The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon




(By Scribd)

About the book

The life Kamila Sidiqi had known changed overnight when the Taliban seized control of the city of Kabul. After receiving a teaching degree during the civil war—a rare achievement for any Afghan woman—Kamila was subsequently banned from school and confined to her home. When her father and brother were forced to flee the city, Kamila became the sole breadwinner for her five siblings. Armed only with grit and determination, she picked up a needle and thread and created a thriving business of her own.

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana tells the incredible true story of this unlikely entrepreneur who mobilized her community under the Taliban. Former ABC News reporter Gayle Tzemach Lemmon spent years on the ground reporting Kamila’s story, and the result is an unusually intimate and un-sanitized look at the daily lives of women in Afghanistan.

In this advance excerpt of chapter seven, available only in e-book format, readers are immersed in the Sidiqi household as they watch Kamila and her sister’s work around the clock to sew dresses for a wedding. When the bride and her wedding party return to pick up their gowns, the sisters make an astonishing discovery. Purchase today to get an exclusive look at what Greg Mortensen, author of Three Cups of Tea, has called, “One of the most inspiring books I have ever read.”


We all are quite familiar with the strictures placed on women’s under Taliban regime in Afghanistan. The news channel bombarded us with the images of heavy burqua clad women’s trailing their male chaperones, however women had no choice but to follow the rules of one of the most repressive and highly moralistic regimes around. But what happened to those women who no longer had the protection of male family member or left out with only a young boy? In what way on earth they would survive in the unbending and dangerous ways profound by the Taliban’s?

An amazing story of true life heroism from a brave young woman in Afghanistan. Kamila Sidiqi is one of the sisters who were still at home when the Taliban took over Kabul. Kamila has finished her schooling and a two year course. The Taliban are in control of her homeland causing great fear among all. Due to strict Taliban rules women do not work out of the home, are not allowed to speak to any male outside of their family and are to remain entirely covered from head to toe. Most males in Kabul are not present due to previous uprisings of have needed to flee to find work elsewhere to support their families. Kamila has strong family ethics and an unstoppable determination. She knows she must do something to support her family so she learns to sew and starts the most amazing business in the harshest of environments. Kamila’s story caused me to think! Could I have that same drive to force myself to learn something? That could I face my fear and go out in public in to the Taliban ruled streets to sell my wares to the local markets? I thought about life under such rule where women were nothing. The lack of food and any security. Then the US attacks to fight against the Taliban and the locals suffer the ongoing bombing from a country that is not their enemy. The epilogue tells of the rewards from Kamila’s faithfulness. Such an enlightening read of courage that leaves one just grateful.

The Good Stuff:   * You can really feel the authors love and admiration for the subjects of her book * Excellent bibliography for further background information *A hopeful and passionate real life story about resilience, perseverance, communities working together, faith & family * Rich historical information that really helps you understand how much Afghanistan has gone through * Many stories of Afghanistan have so many negative male characters and it is nice to actually see stories of Afghan men who support and want more for their women. * Extraordinary & strong real women’s surviving and thriving through awfully difficult times*

The Slip: *Jumps around in a few spots and you feel temporarily lost* How did they learn to sew so well that they could create a thriving business* Why did girl’s mother stay in north of Afghanistan after her husband left for Iran instead of staying with her daughters* Wonder why still cloth market business was good when people couldn’t find food*

This book is for those who are interested in another facet of the reality of Afghanistan under the regime of Taliban. Hope it can fill some pictures for you.l

Rating: 3.5/5


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