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The Incredible True Story of a 15-year-old American Escaping Forced Marriage

NEW YORK—Naila Amin was an American teenager who wore pink velour suits and smoked cigarettes. She had a contagious, loud laugh, and envisioned herself as a police officer when she grew up. Fast forward four months, Naila found herself trapped as a 15-year-old wife in Pakistan. Ten days after her forced marriage, she rebelled by running for her life through the streets of Islamabad.

There were few females out on that January afternoon in 2005. Naila quickened her steps as she walked by men in huts, men on dusty buses, men in honking trucks, and men buying fruits and kebabs from street carts. Many of them eyed her suspiciously.

Naila was still donned in Pakistani nuptial attire—a red dress, and Henna-laden hands. It looked strange that she was not with her husband.

She thought she should check into a hotel so she could avoid bumping into familiar faces. But the manager refused to take her in without a man by her side.

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