Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Only a matter of choice

"Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice,"a self-help author and a motivational speaker Wayne Dyer says. His saying has perfectly been proved by Nujood Ali from Yemen. I recently read her inspirational story in the book, 'I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced'. The story is told by Nujood herself.

Nujood was forced to get married at the tender age of 10 with a man triple her age. Despite her protest, from Day One she became a victim of sexual abuse and later physical abuse too. The little girl screamed for help every night but nobody in her husband's house came forward to rescue her. Eventually, the barbaric husband was fed up of Nujood's tantrums and agreed to take her to her parents' place only in a condition that she must have been back in a few days.

Nujood had a slight hope that her parents would help to save her from the nightmare but she did not get any support there. In an ultra-patriarchy country like Yemen it was impossible for women to have their say. Nujood's description of her mother makes this clear, "My mother never said a thing. She seemed sad, but resigned. After all, she had wed through an arranged marriage, like most Yemeni women, so she was in a good position to know that in our country it's the men who give the orders, and women who follow them. For her to defend me was a waste of time." Her father declared, "It is out of the question for you to leave your husband!" 

Nujood with Hillary Clinton and Shada
Then came a turning point when Nujood realized that there was nobody whom she could turn to. If she wanted to be free, she had to take a bold step. She chose to stand up for herself over wasting the time being a dominated wife of an abusive husband. Following her father's second wife's suggestion Nujood decided to run away from her parent's home to the courthouse looking for justice.

She fearlessly and tirelessly fought for her rights. Eventually she was granted a divorce in spite of many intricacies of male-favoring Yemeni law. Her dream to go back to school again was fulfilled. Not only this, now she aspired to be a lawyer like Shada who had handled her case. Nujood's courageous story captured the world's attention. She became a role model for other little girls in her country. She was even designated as a woman of the year by the U.S. women's magazine, 'Glamour' in 2008. Hillary Clinton commented on Nujood, "One of the greatest woman I have ever seen...She set an example with her courage."  

This all was possible when Nujood made a choice that she was not going back to the hell with her cruel husband anymore, and she was determined to get divorced and live her life once more. As soon as she activated this choice she never had to look back. Nujood's moving story has made me agree, "Yeah, it's true, no one else but we only are the architects of our destiny."

{The pictures on this blog are posted here with permission from their owners or have been gathered from various sources on the Internet. If you are the copyright-holder to any of the photographs herein do not hesitate to contact me. They will be swiftly removed if desired so.] 

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