11-year-old girl from Yemen flees arranged marriage, posts YouTube video telling her story

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A video posted on LiveLeak and YouTube on Sunday tells the story of an 11-year-old girl from Yemen called Nada Al-Ahdal.


Looking right into the camera, Nada says her parents tried to force her into an arranged marriage but she fled to her uncle’s house, who works as a graphic artist for a local TV station.

She talks about how in Yemen it is common for kids to commit suicide if they are forced into marriage, and how some children’s lives are stolen from them.

Nada is now waiting in hopes that journalists, human-rights activists and different local organizations will help her make a strong case against her parents who are trying to get her back so they can go on with the marriage process.

Written By: Amy Judd
continue to source article at globalnews.ca

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    • In reply to 11-Year-Old Yemeni Girl at the one minute mark:

      “I’m not the only one. It can happen to any child.”

      Correction: In this century, it can only happen to any child of one or two specific religions.

  1. I had an Indian friend who was set to have an arranged marriage. He was not happy about it. Last I spoke to him was right before he joined the U.S. Marines. I think part of him wanted to escape his parents and his forced obligations to them.

    • In reply to #2 by debaser71:

      I had an Indian friend who was set to have an arranged marriage. He was not happy about it. Last I spoke to him was right before he joined the U.S. Marines. I think part of him wanted to escape his parents and his forced obligations to them.

      Yes, arranged marriages probably suck for men too, but the only reason I realy care is because they take it out on their wives.

      No one really gives a damn about heterosexual men, get over it.

      • In reply to #22 by Peter Grant:

        No one really gives a damn about heterosexual men,

        Yeah, and that’s a problem. Especially in a community where people are supposedly humanists (or at least share humanist values). Also, I don’t know for certain if my Indian friend was heterosexual. There were some cultural differences but I never saw him fawning over girls or dating or anything even related to that. Why assume all men who are forced into marriage heterosexual?

        • In reply to #23 by debaser71:

          Yeah, and that’s a problem. Especially in a community where people are supposedly humanists (or at least share humanist values).

          I’m as human as the next person, my values are my own.

          Also, I don’t know for certain if my Indian friend was heterosexual. There were some cultural differences but I never saw him fawning over girls or dating or anything even related to that. Why assume all men who are forced into marriage heterosexual?

          I don’t, but that’s another issue entirely.

    • In reply to #2 by debaser71:

      I had an Indian friend who was set to have an arranged marriage. He was not happy about it. Last I spoke to him was right before he joined the U.S. Marines. I think part of him wanted to escape his parents and his forced obligations to them.

      I’ve known a few Indian men who had arranged marriages. They came to the US from India on H1B visas. They would return home marry their arranged spouse and come back to the US together. They always kept it quiet because the reaction from most US people wasn’t supportive. From what I saw those marriages didn’t turn out any worse than your average marriage. I haven’t kept in touch with most of those people but one guy I do still know is very happy. Which isn’t in any way meant to condone travesties like this. All the people in those marriages were consenting adults.

  2. What’s she complaining about? What’s happening to her is what her prophet recommended and did. He married a 6-year old. Clearly he had Allah’s permission to do that. Nada believes in that Allah. Granted she’s a little too young to understand all of what her prophet and her god has commanded her to do. But she should trust her parents. They are true believers and will never do anything that their prophet would not approve of. She does not know that in her religion, women are chattel.

      • In reply to #4 by Kim Probable:

        In reply to #3 by Atanu:

        What’s she complaining about? What’s happening to her is what her prophet recommended and did.

        Questioning one’s faith has to start somewhere…

        I thought it was ironic that she started her protest with the invocation of that entity who is most responsible for her plight.

        • In reply to #5 by Atanu:

          In reply to #4 by Kim Probable:

          In reply to #3 by Atanu:

          What’s she complaining about? What’s happening to her is what her prophet recommended and did.

          Questioning one’s faith has to start somewhere…

          I thought it was ironic that she started her protest with the invocation of that entity who is…

          What? Allah is the entity most responsible for this poor girl’s plight? Allah is real is he? Sorry but what are you on about?

        • In reply to #5 by Atanu:

          In reply to #4 by Kim Probable:

          In reply to #3 by Atanu:

          What’s she complaining about? What’s happening to her is what her prophet recommended and did.

          Questioning one’s faith has to start somewhere…

          I thought it was ironic that she started her protest with the invocation of that entity who is most responsible for her plight.

          You did notice that she could not wait to get it out of the way and thus rotely rattled of that invocation as a formulaic formality that custom requires in that culture. It stood in stark contrast to the impeccable logic that she gave hell with further on. What we have here is a potential Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the making. A scholarship to some quality secular schooling is in order.

          • In reply to #30 by godsbuster:

            In reply to #5 by Atanu:

            In reply to #4 by Kim Probable:

            In reply to #3 by Atanu:

            What’s she complaining about? What’s happening to her is what her prophet recommended and did.

            Questioning one’s faith has to start somewhere…

            I thought it was ironic that she started her protest with the invoca…

            @godsbuster

            I agree with you that she is a potential Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She’s articulate, determined, spirited and obviously has a good mind. I hope she gets a good home — I hope all children get good homes.

            Regards,
            Atanu

    • In reply to #3 by Atanu:

      What’s she complaining about?

      That she will be abused and raped against her will for her whole life.

      What’s happening to her is what her prophet recommended and did. He married a 6-year old.

      No, he forced the girl to marry him because she did not have a choice.

      Clearly he had Allah’s permission to do that.

      Allah does not get to have a say, or clearly (if there are no gods), he lied.

      Nada believes in that Allah.

      and maybe allah has told Nada not to marry.

      Granted she’s a little too young to understand

      So she is too young to marry, or even understand about religion, but old enough to understand that her parents care only about themselves.

      all of what her prophet and her god has commanded her to do.

      There are no commands, anyone who claims to know different, is just making it up.

      But she should trust her parents. They are true believers and will never do anything that their prophet would not approve of.

      These are the same parents who forced their 14 year girl into committed suicide. Their parents have a history of lying.

      She does not know that in her religion, women are chattel?

      Obviously she does knows better, that even in islam they know there is a difference between women and chattle, That is similar to the same lie barbarians used to use to justify slavery.

      Most parents are not fit to be parents, Kudos to the Uncle.

    • In reply to #3 by Atanu:

      What’s she complaining about? What’s happening to her is what her prophet recommended and did. He married a 6-year old.

      It is not quite that bad. He was betrothed to Aisha when she was five or six, but the marriage did not happen until she was nine or ten. This was the custom of the time. There is no reason to single out Mohammed behaving strangely. On the other paw, in the 1890s the average age of female puberty in Norway was 18. Even in North America pre-pubescent marriages were commonplace.

      Our horror at child brides is a relatively recent phenomenon.

      • In reply to #16 by Roedy:

        In reply to #3 by Atanu:

        What’s she complaining about? What’s happening to her is what her prophet recommended and did. He married a 6-year old.

        It is not quite that bad. He was betrothed to Aisha when she was five or six, but the marriage did not happen until she was nine or ten. This was the cus…

        What about child grooms? Please don’t assume that every arranged marriage is a female child marrying a grown man. Granted, I have never seen a situation where a young boy is arranged to be married to an older woman. (except in the movies where some prince is being married or something). Anyone know anything about this?

      • In reply to #16 by Roedy:

        Even in North America pre-pubescent marriages were commonplace. Our horror at child brides is a relatively recent phenomenon.

        I can’t speak for everyone but I don’t believe it is the age that is so offensive about arranged marriages. Certainly, most of us would agree that a woman (or man for that matter) should be mature enough to make the decision for themselves before getting married but it is not the age that is the problem. It is the fact that a parent or guardian forces an obligatory marriage upon a person (despite the age). We would be outraged (perhaps less so but outraged nonetheless) if this girl had been say twenty years old.

        Arranged marriage entails a loss of education and career opportunities, personal choices, and even sexual choice. They are obliged to sexual submission, subjected to physical discipline, and even potentially death by the hands of their husband for disobedience in these religious environments where arranged marriages are commonplace.

        Even in Christianity: Deuteronomy 22:23-24 Rape is a crime against the husband. Women who do not shout loud enough to be heard while being raped should be killed.

        What does it take before we as a people recognize the horrible injustices imposed or at least facilitated by religion? Obligatory marriages should be banned along with all these other bronze age horrors. If aliens came to our world tomorrow, I would be ashamed to say we are all humans.

      • In reply to #16 by Roedy:

        … This was the custom of the time. There is no reason to single out Mohammed behaving strangely….

        Well … yes it is. What you are saying is that god has changed his mind about what is right and wrong, and Mohammmed is supposed to have a diredt line to god.

        The alturnative is that that there are no gods and most barbaric cultures tolerated child rape, including those who claimed to have a direct line to heaven.

    • In reply to #3 by Atanu:
      “What’s she complaining about?”

      Who the hell is Allah? Yet another mythical creature residing in the clouds that seems to have some strange hold over superstitious and ignorant folk and, without doubt, Atanu (if this is meant to be serious) seems to be the most pig-ignorant of the whole lot. How can he possibly justify such drivel and utter rubbish? I really don’t have the right words to describe such a despicable attitude to a young girl who displays maturity way beyond her years to realise that this is TOTALLY and UTTERLY wrong! You, sir, should at least be put in the same position. You might then find out what it means to effectively be turned into a slave in your formative years.

    • In reply to #3 by Atanu:

      What’s she complaining about?

      WTF! let’s put all the politics aside. This girl is 11 and now is not the time for sarcastic religious jokes. Can we please have some compassion for her? She is fighting for her life! She is 11. I cried watching this because she is obviously a fighter fighting a very big battle that most of us never had to face. I like her spunk and I am glad people around the world are now awakened by the dilemma she is facing. Hopefully, something can be done about it. This video is so unreal, it seems as if it is fake, but unfortunately it is likely very real.

      Screw all the sarcastic religious comments here. What about the girl? WHAT ABOUT THE GIRL?

    • In reply to #3 by Atanu:

      What’s she complaining about? What’s happening to her is what her prophet recommended and did.

      That is truly a disgusting comment. This person thinks its more important to make yet another pointless joke about Islam than to show any empathy for an 11 year old girl who is trying to escape a pedophile.

      • In reply to #36 by Red Dog:

        In reply to #3 by Atanu:

        What’s she complaining about? What’s happening to her is what her prophet recommended and did.

        That is truly a disgusting comment. This person thinks its more important to make yet another pointless joke about Islam than to show any empathy for an 11 year old girl who is t…

        If people are actually interested in taking action against things like child marriage, rather than simply using this story as an excuse to make cheap jokes, then they would be advised to support the work of groups like Girls Not Brides.

        http://www.girlsnotbrides.org/

  3. In reply to #12 by Smill:

    In reply to Peter Grant, post 11. That’s whats so tragic as well. Testimonies show that these young girls/women do not submit, but nobody is there who is listening to them. That’s why it is truly ‘forced’ marriage.

    Suicide is always an option, one which she seems entirely prepared to take. There are some people you just cannot force.

  4. “Even in Christianity: Deuteronomy 22:23-24 Rape is a crime against the husband. Women who do not shout loud enough to be heard while being raped should be killed”

    What does the bible say regarding women who rape women. Men who rape men. And women who rape men?

    • In reply to #20 by debaser71:

      “Even in Christianity: Deuteronomy 22:23-24 Rape is a crime against the husband. Women who do not shout loud enough to be heard while being raped should be killed”

      What does the bible say regarding women who rape women. Men who rape men. And women who rape men?

      Back in the day it was perfectly exceptable for men to rape men as a form of humiliation. And stuff like ‘slaughter all the women who have been with a man, and keep the rest for yourself’. Maybe that’s where the phrase ‘war booty’ came from. The old testament is full of fun stuff like that.

    • In reply to #26 by Neodarwinian:

      ” What kind of people threaten their children like that? “

      People?

      I understand the question, but they really are people, that’s the scary part, misguided and delusional. It must be fought on all fronts.

  5. Apparently, that dowry thing is a good way to make money. Anywhere else we’d probably call it arranged slavery. If this kid can make it to the US, I have a spare bedroom she’s welcome to. My grand-kids would welcome her, too.(Instant playmates). We actually allow all sorts of innovative ideas for girls, like an education, even a bit of freedom here in the bible belt. The internet has got to be killing those muslim extremist’s.

  6. Muhammad married a 9 year old and this is employed as justification for creating an entire country that is populated by the Muslim equivalent of pedophile priests. Perhaps Nada has come to the realisation that the desire of ones parents (or Imam etc) is a fallible and limited human opinion draped in the mantle of purported (i.e. laughable) koranic inerrancy… a philosophical slight of hand that is becoming increasingly difficult to justify or convince anyone more intelligent than a grapefruit as to its legitimacy.

    To paraphrase Mr Spock, live long, prosper and be happy on your own terms Nada!

  7. In reply to Peter Grant, if ‘nobody’ gives a damn about heterosexual man then why does a man’s health and longevity improve if he’s married and decline if he lives alone? I guess that the ‘nobody’ you refer to must have something to do with that? The fact is marriage is socioeconomically beneficial for men, not for women, still.

    • In reply to #33 by Smill:

      In reply to Peter Grant, if ‘nobody’ gives a damn about heterosexual man then why does a man’s health and longevity improve if he’s married and decline if he lives alone?

      The question answers itself.

  8. Poor girl. You can see the terror and earnest entreaty in her eyes. You can also see strength and wisdom beyond her apparent years. I wish her the best.

    Unfortunately, hers is just one of thousands, maybe millions, of similar cases around the world. What a way to begin life — as property belonging to some, usually, old git. Sad.

    As for “arranged marriages”: it’s important to note that there are many kinds of this in both Asia and African and, possibly, in South America too. They aren’t all the same; nor are they all unmitigated disasters.

    My mother’s was an arranged marriage. Importantly, she was old enough, early twenties, to say yay or nay. As it turned, she said yes and hers was a successful marriage.

  9. I have two very young daughters. I feel sad for this brave girl’s plight and inspired by her determination to fight back at such a young age.
    At the risk of appearing frivolous, I’d add she is also adorable and pretty. Hope only good things come her way.

  10. “Salaam alaikum”; then, rational thoughts, level headed thinking and analysis. If she’d not opened with the religious mantra it wouldn’t be possible to tell that she’d been brain washed, and the true and full horror of the crime against her would have been hightened.

    I wonder how many of her fellow adult Nationals feel any shame or embarrassment about this?

  11. Watched this video again. The parts which struck me the most:

    I’m better off dead. I’d rather die.

    Go ahead and marry me off, I’ll kill myself just like that.

    My maternal aunt was 14 years old. She lasted one year with her husband, and then she poured gasoline over herself and set herself on fire. She died.

  12. I’ve been following a lot of stories here on rd.net without commenting on any, but this time I feel the need to.

    As much as we all agree on condemning any kind of forced/arranged marriage, especialy if a child is the victim, we have to be obejective and need to be aware that some people may use the knowledge of our common feelings for their advantage.

    What I realy don’t like about this story is that the only source for it and for the video is the “Middle East Media Research Institute” (MEMRI). If you look a bit deeper into MEMRI, you’ll see that it was founded by two Israelis; Meyrav Wurmser, a neoconservative lobbyist for Israely and US-Republican politicians and Yigal Carmon, a former Israely intelligence officer.
    Not only are these two everything but objective, MEMRI (TV) is as well. It is actually known to be a biased institution with anti-arab and pro-Israel coverage.

    I don’t say this story is neccessarily fake but I want to raise caution, so we, you and me, don’t fall for propaganda wrapped in the tragedy of an innocent child! And everybody has to admit that her eloquence seems to be amazing, especialy considering that she allegedly comes from a family, which planed to arrange her marriage at the age of 11.
    It is all possible, but it sounds at least a bit off to me and the Israely-Lobbyist/Former Intelligence – coverage doesn’t help to make it sound any better to me.

    • In reply to #45 by LuckiZero:

      I’ve been following a lot of stories here on rd.net without commenting on any, but this time I feel the need to.

      As much as we all agree on condemning any kind of forced/arranged marriage, especialy if a child is the victim, we have to be obejective and need to be aware that some people may use the…

      I understand your perspective which is why I commented about my confusion if it is actually real. There are parts when her facial expression is genuine – listen to her commenting about running away from her family. Then there is a part where she expresses her story and opinions as “we” and “girls” instead of talking about herself. She may or may not have been led to express certain views. IMO, if this is a true story about this girl running away to escape forced marriage, my concern is with the girl and not with the messengers.

  13. In reply to #49 by Smill:

    In reply to phil r, post 47. Do you think so? If you look at the WHO/UNICEF statistical predictions on this issue you will find that it continues to be widespread, linked to poverty and low educational achievement, ties into domestic violence and poor health outcomes, and that even where Governmen…

    Point well taken.

    I meant, simply, for a single eleven year old girl in those desperate circumstances, her achievement in publicising the problem with such persuasive, poignant and selfless argument and in the face of great threat is fucking amazing.

  14. That was distressing to watch, poor girl. I’m sure when she gets older she will see that it was not her family that she was running from but the barbaric dogmas of religion, her parents and family are just as much victims in that sense. Just like the 9//11 terrorists were “good” people in the context of their religion, these parents were only doing what they thought was good according to their own subscribed set of dogmas. Not that I’m trying to absolve these wicked people of responsibility of course, but the rabbit hole goes far deeper than just bad parenting.

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