Monday, April 19, 2010

Nujood Ali: Unfortunate Hero

Nujood Ali, pictured above, at 9 is a hero of woman's rights. More than that a hero for justice. A hero for what is right.

Today I heard the most intriguing and sad story on NPR about the tragedy of young girls from Yemen who are sold off (not uncommon to the history of that culture), but unlike times past, the men are older and outside of the rules of historical community these girls are abused, forced to engage in fierce sexual activity well before puberty, and in the severest cases have died of abuse, bleeding, and other causes.

In the NPR story, they discuss upcoming legislation whereby the country of Yemen would only marriage to men 18 or older and women 17 or older. A huge change for the country, especially when some claim this legislation is "anti-Islamic" partially on the grounds that Mohammad had a wife who was 9 years old.

I encourage you to read or listen to the story about Nujood Ali, pictured above, is a revolutionary in Yemen who without money, just honesty and bravery went to court and requested a divorce for the crimes committed against her.

These stories are important, and it is sad on so many levels. I think about the story not just from the side of the young girls, but also the father who chooses to sell his daughter to something so awful for $1000...this speaks of the poverty, the struggle to survive, and unfortunate reality of pain in this world.

I'm impressed with Nujood, and her family which supported her decision. I'm thankful for a court system in Yemen that despite pressures is moving in a direction to protect children. I'm sorrowful for all those young girls trapped in abuse.

As a father of a little girl -- almost two -- I just want to hug my daughter, love her, and protect her in a way that these Yemenis father's can't.


Mimi Fink said...

I heard that story on NPR. Stories like that break my heart. Have you read Khaled Hosseini's latest book, A Thousand Splendid Suns? It is set in Afghanistan. His first book was The Kite Runner. I'm a mother with two daughters and two granddaughters and incidents like this are appalling to me.

RC said...

@ Mimi - I actually have Thousand Splendid Suns but haven't read it yet -- I loved the Kite Runner though and found it gripping as a story and heart wrenching all at the same time. Thanks for putting Hosseini's book back on my radar.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I did not hear this story on NPR, but I plan to listen. How tragic.