Khadija al-Salami / I Am Nujoom, Age 10 and Divorced

Khadija al-Salami / I Am Nujoom, Age 10 and Divorced


Khadija al-Salami was born in 1966, in Sana'a, Yemen.

At an early age, she was sent to live with relatives after her parents divorced. At 11, her uncle forced her into an early marriage. She was raped by her husband, and some weeks later, after much protest and disobedience, her husband sent her back to her uncle, who immediately disowned her and returned her to her single mother.

She escaped the pressure of family and social life, by finding employment with the local television station. While working, she attended school.

At 16, she received a scholarship to finish her high school studies in the States, and stayed on for her Bachelors which she got from the Mount Vernon College for Women.

After graduating, she spent a few years traveling between Yemen and Paris, before returning to DC for her Masters in Communication from the American University. For her thesis, al-Salami produced her first film, thus becoming the first female Yemeni film producer.

Al-Salami continues to produce documentaries for television networks in France and Yemen. The primary focus of her docs is women. She is also the co-author of an autobiography, The Tears of Sheba, with her current husband, Charles Hoots.

Al-Salami serves as Press and Cultural attaché and Director of the Yemeni Information Centre at the Embassy of Yemen in Paris. (

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