- Paperback: 188 pages
- Publisher: Broadway Books; First Edition edition (March 2, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307589676
- ISBN-13: 978-0307589675
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (573 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced Paperback – March 2, 2010
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Chosen by Glamour magazine as a Woman of the Year in 2008, Nujood of Yemen has become an international hero for her astonishingly brave resistance to child marriage. Sold off by her impoverished family at the age of 10, continually raped by her husband before she even reached puberty, Nujood found the courage to run away, and with the help of an activist lawyer, sympathetic judges, and the international press, she divorced her husband and returned home. Her clear, first-person narrative, translated from the French and written with Minoui, is spellbinding: the horror of her parents’ betrayal and her mother-in-law’s connivance, the “grown-ups” who send the child from classroom and toys to nightmare abuse. She never denies the poverty that drives her parents and oppresses her brothers, even as she reveals their cruelty. Unlike her passive mother, she is an activist, thrilled to return to school, determined to save others, including her little sister. True to the child’s viewpoint, the “grown-up” cruelty is devastating. Readers will find it incredible that such unbelievable abuse and such courageous resistance are happening now. --Hazel Rochman
“A powerful new autobiography...It’s hard to imagine that there have been many younger divorcées—or braver ones—than a pint-size third grader named Nujood Ali.”
—Nicholas Kristof, New York Times
“Shocking...captures the social challenges facing Yemen better than any scholarly work could hope to do.”
“Her case has brought international exposure to the archaic practice of robbing girls of their youth.”
—People (Four Stars)
“An international icon of tenacity and courage.”
“One of the greatest women I have ever seen . . . She set an example with her courage.”
“This book took my breath away. It broke my heart but put it back together again with a renewed hope in the staggering power of the human spirit. What Nujood did to save her life was a miracle; that she did it as a ten-year-old child is, quite simply, astounding.”
—Carolyn Jessop, author of Escape and Triumph
“Nujood and all other girls like her who are traded like objects deserve to be heard. This important book gives them a voice and sheds light on an ugly secret that has destroyed the lives of children for centuries.”
—Marina Nemat, author of Prisoner of Tehran
“Simple and straightforward in its telling, this is an informative and thoroughly engaging narrative.”
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Top customer reviews
Essentially sold by her deadbeat father to a man more than three times her age, Nujood's childhood comes to an abrupt end. At ten years old, she is repeatedly beaten and raped by her new husband. She is also moved to a remote village where she further isolated from anyone that might be able to help her.
Eventually, she is able to go to visit family in the city. After her own parents fail to help her, she is able to get some guidance from one of her father's other wives. Then, this incredibly brave little girl sets out for the courthouse to ask for a divorce.
I could not get over how courageous this ten year-old little girl had to be. What she did would be intimidating in any country, much less in a country where women are extremely oppressed and viewed as property. Yet, this little girl was brave enough to walk into a courthouse and demand to see a judge and ask for a divorce. I was in awe of this young girl.
Thankfully, the judges decide to take up Nujood's cause. She is given a "safe haven" of sorts while the case is brought before the court. Since Nujood was younger than the legal age for marriage in Yemen, her father and husband were brought up on charges.
From there on out, the court proceedings turned into a bit of a circus. Nujood's case made international news and she became a sort of poster-child for women's rights and child abuse organizations. Meanwhile, her father and husband alternated between placing blame on the other and trying to plead ignorance and innocence on their own part. It was pathetic.
Eventually, the men responsible paid a small fine and Nujood was granted her divorce. While the divorce was unheard of and paved the way for other young girls in the Middle East to speak out, the forced marriage of young girls is still a huge problem. Of course, that is only one manifestation of a much larger problem. Nonetheless, in a place where women and children have virtually no rights, this was a remarkable case.
From start to finish, I was taken in by Nujood's story. My heart broke for this young girl, who was the same age as my oldest daughter. I can't even begin to imagine maltreatment that girls like Nujood are forced to endure. Once again, I am reminded of how lucky I am to have been born in a region of the world where women have rights. As the mother of two young girls, this is something that is never far from my mind.
Although this didn't prove to be the in-depth expose that I had hoped for, it was definitely a worthwhile read. At less than 200 pages, or around 2 hours of listening time, Nujood's story serves to raise awareness of a very important topic. While this isn't the type of story that you read for enjoyment, it is the type that you read for enlightenment. It is painful, but necessary to read stories like Nujood's.
I won't pretend that everything worked out like I would've liked. The granting of her divorce was only one triumph, in a world of defeats for women. Nujood was ultimately returned to the very person that sold her in the first place. Where is the logic in that? I can't help but wonder where Nujood is now, nine years later. I can't help but wonder if her notoriety has turned her into a cash cow for the very father that shared responsibility for her abuse in the first place.
It seemed that poor Nujood was finding a way out of her living hell, and to a point she did, in that she got away from the creep that she was forced to marry. However, according to what I recently read online,according to Yemen law, her father gets all the proceeds from the book, and instead of using it for the education and betterment of his existing family, the bastard took 3 new wives. This is when his first children were sent to beg on the streets! Except for the innocents who are there, it kinda makes you wish we could nuke countries with these reprehensible practices irresponsible breeding and that endorse the slavery raping of little girls.
Nujood's story is of one a child traded into marriage in exchange for money and to avoid the honor destroying shame brought to the family and especially the father if a girl is raped. Such a rape to an older sister had already shame and great financial loss to the family.
Nujood was an extremely young and naive small village girl. I feel her lack of fully understanding how severe her task of seeking a divorce was the thing that made her discover the great strength she had within herself to try this unheard of feat. That she found such understanding and helpful support in the legal system is encouraging.