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Book 45 Completed

July 21, 2010

I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali (as told to Delphine Minoui) — is a heartbreaking look into Yemen’s issue of child-brides. Because the book is told from Nujood’s 10 year-old POV, it’s limited in scope, however. But — seriously — I’m not going to rip-into a 10 year old’s book!!*** The epilogue actually intrigued me the most because Minoui talks about more of the political and social issues happening in Yemen; especially the issue of children being kidnapped on the Saudi border and sold into a booming sex-trafficking business. I didn’t know anything about Yemen and this book really made me want to read and research more.

There is something authentic about hearing the story from Nujood’s perspective. And I’m curious — if someone were to write a book about her — would that have felt exploitive? This is Nujood’s book, a story she wanted to tell. And the proceeds of her book are being carefully managed so that she can attend law school someday and set up a safe house for other abused child-brides. It doesn’t matter if I think this particular format for her story is lacking…the mere fact that Nujood stood up against centuries of tradition and carved the way for more eight, nine , ten, and eleven-year-olds to seek divorces is amazing!! She is an amazing little girl.

The epilogue also talked about Nujood’s continuing troubles. Despite benefactors all over the world and people lining up to adopt her, Nujood chose to remain with her parents (who sold her in the first place) and her very traditional Yemen family. Her brothers are angry at her for tarnishing their family “honor” and resent all the journalists. Her lawyer gave her a cell-phone, that she keeps hidden from her family, to use if she thinks that anyone is going to hurt her. So, for Nujood, the celebration of her divorce and the publication of this book, are not the fairy-tale ending she deserves.

I hope she gets that happiness someday. I really do.

This book worth is reading because I think more people should be aware of injustices happening in the world. And you can read it in less than two hours — guaranteed.

***Side story!! Last night at dinner, my dad told me that when he was in the fifth grade, he wrote a play! And the school agreed to let him and some other students perform it for the whole school. So, my dad organized a performance of his play — complete with costumes and a set. The day arrived of the performance, the school filed into the auditorium, and were being a little rowdy. So, the principal announced: “Since you’re too loud, we’re canceling the play!” and he sent everyone back to their classrooms. Oh my gosh!! I can just see my dad’s eleven-year-old self, in his little fireman costume, standing behind the curtain, watching his audience file back out and his dreams of playwriting dashed on the spot. I felt so sad for him! I told my dad that I wanted to punch that principal in the face. But my dad was like, “Yeah. He’s been dead for a number of years.” We all know that if I’m angry enough, even death wouldn’t stop me from giving someone a really good face punch.

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