The little girl was waist-high, so small that the lawyers, clerks and judges hurrying through the courthouse almost missed her.
As lunchtime arrived and the crowds of noisy men and women cleared away, a curious judge asked her what she was doing sitting alone on a bench.
"I came to get a divorce," 10-year-old Nujood Ali told the judge.
Her impoverished parents had married her off to a man more than three times her age, who beat her and forced her to have sex, she explained. When she told her father and mother that she wanted out of the marriage, they refused to help. So an aunt provided her with bus money to travel to court and seek a divorce.
Within days of that April 2, 2008 encounter, Nujood's tale and the plight of child brides in Yemen made international headlines. And thanks to the efforts of human rights lawyer Shada Nasser, who took up her cause, the girl at the center of the story has begun to overcome her trauma and dream of a better life.
Publicity surrounding Nujood's case prompted calls to raise the legal age for marriage to 18 for both men and women. Yemen's conservative lawmakers refused to take up the issue. But the case sparked public discussion and newspaper headlines. "This case opened the door," Nasser says.
Nujood says that at first, she felt ashamed about what had happened to her. "But I passed through that," she says, eyes narrowing beneath her black head scarf.
"All I want now is to finish my education," she adds, her mouth curling into a smile. "I want to be a lawyer."
The above is an excerpt from an LA Times article dated 6/11/2008. I found Nujood's book at the swap meet this past Saturday.
If you want to read about this brave girl, I'm pau with the book, and you can have it. Let me know . . . JalnaA@aol.com.
Photo taken of Nujood by Stephanie Sinclair for the National Geographic Magazine
Surf Report 04-26-2017 - Waves: 1 - 2 Feet Wind: Trades No worry - still small! Ride da rainbow! Cuzzins! Nelson Blue is back! Higa on a tear! Mahalo Derek for the pics!
5 hours ago