Author(s): Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
When the Taliban took control of Kabul, Kamila Sidiqi and all the women of Kabul saw their lives transformed. Overnight, they were banned from schools and offices and even forbidden from leaving their front doors on their own. The economy collapsed and young men left the city in search of work and security. Desperate to help her family and support her five brothers and sisters at home, Kamila began sewing cothes in her living room. Little did she know that the tailoring business she started to help her siblings would be the beginning of a dressmaking business that would create jobs and hope for one hundred neighbourhood women and would come to mean the difference between starvation and survival for hundreds of families like her own.
'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 'Kamila Sidiqi's unforgettable story shows just how far we are willing to go for those we love, and proves once again the power of girls to remake our world. This is one of the most inspiring books I have ever read.' -- Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea 'Gayle Lemmon's riveting portrait of Kamila, told with grace, elegance and passion, captures the extraordinary tenacity and ingenuity of one woman who quietly broke the rules to defy the Taliban and save her family. A powerful read.' -- Tina Brown ' ...an exciting, engrossing [story] that reads like a novel, complete with moments of tension and triumph, plus well-researched detail on daily life in Kabul under Taliban rule... It's a fascinating story that touches on family, gender, business, and politics and offers inspiration through the resourceful, determined woman at its heart.' -- Publishers Weekly, Pick of the Week 20110110 Books on Afghanistan usually fall into one of two categories: policy oriented polemics, or simple tales about do-gooders. 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; this book will grab you from the first sentence and take you on an amazing journey that crosses many borders: cultural, geographical, intellectual and, most importantly, emotional. It is a must-read -- Mohamed el-Erian, author of When Markets Collide 20110110 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 20110110 Gayle Tzemach Lemmon tells a true, inspiring story of courageous women and quiet heroism at work in Taliban-era Afghanistan -- The Christian Science Monitor 20110110 [A] moving story of Kamila Sidiqi, a young woman in Kabul, Afghanistan, who, out of desperation, started a successful dressmaking business to support her family and other destitute women during the repressive Taliban regime ... Given the continued conflict in Afghanistan under foreign occupation, curious readers may want to know more about the current struggles of Afghan women. A revealing work that contributes to the literature on women under Afghanistan's Taliban regime -- Library Journal 20110110 An inspiring, uplifting story about one woman's extraordinary courage and ingenuity in the face of adversity -- Booklist 20110110 Former ABC News producer Lemmon's account is the product of several years of in-depth interviewing, and the author convincingly evokes the atmosphere of Taliban-era Kabul. The author also pays scrupulous attention to the details of character development and narrative momentum ... [a] moving story ... As Lemmon writes, women in war zones like Afghanistan are more often depicted as "victims of war who deserve our sympathy rather than as resilient survivors who demand our respect. I was determined to change this." Mission accomplished. A memorable, inspiring story of courageous community-building -- Kirkus Reviews 20110110 '[A] powerful tale of sisterhood tells the extraordinary true story of a young woman living in Kabul under Taliban rule. Against the odds, she sets up a business that provided jobs and hope for a community of women' -- Grazia 20110110
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon worked as a journalist for nearly ten years and as a producer with ABC News Political Unit. She has an MBA from Harvard where she began writing about women entrepreneurs in war zones, including in Afghanistan.