Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana (by Gayle Lemmon)

I thought this was a great true story.  When the Taliban take over, a woman in Afghanistan starts a dressmaking business with her sisters in her home in order to support her family.  I enjoyed learning about a different aspect of life in Afghanistan.  The author is a journalist who has covered the region and felt compelled to share this story.

From Amazon:

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. 

Read: October 2011

1 comment:

Brasil said...

This is the story of Kamela Sediqu, a young woman who supported her family under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan by established a dressmaking business, that eventually grew to employ many. And all of this took place when women could only go into public covered from head to toe in a loose-flowing chadri (with only a mesh slit for seeing through) and accompanied by a male relative.

Kamela's story is inspiring, and I very much enjoyed reading it. I thought the characterization and dialogue were good. The author does a good job at defining the foreign terms and concepts that she uses as they are introduced.

There are a few things that kept this from being a 5-star book for me. I would have liked to have gotten a better feel for what life was like during the Taliban regime and how most women (without Kamela's ingenuity) were doing. A bit more of some of the difficulties that others encountered would have made her bravery that much clearer.