The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe

by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
3.4 126

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Overview

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

The New York Times bestseller, written by a former reporter for ABC News, that People magazine called “a transporting, enlightening book” tells the story of a fearless young entrepreneur who brought hope to the lives of dozens of women in war-torn Afghanistan.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061732478
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/20/2012
Series: P.S. Series
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 207,763
Product dimensions: 5.34(w) x 7.78(h) x 0.75(d)
Lexile: 1090L (what's this?)

About the Author

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a contributor to Atlantic Media’s Defense One, writing on national security and foreign policy issues. She is the bestselling author of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana and has written for Newsweek, the Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, CNN.com, and the Daily Beast, as well as for the World Bank and Harvard Business School.

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The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 126 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book simplistic. I thought it was a true account of women suffefring under the Taliban, but not so sure. I hate books where everything a character does is perfect and on the first try. Subject character in this book learns how to be an excellent tailor in one afternoon of lessons! And then proceeds to just as quickly teach her sisters who become expert also. Amazing. I have done my share of sewing and it isn't that easy.
Marlo Catroppa More than 1 year ago
The characters were underdeveloped. The storyline was boring. There was nothing that happened in the book that kept you wondering. how does someone become an expert at sewing wedding dresses with two hours of training...are they serious?! If you want an amazing book about Afghanistan during Taliban rule about women survivors read A Thousand Splendid Suns.
Aggiejan More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because of the hype. It was OK but I didn't think that it was all that well written. It left at lot out about the family and how they survived until the main character figured out how to make a living. I felt like there were large gaps in time that were unaccounted for. Nothing about the tedium the women must have felt since they couldn't go any further than the walls of their home except that they read books over and over. It seemed so easy that the materials were obtained--no suspense, no hiding, no close calls. The actual story of a woman who succeeded under the Taliban is incredible and this book publicized that, but the book itself was just OK.
wrryntx More than 1 year ago
This is the worst told good story I've read in a long time. My wife puts it well: I want an author to show me, not tell me. This author fails almost completely to show anything. She tells us how people felt, she tells us what people thought, and frankly she doesn't do that very well. There were so very many opportunities to bring the characters alive, to make them real, to let them speak for themselves about why they did what they did and how they had the courage to do so. Opportunities missed. It is a testament to the importance of these women's stories that I finished this book. The writing made me want to quit, but the underlying story made me persist. In the end I am left wanting to know more and to understand more clearly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story itself is very interesting, but the authors writing style was very elementary and I wasn't able to enjoy reading the book. I didn't feel as if the author felt anything when telling this story and didn't take the time to help the reader get close to the people the story is written about.
bobbin70 More than 1 year ago
Well written and interesting. There was never an explanation of how there were customers. It sounded like everyone was struggling to survive so how could they buy so many dresses?
Di27 More than 1 year ago
This was one of the best books I have read since "Three cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson. It really helps me to appreciate how lucky I am to live in the Country I do.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As the professional critics would say, "A must read." I could not put this book down & now want more from Gayle Lemmon - soon, please?
IMNSHO More than 1 year ago
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana is a compelling, excellent read that will transport you to a time, a place, and a culture that will keep you riveted to its conclusion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While this is informative regarding a woman's place in Taliban occupied Afghanistan, I feel this book couldn't decide whether to be a documentary or a fact based novel. The characters were not developed enough to have us care, and the information stopped short of being fully explained/revealed. However, it did contain some information I was not aware of, and I did have admiration for the determination of the main character. If you have some extra time, this book is an okay read.
ReadsalotNK More than 1 year ago
Don't bother. Interesting subject but reads as though written by an 11 year old. The dialogue is shallow and contrived. If this is supposed to be a children's book it should be marketed as such.
juJH More than 1 year ago
this is a story of very strong women and how they find a way to survive
Man_Of_La_Book_Dot_Com More than 1 year ago
The Dress­maker of Khair Khana: Five Sis­ters, One Remark­able Fam­ily, and the Woman Who Risked Every­thing to Keep Them Safe by Gayle Tzemach Lem­mon is a non-fiction book which tells the story of a woman who started a suc­cess­ful dress mak­ing busi­ness under the Tal­iban in Afghanistan. Not only did Kamila Sadiqi pro­vide hon­or­able employ­ment to her fam­ily and female com­mu­nity, but also a ray of hope in an oth­er­wise bleak existence. Kamila Sadiqi is an enter­pris­ing young woman. Fear­less, inde­pen­dent and with a sharp mind, Kamila has to find a way to feed her fam­ily under Tal­iban ruled Afghanistan. All the males in Kamila’s fam­ily have either fled, died or too young to be of any con­cern to the Tal­iban she has to find a way to feed her six siblings. Kamila starts her own stitch­ing busi­ness, hir­ing local women who are not allowed to work unless they are under the strin­gent reg­u­la­tions which the Tal­iban bru­tally enforces how and where women should work. Using her nat­u­rally given tal­ents Kamila doesn’t only sup­ply work and income for her fam­ily, but for the neigh­bor­hood grow­ing her busi­ness and inspir­ing others. The Dress­maker of Khair Khana: Five Sis­ters, One Remark­able Fam­ily, and the Woman Who Risked Every­thing to Keep Them Safe by Gayle Tzemach Lem­mon is a quick read, inter­est­ing and heart­warm­ing book. While short, the book pack­ages a strong story of per­se­ver­ance, fight­ing against the odds, help­ing the com­mu­nity and entre­pre­neur­ship combined. This is an inspir­ing story of coura­geous women who are in a dan­ger­ous zone with­out men. The males either had to go away, were impris­oned or died while women were forced to be con­fined to their homes, wear a chadri and had to have a male chap­eron escort them around. As some­one who pays atten­tion to the world around him and beyond the two oceans sur­round­ing these United States, I knew about the oppress­ing sit­u­a­tion in Afghanistan pre-9/11, but one aspect that escaped me was the one the author depicted very were. Besides the daily ter­ror of not hav­ing any con­trol over the small aspects of one’s life (like going to the mar­ket or leav­ing your yard), the sheer bore­dom and depres­sion these women felt jumped off the pages. The more I read the book, the more admi­ra­tion I felt towards Ms. Sadiqi. Not only because of her busi­ness prowess, but also because she cared about her com­mu­nity and cus­tomers – some­thing I feel we have lost on the US. Ms. Sadiqi pro­vided hon­or­able employ­ment, qual­ity prod­ucts and most impor­tantly, a ray of hope in an oth­er­wise unfor­giv­ing world to many women. The Tal­ibs knew about her busi­ness but turned an eye from it due to her qual­ity, work­ing within the guide­lines and con­tri­bu­tion to Afghan society.
PrairieStarUU-Minnesota More than 1 year ago
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana is an absorbing story of a young woman who creatively finds a new career when the Taliban occupy her neighborhood in Kabul, Afganistan. This book is enjoyable & easy to read. The Sidiqi family comes to life on the pages by the author's use of incidents in everyday life-for example a parent's visit to a clinic with a sick child, the challenge of shopping, or taking a bus. Too often we do not hear the stories of the women and how they fared during this time. Lemmon skillfully details the life of women and how they provided for their families. The hardships and trials the people endured under the thumb of the extremist & religious Taliban rule are a testament to the courage of the human spirit and strength of family ties. If you liked Greg Mortenson (Three Cups of Tea, Stones into Schools) you'll enjoy this book too. This is a great read and absouletly an outstanding book !
Beverly_D More than 1 year ago
I had a hard time not checking the "horror" box as I marked the shelves this belongs on. Being an educated young woman in Kabul, when the Taliban rolls in, and suddenly, you're basically on house arrest, because, female. And yet, the women of Kabul did not take this lying down. This non-fiction book tells the story of Kamila Sadiqi and her sisters and neighbors. Kamila would be a shero and business owner in ANY culture, but her ingenuity in figuring out how to do so, under the very nose of the Taliban, is remarkable. The narration and storytelling is a little inconsistent at times, probably because the names, descriptions, and details of some of the events had to be changed to protect the women still in danger in Afghanistan. But their resilience, courage, and determination are admirable, and it's a fascinating book.
shushu1 More than 1 year ago
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana is an exceptional novel of a true story that is both courageous an inspiring. I thoroughly enjoyed this book as it shared an amazing story of bravery through the debilitating time of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Kamila went against all odds to try and help out her family, during a time where she as a women was not allowed to work or go into the outside world without a male chaperon. I found myself continuously surprised at her courageousness and strive to create her own business from scratch and refusal to be let down, as many women relied on her with their livelihoods. I truly admire this novel and the author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, for sharing this story to the world.   
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They could not afford to make mistakes. If your buisness was on the line and it was the only way you could support your family you would not make mistakes and I am INCREDIBLY sorry if this didnt entertain you because it was too dry or boring but FACE THE TRUTH this is their life not yours and I think that it is incredibly rude that you cant respect that or that you refuse too. I think you need to take a lesson on learning some respect. And I mean ALL of you. Reply to Critic0908
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