11-year-old Yemini girl flees forced marriage

Last updated 15:34 23/07/2013

Relevant offers

Middle East

Aleppo diary girl's silence leaves followers distraught At Islamic State camp, evidence of intensive training Calls for execution of woman in Saudi Arabia pictured without hijab Fresh calls for ceasefire from NZ and others, with new Security Council resolution on war-torn Syria The underground wonderland where Syrian children get to play Syrian government drives rebels from swathe of Aleppo Moroccan TV shocks with makeup tips for hiding domestic violence Jonathan Milne: Real news or fake news? It's hard to tell the difference when this year's truth is stranger than fiction At least 40killed and dozens wounded in Iran passenger train crash Wildfires tear across Israel, leaders brand arsonists "terrorists"

An 11-year-old Yemeni girl is making international headlines after she fled her family to avoid being forced into an arranged marriage.

In an impassioned video Nada al-Ahdal says would die than be forced into marriage.

In the video, released on YouTube on July 21 by the US-based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), the young girl said she had filed a police complaint against her mother.

"I told them that I am 11-years-old and that she wants to marry me off," she said in Arabic.

Nada criticised a society that married girls off at young ages, saying her aunt was married at 14, and took her own life after a year.

"What about the innocence of childhood?" Nada said. "What have the children done wrong?

"They have killed our dreams. They have killed everything inside us."

Nada told the National Yemen she had been adopted at the age of 2 by her uncle, but had been taken back to her parents about a month ago at their request.

"They told me that I am engaged and that my fiance had already paid them money and brought the engagement ring," she said in the interview.

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

In MEMRI's video, Nada said that she ran away to her uncle to avoid the marriage.

"I'd rather live with my uncle than with these people," she said. "They threatened to kill me if I went to my uncle. What kind of people threaten their children like that?

"I'm better off dead. I'd rather die. Go ahead and marry me off. I'll kill myself, just like that."

In the video, dated July 8, she says why she did not want to have to leave her family home.

"I would have had no life, no education. Don't they have any compassion?

"There is nothing left. This is no upbringing. This is criminal, simply criminal." The video, which had not been independently verified, finishes with her stating: "I'm done with you, you ruined my dreams."

The video has received nearly 3.5 million views.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content