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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Viral video: 11-year old Yemeni girl runs away from home to avoid forced marriage

11-year old Nada al-Ahdal has run away from home because her parents are trying to force her into a marriage.

Here's an interview with her. Let's go to the videotape. More after the video.

That video has more than 5,000,000 hits in two days, which is pretty amazing. But what it doesn't say is to whom her parents want to marry her off and why. Is it money or something else?

The answers to those questions are not entirely clear, but this post implies that it probably had to do with money, and that the suitor was at least an adult.
A video, posted on YouTube, shows an 11-year-old Yemeni girl called Nada al-Ahdal recounting how she escaped her parents who wanted to force her to marry. Nada comes from a modest family and is one of eight siblings. Fortunately for her, her uncle Abdel Salam al-Ahdal, a montage and graphics technician in a TV station, decided to take her in when she was three years old, to live with him and his aging mother, away from her parents.

Nada was not an only child at home. Her uncle had also taken his other nephew under his wing, as the boy’s own father couldn’t afford his son’s medical requirements. Abdel Salam was thus responsible for bringing up two children. He personally took care of keeping them, and his frail mother, clean and well-fed.

Nada grew up in this caring environment, went to school, and learned English during the summer vacation. She has her own Facebook page, was a gifted singer, and took part in musicals. However, her happiness was cut short when someone came to ask her parents for her hand in marriage. The man, a Yemeni expatriate living in Saudi Arabia, did not care about the girl’s age. Her parents were happy because the prospective groom worked abroad and was rich.

Abdel Salam tells NOW: “When I heard about the groom, I panicked. Nada was not even 11 years old; she was exactly 10 years and 3 months. I could not allow her to be married off and have her future destroyed, especially since her aunt was forced to marry at 13 and burnt herself. I did all I could to prevent that marriage. I called the groom and told him Nada was no good for him. I told him she did not wear the veil and he asked if things were going to remain like that. I said ‘yes, and I agree because she chose it.’ I also told him that she liked singing and asked if he would remain engaged to her.”

The groom recanted the engagement and told the girl’s parents he did not want their daughter anymore. Nada’s parents, looking forward to a hefty bride price, were disappointed.

Nada had an 18 year-old sister who had been engaged many times. Her parents accepted each new proposal and took a partial downpayment for a bride price. They would then postpone the marriage until the groom had enough money, eventually ending each engagement, not returning the money. The same story would start all over again with another suitor, and so it was that she had had nine fiancés.

After Abdel Salam succeeded in warding off Nada’s first husband-to-be, her parents came from Zubaid on a visit to Sana’a and asked for their daughter to stay with them until mid-Ramadan. Abdel Salam agreed only to learn from the parents days later that Nada had disappeared.

At one point Nada escaped and tried to return to her uncle. When she got back to Sana'a, she was scared he would take her back to her mother. He found out afterwards that Nada’s mother wanted to marry her off again but did not tell him as she feared he would “scare away” the suitor as he had done the first time around.
Read the whole thing

Marrying an 11-year old (unless you're under 13-14) is pedophilia. Nothing more and nothing less. These Islamic perverts ought to be called out.

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