Yemeni Girl, 11: I Ran Away to Avoid Marriage
Nada Al-Ahdal says she won't be a child bride
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2013 7:03 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Nada Al-Ahdal came to the world's attention when she released a two-and-a-half-minute YouTube video railing against child marriage in Yemen—and claiming she ran away from home to avoid being forced to marry at age 11. "Death would be a better option for me" than becoming one of the country's child brides, she says in the video, in which she accuses her parents of trying to marry her off for money. "What about the innocence of childhood? What have the children done wrong so that you would marry them off like that?" she asks. Millions have watched, although there is some controversy over Nada's story (even Yemen's top child-rights organization thinks some portions may not be true).

She says that, after running away "from being bought and sold," she ended up with her uncle in Sanaa. That's where CNN found and interviewed her. "I'd rather commit suicide than get engaged," she said. But days later, she was taken from her uncle and moved to a women's shelter, where a women's rights activist was named her temporary guardian. This past weekend, Nada met with the guardian, her uncle, and her parents (who insist they never planned to marry her off) and it was decided that she, her parents, and her uncle would live together in Sanaa so Nada can be educated. "In the countryside, there's no English classes, there's no computer classes," she said of her home. "Please let me stay in Sanaa and study here."

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Showing 3 of 12 comments
Aug 1, 2013 11:12 AM CDT
To begin with I do NOT support child marraige. In the story it stated there were questionable parts to her story. Could this all be about an 11 year old that wants to move to the city. Kids these days make false accusations all the time to get their way. Be sure you know the facts before you blame the parents of anything. Tomarrow you may be the brunt of some childs accusations.
Jul 31, 2013 7:04 PM CDT
Poor kid. : ( I hope she manages to grow up to a happy life, and not hitched to some pedophile,
Jul 31, 2013 6:18 PM CDT
Hopefully she'll have a better life.