Queen of the Day

11-Year-Old Nada al-Ahdal Escapes From Forced Marriage

In a chilling tale of foreign abuse, an 11-year-old would-be child bride bravely escaped from her family after learning that they planned on selling her to a wealthy adult suitor. After seeking refuge with her uncle, Nada al-Ahdal described the conditions that led her to flee from her home in Yemen via a video released by MEMRI-TV.

“What about the innocence of childhood?” she asks. “What have the children done wrong? Why do you marry them off like that? I managed to solve my problem, but some innocent children can’t solve theirs, and they might die, commit suicide, or whatever comes to mind.”

With her wide, brown eyes ablaze and the ability to articulate well beyond her age, Nada recounts how her parents threatened to kill her if she tried to escape. Many other children were not so lucky.

“I would have had no life, no education,” she stresses. “Don’t they have any compassion?”

This was the second time Nada’s parents had tried to sell her to a suitor. The first time was when she was 10, but her uncle was able to successfully intervene.

“They have killed our dreams,” she decries. “They have killed everything inside us. There’s nothing left. This is no upbringing. This is criminal, simply criminal.”

According to the World Health Organization, more than 39,000 underage girls are married off every day and that number continues to grow due to an increase in crises and global poverty. Nada’s own aunt, just 14, committed suicide after a year of forced marriage to a drunken, abusive husband. Nada says she would have rather died than live her life that way. Thankfully, she was able to escape and decided to share her harrowing story with the world in order to shed light on this horrific, continued injustice.

Watch Nada’s video below:

Featured image via YouTube

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