The Girl with Three Legs : A Memoir
Overview - When Soraya Mire was thirteen years old, the girls on the playground would taunt her, saying she could not play with them not as long as she walked with three legs. Confused and hurt, she went to her mother, who mysteriously responded that the time had come for Soraya to receive her gift. Read more...
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More About The Girl with Three Legs by Soraya Mire
When Soraya Mire was thirteen years old, the girls on the playground would taunt her, saying she could not play with them not as long as she walked with three legs. Confused and hurt, she went to her mother, who mysteriously responded that the time had come for Soraya to receive her gift. Mire too soon discovers the horror of the gift, female genital mutilation (FGM), whereby a young girl s healthy organs are chopped off not only to make her acceptable to a future husband but also to rein in her wildness. In "The Girl with Three Legs, "Soraya Mire reveals what it means to grow up in a traditional Somali family, where girls and women s basic human rights are violated on a daily basis. A victim of FGM and an arranged marriage to an abusive cousin, Mire was also witness to the instability of Somalia s political landscape: her father was a general for the military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, and her family moved in the inner circles of Somalia s elite. In her journey to recover from the violence done to her, Mire realizes FGM is the ultimate child abuse, a ritual of mutilation handed down from mother to daughter and protected by the word culture. Mire s tale is a dramatic chronicle of the personal challenges she overcame, a testament to the empowerment of women, and a firsthand account of the violent global oppression of women and girls. Despite the horror she experienced, her words resonate with hope, humanity, and dignity. Her life story is one of inspiration and redemption."
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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Miré, “the daughter of a Somali general, a survivor of female genital mutilation, a survivor of an abusive arranged marriage to a relative, now an activist for African girls and women,” brings all these personae together in her memoir. Miré is at her most compelling in her graphic rendering of the harrowing genital procedure performed on her. She studiously avoids politics (“I didn’t want to get involved with the north and south politics in Somalia”), but readers unfamiliar with those politics may be disoriented when they impinge, as they do. Bits of Miré’s account border on the ethnographic: chewing qat (leaves and twigs meant to stimulate the mind); a spirit dancer’s purification ceremony ; her surprise arranged wedding made “with the blessings of my family and without my knowledge or agreement.” Miré’s sojourn to America, by way of Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and France, and the saga of making her film, Fire Eyes, are reported more minutely than is engaging. Although the telling is long-winded and the dialogue bland, Miré’s personal, passionate, and persuasive rejection of any cultural defense of female genital mutilation makes compelling reading. “I own my story, my body, and my voice,” Miré asserts, “and no one can stop my mission to end the practice.” Her “mission of speaking out to end the abuse of girls” is well served by her heartfelt account. (Oct.)