Written By: Mohammed al-Kibsi
Article Date: Aug 6, 2012 - 10:33:38 PM
Nojoud Ali Al-Ahdal is the most famous Yemeni child bride and the first ever that revolted against the law and Yemeni tradition when approached a court in Sana’a demanding to be divorced from her 33 years old husband when she was only 9 years old.
Nojoud Ali Yemen's most famous child bride receives American Glamour Magazine prize as 2008's woman of the year.
Nojoud won the Glamour Magazine prize along with Condoleezza Rice to be the woman of the year in 2008.
A book about her life and her story was published by a French publication house in 2008. The publisher bought Nojoud a house in al-Hasaba neighborhood Sana’a from her share of the book sales. He also pays her a US$ 1000 a month to her father’s account as Nojoud is under age and cannot have her own account.
This money is supposed to be spent for her living along with her family. However recently her father got married to a third wife that keeps making troubles to Nojoud and her brothers and sisters.
A day after day Nojoud that is the symbol of Yemeni revolutionary women and children suffered a lot from her father and his new wife harassment a matter that forced Nojoud and some of her brothers to leave her own home for her father and his new wife. She preferred to go live with her father’s second wife in al-Qa’a neighborhood.
Last Sunday Nojoud went to her father on the same day he received the monthly 1000 dollars asking him to give her, and her mother and other family members a share of the money.
The father got mad at her and asked her to offer him half of the house and half of the book’s sales otherwise he would kill her.
Fortunately her brothers prevented him from hurting her and they locked her in her room to protect her.
Her father kept trying to break the door threatening to kill her if she did not answer his demands.
On Monday Nojoud told her family she would go to her grandmother that lives near Tahrir in Sana’a.
She approached Relief International office in Sana’a, where she knows one of RI staff asking for help.
So far RI staffer contacted some lawyers. Lawyer Qais Sanabani promised to help her through the Justice and Development Center to provide her free legal assistance.
Nevertheless Nojoud that is revolting against her father’s harassment and against masculine supremacy this time that gives her father the right to spend her own money for entertaining himself is asking help from NGOs.
RI is approaching all NGOs in charge to help Nojoud live her own life and have access to education as she did not go to school last year due to security problems and family problems.
Nojoud is 15 years old now but she is still in 4th grade due to family problems and threats from unknown people that have been texting her and calling her on her cell phone to never goes out of her home or else.
The US Secretary of state Hilary Clinton met with Nojoud during her visit to Yemen last year, praised her courage and promised her dignitary life.
“All I want is to live an ordinary life and go to school like all children do and never be subjected to harassment or threats,” cried Nojoud with tears dropping from her innocent childish eyes.
All RI could do was asking staff to donate for Nojoud to have dinner for the night, promising her to pass her complain to the NGO’s in charge to find her temporary solution.
Lawyer Qais Sanabani promised to cancel her father’s custody through the court but this cannot be achieved during Ramadan month as the Yemeni courts are in vacation till the 10th of Shawal Islamic month that coincides the 2nd of September 2012.
Nojoud has 15 brothers and sisters 10 of them are younger than her. They all used to live from the money she gets from the publisher of her book. But now they all live from food that her step mother collects from neighbors.
• Offensive against militants drives US drone campaign, tribes claim
• Family to hand over militants should drone campaign cease
• Government says Al Qaeda deputy amir dead, experts skeptical