I read THE DRESSMAKER OF KHAIR KHANA, by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon on my Nook. I got it in ARC form through NetGalley. This was a first for me.
This memoir sneaks inside the lives of five women in Afghanistan during the time the Taliban ruled most of the country. The five women are sisters. Kamila Sidiqi has learned to work hard and smart. By doing this she is saving the lives of her family members and friends.
When Kamila begins sewing clothing in her home to make ends meet, she has no idea how it would eventually turn into a business that will feed 100 families. Kamila must sneak around the marketplace wearing a burqa that covers all but her eyes. Women were not allowed outside their homes unless accompanied by a male even if the male was a mere child. But she perseveres through all the madness. After all, the alternative is starvation. The men have left. Her mother and father have fled. But they still have to eat.
Lemmon is a former reporter for ABC news. She knows her stuff. Has researched well. She has her finger on the pulse of what women were experiencing in Kabul during the time of the Taliban. They were kept virtually as prisoners.
Kamila Sidiqi risked her life over and over again. Even though this story sounds harsh and difficult, Lemmon has written it in a way that it is uplifting and humbling. Seeing these women make such milestones with so little, is heartwarming.
Sidiqi continues to help other women in strife torn countries to begin businesses of their own. This has become her lifework now. From a very humble beginning, to taking on the world. A wonderful book to be passed on to others.
Kamila Sidiqi teaching gabion-making.