"The Dressmaker of Khair Khana," By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

"The Dressmaker of Khair Khana," By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

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.

I must say this is a must read book.  It's a book from a time we will all remember; about a situation very few of us have ever been in. It shows what happens when you are forced into an impossible situation and how you resilient you can be.  Although we saw on the news what was happening in Afghanistan, we really didn't know what it was like for the people who continued to live there.

One thing that struck me about this story is despite all the hardship and problems they always were well mannered and hospitable to people who came to their door.  Another thing was how family stuck together and helped one another out.

It boggles my mind to think how dangerous it was for a woman to walk in the streets on a regular day without a male and without being totally covered up.  It must be stifling to be not able to go about your everyday business without being escorted everywhere and having to wear a chadri.

Stars out of 5 : 5 Loved this book, it gave you a glimpse into a life I hope I never have to live and to hear the true story of how a group of women in Afghanistan survived under the Taliban.


  1. Did you ever read Not Without My Daughter? I think you would like it and I am adding this one to my wish list. Will check library for it after while.


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