Waris Dirie's story puts 'rags to riches' to shame. The 'Desert Flower' started life as one of 12 children of a Somali nomad family, a people with no written culture, where the basic unit of currency is the camel. Faced at 12 with the prospect of marriage to a 60-year-old man she didn't know, she broke all the rules and ran away, surviving a traumatic trek across the desert to end up in London, as a maid to the Somalian Ambassador. It was in McDonalds that her striking beauty was 'discovered', leading to a career in modelling and another as an ardent campaigner against female genital mutilation (circumcision).
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