Monday, 4 April 2011


I have Al Jazeera on just about all the time while I'm at the computer. Riz Khan came on and the subject was maternal health in Africa. I decided to watch to see if our Dear Leader's name or grand plan came up.

In order to snark at Motherhood Steve, of course. (Answer: Didn't come up.)

But then I got rivetted by the guest, Liya Kebede, a stunning Ethiopian super-model, actress, and WHO Good Will Ambassador for maternal health.

She was charming and articulate and stuck to the subject, until Khan brought up her own charitable foundation and her effort to support Ethiopian women's hand-weaving traditions with her fashion line, lemlem, which means 'to bloom' in Amharic.

The very last bit was about her starring in a movie called 'Desert Flower' based on a book by the same name by another gorgeous super-model, Somalian Waris Dirie.
In 1997, at the height of her modeling career, Waris spoke for the first time with Laura Ziv of the women's magazine Marie Claire about the female genital cutting (FGC) that she had undergone as a child, an interview which received worldwide media coverage. That same year, Waris became a UN ambassador for the abolition of FGC, and later paid her mother a visit in her native Somalia.

Apparently, she was the first woman to speak so publicly about it. She has a foundation too.

Women, eh? Talk about giving back. . .

Patriarchy is so fucking stoooopid. Stifling the brains, courage, and creativity of half the world's population.

Bonus: Photo of Liya.


Kim said...

A rare desert flower indeed. I love AJE too. Where would we get responsible journalism if it weren't for those brave souls. Uplifting article, thanks.

Beijing York said...

That is an absolutely breath-taking portrait. Beautiful inside and out.

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