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Wednesday, 24 July 2013

VIDEO: Child Marriage: 11Year Old Yemeni Girl Takes a Bold Decision

As the controversy over child marriage gathers momentum in Nigeria where the Senate has passed a resolution accepting under-age marriage, Al Jazeera reports of the bold decision taken by a Yemeni child bride, who has vowed to kill herself rather than be married out at a tender age of eleven.

A video of an 11-year-old Yemeni girl's account of escaping her arranged marriage has gone viral. In the 3-minute clip, Nada al-Ahdal says she would rather die than get married at her age and calls the potential marriage "criminal."

According to a report in NOW Lebanon, Nada fled to her uncle when her parents agreed to marry her to a Yemeni expatriate living in Saudi Arabia.

A version of the video with English captions received more than 5.6 million views in two days.

In a follow-up report by the pan-Arab television channel Al Mayadeen, Nada's father pledged not to marry her off until she is 17-years old. He did not say what pushed him to change his mind.

The clip, which aired on July 21, also shows Nada speaking to a group of lawyers at the Seyaj Organization for Childhood Protection and hugging her parents.


Another local report states that Nada will be living with her uncle, who has assumed full financial responsibility for her.


Though the story was reported by several Arab outlets, some focused on the organisation that uploaded the English version of Nada's video, The Middle East Research Institute (MEMRI). Based in the US and founded by a former Israeli intelligence officer, MEMRI has been criticised for selectively translating Arabic broadcasts and providing a consistently negative portrayal of Muslim countries.

In the video, Nada mentions other children who are put in the same situation: "I managed to solve my problem, but some innocent children can't solve theirs, and they might die, commit suicide, or do whatever comes to mind... I'm not the only one. There are many cases like that."


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