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Thursday, May 27, 2010

I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced

I read a couple of books a month. 
One with my awesome-going-strong-for-3-years friends' book club and usually one for fun.
We don't have TV (hence the 3 kiddos in 4 years) and I'm an insomniac! When I can't sleep I read till my eyes roll.
Now I'm adding the SV Moms Book Club to my list of reads. My first read with them is I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced.
If you are wondering what this book is about - look no further than the title...
Nujood, one of 16 children from Yemen, is married off by her father at age 9 to a man in his 30s. (UG!!!) She is also the first child bride in Yemen to be granted a divorce! (Yay!) If you're thinking this tale took place in the 50's, think again! Nujood was divorced in 2008 and was named a Glamour Woman of the Year the same year.
The story follows her through her "happy" childhood in the country, moving to the city where her father can't hold a job and her siblings are forced to sell gum to tourists, her marriage & divorce, and ends up with her moving back in with her family.
(Nujood with her lawyer Shada Nassar on the night of the Glamour awards)
Instead of recapping the whole story. I'm just going to share my thoughts. Then you read the book and come back here and we can discuss!
My thoughts...
I'm a lover of happy endings. Honestly, I wanted the story to end with a modern Yemen family whisking Nujood away so she could be away from her khat addicted father and brainwashed dysfunctional family. Nujood is so brave for seeking out a divorce but I think her choosing to live with her family again shows that she is still under the thumb of her father and brothers. She wants to continue school and become a lawyer to help other child brides but without the support of her family I believe she will never accomplish that goal. i.e. the epilogue states that she has already dropped out of her school.
Is anyone else VERY disturbed by the tribal proverb in Yemen? "To guarantee a happy marriage, marry a nine-year-old."
Should you read the book...?
Yes! It's a quick read (I read it during nap time), the story is inspiring and will spark great conversations with your book club! 
Note: I'm very sensitive when it comes to child abuse (what mom isn't?) and I was worried Nujood's treatment by her husband would be too graphic. It wasn't. Though you know what happens and your heart just breaks. 
(Nujood and Nassar in Yemen)
Is Yemen the only place 9-year-olds are on display?
Nope, you don't have to look much farther than Orange County...
Read my post over at the Orange County Moms Blog!
Welcome to the strip club


Kimberly Eddy said...

Kara, when I heard about that poor girl i was just heart broken. I think as you said...when you're a momma, you tend to be more sensitive about this kind of thing, but still I just wanted to fly over there and take that little girl away from her sicko culture that is okay with that...but then again, our culture may not be marrying off nine year olds to old guys but we aren't exactly letting them stay children. Even just finding a pair of non-high heel shoes for my 11 year old daughter has become rather difficult.

healthyfeetgirl said...

Sounds like a good read I might have to add to my list.

My husband and I saw that video you mention at the end and were horrified.

What's w/little girls in heels too? There was a little girl w/ heels at my daughters preschool the other day. For dress up now and then, no big deal but for preschool...I don't think so! Heck..I don't even wear heels.

MollyinMinn said...

Great review, I had been thinking about picking this up and think I will now. And wow, the image at the end. Not even sure I can click. Stuff like that makes me so sick. When are parents going to say "ENOUGH!"

Jen and Bern said...

Great post.. more need to understand what really happens outside of our OC bubble.

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