I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced

By Nujood and Delphine Minoui

Introduction to the story

Nujood was an innocent 10 year-old girl who was a victim of rape and abuse by a premature marriage. Nujood and her family face a conflict between morality and honor of their tribal traditions as she reports the abuse to the court.

Vocabulary Acquisition

  • Sharaf - Honor
  • Zanna - Traditional tunic that men wear
  • Khardji - "Outside"
  • Mahram - Close blood relative(woman can only be left alone with male relative)
  • Haram - Anything forbidden and punishable by islamic law.(For example, rape)
  • Mabrouk - Congratulations
  • Shokran - Thank you

Aspects of Culture

Wedding process in Yemen(according to the book and Nujood's POV)

  • Girl can be married off at any age, under the condition that intercourse does not occur until she has matured.
  • The males of each family(bride and grooms) discuss the dowry.
  • The wedding ceremony then commences(celebration and traditional folk dancing with Yemini wedding music). This had been brief for Nujood

Elements of Voice

"Someone had blown out the lamp, leaving the room pitch dark. I shivered. It was him! I recognized him right away from that overpowering odor of cigarettes and khat. He stank! Like an animal!" (76).

Effects of Structure of the novel

  • First Chapter= Hook
  • Flashbacks every other chapter until climax(Chapter 7: The Divorce)
  • Rest of Chapters after Chapter 7 consist of her outlook after divorce. Realization that she is not alone in this abuse.
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Authors' Purpose

To share the child abuse story that Nujood had faced from Yemini tradition and a premature marriage and to also provide hope to girls in her similar situation to speak up and act against such wrongdoing.

Current Status of Nujood


  • Living in 2-story building. Ground floor is a grocery store.
  • Both Nujood and Haifa, her little sister, are attending private school full time.
  • Publishers are giving her father $1,000 a month to pay for their education.


  • Nujood is not being provided that money. Forced to live in her older brothers "cramped" house.
  • Her father used money to buy 2 wives and he also sold Haifa off for marriage with man twice her age.
  • Nujood only receives $30 a month from her ex-husband as alimony.


  • Nujood now goes by the name Nujoom, which means "stars in the sky"
National Geographic Live! - Divorced at Age 10


  • Introduction(pic)
""I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced" | Reader's Digest." Readers Digest. Trusted Media Banks, Inc. Web. 02 Apr. 2016. <http://www.rd.com/true-stories/survival/i-am-nujood-age-10-and-divorced/>.

  • Aspects of culture(pics)

"Maarten De Wolf Photography." Yemeni Jambiya. 6 Mar. 2014. Web. 02 Apr. 2016. <http://maartendewolf.photoshelter.com/gallery/Yemeni-Jambiya/G0000btBgUgE9Dr0/>.

Almas, Lamya. "Yemeni Salta." A Yemeniyahs Recipes. 25 July 2010. Web. 02 Apr. 2016. <http://yemeniyah.com/2010/07/25/yemeni-salta/>.

Huey, Aaron. "The Eyes Have It | VICE | United States." VICE. VICE Media LLC, 2 June 2009. Web. 02 Apr. 2016. <http://www.vice.com/read/the-eyes

  • Wedding process in Yemen(pic)

Biel, Erin. "In Yemen, the More the Merrier? | The Yale Globalist | An Undergraduate Magazine of International Affairs." The Yale Globalist. 12 May 2011. Web. 02 Apr. 2016. <http://tyglobalist.org/politics-and-economy/in-yemen-the-more-the-merrier/>.

  • Videos

DIFF 2014 - I AM NOJOOM, AGE 10 AND DIVORCED. Dir. Khadija Al-Salami.YouTube. YouTube, 25 Nov. 2014. Web. 03 Apr. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PW-eDmnBOZo>.

National Geographic Live! - Divorced at Age 10. By Cynthia Gorney.YouTube. YouTube, 31 Oct. 2011. Web. 03 Apr. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auJeMPoOyQE>.

  • Current Status of Nujood

"Nujood Ali." - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia. Web. 02 Apr. 2016. <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nujood_Ali>.

Sheffer, Joe. "Yemen's Youngest Divorcee Says Father Has Squandered Cash from Her Book." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 12 Mar. 2013. Web. 02 Apr. 2016. <http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/mar/12/child-bride-father-cash-spend>.

  • Effects of structure(pic)

"I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced - Nujood Ali." IDoc.co. 31 May 2014. Web. 03 Apr. 2016. <http://www.idoc.co/read/39519/i-am-nujood-age-10-and-divorced-nujood-ali/3>.

  • All information cited from the book(Wedding process, aspects of culture, elements of voice, Vocabulary Acquisition)

Ali, Nujood, and Delphine Minoui. I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced. New York: Three Rivers, 2010. Print.