads who ever write verse forms and vocals about their camels. Even the kids know about the value of the protection of the camels. “ From the clip I was a babe, I knew of the great importance of these animate beings, because they ‘re perfectly gold in our society ” . ( Dirie, 1998, p. 18 ) A camel is ne’er killed to be eaten. The qualities of a camel are excessively valuable, so that the decease of these animate beings would demo merely one large loss. The camels are unalienable constituents and indispensable for the life of the Somali nomad ‘s in the desert. They make their lives well easier and have a cultural significance for them. ( p. 18- 25 )

Anyhow, she has non experienced a typical childhood. At the age of four, she is raped by a friend of her male parent. She merely feels something difficult pressure into her vagina and she even does non understand what has happened to her in that minute. Subsequently, when she runs off from place she is about raped a 2nd clip. She asks a teamster if he is able to pick her up. But so, he takes his bloomerss down and Dirie ( 1998 ) states that “ His vertical phallus bobbed at me as he grabbed my legs and tried to coerce them apart ” , ( p. 13 ) . “ Unlike me, he was experienced, no uncertainty ravishing many adult females ; I was merely about to go the following 1. ” ( Dirie, 1998, p. 13 ) With all her strength, she jumps off the truck and so, runs off. ( p. 11- 14 )

2. Nomad ‘s rites: female Circumcision in Somalia

It belongs to the civilization of Somalis that every miss must see the female venereal mutilation ( FGM ) at the pubescent age which achieve the position of a Somali adult female and hence being able to get married. The curtailment of her sisters and subsequently besides her ain, were carried out by a itinerant. In the society of the Somali nomads, she takes a high value and a high place, because she belongs to one of the least 1s which know how to make the pattern. Furthermore, she gets a immense wage of the household because of the curtailment. ( p. 64- 65 )

When Waris goes through this pattern at the age of five, it has changed her life because she trespasses the lodger of her childhood into her muliebrity. Her younger sister and two cousins died fom this process. She describes this ancient ritual as really painful, but she is really covetous of her oldest sister because after the Circumcision she becomes a adult females. “ When I hears the old itinerant was coming to circumcise Aman, I wanted to be circumcised, excessively. ( Dirie, 1998, p. 64 ) Because of this large desire for the Circumcision, she screames: “ Mama, do both of us at the same clip. Come on, Mama, do both of us tomorrow! ” . ( Dirie, 1998, p. 64 ) Besides, it concerns taking the female genitalias. “ The following thing I felt was my flesh, my genitalias, being cut away ” . ( Dirie, 1998, p. 70 ) . During the executing, Waris losts besides her consciousness. After taking the female genitalias the misss have merely one little gap left, in the size of a lucifer caput, for urinating and the monthly period. Waris suffered during her period ever from strong strivings, because the blood can non flux of course through the bantam hole. “ The prevailing wisdom in Somalia is that there are bad things between a miss ‘s legs, parts of our organic structures that we ‘re born with, yet are dirty ” . ( Dirie, 1998, p. 63 ) . Besides she had jobs while urinating what largely lasted several proceedingss. Furthermore, this is a mark for the hereafter adult male that she is still “ strictly ” , so a virgin. ( p. 62- 72 )

After the executing of the venereal mutilation, it is the traditional usage of the Somalis to construct a hut for the misss until her physical cicatrixs left accured. This hut which is built out of staffs and subdivisions is placed far off from the bole. Because of this expended distance the folks could non hear the shouting of the hurting. For the same ground, the curtailment is curried out in the early forenoon if still the other members of the household slumber. Because of the painful process, misss are lying helpless and unable to run. After the curtailment, simply nutrient is brought to her in the housing. Furthermore there is ever danger of deceasing after the pattern due to infections. If the adult female has entered so into matrimony, her hubby either has the possibility to utilize a crisp object or merely press his genitalias into the adult females until it “ explosions ” once more. As tools for the operation of this venereal mutilation largely arbitrary, filthy- crisp objects are used because the possibilities of suited equipment are impossible in such parts and besides no medical establishments exist. The black consequences with themselves which end in many instances with the decease conveying the usage such of immoderate utensils. The Somalis expression at this tradition as an unalienable one, because misss with unharmed genitalias are considered as inexpedient about the matrimony, dirtily, repellant and slovenly. ( p. 73- 78 )

There are besides a batch of unforgettable effects which are closely connected with acute hurting. “ In the conditions under which female Circumcision is by and large performed in Africa, even the less extended types of venereal film editing can take to potentially fatal complications, such as bleeding, infection and daze aˆ¦ ” . ( compare App. p. 11, figure 1 ) ( Althaus, 1997 )

2.3 Becoming a women-the Marriage contract

If a miss is cut, she is ready to be married. She must stay a virgin up to her nuptials which her male parent ever predicts her: “ You ‘re supposed to be a virgin when you marry. Girls know they will get married as a virgin, and will get married merely one adult male, and that ‘s it. That ‘s your life ” . ( Dirie, 1998, p. 81 ) She would get married even one time in her life and pass her whole life with her hubby. However, work forces have the right to hold several adult females at the same clip. The pick of the future hubby is ever made by the male parent and frequently against the will of the girl. Besides, the pick largely falls on that adult male which offers most camels. However, the nuptials is one of the least and most of import vacations in the life of the Somali nomads which is celebrated besides consequently traditional like Dirie ( 1998 ) studies in her journey that aˆzWhen a miss marries, the adult females from her folk travel out into the desert and roll up these flowers. They dry them, so add H2O to them and do a paste to distribute on the bride ‘s face that gives her a aureate freshness ” . ( p. 58 ) Dirie ( 1998 ) besides reports that “ In my civilization, a adult female earns a badge of regard when she becomes a female parent ” . ( p. 347 ) For a miss or a adult female the nuptials means the beginning of a new life, irrespective and independent of her household and the foundation of an ain household. ( p. 81- 89 )

A few old ages after her curtailment, at the age of about 12 old ages, Waris should be besides married. It is difficult for her male parent to establish a adult male who advertises around them or offers an equal monetary value of the manus of his girl. He is 60 old ages old but her male parent arranges his girl a matrimony. He offers five camels for Dirie. This is a high monetary value for the matrimony with this small miss. She denies and do non desire to get married him. Dirie ( 1998 ) defends the statement that “ As a miss in Somalia, I ne’er thought approximately matrimony or sex. In my family- in our culture- cipher of all time talked about any of that. It ne’er, of all time, came to mind ” . ( p. 80 ) However, she defends herself non to get married this old adult male and to pass the remainder of her life with this adult male. Dirie has ever her ain will and expostulations. This behavior form is non typically for a properly traditional educated Somali nomad. Somali work forces estimate adult females who obey and do non belie. She has merely two possibilities, either she would obey and get married the old adult male or to run off. She decides to go forth her household, like her sister Aman did earlier and so she flees in the capital of Somalia, Mogadishu. ( p. 90- 95 )

3. Flashback to her childhood and purposes for the hereafter

In malice of knocking the pattern of the female venereal mutilation, Waris Dirie studies really positvie about her civilization and she is still wholly proud to be a nomad, born in Africa. From Dirie ‘s point of position, her mothercountry likely is non comparable to other states because the households have a strong solidarity like nowhere else. “ From the beginning, I had the inherent aptitude for endurance ; I learned joy and hurting at the same clip. I learned that felicity is non what you have, because I ne’er had anything, and I was so happy. ( Dirie, W. 1998, p.363 ) The turning up has changed the personality of Dirie ( 1998 ) , because she reports that “ Today, I cherish the value of the simple things ” . ( p. 364 ) On history of the atrocious Circumcision, Dirie is really angry, feels sad and frequently much hurting. She can non conceive of that anybody would accept the pattern and merely because at the idea of the mutilation to other misss who all have to accept their destinies. ( p. 239- 242 )

As Dirie ( 1998 ) has grown older, she realizes that “ Well, these are my legs, and they ‘re a consequence of who I am and where I ‘m from ( p. 286 ) . That means she is really proud of her legs and her traditional yesteryear because they are the symbol for her beginning and her household background. And everyplace she goes in the universe, Dirie can retrieve the yearss with her household and her civilization. At the terminal of the journey, Waris Dirie ( 1998 ) comes to the decision that “ the most of import precedences in the universe are nature, personal goodness, household, and friendly relationship. ( p.294 ) Dirie wants to make something for all the adult females, which have to be circumcised. Apparently, there are 1000000s of misss who besides plague wellness job because of the violent pattern. Dirie ( 1998 ) is of the sentiment that “ Because of a ritual ignorance, most of the adult females on the continent of Africa live their lives in hurting ” . ( p.349 )

On history of have been born female, Dirie is really disquieted and saw herself responsible to talk up about the female Circumcision and to assist the adult females in Africa. For all the adult females in her state who are silence, Dirie arranges the “ Waris Dirie Foundation ” which organizes a batch of world-wide undertakings and they are about to contend against the FGM. ( Dirie, W. 2001 ) “ I have started the Desert Dawn Foundation to raise money for schools and clinics in Somali ” . They want to protect the adult females in Somalia and to halt the nescient selfish work forces who demand their married womans be circumcised. “ And the bequest of hurting, agony, and decease that consequences from it is more than adequate ground for it to halt ” . ( Dirie, W. 1998, p. 360 ) That is the ground why Waris Dirie battles for the keeping order of the female venereal mutilation. ( p. 362- 369 )

4. Decision

Waris Dirie who shows an astonishing strength, experienced an inconceivably heavy life with hard fortunes, imposts, traditions and civilizations depending on animate beings, the nature and the flora in the desert of Somalia. She suffered from dry conditionss, dearths, unwellnesss and at the age of about five old ages the curtailment. These are all state of affairss which are foreign for the most of our society. Merely because of her traditional civilization she got a really strong and self- confident ability. That is why she got her life under control. Dirie persuades me with demoing her womb-to-tomb strong will power.

The development and the treatment with the life of the nomads in the desert of Somalia, has shown me other sides of life by exemplifying to me another civilization. During farther researches, I found out that even after the clip of the elucidation, there are folks that still pattern this FGM.

I recommend her hardworking battle against the venereal curtailment ( compare App. p. 13, figure 4 ) . In my sentiment, Waris Dirie has succeeded presenting her message with aid of the book aˆzDesert of Flower ” . She had drawn the attending and the involvement of many people towards her fatherland, their civilizations, traditions and particularly on the female venereal mutilation or the compulsive matrimony. She has besides visualized under which fortunes the Somali nomads must populate and how they master this life in a really alone manner. I can decidedly hold with Mire ( 2002 ) that “ Women in Somalia are difficult workers, and maintain themselves engaged in a assortment of functions from forenoon to dark. The adult female ‘s function is really of import and when non fulfilled, the whole household suffers ” . While composing my essay, I realized that adult females in Somalia are really much oppressed by their work forces in the mundane life. I am convinced that adult females in Somalia have no rights and they are non allowed in any determination devising. They have to make everything their adult male tells them. I want to stress that they have neither influence on their agonising Circumcision nor on their matrimony. Let me stop by stating that the function of adult females in Somalia is non comparable with the relation between adult females and work forces in our society.



Dirie, W. ( 1998 ) . Desert Flower, New York, NY

Web- beginnings

Althaus, F. ( 1997 ) Female January 1: Rite of Passage or Violation of Rights. Guttmacher Institute. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //

( 21/02/2010 )

Dirie, W. ( 2001 ) What is the Waris Dirie Foundation? Waris Dirie Foundation. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //

( 02/03/2010 )

Gibson, H. ( 2002 ) Somalia ‘s Desert Flower. Time in partnership with CNN. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //,9171,901020715-300618,00.html

( 03/03/2010 )

Mire, A. ( 2002 ) A Expression at Women in Somalia. Taking it planetary. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: // ContentID=865

( 03/03/2010 )

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