Waris Dirie

Born into a nomadic tribe in Somalia in 1965, Waris Dirie ran away to Mogadishu at the age of thirteen to escape an arranged marriage. She traveled with relatives to London, where, in 1983, while working at McDonald’s and living at the YWCA, she was cast by fashion photographer Terence Donovan for a Pirelli calendar and began a modeling career. In 1996 she revealed that she had been the victim of female genital mutilation, and she became a UN ambassador for the abolition of the practice.

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