Oh, Nujood

I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced is the story of a ten year old girl in Yemen sold by her impoverished parents to a man triple her age. It was a short easy read, in the sense that I finished it quickly which was good because I am in no mood to dwell on her and her peers’ awful fate.

Despite cultural traditions, I found myself annoyed and frustrated at her mother’s complacent behavior and inability to defend her daughter. If anything Nujood’s older sister was more protective of the ten year old.

What’s even more disturbing is this book is not more than two years old, meaning the custom of marrying a ten year old is still active. I’m not so naive to forget the suffering around the world, but being a mother my heart aches especially for young girls in such awful circumstances. I was challenged to imagine a ten year old enduring her awful experiences away from home in an abusive isolated environment, and part of me appreciated the author’s broad descriptions. I don’t want to envision it because I fear it will consume my emotions.

The role of Nujood’s step mother, for lack of a better word, was downplayed although she is the one that sends the girl to the courthouse eventually leading to her divorce. I’m also amazed that despite everything that has happened to Nujood, divorce and public attention, her life has not changed that much.

I commend Nujood Ali, Glamour’s Woman of the Year 2008 for fighting back and actually inspiring other girls to seek divorces from abusive older men. I just hope it’s not for nought.

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One Response to “Oh, Nujood”

  1. kara-noel Says:

    When I was telling my hubby about the book he asked if the story took place in the 50s. He was shocked it was just 2 years ago!
    I agree the Nujood’s mother was LAME and I wondered why the older sister was able to put in her two sense so much because the culture was so stifling toward women.
    The other mother’s role was downplayed a lot.

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