Kleurenschema: blauw - grijs

Waris Dirie

Soms zijn er grenzen. Dingen die je niet accepteert. Na het lezen van "Mijn woestijn" trek je zo'n grens. Dit is het verhaal van Waris Dirie, een Afrikaanse fotomodel en nomadendochter die ook vertelt over de Somalese cultuur en de wreedheid van haar besnijdenis. De foto's zijn uit haar tijd als fotomodel. Later kreeg ze een rol bij de Verenigde Naties. Dit is een fragment uit haar boek.

And since the prevailing wisdom in Somalia is that there are bad things between a girl's legs, a woman is considered dirty, oversexed and unmarriageable unless those parts--the clitoris, the labia minora, and most of the labia majora-are removed. Then the wound is stitched shut, leaving only a small opening and a scar where the genitals had been-a practice called infibulation.

We walked out into the brush. "We'll wait here," Mama said, and we sat on the cold ground. The day was growing lighter; soon I heard the click-click of the gypsy woman's sandals. Then, without my seeing her approach, she was right beside me.

"Sit over there." She motioned toward a flat rock. There was no conversation. She was strictly business.

Mama positioned me on the rock. She sat behind me and pulled my head against her chest, her legs straddling my body. I circled my arms around her thighs. She placed a piece of root from an old tree between my teeth. "Bite on this."

Mama leaned over and whispered, "Try to be a good girl, baby. Be brave for Mama, and it'll go fast."

I peered between my legs and saw the gypsy. The old woman looked at me sternly, a dead look in her eyes, then foraged through an old carpet-bag. She reached inside with her long fingers and fished out a broken razor blade. I saw dried blood on the jagged edge. She spit on it and wiped it on her dress. While she was scrubbing, my world went dark as Mama tied a blindfold over my eyes.

The next thing I felt was my flesh being cut away. I heard the blade sawing back and forth through my skin. The feeling was indescribable. I didn't move, telling myself the more I did, the longer the torture would take. Unfortunately, my legs began to quiver and shake uncontrollably of their own accord, and I prayed, Please, God, let it be over quickly. Soon it was, because I passed out.