Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Nujood Ali

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 . . .

Photo taken of Nujood by Stephanie Sinclair for the National Geographic Magazine


Randism said...

it's hard to believe such attitudes still exist; i hope she beats the odds!

Erick said...

It is amazing how backward and stone age some countries are in this day and age.

DNakamaru said...

Wow! What a story. I didn't know that stuff still goes on.

Leslie's pics said...

Wow, sounds interesting....wait. You actually READ a book? I wonder if they have it in audio. :)

jalna said...

Rand, I read that she's having a hard time still . . . her village is remote, her parents are so wishy washy, no stability and now she's famous.

Erick, I just can't stand it how these people who insist that women be covered up to protect them from prying eyes can think that PEDOPHILIA is okay. It makes me soooooo mad.

It does Dean . . . it does.

Hahaha. Was a short book, Les. You can read it at one sitting.

mmiissee said...

It’s sad to hear stories about young girls that are married off, just so that her family can get money. I can never understand why people have kids when they know they can’t support them. I'm happy to hear that she got her freedom. In some countries, people wouldn't help until the last minute.

jalna said...

I agree Mmiissee. I can understand the cultural differences, but some things are just so wrong, no matter the culture.

Nippon Nin said...

I read the story in The Reader's Digest magazine. Her parents are st...d!

jalna said...

I agree, Akemi!