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.
This was one book I simply couldn’t put down. Kamila Sidiqi’s journey into entrepreneurship will inspire you. In the face of war and with her community under the watchful eye of the hated Taliban, Kamila rose above the poverty and strict rules laid out by the Taliban to run a successful business employing neighbouring women by teaching them how to sew. These women became independent breadwinners for their families during a time when women were looked down upon and treated less than human. Without Kamila’s dedication, deep faith and belief that she could help to empower these women, their families would have starved to death or been forced to move during a dangerous time.
This incredible true story of Kamila Sidiqi will leave you rooting for her and making you feel empowered to go out and contribute to society. Ms. Lemmon has done a remarkable job at telling Kamila’s story and I’d like to say “thanks” for the best few hours of reading I’ve had in a while.