In the video above, Nada Al-Ahdal, an eleven-year-old Yemeni girl explains how she had to run away from home in order to escape forced marriage.
“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,” says Nada.
The way the little girl talks about death and suicide is quite disturbing. She says, “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.”
She continues, “I decided that I have two choices; to leave or to die. So I chose the first.”
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case. Child marriages and forced marriages are some of the most common issues plaguing children, women (and sometimes men) in the Middle East and the subcontinent.
Nada explains further, “I want to continue my education and live my life. I have many dreams, I don’t want to be married now. My mother hates me, she just wants me to get married because she will get money from the man. But I’m not an item for sale, I’m a human being and I would rather die than get married at this age.”
Fortunately, Nada has her uncle who is determined to take care of her. “I’m glad that she is safe now. I’m not fighting for her custody against her parents; all I want is just for her to be safe no matter who she’s living with. Both Nada and I have faced death threats from her family and I’m worried about her safety,” says her uncle.
The eleven-year-old now waits for human rights activists and organizations to help her through her ordeal and save her childhood.