Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
About: (Goodreads) 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.
My thoughts: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon’s book is one of the most inspirational I’ve read in quite some time. She tells the story of Kamila Sediqi – a young woman who rose to the occasion when her father left the family in her care because he,her mother and brother had to flee Kabul after the Taliban invasion in the 1990s.
After some time had passed the need to buy food and other necessities prompted Kamila to find a way to earn money. She went to her older, married sister who taught her how to sew. From those lessons grew a cottage industry that employed many girls from her neighborhood. By teaching the girls to cut fabric, sew, bead, etc. she helped them gain confidence and self-esteem as well as a way to earn money to help support their families. Kamila risked her safety anytime she would go to the market where she bought fabric and sold finished garments. She couldn’t go out in public without her younger brother (a Taliban rule) and she had to wear the required chadri (burqa). She had faith that God would take care of her. That faith carried her through some very distressing times.
I was continually impressed by the courage and optimism displayed by all of the young people portrayed in this book. The Dressmaker of Khair Khana is a biography that reads like a novel. It’s a compelling story of the power of the human spirit during impossible times.
I appreciated that the author included an epilogue and a Where Are They Today chapter.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Recommend? Yes, it’s an uplifting and inspirational story.