Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Nujood Ali and Arwa Abdu Muhammand Ali

The Epoch Times Shows a Picture of Nujood Ali(L), and Arwa Abdu Muhammad Ali(R) two of the young child brides that were allowed divorce from their husbands after enduring sexual abuse, physical abuse at the hands of their husbands.

Look at these children! THAT'S Right CHILDREN! I hope Shada Nasser the lawyer that helped Nujood Ali does help change the laws, and help educate this area about how WRONG this is!

Child Bride and Divorce In Yemen

Child marriage and divorce in Yemen story on the BBC news show two additional girls that were forced into sexual abuse before the law states is allowed. I have to wonder if Yemen could introduce a law about pedophilia. I suppose within that culture that may not be possible.

Arwa Abdu Muhammad Ali

BBC News reports Arwa was sold off:

Coming in from the street where he's been digging drains, Abdul Mohammed Ali takes up the story. He describes how a stranger, a man in his mid forties, approached him in the market asking if he knew of any marriageable girls.
Jibla village has been in the news since Arwa's request

After visiting their home and seeing Arwa and her 15-year-old sister, he opted for the younger child. Abdul Ali says the man promised he would wait for the girl to reach puberty before calling her to his house but then changed his mind and came to live with them.

So why did he sell his daughter to a stranger?

"He gave me 30,000 rial ($150, £90) and promised another 400,000 ($2,000). I was really in need of money and thought it was a solution for the family," he explains.

For seven months, Arwa's husband shared the small room where the family eat, play and sleep.

When Arwa fought off his advances, she was beaten. The torment only came to an end when her husband and father quarrelled and Abdul Ali gave her permission to seek outside help.

At this point in the narrative, she finds her voice again, describing how she went looking for a neighbour who could lend her money for the journey to court where the judge took pity on her and granted her freedom.

A medical examination showed that she had been sexually molested but was still technically a virgin

Arwa's audacity in seeking a divorce was inspired by the example of Nujood, another young girl from the capital, Sanaa, who has become a national celebrity.

Reem was married at 12, and again you are to wait until your bride is mature enough to become sexually active. Her husband also refused to wait.

she describes the moment when her 30-year-old husband insisted on sex. When she resisted, he choked and bit her and dragged her by the hair, overwhelming her with force.
Reem wants a divorce and then a college education

She was imprisoned for 11 days in his house and tried to kill herself with a kitchen knife before being rescued by her mother.

Although Yemen has a law stating that 15 is the marriageable age, it is frequently flouted, particularly in poor rural areas where society is run along tribal lines.

It seems to me that the government is making excuses about such marriages when they release a comment like:

Sheikh Hamoud Hashim al-Tharihi is general secretary of the increasingly influential Vice and Virtue Committee and a member of the Islah Party. He cites the example of the Prophet Muhammad who married six-year-old Aisha but waited for consummation till she was a little older.

"Because this happened to the Prophet, we cannot tell people that it is prohibited to marry at an early age," he argues. Moreover, he claims it would harm society by spreading vice.

You would hope this would be the end of the miserable existance for this girls, but as the article ends:

At her home in Jibla, Arwa is putting the past behind her and returning to childish games of hide and seek in the narrow passageways near her home.

But, without a firm lead from government, her father Abdul Ali may be tempted a second time to take money for his daughter's hand in marriage, curtailing her childhood once and for all.

It seems she will be yet again a Child Bride in Yemen, and who knows if a divorce would happen again.

Nujood Ali's Annullment

SHADMIA’S WORLD has nice pictures of Nujood Ali, including Nojoud's former husband (left)Faez Ali Thameur and Nojour's father Mohammad Ali Al-Ahdal (right) attended the hearing. I encourage you to read the story that the author has included as well!

Nujood Ali a Yemeni child bride gets annullment instead of a divorce for good reasons! According the BBC News:

Shatha Nasser says the judge annulled the marriage instead of granting a divorce, to stop the husband trying to reinstate the wedlock.

"We are grateful to the judge" she explains. "Had it been someone with strong traditional views, Nojoud could have been sent back home."

It seems that she is now living with her uncle as well

Instead, Nojoud is now living with her maternal uncle, Shu'ee Salem Attabi'ee.

Shu’ee told the BBC that his brother-in-law had had no control over the events.

"He is too frail to defend himself or his family" he explained.

"Nojoud is living happily with me and my eight other children. She is looking forward to going back to primary school as soon as possible."

Nujood Mohammed Ali is Yemen’s most famous divorcee

Nujood Mohammed Ali is Yemen’s most famous divorcee Reports Glamour Magazine:

Before her marriage, Nujood loved school—specifically math and Quran classes—and made her father promise not to pull her out to be wed. But when she was nine, her parents arranged a husband for her. Nujood was dazzled by her wedding presents: three dresses; perfume; two hairbrushes; and two hijabs, or women’s head scarves. The groom, a 30-year-old courier, gave her a $20 ring, which Nujood says he soon took back to buy clothes for himself. She tells her story sitting on a grubby mattress in one of two rooms shared by her nine family members in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital. A bare bulb illuminates a clock on the wall. It’s nearly midnight, but Nujood’s beloved Haifa, nine, is still selling gum on the street corner. Their father, Ali Mohammed Ahdal, a former street sweeper, has 16 children, two wives, and no job.

Two months after her wedding, Nujood returned to her family’s house to visit Haifa. When her parents left for the day, Nujood did something virtually unheard-of in Yemen: She went out by herself and took a bus and a taxi to Sana’a’s main court. All morning she waited, until a judge saw her sitting there. “I want a divorce,” Nujood told him. The story of Nujood’s audacity spread to Shada Nasser, a human rights lawyer. “I didn’t believe it,” she says. She asked why the girl needed a divorce. Nujood’s reply: “I hate the night.” Nasser agreed to take the case free of charge. “But you must smile,” she said, “and you must trust me.”

So what can American women do to help child brides? Most advocates say that schools are crucial—that educating girls is the best way to change the culture. “When you promote education, you create new roles for women,” says Gabool al-Mutawakel, general manager of the Girls World Communication Center (GWCC) in Sana’a, which offers courses in English, computers and family planning to impoverished girls. In honor of Nujood and Nasser, Glamour has chosen the GWCC to be the recipient of money raised through the 2008 Glamour Women of the Year Fund initiative; donations that readers make will help child brides and girls at risk of early marriage finish school. “Yemeni people are receptive to educated women in the workforce,” al-Mutawakel says. “When a woman can contribute, they’re encouraging.”

Nujood’s divorce reinforced her spirit. “It made me strong,” she smiles. “Now my life is sweet as candy.” Back with her family, she says she wants to be a lawyer; two foreign benefactors have agreed to pay for her school supplies and higher education. This fall, Nujood went to school for the first time since her marriage. On that day, in her brand-new uniform—a bottle-green robe and a white hijab—Nujood stood with Haifa in the sunny schoolyard, waiting for her hard-won childhood to begin again.

I hope Nujood Ali the most famous divorcee starts to enjoy her childhood again, and does great in school!

Nujood Ali & Shada Nasser Accept Glamour's Women of the Year Award

Nujood Ali and Shada Nasser recieve the award, and speak to the audience that gave them HUGE applauds!

Glamour Magazine has done a story on both Nujood Ali and Shada Nasser as well!

Nujood Ali wins 'Woman of the Year' Glamour Magazine's Award

Nujood Ali Wins "Woman of the Year Award" as reported on Mideast Youth

It was mentioned in the story:

Nujood’s tale of suffering and rebellion caused a massive outcry within Yemen and garnered international media attention. Many viewed her as a symbol of oppression and the brutality of patriarchy, but for others, she was a source of inspiration. Following in her footsteps, victims of child marriage have begun speaking out and demanding justice, while activists and governmental officials in Yemen (one of the world’s worst offenders in terms of the prevalence of child marriage) have called for measures to end the practice of early marriage.
In honour of her bravery, and the self-less dedication of her lawyer, Glamour magazine awarded them the “Women of the Year” award, alongside Hilary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice and Jane Goodall and the Nobel Women’s Initiative. At only 10 years of age, Nujood is likely to be the youngest recipient of this award in its 19 year history.

The Award was given by Glamour Magazine, and I saw GOOD FOR THEM! I hope Nujood Ali's story helps the lives of other young girls in her country! Congratulations on Winning 'Woman on the Year'!