I am the first to admit that I know very little of what is going on in the world. I can barely keep up with what is going on in my little corner of it. But when it comes to areas like Afghanistan, I know even less.
I am ashamed of my ignorance, but I can say that after reading The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safebyy Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, I feel more knowledgeable.
This book is so inspirational. In September 1996, Kamila Sidiqir received her teaching certificate and was preparing to attend a university. There was no celebration, however, her countries civil war had caused such celebrations to be too dangerous. But she still felt optimisic, even with the impending threat of the Taliban invading her country. Some people were hoping that the Taliban would bring security, but many more were afraid.
When the Taliban did invade Afghanistan, Kamila’s world changed drastically. Her father and brother had to flee to find jobs elsewhere. Kamila was left being the support of her five siblings. Supporting her siblings would be a challenge since the Taliban forced women to stay inside unless accompanied by a male relative, forced to wear a chadri (a covering which only allowed a small slit for their eyes), no school, no work.
Kamila knew that she had to do something. She learned to sew, and took her goods to a market accompanied by her brother. Soon, she had more clients, and was training more girls in her home. Every trip out, she risked her life. She had to have the girls come to her home at different times, so as not to attract the Taliban’s attention. Women who attracted their attention were often beaten in the streets.
In the midst of all this danger, she created a thriving business, providing a livelihood to people who had none.
It is an amazing and truly inspirational story.
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Usual disclaimer: I received no compensation for this review, other than a copy of the book. All opinions are my own.