Maybe there is nothing to this. Maybe it’s just a ghastly coincidence. Or…someone could be offing anti-FGM crusaders in Europe. I am not saying that that is happening. But these are difficult times, and the possibility cannot be ruled out.
“Former Model Waris Dirie Reported Missing,” by Paul Ames for AP (thanks to Writer Mom):
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) – Waris Dirie, a former model who has campaigned against female genital mutilation and written an international best-seller about her experiences, is missing, her manager said Friday.
Dirie, 43, has not been seen since early Wednesday when police saw her getting into a taxi in Brussels after a mix-up over a hotel room, manager Walter Lutschinger said in a telephone interview.
“We are really very scared,” said Lutschinger, who has been her manager for seven years.
Dirie “” who was born in Somalia and now lives in Vienna, Austria “” gained international fame as a model posing in Chanel ads and acting in a James Bond film before launching her campaign against female genital mutilation in 1996.
She recounted her own experiences of suffering genital mutilation as a child in the book Desert Flower, which became an international best-seller.
Dirie was due to speak to two conferences on women’s rights organized by the European Union in Brussels this week, including one Thursday attended by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Dirie’s disappearance comes a week after French police said they’d found the body of another former model of African origin who had campaigned against female genital mutilation.
Guinean-born Katoucha Niane’s body was found floating in the Seine River in Paris. French police said an autopsy showed no signs of foul play, pointing to the possibility that the 47-year-old Niane may have fallen accidentally into the river….
UPDATE: Dirie found, questions remain.