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The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe (P.S.)by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Synopses & Reviews
Kamila Sidiqi's life changed overnight when the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan. After her father and brother were forced to flee, she became the sole breadwinner for her five siblings. Banned from school, confined to her home, and armed only with determination, she picked up a needle and thread to create a thriving business that saved their lives.
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana tells the incredible true story of this unlikely entrepreneur who mobilized her community under the Taliban. A story of war, it is also a story of family, faith, and resilience in the face of despair. These women are not victims — they are the glue that holds families together; they are the backbone and the heart of their nation. 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.
"A riveting and important book." Fast Company
"The Dressmaker of Khair Khana gives voice to many of our world's unsung heroines. Against all odds, these young women created hope and community, and they never gave up. This book is guaranteed to move you — and to show you a side of Afghanistan few ever see." Angelina Jolie
"Rarely has an author been so successful in turning on-the-ground reportage into a dramatic and yet deeply informative story. The Dressmaker of Khair Khana reads like great fiction and yet it is all true. It is a must read." Mohamed El-Erian, author of When Markets Collide
"The Dressmaker of Khair Khana is a most remarkable tale." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"By sharing these women's courageously tenacious stories, Lemmon provides readers convincing proof to believe, as well." BookDragon
"Lemmon's storytelling is her strength-the way the book is organized is captivating. Make no mistake that The Dressmaker of Khair Khana has solid journalistic chops and remains based in fact. It is a feel-good, pleasurable read at the crossroads between journalism and novel." Muslim Media Watch Blog
"Gayle Tzemach Lemmon tells a true, inspiring story of courageous women and quiet heroism at work in Taliban-era Afghanistan." Christian Science Monitor
"[Kamila Sidiqi] picked up a needle and thread, a whole lot of courage and became an entrepreneur with her own dressmaking business. She offered work to 100 other local women, forging bonds among oppressed women and creating a real community in very trying times." New York Post
"An inspiring, uplifting story about one woman's extraordinary courage and ingenuity in the face of adversity." Booklist
"An inspiring story of courageous community building....[Lemmon] pays scrupulous attention to detail...[and] convincingly evokes the atmosphere of Taliban-era Kabul." Kirkus Reviews
"Gayle Tzemach Lemmon embroiders the life of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, the remarkable story of an ingenious young Afghan woman who, under the Taliban's rule, created jobs for 100 women." Vanity Fair
"The Dressmaker of Khair Khana is one of those books you pick up to read and never forget: an emotional event and a reading experience about a dynamic woman of courage. Lemmon captivates readers with wonder as she relates how one woman refuses to be a victim." Blogcritics.org
"The Dressmaker of Khair Khana is a captivating war-time adventure story, but it is also a lesson in tenacity and courage." Acton Institute
"The Dressmaker of Khair Khana is a heart-wrenching, heartwarming story about the courageous women of war-ravaged Afghanistan." Washington Times
"We're far more accustomed to—and comfortable with—seeing women portrayed as victims of war who deserve our sympathy rather than as resilient survivors who demand our respect…"
Former ABC journalist Gayle Tzemach Lemmon tells the riveting true story of Kamila Sidiqi and other women of Afghanistan in the wake of the Talibans fearful rise to power. In what Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea, calls “one of the most inspiring books I have ever read,” Lemmon recounts with novelistic vividness the true story of a fearless young woman who not only reinvented herself as an entrepreneur to save her family but, in the face of ferocious opposition, brought hope to the lives of dozens of women in war-torn Kabul.
About the Author
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a Fellow and Deputy Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2004 she left ABC News to earn her MBA at Harvard, where she began writing about women entrepreneurs in conflict and post-conflict zones, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Rwanda. Her reporting on entrepreneurs in these countries has been published by the New York Times, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, CNN.com, and the Daily Beast, as well as the World Bank and Harvard Business School. She lives in Los Angeles.
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