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

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

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 Newsreporter 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.

©2011 Gayle Tzemach Lemmon (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (224 )
5 star
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4.0 (174 )
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4.1 (169 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Trish Virginia 08-08-13
    Trish Virginia 08-08-13 Member Since 2005

    I have always loved to read, and now I really enjoy listening to my books as well!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    118
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    "Truly Enlightening!"

    I am very glad I listened to this true story. I learned quite a bit about the Afghan culture that I never really understood before. This is not a depressing story, however. It does not contain unbearable violence as other books with a similar subject have. It is uplifting, and a very rewarding listen.

    The story is really quite heroic considering the limitations of citizens, especially women, under the Taliban rule. We can not really understand the enormity of everything Kamila accomplished because we cannot imagine living in such horrible times. She is clearly an amazing woman.

    The book is well written, and the narrator is excellent. I highly recommend to anyone who is considering the purchase--

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Deatsville, AL, United States 03-18-13
    Denise Deatsville, AL, United States 03-18-13 Member Since 2013
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    2
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    "Loved every minute of it!"
    Where does The Dressmaker of Khair Khana rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best audio books I've listened to. I couldn't wait to get back in the car!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Boston MA 03-07-13
    Amazon Customer Boston MA 03-07-13 Member Since 2012

    mom of six

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mediocre telling of what should have been great"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Different author. I kept thinking that I should have felt some kind of emotional connection to this story, but I never did. It's a shame. The actual story about Camila has so much potential with the right author. There were a lot of holes in the story--pieces that I was surprised the author had just left out.


    What other book might you compare The Dressmaker of Khair Khana to and why?

    Three Cups of Tea. Both good stories with bad authors. Three Cups of Tea ended up being full of falsehoods. This one has been accused of the same thing.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Titanic Fever


    Did The Dressmaker of Khair Khana inspire you to do anything?

    Have a book club discussion about the book.


    Any additional comments?

    Emotionally devoid. Shame on this journalist for not being able to produce a better book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NICKIE POWAY, CA, United States 02-18-13
    NICKIE POWAY, CA, United States 02-18-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Amateur and unoriginal, the narration even worse"
    What disappointed you about The Dressmaker of Khair Khana?

    Inaccurate details about Afghanistan , Would have helped if the author had really gone to that country and spent some time learning the culture and the language. The narration was even worse.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon again?

    No


    Would you be willing to try another one of Sarah Zimmerman’s performances?

    Definitely not.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Extreme disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    The author needs to stick to stories about what she knows and leave it to the likes of Khaled Hosseini to write about Afghanistan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Phillipston, MA, United States 02-04-13
    David Phillipston, MA, United States 02-04-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really good, but I guess I was expecting ..."

    I guess I was expecting something on the order of "The Kite Runner." Didn't realize it was not a novel. Still, once I realized it was a true story it didn't quite come up to "Three Cups of Tea" in its ability to capture my attention. I enjoyed it, I was not bored, but somehow it was not powerful enough a narrative to push me over the "3 Star" mark

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carmen Chile 01-06-13
    Carmen Chile 01-06-13 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Admirable"

    Bravo! You may feel so proud of being a female, just learning from this wonderfull example

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda Princess Anne, MD, USA 12-02-12
    Melinda Princess Anne, MD, USA 12-02-12 Member Since 2002
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    142
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    "A Gentle Book About a Harsh Subject"

    This is a good book, with a surprising gentleness for the topic, as the author presents it with the perspective of the real life subjects. As an American, I was initially frustrated not to read descriptions of terror, anger, and strong responses on the part of the subjects, but I am thinking that the tone of this book, more than many others, may truly present the perspective of these deeply religious women who live in a culture with responses to the terror around them that are very different than our own. The family's innermost emotions are not conveyed here; we don't witness that, (the author very carefully avoids any personal analysis; it could have been written by the women themselves, who carefully preserve their privacy as an aspect of their culture) but we do get to see how they respond outwardly, which is with strength, determination, and a constant deep respect for each other with in the world that they live. These women LIVE by their faith in everything that they do in a way that many of us would have difficulty comprehending in our secular societies. I learned more about this very different culture than about the Taliban, which was fine with me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce Lee Higgins Colo. Spgs 10-31-12
    Joyce Lee Higgins Colo. Spgs 10-31-12

    J. Higgins

    ratings
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    4
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    "Nice to learn more"
    Would you listen to The Dressmaker of Khair Khana again? Why?

    This was a wonderful book that helped me learn about another part of the world that helped me to understand the culture better. What a brave young woman!!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce Santa Cruz, CA, United States 10-29-12
    Joyce Santa Cruz, CA, United States 10-29-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Heroic!"
    What did you love best about The Dressmaker of Khair Khana?

    I loved how the story moved along, kinda kept me on the edge of my seat.


    What did you like best about this story?

    How it showed the strength and cunning of these women.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It was a story I wanted to stretch out longer.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vera Sao Paulo, Brazil 10-29-12
    Vera Sao Paulo, Brazil 10-29-12 Member Since 2012
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    5
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    "Excelent!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I recommend to all my friends. It's a beatiful story everyone must know.


    What does Sarah Zimmerman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The interpretation was great.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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