Monday, June 3, 2013

I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced

I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced

by Nujood Ali with Delphine Minoui


"I'm a simple village girl who has always obeyed the orders of my father and brothers. Since forever, I have learned to say yes to everything. Today I have decided to say no."
Forced by her father to marry a man three times her age, young Nujood Ali was sent away from her parents and beloved sisters and made to live with her husband and his family in an isolated village in rural Yemen. There she suffered daily from physical and emotional abuse by her mother-in-law and nightly at the rough hands of her spouse. Flouting his oath to wait to have sexual relations with Nujood until she was no longer a child, he took her virginity on their wedding night. She was only ten years old.

Unable to endure the pain and distress any longer, Nujood fled-not for home, but to the courthouse of the capital, paying for a taxi ride with a few precious coins of bread money. When a renowned Yemeni lawyer heard about the young victim, she took on Nujood's case and fought the archaic system in a country where almost half the girls are married while still under the legal age. Since their unprecedented victory in April 2008, Nujood's courageous defiance of both Yemeni customs and her own family has attracted a storm of international attention. Her story even incited change in Yemen and other Middle Eastern countries, where underage marriage laws are being increasingly enforced and other child brides have been granted divorces.

Recently honored alongside Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice as one of Glamourmagazine's women of the year, Nujood now tells her full story for the first time. As she guides us from the magical, fragrant streets of the Old City of Sana'a to the cement-block slums and rural villages of this ancient land, her unflinching look at an injustice suffered by all too many girls around the world is at once shocking, inspiring, and utterly unforgettable.

My Thoughts:

I wasn't sure what to write about this book and ended up reading quite a few book reviews to see what everyone else had to say about it thinking that maybe that would help me out.  And it did help just not in the way that I expected.  After reading all those reviews the main point I came away with is almost every reviewer didn't like how simple the language and explanations were. I guess I can understand why they would say that but I don't remotely agree with that idea.  This book tells the story of Nujood, who is 10 years old and uneducated of course the language and explanations are going to be simple.  The story actually feels as though Nujood is telling her story which is why this book is so powerful and shocking.  I think the story would lose something if it was told from an adult's perspective because for a fair bit of her story there wasn't an adult around and Nujood had to figure out what was happening on her own.  This book is heart wrenching but inspiring all at the same time.  Nujood is an inspiration to many and because of her other younger girls will hopefully be protect from underage marriages.