PERREAULT Magazine January 2014 - Page 45

We couldn’t shout abuse because we were told it’s our destiny and we knew nothing about our basic human right. Because of that private wound and pain, we can now tell our stories in order to protect the next generation. Taking the first step is never easy. Opening up a wound and seeing the reality is a very painful journey. As a survivor, I tasted the courage to question the powerful mind of those who held the ritual of FGM. I because an activist without a country, friends or family, like a tree without its roots. It’s understandable when the society views women like chickens without heads. These chickens can’t be trusted to make the right decisions about their bodies, especially their most private parts. Women must be controlled and subjugated by all means necessary. When terror, pain and fear are constant in my mind, taking me back to that horrible day of lying on that surgical table, my first thought is to look away. But when I was able to look with strength and power, into the eyes wearing the cruel hands that’s mutilating me, then I was able to declare my human dignity. As a human rights activist and spokesperson against FGM, my goal is to break the chains that bind women like branded lambs. To shatter the cultural acceptance of FGM and to slowly incorporate the idea and belief that mankind is created equally. The infinite light that shines bright and powerful, with hope of a better world, will guide us all to our journey of empowerment.

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About Soraya Miré,

author of The Girl with Three Legs

Soraya Miré is an award-winning director, in addition to being a writer and activist. Her credits include a featured segment of The Vagina Monologues on female genital mutilation (FGM) and the award-winning documentary Fire Eyes, which highlights the barbaric practice of FGM. Fire Eyes was featured at the International Women’s Conference in Beijing, the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, and The United Nations in Geneva.

Miré’s activism has been recognized with many prestigious awards such as the “Humanitarian Award” at the United Nations Sub-Commission Sessions, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice “Winnie Mandela Award,” “Best Documentary” at the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, the “Human Rights Award” at the Third International Symposia on Circumcision at the University of Maryland, and Intact America’s “Personal Courage Award 2009.”

Born in Somalia, Miré immigrated to Europe in 1978 at age seventeen. She lived in Grenoble, France where she studied literature and political science at the University of Grenoble. Miré left her studies in order to expand her mission to end violence toward women and children. In 1984, Miré moved to Los Angeles where she began her career in film by working in several production studios. At the UCLA Extension, while attending film school, she assisted professor and documentary filmmaker Douchin Gersi.

Miré has demonstrated her persistence as she brings awareness, education and changes in policies and laws regarding the practice of FGM. She has appeared on Oprah, CNN and Nightline with Ted Koppel.

Miré has lectured at Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government, Morehouse College, UCLA, Vanderbilt University, Stanford University, Spelman College, Emory University, San Francisco State, Howard University, USC, Moorpark College, Mount Saint Mary’s College and Lesley University.

Miré has stood before committees at the United Nations, the U.S. Senate Human Resources and Health Assembly and the World Health Organization. She has worked with medical professionals, government officials, and with women and families who have been affected by FGM, all in her tireless pursuit of protection of human rights for women and girls.

Miré’s forthcoming book The Girl with Three Legs: A Memoir (Lawrence Hill Books, October 2011) is a dramatic chronicle of the personal challenges she overcame as a survivor of FGM, a firsthand account of the violent global oppression of women and girls, and a testament to the empowerment of women.

Visit her website at

www.sorayamire.org.

For further info on The Girl with Three Legs (Lawrence Hill Books, October 2011)

or to arrange an interview with author Soraya Miré, please contact:

Laura Di Giovine, Senior Publicist, IPG,

(p): 312-337-0747 ext. 282

or (e): laura@ipgbook.com

Perreault Magazine / January, 2014 45