The Dressmaker of Khair Khana

  • by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
  • Narrated by Sarah Zimmerman
  • 6 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 Newsreporter 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Entrepreneurial Enterprise under Taliban Rule

Kamila had just completed her teaching certification when the Taliban came to power in Kabul, and suddenly she was not allowed to work or even be on the street without a male escort. In this wonderful account, you will learn how this enterprising young woman was able to support her family by learning to sew and then becoming a dressmaker, going on to teach other young women in her neighborhood the skill so they could support their own families. The book is well written and exciting, and the narrator has a pleasant voice and does a fine job. You'll gain real insight into what living under Taliban rule is like for females, whose world crashes down around them and how they can transcend the restrictions through intelligence, perseverance, creativity, and necessity.
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- laurie "I have edited 38 national best sellers and had a writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities."

Excellent Listen

For someone whose knowledge of the Taliban in Afghanistan mostly came from the evening news and Newsweek, this is a personal account of extraordinary women quietly living within a system and taking care of themselves and their families through a collective effort and the determination of a strong and courageous woman. The story is not heavy with political or governmental details, rather it is from the perspective of a family and its neighbors looking after one another while living under Taliban rule. Zimmerman's reading was tempered and consistent; she let the story speak for itself.
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- Susan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-15-2011
  • Publisher: HarperAudio