Saturday, May 15, 2010

I Am Nujood Age 10 and Divorced - Nujood Ali

Publisher:   Three Riveres Press, March, 2010
Pages 192
Source:  3-book purchase

Let me start this off by saying that this was the first e-book that I bought for my new Nook.  I had decided after a year of debating and researching to purchase a book with end of school year bonus money.  My husband purchased it for an anniversary gift May 7th.  A fellow teacher had recommended this book that she had read on her Nook.  I am so glad I listened to her.

Nujood was a victim of an age old practice of arranged marriages.  Yemen law and local customs allows for the abuse of women every year.  Never have I heard a story of one so young with the guts to stand up for what she believed should be her rights.  She took risks that could have cost her very own life.  Nujood's father has two wives eventhough he can't really afford either family.  When things start to get financially worse for him he agrees to an arragned marriage for Nujood to a man who is three times older than her.  The father makes the groom to be promise not to consummate the marriage until after at least a year after her first period.  Nujood is removed from her home, married off against her will and taken to live in her old, isolated village away from everyone she knows.  On her first night her new husband breaks his promise and rapes her.  It seems the more she fights him the more he takes pleasure in raping and beating her.  She gets no sympathy from her mother-in-law who encourages her son to beat her all the more.  After visiting her father's second wife she is given advice that will give her the courage to save herself.  She finds the courage to make it to the courthouse and find a judge and demand a divorce.  Shocked by her age and the hardships she has endured he goes against Sharia law and sets her on the path to her freedom.

There were sections that made me angry and sections that made me cry.  No  child should have to be forced into a life like that.  Her bravery has gone a long way to change things in Yemen.  This is not a battle that will be won easily or quickly.  I would recommend this book to all adults.  It makes me happy that I am an American an that we have laws to protect our children from things like this.

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