She really wants to eat a salmon sandwich now. But there is none in the office tower in Frankfurt where she came for a lecture. And actually the interview with the journalist should start. There is a nervous whisper, then a pack sets off: Waris Dirie, wearing a hat and sunglasses, her stocky manager with curly white hair ring, the two start-up founders who invited Dirie, and the journalist.
Waris Dirie is in her mid-50s and looks like she was in her early 40s. She has shiny, smooth skin and an impressively upright posture. It exudes glamor even in jeans and sneakers. When she laughs, the people around her laugh too, when she frowns, they get nervous. And if she wants a salmon sandwich, go look for it. A restaurant is found on Frankfurt’s Opernplatz, which at least offers pasta with salmon sauce.
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In 1998 Dirie’s book “Desert Flower” was published. It was filmed in 2008. The book sold more than eleven million copies, and the film attracted more than a million people to cinemas in Germany alone. Before that, Waris Dirie was only a nomad child and a victim of mutilation, then domestic help and cleaning lady, later top model and actress. She then became a UN special envoy and human rights activist. And above all, the woman who stands all over the world for the fight against the cruel practice of female genital mutilation, in English Female Genital Mutilation, or FGM for short.
She wants interview questions in writing
How does it change a person to talk about this trauma over and over again, partly live on television? To be asked by people from all over the world whether you can feel anything down there? And to be attacked by your own family for betraying the traditions?
Finding out is not that easy. Dirie doesn’t want to talk about it anymore. She wants to have the interview questions in advance, then answers them in writing and very briefly through her manager. At the actual interview date, she has no desire to say more. She interrupts the question about current projects with her foundation with a burst of speech: “You see my heart, my soul and my passion, darling. I can’t stand it if anyone on this planet gets hurt, especially if it’s children or women. I don’t understand why people are just waiting, the world is just waiting. What is she waiting for I don’t understand it, and it’s not up to me to solve these problems on my own. ”By the time her food came, she had talked so furiously about the evils of the world that she barely touched it in the end.