Memoirs of a child bride

New books tells the story of first child bride to successfully sue for divorce in Yemen

In May, 10-year-old Nujood Ali became the first child bride to successfully sue for divorce in Yemen, after her forced marriage to a man three times her senior, who beat and raped her. This week, the 10-year-old divorcee is in Paris, where a reporter with Le Figaro has ghostwritten her autobiography, detailing her escape—which has inspired two other Yemeni girls, aged 8 and 9 to seek divorces. A week after her wedding, Ali, who had never been inside a courtroom, took a bus to the Yemen capital of Sanaa, where she hailed a taxi and asked to be taken to the courthouse. Uncertain what to do next, she sat silently on a bench. When the courthouse emptied during the lunch recess, a judge noticed her and asked why she was there. “I came for a divorce,” she told him. Horrified, he took her to his house to play with his 8-year-old daughter, and, two days later, granted the divorce. Ali’s ex-husband has since fled Sanaa to escape media attention. Ali has returned to grade two.