11 y.o. Yemeni girl flees home to avoid marriage: “I’d rather kill myself”

It’s a disturbing video. 11 year old Nada Al-Ahdal from Yemen talks about how she had to run away from home in order to avoid being married off by her parents.

“They told me that I am engaged, and that my fiance had already paid them money and brought the engagement ring. They said that I couldn’t leave, and even threatened to kill me if I went back to my uncle.”

11-year-old-Yemeni-Girl-Nada-Al-Ahdal

It’s shocking how many times this little girl talks about killing herself. No one that young should have thoughts like that.

“I’m not an item for sale, I’m a human being and I would rather die than get married at this age.”

“Go ahead and marry me off. I’ll kill myself, just like that.”

“I decided that I have two choices; to leave or to die. So I chose the first.”

You can read more quotes from the video here.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • Kafil Vallier

    Perv………..

  • Eintschnieder

    Shes sooo cute! Shell be a hot woman one day xP

  • Kafil Vallier

    Christianity used to be Islaam but the Christian didn’t follow the next Prophet ( SallAlAllahu Alayhe waSallam))…..so the Christians branched off and became Christians……but Jesus told them to follow Muhammad (SallalAllaahu Alayhi wa Sallam)……. So yeah you’re stupid…….

  • Kafil Vallier

    Alhumdulilah, what you mentioned is good, however…….while Islaam did give women rights, i wouldn’t go so far as to say that they are equal to men…..Allaah has created a man a degree over the women.The problem is the men take advantage of this degree and abuse it. But they have to stand before Allaah and be questioned. So don’t be apologetic……and don’t be moderate, middle course……..

  • Kafil Vallier

    You’re stupid. You have no proof that everyone in her culture has those warped values……….

  • Kafil Vallier

    You’re stupid. Everything a muslim does, does not have to be associated with Islaam. You should reevaluate what you believe……….

  • Kafil Vallier

    You can’t say she got her ideas from western influence, because i’ve been to yemen they are very civilized people, you have some neanderthals, but what culture doesn’t. Dont forget Islam took Europe out of the dark ages…….it showed the world how to be civilized………

  • Buford

    Perhaps, but are Christians as similarly enlightened when differentiating between peaceful Muslims and extremist Muslims?

  • Swami_Binkinanda

    Like Mullah Rick Perry.

  • Swami_Binkinanda

    Three crazy religions from one region with one book! That’s a THREEFER!

    Wasn’t it like, oh, one or two generations ago that the same deal worked in the South?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I appreciate the basic sentiment behind your words of encouragement in your open remarks to that young girl…but you seem to forget that for most of Christian and Abrahamaic history, women were considered chattel and property — so much so, we were lumped in with slaves, farm animals, and other possessions in the Ten Commandments. Even today, many of your fellow Christians insist that it is a woman’s proper place to submit to men and be directed by them.

    That all said, advising her to simply give up to being owned by men and raped and all that? Sorry, but no. If at all possible, a soul like that deserves to be free, and telling her there’s no hope whatsoever for a better life is appalling advice. You should be ashamed to suggest it.

    It’s not the Islamic culture that’s the problem. It’s men using religion to impose their will on others, deciding what is the proper place and role in society and in families for all others, even those who don’t believe in the dominant fundamentalist faith.

    Sound familiar? It should. Every religion invented by man to try to hang onto bronze age myths and cultural practices does this.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I’ll settle for ‘Was.’

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    After the collapse of the Andalusian Renaissance it was all down hill for Christianity.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Or patriarchal conservatives whose fetus fetishes make rape a family value.

  • jules

    First of all, religion is best at tearing things about and segregating not only cultures but individual families as well. In the case of this child, she is highly educated and is going places, if she gets the opportunity to do so, which she is already paving a path for. Hopefully she can do it. The sad part is, what about the other young children, boys and girls alike, that don’t understand this? It’s all they know. And this occurs in cultures throughout the world, even in our precious “first world” environment. We are all slaves to our, how shall I saw, cultures, and by cultures I mean rituals and traditions and customs, and we can’t break free for if we do, we lose things we’ve previously held dear such as our families. Positivity and well wishes are sent to this little girl and all of the other children in every place in the world on their journies.

  • BrandySpears

    Ayan Hirsi Ali, an ex-Muslim, is a “violent and always vile racist”? You’re nuts.

  • sane37

    More likely is because money corrupts everything.

  • sane37

    What planet do you live on Dan?

  • sane37

    Because christianity never treats women like property.. /snark.

  • Bill_Perdue

    the christer cults at their core are frauds.

    Religion is the enemy. It’s one of the main props, along with right centrist parties like the Democrats and Republicans of a backward, for profit, patriarchal society.

    Religion is humankind’s greatest tragedy. That includes all the cults, not just the baby rapers.

    We should begin to campaign for an agenda that includes taxing the cults, secularizing their schools, hospitals and universities (without compensation) and closing their seminaries. It’s time to criminalize cult interference in civil matters like marriage, education, adoption and etc. It’s time to create laws and regulations that forbid priests, imams, preachers, rabbis, mullahs or pastors to be near children. The risk is too great.

    It’s time to end the power of the cults.

  • lynchie

    They want them murdered here as well. Many christians believe women stay at home, cook, clean and spread their legs on demand.

  • lynchie

    A big hearty horseshit to you. Find you strength in Jesus. Where has he been on vacation or are you saying only a Christian can be saved. Please.

  • Badgerite

    This is one of the reasons why I don’t have a lot of sympathy for someone, such as Al Awlaki, who was in the leadership of Al Qaeda in Yemen If you are going to be a prominent part of a murderous and repressive group like that, American passport or not, do not expect to play on progressive leanings as a means of garnering support. There is nothing ‘progressive’ about Al Qaeda, its membership or its philosophy.

  • cambridgemac

    Well, there was no repression of women under Sadaam, either. Iraq had the highest literacy rate among women in the Arab world, excepting Palesine. And women were employed in all sectors.

  • cambridgemac

    Bilionaires acting like weasels? I’m shocked. Shocked. Must be because they are icky Islams.

  • cambridgemac

    Actually, Yemen IS a font of Islamic and Arabic civilization. They were literate in 1000 BC, when Greece was illiterate. And they were the first Arab country to give women the vote. And Yemen has a far larger population than Saudi Arabia.

  • cambridgemac

    For the first 600 years, Islam was centuries AHEAD of Europe in its treatment of women. The crusdaers (a murderous, not to say, genocidal bunch) brought back ideas of beauty, courtly love and romance from the Near East. And chivalry. Chivalry was not part of knighthood until the encounter with the Arabs. That’s all history, too. History does not go in a straight line forward towards “progress.”

  • http://poodyheads.wordpress.com/ zorbear

    Maybe he meant Icelandic — makes just as much sense…

  • Bill_Perdue

    Both are correct. Race is an unscientific concept and Islamophobes are often violent and and always vile racists. Too bad you don’t get it.

  • Moderator3

    Um, let me see. No, it’s not a joke.

    Of course, it’s just my opinion, but I feel this discussion could be easily derailed. Dan may make these remarks in other more appropriate discussions.

  • Fiendishly

    This comment is disgusting beyond words.

    And yes, sure. Let’s trade one male dominated religious culture for another, sounds like a great plan….

  • Fiendishly

    Not too much unlike males in US culture. If most US conservative men had their way, US women wouldn’t have many more rights than women in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, etc. As it is they just pass bills specifically aimed at controlling women’s health and sexuality under the guise of religious belief, blame and punish the victims of rape while shielding male perpetrators from the law or social ramifications, obstruct laws that would benefit survivors of domestic violence, cut programs aimed at helping poor single mothers support their families and have a prayer of finding a way out of poverty and vote against equal pay for women.

    Men who are quick to point the finger at the “males of other cultures” need to take a good hard long look at the way this culture treats women. Take the planks out of your eyes.

  • ComradeRutherford

    You are talking about USA Conservative Republicans, right?

  • ComradeRutherford

    That is a joke… Right, Moderator3?

  • ComradeRutherford

    I was going to say that more crassly: Where did she get such outlandish ideas? USA Liberal Media???

  • ComradeRutherford

    I am pointing out the net result of all USA Republican/Conservative policies regarding females.

  • BrandySpears

    Make up your mind. In one breath you invoke “a form of racism” and the next breath “there are no races”. Which is it?

    Come up with a different word for prejudice against Muslims. “Islamophobia” implies no such prejudice.

  • emjayay

    What’s really amazing to me is that this intelligent articulate girl grew up in a very repressive Middle Eastern Muslim family and society (no not necessarily everyone in her country or the Middle East in general). Millions of girls exactly like her went along with all of this without question. It’s all they knew. Yet she quite clearly has some big and quite well thought out and informed ideas which did not come from that society. She has been exposed some Western/modern/secular ideas which she got from school or the internet or somewhere. Wonder why the Taliban and others down that line don’t want girls in particular to go to school? This is why.
    It’s the same reason why in a much less extreme situation obviously American Christianists are maybe 75% of home schoolers – insulating their kids from modern ideas of all sorts, like science and gay people being OK etc.

  • Aldana

    This is the smartest little 11 year old I’ve have ever seen. She’s a strong one not even women who are in there 30′s would stand up to say what they want to say but she did and its sad what she has to go through and the terrible things that her family or even calling them that would be an insult. Women aren’t objects doesn’t matter your religion, race, whatever you are but if your religion makes women seems worthless and lets young children be married off to disgusting pedophiles then you need to reevaluate what you believe.

  • Aldana

    You’re joking right?

  • emjayay

    Dan, that is the history. What is known as the Enlightenment back around three centuries ago among other things helped change things a lot and progress has continued. You are right about the message of Jesus. Many modern Chrisitians would agree with you. But obviously many millions of people who consider themselves the best possible Christians still to some degree or another – generally nothing like the degree seen in the Middle Eastern/Muslim cultures – continue these beliefs.

    People in many cultures tend to ascribe the traditions of their culture to their religion, which makes them not just human rules but justifies them much more strongly as the word of their God.
    And you don’t need Jesus or a belief in any kind of God to believe in nondiscrimination, or the opposite for that matter.

  • Peace

    Hello Dan,

    I don’t know if this will resonate with you or not but, I am a muslims and an arab, and I don’t like you generalizing males in my culture. I consider myself a human rights defender. I support women’s rights and I do believe that Islam has brought these rights before the west even knew about such rights for women. However, the problem is, in some proclaimed “Islamic” states they use religious text for their own benefits, misinterpreting them and using other false resource for their sexist and prejudice views. I am glad that she found a way out, and notice that she went to a relative, who is an arab muslim. I saw this video and a part of me just couldn’t bear to see it to the end.

    Yemen is well known for these kind of un-islmaic marriages, and it is one of the least developed countries in the arab region and has one of the worst HDI. I and so many other muslims, view women as equals and that number is growing each day, and hopefully these kind of incidents will stop.

    I wish you nothing but happiness and luck.

    Peace,
    A muslim

  • Moderator3

    Dan, please no proselytizing.

  • Dan

    Yes she will be a slave-wife for labor and sex if she marries this man.

  • Dan

    Well blame your culture little girl. All males in your culture perceives females like you as subhuman.

    Please don’t kill yourself, it is not a wise decision in any sense. The truth is you will be forced to marry no matter what you do and there is nothing you can do to change it. Your culture is stubborn and violent when it comes to traditions, but do not kill yourself over this fact. Yes you will be raped and beaten by your husband for it is very common within your culture. But stay strong little girl!

    Have faith and find your strength in Jesus and he will show you the way the truth and the life that will set you free!

  • Dan

    Those are a minority and shouldn’t even be labeled a Christian. Christianity at it’s core is selflessness and loving your fellow man just as Jesus did. Wanting the murder of homosexuals is not Christian in any way. So don’t call them Christian.

  • Dan

    Well blame your culture little girl. Your culture perceives females like you as subhuman.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Non-responsive. There are no races, the concept it unscientific. There are however, lots of vile christer and zionist racists who hate Arabs and muslims, conforming to the right attacks on muslim societies that have always been a central focus of US policy geared at resource hegemony and political control.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Correct. The murders began after the Bush/Clinton attacks on Iraq. Both sunini police and shia militias have conducted anit-gay pogroms.

    Christers are just as misogynist as islamists and judaists.

  • BrandySpears

    Islam is NOT a race.

  • FLL

    Not only do industrialized countries have other options for oil (including, we hope, Australia), it’s been widely acknowledged that the Saudis have overestimated their oil reserves by as much as 40%. The Saudi royal family are just being weasels, it seems.

  • FLL

    There was no anti-gay murder campaign during the regime of Saddam Hussein. It only began after the U.S. toppled Hussein’s regime in 2003. As far as the police and the Interior Ministry, they are part of the government in power, and the Shia have been in power since the elections of 2005. Aside from the anti-gay murder campaign, the Iraq War was a catastrophe in terms of human life and budget deficit. George W. Bush left a legacy of antipathy toward Republicans in most of the country. I understand that in Mormon-dominated Utah, your home state, that is not the case. However, I think Utah is atypical.

  • nicho

    Islam came along 600 years after Christianity and Muslims are lagging about 600 years behind Christians in their treatment of women, gays, religious non-conformists, etc. It wasn’t that long ago that Christian women were considered chattel, heretics were brutally murdered, and gays were burned at the stake. Christians don’t have much or a moral high ground here. More like a slight bump. And there are some Christians who aren’t that much evolved either. There are Christians in the US who want gays to be murdered in Africa.

  • nicho

    Yeah, but don’t send them to Texas.

  • nicho

    Canada, Mexico, Venezuela are Islamic? When did that happen?

  • Bill_Perdue

    Islamophobia is defined as a form of racism by the UN. http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2004/sgsm9637.doc.htm

  • Bill_Perdue

    Exactly. It happens here too in some conservative mormon communities and in the same communities boys as young as 12 and thirteen are abandoned on rural roads before they can become ‘competitors’ with aging polygamists. They’re called the “Lost Boys’ and there are thousands of them. http://childbrides.org/boys.html

    There are several attempts underway to prosecute what amounts to rape and forced child prostitution of young girls among some mormon communities in SW Utah and NW Arizona.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The murder campaign in Iraq is conducted by anti-American shia militia and pro-American sunni police. Iraqi gays complained that the Us command did nothing to stop it during the occupation. http://gayswithoutborders.wordpress.com/2009/11/23/terror-campaign-against-lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgender-iraqis-continues-unchecked-by-iraqi-government/

    The invasion and occupation of Iraq by the US is the sole and direct origin of the murder campaigns in Iraq.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Yeah… notice how it’s clear this girl’s ‘fiance’ is an adult male. She’s literally being sold as a slave-wife.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The plan is to stay in Afghanistan indefinitely. “Obama’s ‘Midnight’ Deal Will Stretch Afghan War to 2024 – One thing crystal clear in secretive US-Afghan ‘strategic partnership agreement’: War not even close to ending – President Obama’s secret trip to Afghanistan, shrouded in secrecy for security reasons, culminated in a midnight meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the signing of a ‘strategic partnership agreement’, the full details of which have not been made available to either the American or Afghan public.” https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/05/02-6

    The continued US presence in Afghanistan will only make things worse because the Karzi government is corrupt and reactionary.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Religion, class society and patriarchy are the enemy.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Oh yes, Yemen, that font of Islamic civilization.

  • ComradeRutherford

    This girls doesn’t understand: Females are not human beings, they are property. Republicans say so, we can’t argue against that.

  • FLL

    I’m hoping that the optimistic estimates are correct and Australia becomes an oil exporter.

  • Leota2

    Sadly, this is not the best place for women at the moment. We aren’t marrying off our
    children yet (unless you’re in a crazy Mormon sect)–but we are taking away women’s reproductive rights and health care. And the next step is instituting laws that keep those
    women unfortunate enough to have an unwanted pregnancy and are not married to be relieved of their jobs (you know—because of god). Some congressmen already want women to report their miscarriages to the cops. No—this poor child needs to go to Scandanavia or
    one of those more forward thinking countries. You know, like we used to be once upon a time.

  • Jimmy

    I like that, but the reality of the situation would not allow for this since we remain beholden to so many of these countries for oil.

  • lynchie

    Well if you remember W and his stepford wife claimed the reason for going into Afghanistan was to free the women so they could go to school and to stop wearing the Burkha. Nothing changed just a good excuse to invade, kill some civilians and fuck the country over for 10 years. check this out. http://kabul.usembassy.gov/lbush.html

    What a load of horseshit and right from Laura’s mouth and Tom Brokaw, the guy with the impacted sinus. claiming they are in politics, stopping wearing burkhas, going to school. Nothing will change for these women because there is no money in it. Corporations don’t give a shit about our lives and we should think we care about some Afghan women.

  • nicho

    No, because the moonbats are all Islamophobes.

  • FLL

    Now that I think about it, the murder campaign in Iraq is rather broadly targeted. It concentrates on gay men, but includes transgendered people also.

  • Gregg Long

    We should announce that any female from a Muslim country will be given automatic asylum here.

  • BrandySpears

    The moonbats will scream “Islamophobia!”

  • FLL

    You are dead wrong about the lack of attention by the Western media supporting women and girls. Those stories regularly make the front pages. The lack of attention is toward an ongoing campaign of murder directed toward gay men in Iraq by the Shia militias. Western governments have condemned this years-long assassination campaign, but I rarely see any stories about it in the media. Please note that more people have died in this targeted killing in Iraq than similar campaigns elsewhere in the region. S1AMER, are you reading different news sources than I am?

  • FLL

    The al-Qaeda franchise in Yemen killed one man they suspect of being gay a week ago (link here). The same al-Qaeda group in Yemen killed yet another man they suspected of being gay just yesterday (link here). This is now an ongoing campaign in Yemen. Since al-Qaeda is Sunni, you might wonder what’s happening among Shia fundamentalists. Western news sources have long reported on the assassination campaign against gay men by the Iranian-supported Shia militia in Iraq.

    Yes, I understand that homophobia is not a monopoly of any segment of the political spectrum, and I expect homophobes across the political spectrum to react to all of this with snide, sarcastic remarks dripping with triumphalist gloating—but, of course, always accompanied by self righteous rationale and disclaimers.

  • S1AMER

    It always saddens me how little America and its Western allies give any real attention to women and girls in other countries. We’ll make all sorts of deals with the men who run these countries (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, the list goes on and on), but pay no attention to what happens to women and girls because saying something about injustice would only annoy our male friends who run everything..

    I’m glad we’re finally working our way out of Afghanistan, but I weep already in the knowledge of what the Taliban will do to women and girls once we’re gone.

    Damn this world and the patriarchies everywhere.

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