It’s Not Over After the Test

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Valentina Franco, News Editor

The eye-opening book, I am Nujood, age 10 and divorced is required reading for the AICE General Papers class, so by now, most of the students at Wellington High School are familiar with Nujood Ali. The story captures the plight of Nujood, who was sold into marriage to a sexually abusive man thrice her age, but who courageously defied Yemeni law to divorce him and became the world’s youngest divorcee.

After the book’s release, Nujood was living in France and the royalties from her book were destined to go towards her education. Many news articles surfaced in 2010 that reported on her whereabouts, some of these articles also commented on what the family was doing with the royalties. There were reports of her father not allocating the money he received from the book, interviews, and public appearances towards Nujood’s wellbeing. Reports from Nujood herself state that he has spent the royalties on getting married again, twice.

“Her father is still the end-all be-all and the finances are all controlled by her father. She’s still a child, old enough to marry, apparently, by government law, but it boils down to her being a woman. She’s not going to have access to monetary royalties and or otherwise that were coming from her book,” Mrs. Vollrath, AICE English teacher, said.

There are also reports that he is marrying Nujood’s younger sister to a man twice her age, which already sounds very familiar to Nujood’s experience.

“History has already repeated itself with her sister, except that she will probably not have the opportunity to escape like Nujood did, because now they’re waiting for it,” Mrs. Rigolo, AICE English teacher, said.

Many readers and lovers of Nujood’s inspiring book are appalled at how Nujood’s journey and success has been taken away from her, and nothing in Yemeni law has changed to protect child brides. The book gave many Wellington High School students insight on child bride laws, and gave accounts on very real things that happen in the world. The fate Nujood Ali had to ultimately face reminds readers that the world’s problems we learn in classrooms do not end once we close books and take final exams.

“Nujood’s life after the book is just more proof that there is incredible inequality and that men control that region of the world,” Mrs. Rigolo, said.

Nujood was one of millions of child brides and was one of the very lucky ones who was able to escape the cultural practice. More strides need to be taken to educate students about the problems women, and other minorities, face in order to change the fate of many girls, like Nujood.