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

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Harper Collins, Mar 15, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 288 pages

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 unsanitized look at the daily lives of women in Afghanistan. These women are not victims; they are the glue that holds families together; they are the backbone and the heart of their nation.

Afghanistan's future remains uncertain as debates over withdrawal timelines dominate the news. The Dressmaker of Khair Khana moves beyond the headlines to transport you to an Afghanistan you have never seen before. This is a story of war, but it is also a story of sisterhood and resilience in the face of despair. Kamila Sidiqi's journey will inspire you, but it will also change the way you think about one of the most important political and humanitarian issues of our time.

 

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User Review  - Smits - LibraryThing

The incredible true story of an Afghan young woman who creates sewing jobs for her family and community during Taliban rule. Kila is inspiring. She dreams big, works hard and never gives up on her ... Read full review

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User Review  - marshapetry - LibraryThing

Excellent narrator, mildly interesting book about a woman and her relatives/friends who develop a tailoring/sewing company in an oppressive political culture and actually find that they can make a go ... Read full review

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Contents

The News Arrives and Everything Changes
1
A Time of Goodbyes
21
Stitching the Future Back Together
39
The Plan Goes to Market
64
An Idea Is Born but Will It Work?
92
Class Is in Session
116
An Unexpected Wedding Party
141
A New Opportunity Knocks
165
Danger in the Night Sky
194
Faith in Good Fortune
217
Acknowledgments
237
Resources
255
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a Fellow and Deputy Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations and a contributing editor-at-large at Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Her reporting on conflict and post-conflict zones— including Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Rwanda—has been published in the New York Times, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, and elsewhere. She lives in Los Angeles.

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