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17-Year-Old Yemeni Activist Nada Al-Adhal Is Nominated For a Nobel Prize

Nada Al-Adhal ran away in search of safety. She was alone in facing her family, who tried to marry her off by force at the mere age of 10. She put on her father's shoes and left behind a painful past, with no idea that she will be the reason for the liberation of Yemeni girls from the prison of worn-out traditions.

Nada Al Adhal with at a Yemeni school

Nada, who comes from Al-Hodeidah city, was the first Yemeni child to stand up against underage marriage on the global scene. She was able to raise great sympathy worldwide and was recently nominated for the Nobel World's Children's Prize. Nada's suffering began when her family decided in 2013 to marry her off to the man whom her sister refused to marry after burning herself.

Nada Al Ahdal with her uncle Abdulsalam

At the age of 10, she decided to flee the house to her uncle Abdel Salam, who she saw was her only savior. Unfortunately, Nada did not find her uncle as he was traveling at the time. She then decided to go to her friend’s house and make a two-minute video addressed to her uncle to inform him of the pressures her family had imposed on her. The video was posted on YouTube, received 8 million views, and was translated into 40 languages in three days only.

Still from the video Nada posted

Nada then learned that her family had filed a complaint that she had been kidnapped, so she resorted to the Ministry of the Interior affairs in Sana'a requesting protection. After her uncle saw her video he travelled urgently to Sanaa to find Nada. The marriage contract was abolished and he forced her family to sign a document that doesn’t allow them to marry Nada off before her being 18 years of age. She was also placed in the custody of her uncle.

This 15-year-old girl managed to change the phenomenon of marriage of minors through her perseverance and defiance of barbaric traditions. She was encouraged to start the Nada Foundation to protect children's rights. The young activist published a book “Nada Al Sabah”, which shares her story. The book was published in French, German, and Polish, and is expected to be translated to 7 other languages.

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