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The dressmaker of Khair Khana : five sisters, one remarkable family, and the wom
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Adult Nonfiction DS375.K2 T94 2011

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In 2005, Lemmon went to Afghanistan on assignment for the Financial Times to write about women entrepreneurs. When she met a dressmaker named Kamila Sediqi, Lemmon (once a producer for This Week with George Stephanopolos) knew she had her story. It's an exciting, engrossing one that reads like a novel, complete with moments of tension and triumph, plus well-researched detail on daily life in Kabul under Taliban rule. When that regime descended in 1996, it brought fear, violence, and restrictions: women must stay home, may not work, and must wear the chadri-a cloak, also known as a burqa, that covers the face and body-in public. After Sediqi's parents left the city to avoid being pressed into service, or worse, by the Taliban, it fell to her to support the family. Her story is at once familiar (she came up with an idea, procured clients, hired student workers, and learned as she went) and wholly different (she couldn't go anywhere without a male escort, had to use an assumed name with customers due to the threat of being found out and punished, and could fit in work on the sewing machine only when there was electricity). It's a fascinating story that touches on family, gender, business, and politics and offers inspiration through the resourceful, determined woman at its heart. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Journalist Lemmon (deputy director, Women & Foreign Policy Prog., Council on Foreign Relations) tells the 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. Lemmon encountered Kamila in 2005 when Lemmon was on assignment for the Financial Times. Through Kamila's story, Lemmon captures the lives of women after the Taliban takeover of Kabul in 1996. She rejects characterizing Afghan women as victims of war and instead demonstrates how women, particularly entrepreneurial women, actively resisted gender oppression. Kamila's story ends on a positive note with the fall of the Taliban regime after the American presence in Afghanistan; her impressive yet furtive enterprise later received recognition from such figures as Condoleezza Rice. Given the continued conflict in Afghanistan under foreign occupation, curious readers may want to know more about the current struggles of Afghan women. VERDICT A revealing work that contributes to the literature on women under Afghanistan's Taliban regime.-Karen Okamoto, John Jay Coll. Lib., New York (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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