Posted on May 6, 2010 - by mira
SANAA, Yemen — A new white dress, chains of gold jewelry sparkling brightly and more attention than this 13-year-old girl had ever received before: It was like playing dress-up, but better, for Zainab Hussein.
“I’m a bride and I’m getting married!” she bragged to her friend, showing off her new jewelry.
A few days later, Zainab, who’d barely reached full growth, was married off to a 30-year-old groom who also was her cousin. He paid $5,000 to Zainab’s father for his child bride.
Now 28, she says of the experience: “It was very difficult. I still don’t know who to blame. Blame myself? Blame my father? Or my mother? I don’t know. I blamed my parents a lot.”
There’s much about her marriage that Zainab prefers not to recall. She had dreamed of becoming a doctor, but talks about it as if it were someone else’s dream. She laughs occasionally and nervously, bitter and confused emotions about her early marriage bubbling toward the surface.
The ancient tradition of early marriage remains widely practiced in this country the United Nations qualifies as one of the poorest on the planet.
Please click here to read the rest of the article at GlobalPost.
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