[‚Desert Flower‘ and ‚Desert Dawn‘]
Waris Dirie (Waris: a Somali name that means desert flower) was born in the middle of the
desert in Somalia. She was born into a nomad family of a tribe called Darood, tha t was
considered as wealthy. Nevertheless they lived under extremely poor conditions, their lives
depending from their livestock and rain.
Her family consisted of her parents, 12 children and there were even other relatives, who
travelled with them.
Many of her siblings died because of the rough conditions, illnesses and famine.
Every helping hand in her family was important in order to provide their chance of survival.
They couldn’t afford any day-off, because they had to move on to find water for themselves
and their camels and goats.
Their livestock gave them everything they needed to survive (milk, meat). Every now and
then they’d sell an animal to buy some rice or for great feasts they slaughtered a goat. There
were only a few feasts like the beginning of the rainy season (gnu) or weddings.
Birthdays didn’t count, because many babies died, so it wasn’t worth remembering the exact
date of birth if it wasn’t granted that the one would survive.
Usually the animals are the most precious thing a clan can obtain. When a girl marries, her
family gets some camels (Waris‘ fiancé offered 5 camels). Camels are the most appreciated
animals, because they can live without water for some weeks, carry the clan’s belongings and
in addition to that they give milk.
Waris was raised in nature and freedom. Soon she learnt to trust her feelings and developed a
sense to smell the rain or find her family in the desert. The expert of trusting his feelings was
her father, who found them everywhere. Even when he couldn’t see anymore.
Soon Waris got chores she had to fulfil every day (tending the goats). She knew nothing else
than the desert and her greatest desire was a pair of shoes.
Her sister Aman was Waris’...