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Short Film: Life for Yemeni girl

January 9th, 2010
10:18 PM ET

From AMANPOUR.'s  'Global Dispatch' series. To submit a short film about your world that we might play it on CNN, click here.

A young girl in a small town in Yemen marches to the beat of her own drummer – choosing not to wear the veil:

From a documentary directed by Khadija Al-Salami.


Filed under:  1
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Christiane R.

    What a joyful girl she is! I hope she stays safe...

    January 9, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Reply
  2. Fernando F.

    that little girl is amazing. so cute. so brave. so independent. I hope is contagious and all those little girls afraid of going out get together and use their strength for good, to change old concepts. If I had a daughter I will like her to be just like this little girl.

    January 9, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Reply
  3. akbarqureshi

    Brave girl, I am really impressed, if she gets proper education she can be a Doctor, translator or a very brave journalist! May God help her!

    January 9, 2010 at 11:13 pm | Reply
  4. Diana Cifelli

    I admire her individualism,defiance and courage. What's not to love!

    January 9, 2010 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  5. Judith Beckett

    Yes, she is a tomboy. I am so afraid for her. May the Goddess watch over one of her own.

    January 10, 2010 at 1:49 am | Reply
  6. Elmira

    I love her... good for her..<3

    January 10, 2010 at 2:31 am | Reply
  7. Lucy

    All the power to her!!

    I hope she becomes whatever she wants..... a translator......

    January 10, 2010 at 2:44 am | Reply
  8. Ann

    certainly a very spirited and brave girl.it is difficult even to find girls and women like that in more liberated countries.everyone esp females MUSt learn to stand up for their rights n beliefs

    January 10, 2010 at 3:17 am | Reply
  9. Ronnie

    if she does not wear veil, how will she get reward? But i believe she should be able 2 choose to wear or not to wear.

    January 10, 2010 at 4:11 am | Reply
  10. Tara

    This is just fantastic.
    To an outsider there may be little hope for Yemen in the state that it is in at the moment; but because of people like this young girl, the country still has a chance to defy all odds and come out on the positive side.
    There are truly brave girls in this poverty and war stricken country, such as the two young girls that divorced their much older husbands and changed the law in their country earlier last year.

    January 10, 2010 at 5:25 am | Reply
  11. GEETANJALI

    Great ! This girl got a web exposure ! Thanks to iCNN ! What next ! Who will help her become what she wants or will she do that on her own ?

    January 10, 2010 at 6:22 am | Reply
  12. dania

    Wonderful brave girl, I hope she stays tough and becomes a big role model for girls in the Middle East to ‎fight for their rights and put their foot down to discrimination against women.‎

    January 10, 2010 at 6:32 am | Reply
  13. Anon

    She has great courage, but I hope she will not be discouraged due to the people that surround her and influence her.
    I hope she gets a good education, so other girls like her can do things to change the ways of their country for the better.

    January 10, 2010 at 9:33 am | Reply
  14. Elke, Germany

    She is really a brave girl. I hope she has the continuing ability to live in that way. And that there people around her, who protect her. It´s really astonishing, especially for a Yemeni girl! I hope for her that she gets it.

    January 10, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  15. MJ Frigo

    She's really an impressive girl with a great vision!
    I wish her the best for her future!!!

    January 10, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  16. David

    Ah, the wisdom of children. Listen to her. And the Imam, "Honor is in the mind, not the veil" Truly divinely inspired. Sounds like Rumi. Go girl! (stay safe)

    January 10, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Reply
  17. Pat

    What a brave little girl! Keep smiling, God will bless you and your family. May all your dreams come true.
    How can we help her?
    Take care !!

    January 10, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Reply
  18. Robert M. Thacker

    There is hope for the the Islamic world after all. Any religion, whether Christian, Islamic, Judaic, etc., that stifles, threatens, or suppresses the human spirit –the spirit of this child–should be ashamed. May God protect and keep her.

    January 10, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Reply
  19. Paul

    Najmie, you already are somebody! God bless you and be safe.

    January 10, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Reply
  20. thesilentdove

    You go girl...super proud of her...she is amazing and an inspiration :)) Cannot express how impressed i am!

    January 10, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Reply
  21. Debbie

    I hope we can get updates on how things are going for her. She is beautiful and strong!

    January 10, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Reply
  22. Lyle

    Our world has so many little gems like this little girl. Thank you for showing this. My wife is Chinese and I have spent much time in Asia.
    I met and learned about so many beautiful people there. While our television screens are filled daily with the most ugliness of what humanity offers I have seen many times over the good people of the global community. For every extremist of any side including ours there are millions of good people like this beautiful child everywhere in our world.

    Thank You again for touching all of us.

    Lyle

    January 10, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Reply
  23. Alexandra

    How can we help her get what she so rightfully desirves? If i could i would be her benefactor.

    January 11, 2010 at 12:17 am | Reply
  24. Ines

    I admire you.

    January 11, 2010 at 12:52 am | Reply
  25. Ines

    I hope many girls imitate you.

    January 11, 2010 at 12:53 am | Reply
  26. John

    I love her. What a beautiful spirit! I hope she stays free and unharmed. May her dreams come true.

    January 11, 2010 at 1:26 am | Reply
  27. tess martin-fox

    i love her!!! pure joy and moxey. make she be safe within her apprehensive world. Bless her.

    January 11, 2010 at 1:36 am | Reply
  28. Valerie

    A great girl! When I was in Yemen I spoke with some quite spunky adult women too – although they did conform by wearing hijab (and even face veils) in public – in private conversation, they had quite pointed and intelligent critiques of men and government....

    Another thing I loved that aired on TV this afternoon but wasn't here was when the Imam of the central mosque came to defend and praise her while some teenage boys were picking on / teasing her.

    One odd thing though – CNN take note – the header over this video says Najma is in a "small town" in Yemen – but she is walking through and talking about the old city of Sanaa – the heart of the (very large) capitol city.

    I hope the current political and other problems can be solved – I would love to go back to Yemen – and Sanaa – some day soon.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:43 am | Reply
  29. Lady Jane 50

    I feel proud of the girl for standing up for herself. However, the boys need to feel less insecure about the idea of girls being in school and becoming successful in life. I remember reading in the "Reader's Digest" magazine some years back about MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) doing research on how the effects of coed and same gender schools have on their grades. They found that girls got higher grades in an all girls school than in a coed school with boys. The boys did better in a coed school than they did in an all boys school. I think Islamic countries need to have same gender schools so the girls can focus on their studies without being harrassed or distracted by the boys while at the same time get the same quality and quantity of education as boys. Why are these Islamic boys/men so insecure that they have to make girls/women inferior to themselves? Mothers with college degrees are far more likely to have children with better grades in school and have children with college degrees than mothers without college degrees themselves. Men should be glad to see women get well educated so their own children can become well educated also.

    January 11, 2010 at 5:49 am | Reply
  30. pedro

    she has taking a bold step, i pray God will strenghten her, and i hope she is safe where she is

    January 11, 2010 at 8:22 am | Reply
  31. SHub

    Amazing Gurl...so full of life and such a clear understanding of herself so many of us lack that even as adults as to what we would like to do with our life and how to live it....here is wishing her all success. GOd bless lil gurl 🙂

    January 11, 2010 at 10:13 am | Reply
  32. sean

    What a great spirit! May she be protected from the fearful and the ignorant. May she be given every oppourtunity for education and travel.
    What a wonderful daughter to have!

    January 11, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Reply
  33. Aditya

    I live in Indonesia, a country with more than 90% Muslim population. Here we live in democracies and the use of the Hijab/veil is a personal choice of every Muslim woman. I think the veil is just a matter of clothing. People who use the hijab does not necessarily represent Muslims in general. Here you will often find women who wear Hijab are smoking cigarettes or were in the disco, sometimes they take the consumption of alcohol in limited amounts. Take, for example like Queen Rania of Jordan or Sheikha Mozah of Qatar, they are examples of good Muslim women and their work in the field of education has helped to provide welfare for the world, without having to wear the hijab. Anyway, I feel happy for the Yemeni girl and wishing her the best of luck 🙂

    January 11, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  34. Alberta K.

    That little girl and her wonderful spirit is one of the most hopeful things I've seen since the beginning of the "war on terror". May she inspire many more girls who want to chose how they live their lives to speak out as she has. Only then will women have the chance to crawl out from under the heel of radical Islam.

    January 11, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Reply
  35. M Alexander

    well, this young girl certainly has one thing right, those boys just sitting around taunting her SHOULD go out and get a job! I've never seen anything like it, garbage needs collecting from the streets, potholes need filling, houses & buildings need painting etc... I can't ever imagine those similar conditions existing here in the west and our young boys just sitting around and doing nothing. Sadly, these conditions are rampant all over the middle east, Afghanistan, Iraq and it makes me cringe when all I see are the men in coffee shops playing board games and their city is in ruin, and our soldiers have to clean up after them, that's not what they're supposed to be there for!!

    Get off your backsides, put on a uniform and defend your country.... shame on all you young men!!

    Maybe she should be n charge!!

    January 12, 2010 at 8:53 am | Reply
  36. Gintare E.

    Oh she's such a sunshine! The video really moved me. Thank you.

    January 12, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  37. Binyam

    That is wonderful!!
    May God/Allah make her dreams true.
    Who knows, she could be a respected and capable leader of her country and set examples for her sisters in her country and the rest of the world. I highly appreciate her self-confidence and courage. I also tip my hat off for her parents.
    Best of luck!

    January 12, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Reply
  38. Dolma

    aww I hope she stays safe 🙂

    January 19, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Reply
  39. Bindast*

    Where is this girl now? The video is 10 years old. I would like to know how is she doing now, when she was this rebellious at age of 9.

    August 4, 2017 at 11:11 am | Reply

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