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A Girl We Love: Nada al-Ahdal

A Girl We Love: Nada al-Ahdal

The video of an extremely feisty and unusually articulate 11 yr old girl, Nada al-Ahdal, quickly went viral across media outlets last week. What made this video so amazing wasn’t the absolutely striking beauty of little Nada, it was her message against child marriage. Nada is mad as hell, and she poured all of her anger, and rebellion into those 180 seconds. She challenges everything from cultural traditions, to her mother’s decision, and our collective failure to act to stop it. The world should be put on notice: Nada has arrived. The crusade against child marriage has gained a **very** spunky spokesperson.

In Yemen, and places all over the world, girls as young as 7 are being forced into marriage. They are robbed of their innocence and given away, sold, or traded by their caretakers for money or other rewards. It’s not unusual for abuse and child pregnancy to replace years which should be spent in school. The child brides are often treated much like modern day slaves devoid of any rights, dreams, or basic freedom.

Nada clearly didn’t resign herself to the fate her mother sold her into. She ran away before the marriage could take place, and somehow managed to find her Uncle in the chaos. During that time she also made what is now an epic proclamation of one girls incredible ability to summarize the fate of girls who are forced into marriage against their will. Why is it girls are expected to give up their rights, dreams, freedom and lives without even questioning the practice? And how could her Mother have allowed it?

Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. We can also see Nada isn’t about to let anyone ignore her. We give you a standing ovation Nada. You are braver than many women twice your age. You can view [the video here]( along with the [book penned by a 10 yr old divorcee](, Nujood Ali. This is your world; do something about it.

a.e.cote 7/2013

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