In Arab countries, marriages between adult males and teens are still common. What makes this possible? In her book I Am an Underage Wife, Laila Shukri reveals the Middle East’s alarming and profoundly hidden secrets.
What is life like for European women? We go to school, play, and learn as small girls. The majority of European women attend college and then find work. We have our own money, some of us are pursuing PhDs, while others are pursuing hobbies such as language learning or sports. We fall in love and marry the right man when we meet him. We’d end the relationship if he wasn’t the only one. Doesn’t it seem self-evident? Unfortunately, not every woman in the world has the power to choose her own destiny, and Laily Shukri’s new book, I Am an Underage Wife, is about that.
The issue of child marriage in Arab nations
Imagine your 12-year-old sister or daughter marrying a man who is 20, 40, or 70 years old. Furthermore, does her life later belong only to him? The spouse and his family can be called upon to do so from the day of marriage. She is unable to study because she is responsible for the entire home while also bearing children. If she becomes bored with her spouse, she is either sent home, which is embarrassing for the entire family, or sold to a brothel… Even though we live in the twenty-first century, these atrocities are still occurring in Jordan, Sudan, Egypt, and other Arab countries. Because of the poverty, girls are married off by their parents to help the family’s budget and give them a chance to survive the next year. Some parents do it because they believe it is necessary.
Laila Shukri, author of “I Was a Servant in Arab Palaces,” “I Am the Sheikh’s Wife,” and “I Was a Mistress of Arab Sheikhs,” recounted this horrible predicament. Her books have sold over half a million copies and have made bestseller lists. Laila is a Pole who married a Muslim and travels around Arab nations with him. He hides behind a pseudonym for his own safety because he tells a horrific story about women’s lives in the Middle East. Her hubby is completely unaware that she is writing!
I Am a Minor Wife, her latest book, relates the story of Salma, a 13-year-old girl who was married off by her family to a 28-year-old guy. The Jordanian girl was a great student in school and aspired to be a doctor before she married. Unfortunately, her family thought that the best thing she could do for her family was to accept a 28-year-old man’s proposal, drop out of school, and move to another city with him. Salma discovers how cruel and awful a society without women’s rights can be the moment she and her husband leave the family home.
Laila Shukri’s new book contains disturbing information on young girl weddings, abuse against women, sexual enslavement, and honor killings. Salma’s narrative is intertwined with the lives of other victims who have suffered barbaric treatment simply because they are… women in “I Am an Underage Wife.” We are confident that you will remember this book for a long time.