Friday, April 23, 2010

A Review of "I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced"

Its the year of women for me, as I'm reading and doing research on inspirational women. Even at just 10 years old, Nujood is just that. I found this book so compelling that I couldn't put it down, and had finished it in just 2 days.

I first saw the book in a review that was republished from the Washington Post in the KC Star entitled, Brave Girl Sparks Change in Mideast. I had read shocking articles in the past, about girls as young as 8 being forced into marriage in the Middle East. So, when I saw the book, I knew I'd want to read it.

The reason Nujood's story is being told internationally, is because she is the first one who has successfully found a way out of her personal hell. Her father forced her to marry a a 30 year old man, who had promised not to have relations with her until she reached puberty. He broke that promise and forced himself upon her the very first night. Her screams for help went unanswered, even though her mother and sister-in-law were in the room right next door.

Nujood sought a way out, the first chance she got. When her parents refused to help her, she kept talking to others until finally someone told her to go to the courthouse.

The book talks about what life is like for a poor family in Yemen. It details their struggles and Nujood's determination not to be stuck in the misery that was forced upon her. She was able to get her divorce and was named a Glamour Magazine Woman of the Year in 2008. She is now determined to become a lawyer, who can help other young girls in the future.

Nujood's story brings hope for Yemen and the Middle East, although only a spark. As Condoleeza Rice said, "Societies that treat women badly, are dangerous societies."

My prayers are for a major transformation of how women are treated in these countries. I pray that we will see many more stories like Nujood's.

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