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July 24, 2013 Clip No. 3923

Nada Al-Ahdal, Yemeni Girl Who Escaped Forced Marriage, and Her Uncle: Islamists Threaten Our Lives

Following are excerpts from an interview with 11-year-old Yemeni girl Nada Al-Ahdal and her uncle, Abd Al-Salam, which aired on Al-Hurra TV/Radio Sawa, and was posted on the Internet on July 24, 2013:

Interviewer: Hello, sir. You are the uncle of Nada Al-Ahdal.

Abd Al-Salam: Right.

Interviewer: Where is she now?

Abd Al-Salam: She's with the Yemen Women's Association.

Interviewer: What are they doing for her?

Abd Al-Salam: They are protecting her.

Interviewer: Until when?

Abd Al-Salam: I don't know. There's no time limit. There were a few unsuccessful attempts at reconciliation. Everything has been agreed upon, but there are religious Islamic groups, connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, which reject any settlement. They want Nada to disappear, along with the entire problem.


Making Nada and this entire issue go away is a sort of a political rehearsal. A law criminalizing child marriage is about to be legislated. The Islamists are opposed to this law. The case of Nada may influence the National Dialogue Conference, and prohibition on child marriage may be included in the law or the constitution.


Interviewer: Is it possible that she will return to her family?

Abd Al-Salam: No, she refuses to go back to them. She wants to live with me.


I hope that Nada receives protection or that she leaves Yemen temporarily, until this crisis calms down.

Interviewer: Do you believe that these Islamic groups pose a threat to Nada's safety?

Abd Al-Salam: They have threatened Nada and me more than once. They told us that our lives were in danger and that we would end up in prison.


Questions directed at Nada Al-Ahdal:

Interviewer: Who helped you get out of your [parents'] house?

Nada Al-Ahdal: Nobody.

Interviewer: You got out of the house all by yourself?

Nada Al-Ahdal: Yes.

Interviewer: Do you remember what time it was?

Nada Al-Ahdal: 6 A.M.

Interviewer: Weren't you afraid?

Nada Al-Ahdal: No, I wasn't.


Interviewer: Have you forgiven your family?

Nada Al-Ahdal: No, I haven't.

Interviewer: What are you going to do now?

Nada Al-Ahdal: I will try to solve my problem.

Interviewer: How will you solve your problem?

Nada Al-Ahdal: How will I solve it... I don't know.

Interviewer: You were living with your uncle all that time, and only went to visit your family, when they decided to marry you off?

Nada Al-Ahdal: Yes.

Interviewer: Why did they decide to marry you off if you don't even live with them?

Nada Al-Ahdal: For the money.


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