The Dressmaker of Khair Khana

Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe

By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780061732478, 256pp.)

Publication Date: March 2012

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Description

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 victimsthey 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.




About the Author
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a contributor to the Atlantic's Defense One writing on national security and foreign policy issues. In 2004 she left ABC News to earn her MBA at Harvard, where she began writing about women entrepreneurs in conflict and postconflict zones, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Rwanda. She is the bestselling author of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana and has written for Newsweek, the Financial Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Christian Science Monitor, CNN.com, and the Daily Beast, as well as for the World Bank and Harvard Business School.


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. Kamila studied to become a teacher and even earned a prestigious teaching certificate. Before she could complete her training, the Taliban took over Kabul and banned women from nearly all public places, including schools. How did Kamila adapt the skills she learned as a teacher and put them to use starting her dressmaking business, and later in her U.N. work?

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