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 a fantastic book! Reading books of this type always make me thankful to be an American and live in the USA. We have so much to be thankful for. The author did an outstanding job of telling the story of Kamila Sidiqi and her family and their survival in Afghanistan. This young lady is a true hero in today's world. She rose above her circumstances and became a victor in life instead of being oppressed, downtrodden and giving in to those oppressing her. Yes, her life was hard, but she has the attitude and faces life with the resiliency that each of us should have. As I read this I thought about our country. Yes, we have our problems, but we have the best country ever and we need to very carefully protect her and our freedoms.
An amazing account of triumph over adversity. Kamila Sidiqi realises that in a household of women - the men having left for their own safety - she had to do something to support her sisters. Living in Khair Khana where the Taliban were in control, and life for women was severely restricted, she learnt to sew, and established a thriving dressmaking business. Her youngest brother was the only male in the establishment, and she relied on him to escort her whenever she ventured outdoors to market her wares, or purchase fresh material.Her enterprise and great courage are amazing, as she eventually supplied work for many of her neighbours, enabling them to earn sufficient to live on There is a lot more to be written about this brave lady - I do hope a sequel is considered.
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.
Mommy of Pookies
This was a wonderful real life tale. The women portrayed in this were amazing and the author and narrator keep you engaged through out. I felt the fear and the betrayal of a country turned against it's own citizens, but also an appreciation of why events unfolded the way they did. It helped me understand what it felt like to have the taliban take over your neighborhood and the women shut into their homes, only to find a way to keep themselves occupied as well as make a living in such an environment! This really is a must listen to for anyone interested in women in Afghanistan and their survival and strength. I was in awe.
The Kite Runner
When the Taliban regime had just taken over and how it affected the women.
I had many "drive way" moments where I couldn't get out of my car because I wanted to listen to the end of a chapter.
Avid Listener of books at 1-1/2 times the normal speed. Trying to make up for all those boring high school teachers that could not reach me.
I found the book interesting about a time and part of the world I know little about.
I would not listen to again I have to many other things to listen to.
Narration was fine,.
I liked the story, I just did not love it. I think that is a personal thing with me, just not cup of tea I guess.
If they were interested in all of the poverty/struggles of women in Afghanistan, I would. This book is based around a very specific topic.
But, it's well written and concise. The author doesn't waste our time with useless details.
I was proud of Kamila and her sisters.
Kind of. The narration had some emotion, but not enough. And the voices didn't really change. That's tough, since there are SO many characters in this book. I figured out who was speaking by context, usually.
Nope. As I said before, it was concise and to the point. She covered everything she needed to to attach us to the characters, help us feel their struggles, and avoid kicking the dead horse- which is often the problem with stories of struggle.
mom of six
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.
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.
Have a book club discussion about the book.
Emotionally devoid. Shame on this journalist for not being able to produce a better book.
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.
The author needs to stick to stories about what she knows and leave it to the likes of Khaled Hosseini to write about Afghanistan.
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
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