“I’m better off dead; I’d rather die,” said Nada al-Ahdal, showing remarkable courage.
Upon learning that her mother was planning to marry her off, Nada al-Ahdal fled her small hometown in Yemen for the capital city of Sanaa. She sought refuge with her uncle, Abdel Salam al-Ahdal, a graphics technician at a local television station who had helped raise her. Nada was terrified of arranged marriage — her maternal aunt was married off at 14 and endured an abusive marriage for a year before she committed suicide. After discussions with the Yemeni family protection authorities, she is now allowed to stay with her uncle, ultimately with her parents’ blessing.