Friday, February 25, 2011

52 Books in 52 Weeks - Week 9 - I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced

I'm on Week 8 of 52 Books in 52 Weeks; and was at the library this week looking for a book to read.  Was browsing the aisles and wandered down an aisle I don't normally visit and was looking at the shelves in the 306s. 

Read the title I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Njuood Ali with Delphnine Minoui, and thought, "Did I read that correctly?"  Pulled the book off the shelf.  Sure enough.  That's the title.  Thought it, perhaps, had to do with a child who divorced her parents.  Every once in a while I hear about a situation where a child has formally broken ties with her/his parents due to overwhelming neglect or abuse.  This wasn't the case. 

The book is about Nujood and how her childhood came to an abrupt end in 2008 when her father arranged for her to be married to a man three times her age.  With harrowing directness, Nujood tells of abuse at her husband's hands and of her daring escape. 

With the help of local advocates and the press, Nujood obtained her freedom - an extraordinary achievement in Yemen, where almost half of all girls are married under the legal age. 

Nujood's courageous defiance of both Yemeni customs and her own family even inspired other young girls in the Middle East to challenge their marriages. 

Recently honored alongside Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice as one of Glamour magazine’s women of the year, Nujood now tells her full story in this book. As she guides us from the magical, fragrant streets of the Old City of Sana’a to the cement-block slums and rural villages of this ancient land, her unflinching look at an injustice suffered by all too many girls around the world is at once shocking, inspiring, and utterly unforgettable.

Although this isn't a book that I would typically read, it is one that has caught my attention and brought awareness to a serious issue that is all-too-prevalent in the Middle East.  At the back of the book, there's information about a non-profit organization that helps girls who have been forced to leave school and those who are young victims of early marriages to continue their education.


Heidi said...

What a story to tell! Surely it brings light upon other similar situations and advocates women's rights. I am also impressed by your endeavor to read a book a week! I would love to be able to have the time for this. Teaching sucks up most of my time so I end up making up for my reading over the summer only to realize how much I missed reading!

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a story. I have recently started reading for enjoyment again and this one looks like a good one to pick up.
Thanks for sharing.

Jean said...

This has been on my wish list for a long time; maybe I'll get it on ILL? I really want to read it. Thanks!

Robin McCormack said...

Wow! Just thinking about it gives me the chills. Thanks for sharing!