NOTE**** I have typed this review in a different colour in the hope that it will make people read this "important" review, for the sake of one little girl and the many others that the proceeds from her short autobiography of 178 pages will help! If you have purchased this book and read it, THANK YOU!!
The country of Yemen lays at the southernmost tip of the Arabian Peninsula, washed by the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. Yemen is steeped in years of history where "adobe turrets perch on the peaks of settled mountains. Yemen is also the realm of the "Queen of Sheba" who was a woman that inflamed the heart of King Solomon with her strength and beauty. Yemen is beautiful and well-known for its oil; they say their honey is worth its weight in gold; and archaeologists come to Yemen to study the architecture of its ruins. Yet Yemen has suffered through a series of civil wars and unified in 1990, but the nation still suffers from the old wounds left by these many conflicts. It leaves one to ponder just who makes the laws in this strange land, where many girls and boys beg in the streets instead of going to school.
The President of Yemen often has his photograph displayed in windows of shops, but power also "lies with tribal chiefs in turbans who wield enormous authority in the villages, whether its a question of arms sales, marriage, or the commerce of khat (a drug like substance chewed by the men)". But in Yemen homes, the law is laid down by fathers and brothers. And, so it was in this remarkable, turbulent country, barely 10 years ago, that a little girl named Nujood was born. She is a very tiny girl with parents and lots of brothers and sisters. Nujood loved to draw and colour and "fantasizes about being a sea turtle because she has never seen the ocean, and she shows her dimples when she smiles.
But, in February 2008, her dimples suddenly disappeared when her father told her she "was going to marry a man three times her age!" Nujood was married off a few days later at the tender age of 9. The man who married her had promised NOT to have sexual relations with her until she reached puberty and had her first period, but of course, he did NOT keep that promise. As a result the torture, abuse, and constant rapes Nujood withstood is utterly heartbreaking at best.
This is Nujood's story. A story of unbelievable sadness, pain, guilt, shame, and the courage of one little girl to change the future for herself and other girls her age. The proceeds from her book are going to finance her education in school, starting back in Grade 5. Please purchase this book and give this little girl what she truly deserves. The right to be educated and protected from those who seek to abuse her.
May 20, 2011