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Books  >>  Biography

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon The Dressmaker Of Khair Khana Five Sisters One Remarkable Family And The Woma
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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.

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“[A] transporting, enlightening book. . . The Dressmaker of Khair Khana is a fascinating window on Afghan life under the Taliban and a celebration of women the world over who support their loved ones with tenacity, inventiveness and sheer guts.”

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“[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.”

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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.”

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The Dressmaker of Khair Khana is a captivating war-time adventure story, but it is also a lesson in tenacity and courage.”

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The Dressmaker of Khair Khana is a heart-wrenching, heartwarming story about the courageous women of war-ravaged Afghanistan.”

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The Dressmaker of Khair Khana is a most remarkable tale.”

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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.”

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The Dressmaker of Khair Khana is pure inspiration. . . it reveals in acute detail the anxiety of ordinary people trying to fold their lives around the whims and laws of abusive regimes.”

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The Dressmaker of Khair Khana shows us a side of Afghanistan that is so different from what we have seen so far. I recommend this book to anyone who has ever had an idea or a business plan. Kamila’s story is engrossing, and her courage truly inspiring.”

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“A courageous Afghan woman and her sisters success as unlikely entrepreneurs in this inspiring true story.”

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“A fascinating story that touches on family, gender, business, and politics and offers inspiration through the resourceful, determined woman at its heart.”

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“A revealing work that contributes to the literature on women under Afghanistan’s Taliban regime.”

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“A riveting and important book.”

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“A truly uplifting and very true story of how one woman set out to start a business and ended up preserving the dignity of so many women; opened up possibilities for hundreds more; and in

"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 Taliban’s 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.


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