Refugee Week Movie: Desert Flower


Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad is an autobiographical book written by Waris Dirie and Cathleen Miller, published in 1998 about the life of Somali model, Waris Dirie. In 2009, a german movie adapation was made. This movie will be screened free during Refugee Week 2016, and is sponsored by the Greater Shepparton Women’s Charter Alliance Advisory Committee.

Do you think you would have the courage to flee your homeland?

This movie is the autobiography of Waris Dirie a Somalian nomad that was cut when she was 3, sold in marriage at 13 and then fled Africa to later become an American
Supermodel and UN spokeswomen against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Khadija Gbla was born in Sierra Leone, came to Australia as a refugee when she was 13 and is a survivor of FGM. Khadija will talk about being born a girl in the wrong place and her experience. Khadija will take the time to answer any questions as well.


Waris Dirie, a native of Somalia, who has for more than a decade stalked the world’s catwalks and appeared in numerous glossy magazines. This, however, is no fluff-job dictated into a tape recorder on transatlantic flights, then recomposed by a hired gun back in New York. Rather, it is a striking account of a personal odyssey that began in the Somali desert, where Dirie grew up without shoes, living amid nomadic tribes and tyrannized by patriarchal strictures. As a pubescent girl, Dirie was circumcised–a procedure described here in chilling detail–before escaping an arranged marriage to stay with an aunt in Mogadishu. Landing a job as a house servant in London, Dirie struggled to launch a modeling career while dodging British immigration authorities and the dreadful results of marriages of convenience. At the end of this affecting and at times very entertaining book, Dirie’s metamorphosis from desert nomad into jetsetting nomad culminates in a post as a human rights ambassador to the UN, where, these days, Dirie campaigns for the eradication of female circumcision and women’s rights around the globe. It’s easy to forget that Dirie’s memoir is a book about someone whose success has come from posing for the camera. Indeed, it is Dirie’s remarkable lack of narcissism or entitlement that makes her so captivating a raconteur.

Event Details:

Event: Desert Flower Movie Screening
Date: THURSDAY 23 JUNE 2016
Bookings: or Charlene on (03) 5832 9527 or







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