(Photo: Florian Seefried / Getty Images)
In 1970, when Waris Dirie was a 5-year-old in Somalia, her mother held her down on a rock. She gave her a piece of root from an old tree.
“Bite on this,” she said. Her mother leaned over and whispered: “Try to be a good girl. Be brave for Mama, and it will go fast.” Then, an old woman who was with them in the African bush cut off parts of her genitals with a broken razor blade.