April 10, 2010
At 10, Yemeni NUJOOD ALI stood up for oppressed girls in the Muslim world and spoke out against child “marriage”.
Now, age 12, she waits for the non-oppressed Muslim women of the world to stand behind her and put an end to it for good.
Dead at age 13 – 3 days after she was “married”.
In Yemen, there is still no enforced minimum age of marriage. In 2009, a miminum age was set: 17 for girls, 18 for boys but it was repealed and is still being discussed. So it’s left up to the parents – which means the father – since the mother has no personal or parental rights. Conservative estimates – 1 in 3 girls are “married” before the age of 18.
In 2008, 10-year-old (estimated since her birth was never documented) Nujood, one of 16 children, was forced to quit school – SECOND GRADE – and “marry” a man in his 30s.
Her mother, SHUAIEH, pretended she didn’t know the pedophile her daughter was sold to was going to rape and beat her, which he did beginning on the “wedding” night.
Child rapist in question.
A man so worthless he had to buy, beat and repeatedly rape a child because no adult woman would have anything to do with him. And when confronted, instead of denying what he did, he was angry Nujood wasn’t as tall and attractive as her father had claimed.
Nujood tried to get help from her rapist’s mother, who she lives with, and whose assistance was encouraging her son the rapist to beat Nujood harder. A lesson that not all the evil emanating from the Muslim world originates with men.
But on a visit back home after 2 months of marriage, clever little Nujood said enough. With the encouragement of her father’s second wife, Nujood hailed a taxi (for the first time ever) to the central courthouse where she sat on a bench and demanded to be seen by a judge.
After several hours, Nujood’s request was granted and days later human rights lawyer, SHADA NASSER, signed on pro bono.
After a well-publicized trial, Nujood set precedent and was granted a divorce.
Judge Mohammed Ghadi actually took the evil pedophile to task – asking the pedophile if Nujood was the only “woman” in Yemen he could marry – but then forced Nujood, a second grader, to pay the pedophile who had raped and beaten her, $250 to be rid of him – even though Nujood’s parents claim they never received a dowry.
Nujood’s father defended himself by saying he was worried Nujood was going to be kidnapped (one of Nujood’s sisters had been raped, another kidnapped) and thought marriage would “save” her.
And those complicit in Nujood’s defilement?
The man who sold Nujood to the pedophile, the pedophile who raped and beat her, and the pedophile’s mother who did nothing but tell the pedophile to hit the 10 y/o he was raping harder, were not punished.
After her short-lived victory, Nujood became a media sensation – traveling to the US where she and SHADA NASSER (below) were named 2008 Glamour Women of the Year.
And on to Germany where she saw snow for the first time.
She was happy and hopeful that she had made a difference. She said all she wanted was to go back to Yemen and finish her education so she could be a lawyer and help other girls.
It wasn’t to be.
She was sent right back to the same house – only this time the same father who sold her to a pedophile was seeing dollar signs.
Ali Mohammed Ahdal (40s): 2 wives, 16 children, 0 job, 0 shame
Dollars that haven’t eventualized.
Nujood told her story to a French journalist, Delphine Minoui, and was told by the publisher she would get paid. Money was raised for her schooling and given to her parents – who say they never received any of it. And when the media returned to talk with Nujood, she had not been going to school and was angry, refusing to speak with them.
She said she was glad that she was divorced but was very disappointed with what happened after the media intervened. Nothing had changed for the better and she was being harassed by the neighbors and her uncles, who were angry she wasn’t the golden sacrificial lamb they thought she’d be.
Her situation had not improved. She had not gone back to school and she could no longer be sold off as a virginal child bride.
Filled with hope that things would improve for her and other girls because of her courageous acts, Nujood braved the media glare, left her country and traveled to the West — only to return to the same desperate poverty and oppression – everyone wanting money and wondering why she didn’t have any.
The light in her eyes – light that was still there even as she was being raped and beaten by her pedophile “husband” – has gone out.
How long before it goes out in her little sister Haifa’s eyes as well?
And what advice do you think Nujood will give her sister?
Nujood’s story from CNN’s “World’s Untold Stories” documentary series. Please take a few minutes to watch. Perhaps it will prevent another little girl from being destroyed.
Untold Stories: Wedlocked
I didn’t want to sleep with him but he forced me.
Q: It must have been torture.
Yeah. I used to run to his mother but he would follow me. She would tell him “Hit her!” She showed no mercy. She was hateful.
Why did Nujood fight for her divorce?
I did it so people would listen and think again about marying off their daughters so young.
Proponent of child rape:
Why did they look for an issue where no problem exists?
Why is child marriage a problem?
How can any outside anything change the prehistoric mindset of such beasts?
It’s not just the young girls who are uneducated.
Show me a girl of 8 and I’ll show you a prefect marriage.
Speaks volumes about the Yemeni men’s manhood – literally and figuratively. And of the women and mothers who allow this to continue.
More selected quotes.
Seven months ago I said “No”. No to child marriages.
I hope I’ve helped many girls like me. I hope to retun to Yemem to continue my studies.
I hoped there was someone to help me but we didn’t find anyone to help us.
It hasn’t changed a thing. They said they were going to help me.
I wish I had never spoken to them.
SHADA NASSER lawyer said Nujood’s father was looking to cash in and thought he should get $1M. Nasser said approx $20K was given to the family for Nujood’s schooling but Nujood wasn’t going to school and Nujood’s family denies receiving any money.
I’m happy I was divorced but I’m sad about what happened after I went on television.
Q: Do you feel the media caused you problems?
Problems at home with my family and school. On the streets people would talk about me.
Q: What are the problems it caused your family?
My parents and uncles were not happy about seeing me on television in the newspapers.
YEMENI DIPLOMAT KHADIJA AL-SALAMI:
It’s good to talk about Nujood and have her story come out, but the problem – it’s too much pressure on her with the media. It’s too much media…It’s hard for a little girl – it’s hard for her family and the neighbors…She doesn’t understand what’s going on.
We should leave her alone now. If we really love Nujood we should let her go to school leave her alone and continue with her life because education is the most important thing for her.
I’ve done enough interviews for now. People know my story.
Unspoken: People know my story and are doing nothing.
Nujood as she stood before the judge:
Without bothering to answer his question, I repeat in a determined voice: “I want a divorce.” I don’t sob, not even once, while speaking to him. I feel trembly, but I know what I want: I want an end to this hell.
I’ve had enough of suffering in silence.
And now, having spoken up and still left to suffer in unconscionable silence, Nujood’s had enough.
Every woman in the world should be ashamed.