“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 Glamour magazine’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.
This book had been sitting on my To-be-read since January of this year and so last night seemed like the perfect time to read it. I found this book to be well written and touching. She is so brave I cannot imagine being that age and going through all the things she went through.
I wish I could hug her and hold her close, she's the same age as my nephew and I can't believe that these things happened to such a little girl. Before reading this book I knew that these atrocities happen but I believe that reading the personal accounts of the victims is important. In my opinion it makes the problems in other countries seem more real to us.
I was struck by how intelligent this 10 year old illiterate little girl is. She is most definitely wise beyond her years, in part due to her abuse but also due to her environment. To see the world through her eyes is shocking yet surprising as she still manages to see the good in people, in her world even though the world has been cruel to her. I love how she retained her love for her family even though they were responsible for what happened to her.
All in all I found her to be a breath of fresh air. I think everyone should read this account and I wish her and all the girls like her luck. I think everyone should read this book. I highly recommend it!
★ ★ ★ 1/2