Imagine being ten years old and already divorced.
Imagine the utter horror of being sold off by your parents at the age of ten to a man twenty years your senior.
Imagine being raped and losing your virginity at such a young and innocent age.
Imagine having to escape from this horrific situation, and find the courage to appeal for a divorce in the Yemen courts.
This happened to a brave little girl named Nujood who was “a tiny wisp of a thing” and now shares her true and unbelievable story in I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced.
With the help of the international press, an activist lawyer and sympathetic judges, Nujood successfully divorced her husband and returns home. In this first-person narrative, Nujood shares the horror of her parents’ betrayal, and her mother-in-law’s abuse, how she was forced to leave school at such a young age, and how she survived the rape and cruelty of her husband. Poverty obviously paid a large role in her plight, and she examines that in great detail. The atrocity of a child-marriage is also highlighted.
I Am Nujood is a deeply disturbing account of what happens happen when women do not have voices. ”Once upon a time there was a magical land…” and “a mysterious place,” where “women hide their charms behind thick black veils.” In this magical land, women have no rights….
Unlike her passive mother, Nujood has now become a world known activist, returned to school and determined to save others, including her little sister. Someday, she hopes to become a lawyer and save other girls from such abuse. I hope her dream comes true, because the world needs more Nujoods!
I Am Nujood was a fast, easy, but emotional read. It does not take the reader long to feel the wrong done to Nujood. In the United States, this is kind of story that should remind us not take for granted the rights and freedoms we are afforded — so many tend to forget how fortunate we really are.
I look at my ten year old daughter, and can’t even imagine… Maybe that is why I was drawn in to finish this book in one sitting. Curled up on the couch with a cup of coffee I plowed through this read and then hugged my daughters. And then I hugged them again, and promised that with every fiber in my body, I would protect them from abuse and cruelty. If only it was that simple.
My hope is that I Am Nujood inspires other girls to stand up for human rights, and that we as a global community protect all of our children from such horror and harm. I know that it a tall order, but I strongly believe that someday… it will happen.