Gayle Tzemach Lemmon - The Dressmaker of Khair Khana - Hodder & Stoughton

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    • ISBN:9781848545687
    • Publication date:03 Mar 2011

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana

By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

  • Paperback
  • £9.99

The remarkable story of an unlikley entrepreneur who, against all odds, saved her family and inspired her community in Afghanistan

When the Taliban took control of Kabul, Kamila Sidiqi and all the women of Kabul saw their lives transformed. Overnight, they were banned from schools and offices and even forbidden from leaving their front doors on their own. The economy collapsed and young men left the city in search of work and security. Desperate to help her family and support her five brothers and sisters at home, Kamila began sewing cothes in her living room. Little did she know that the tailoring business she started to help her siblings would be the beginning of a dressmaking business that would create jobs and hope for one hundred neighbourhood women and would come to mean the difference between starvation and survival for hundreds of families like her own.

Biographical Notes

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon worked as a journalist for nearly ten years and as a producer with ABC News Political Unit. She has an MBA from Harvard where she began writing about women entrepreneurs in war zones, including in Afghanistan.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781848545564
  • Publication date: 08 Dec 2011
  • Page count: 288
  • Imprint: John Murray
'The Dressmaker of Khair Khana gives voice to many of our world's unsung heroines. Against all odds, these young women created hope and community, and they never gave up. This book is guaranteed to move you - and to show you a side of Afghanistan few ever see.' — Angelina Jolie
'Kamila Sidiqi's unforgettable story shows just how far we are willing to go for those we love, and proves once again the power of girls to remake our world. This is one of the most inspiring books I have ever read.' — Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea
'Gayle Lemmon's riveting portrait of Kamila, told with grace, elegance and passion, captures the extraordinary tenacity and ingenuity of one woman who quietly broke the rules to defy the Taliban and save her family. A powerful read.' — Tina Brown
' . . ..an exciting, engrossing [story] that reads like a novel, complete with moments of tension and triumph, plus well-researched detail on daily life in Kabul under Taliban rule. . . It's a fascinating story that touches on family, gender, business, and politics and offers inspiration through the resourceful, determined woman at its heart.' — Publishers Weekly, Pick of the Week
Books on Afghanistan usually fall into one of two categories: policy oriented polemics, or simple tales about do-gooders. Rarely has an author been so successful in turning on-the-ground reportage into a dramatic and yet deeply informative story. THE DRESSMAKER OF KHAIR KHANA reads like great fiction and yet it is all true; this book will grab you from the first sentence and take you on an amazing journey that crosses many borders: cultural, geographical, intellectual and, most importantly, emotional. It is a must-read — Mohamed el-Erian, author of When Markets Collide
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon embroiders the life of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, the remarkable story of an ingenious young Afghan woman who, under the Taliban's rule, created jobs for 100 women — Vanity Fair
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon tells a true, inspiring story of courageous women and quiet heroism at work in Taliban-era Afghanistan — The Christian Science Monitor
[A] 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 . . . Given the continued conflict in Afghanistan under foreign occupation, curious readers may want to know more about the current struggles of Afghan women. A revealing work that contributes to the literature on women under Afghanistan's Taliban regime — Library Journal
An inspiring, uplifting story about one woman's extraordinary courage and ingenuity in the face of adversity — Booklist
Former ABC News producer Lemmon's account is the product of several years of in-depth interviewing, and the author convincingly evokes the atmosphere of Taliban-era Kabul. The author also pays scrupulous attention to the details of character development and narrative momentum . . . [a] moving story . . . As Lemmon writes, women in war zones like Afghanistan are more often depicted as "victims of war who deserve our sympathy rather than as resilient survivors who demand our respect. I was determined to change this." Mission accomplished. A memorable, inspiring story of courageous community-building — Kirkus Reviews
'[A] powerful tale of sisterhood tells the extraordinary true story of a young woman living in Kabul under Taliban rule. Against the odds, she sets up a business that provided jobs and hope for a community of women' — Grazia

Franny Moyle

Franny Moyle has a degree in English and History of Art from St John's College, Cambridge. She enjoyed a career in arts programming at the BBC that culminated in her becoming the corporation's first Commissioner for Arts and Culture. She is now a freelance executive producer and writer as well as a director of the Hackney Empire, which is near her home in East London. She is married and has three children.

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon worked as a journalist for nearly ten years, and as a producer with ABC News Political Unit. She has an MBA from Harvard where she began writing about women entrepreneurs in war zones, including in Afghanistan.

Gyles Brandreth

Gyles Brandreth is a writer, performer, former MP and government whip whose career has ranged from hosting Have I Got News For You to starring in his own award-winning musical revue in London's West End. Currently a reporter with The One Show on BBC1 and a regular on Radio 4's Just a Minute, his acclaimed Victorian detective stories - THE OSCAR WILDE MURDER MYSTERIES - are now being published in nineteen countries around the world and are currently in development for TV. All six books in the series, OSCAR WILDE AND THE CANDLELIGHT MURDERS, OSCAR WILDE AND THE RING OF DEATH, OSCAR WILDE AND THE DEAD MAN'S SMILE, OSCAR WILDE AND THE NEST OF VIPERS, OSCAR WILDE AND THE VATICAN MURDERS and OSCAR WILDE AND THE MURDERS AT READING GAOL are available from John Murray. You can find out more about the Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries at www.oscarwildemurdermysteries.com and about Gyles Brandreth at www.gylesbrandreth.net

Halima Bashir

Halima Bashir grew up in the remote deserts of Darfur, Sudan, in a loving family that was part of the black African Zaghawa tribe. She proved herself to be academically gifted and went on to be the first person in her village to qualify as a medical doctor. But then war broke out and her life sprialled into an unimaginably dark nightmare. In 2005 she finally sought asylum in the UK where she continues to speak out about the violence in Sudan. In October 2008 she won the Victor Gollancz Human Rights Prize. Halima still lives in the UK with her husband and two sons and they were all granted UK citizenship in 2008.

Henry Hemming

Henry Hemming lives in London, UK.

Henry Hitchings

Henry Hitchings was born in 1974. He has contributed to many newspapers and magazines, and is theatre critic for the Evening Standard.

Humphrey Carpenter

Humphrey Carpenter began his career working for the BBC and appeared on Radio 3 and 4 many times since. He has written many bestselling, award-winning biographies whose subjects include Tolkein, C. S. Lewis, Ezra Pound, WH Auden, Bejamin Britten, Spike Milligan. He was a prolific author of childrens' book and a skilled jazz musician. He died in January 2005.

Irma Kurtz

Irma Kurtz was born in New Jersey and grew up in New York. After graduating in English Literature from Barnard College, Columbia University in 1956, she moved to Europe - first to Paris and then to London where, in 1970, she joined the brand new Cosmopolitan as its first Agony Aunt. Over her years in London, Irma Kurtz has contributed to virtually every national paper and is a frequent broadcaster on radio and TV. She moved to Bloomsbury after twenty years in Soho, London, and describes herself as a 'last-time buyer'. She also keeps a small hiding-place in an unfashionable region of northern France. The mother of a son, Irma Kurtz became a grandmother in March 2005.

J R Moehringer

J R Moehringer is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist who has written for the Los Angeles Times and many others. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

Jamie Buckingham

Jamie Buckingham is a freelance writer and pastor.

Jane Robins

Jane Robins is a distinguished writer and journalist. Her most recent book, THE CURIOUS HABITS OF DR ADAMS, is the chilling true tale of Dr John Bodkin Adams, the family doctor suspected of murdering 160 of his patients in 1950s Eastbourne.

Jasvinder Sanghera

Jasvinder Sanghera CBE was born and brought up in Derby. A survivor of a forced marriage, she is the co-founder of Karma Nirvana, a national project that supports both men and women affected by honour-based crimes and forced marriages. Jasvinder is also an international speaker and a Leading Expert Advisor to the Courts in child and criminal proceedings. Her memoir SHAME was a Sunday Times Top 10 Bestseller. Jasvinder has brought the issue of forced marriage into the public eye and helped the Forced Marriage bill go through Parliament. She has won numerous awards for her work including a Metropolitan Police GG2 Diversity Award in 2005. In 2007 she received one of the prestigious Women of the Year awards. Jasvinder was made an Honorary Doctor of the University of Derby in 2008. She was awarded a Pride of Britain Award in 2009 and was named a Cosmopolitan Ultimate Woman of the Year in 2010. In 2011 the Guardian listed Jasvinder amongst the top 100 inspirational women in the world.

Jenny Tomlin

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Jessica Ennis

Jessica Ennis was born in Sheffield in 1986. Jessica attended King Ecgbert Secondary School where she first met her fiancé Andy Hill. In the school holidays Jessica attended local athletics camps, and at the age of thirteen Jessica had her first coaching session with Toni Minichiello. After graduating with a degree in Psychology from the University of Sheffield, Jessica became a professional athlete; her greatest achievement to date has been winning heptathlon gold at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Jessica was appointed MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 2011 and lives in Sheffield with Andy and their chocolate labrador, Myla.

Jill Abramson

Jill Abramson, a bestselling and award-winning author, has worked on the Wall Street Journal and Time and, from 2011 until 2014, she was the executive editor of the New York Times (the first woman to hold this position). A dog-lover all her life, she has long been fascinated by the complex relationship between dogs and their owners. She, her husband, and Scout live in New York City and Connecticut.

John Betjeman

John Betjeman was born in London on 28 August 1906. He was educated at Marlborough and Magdalen College, Oxford. In 1931 his first book of poems, 'Mount Zion', was published by an old Oxford friend, Edward James. His second book was 'Ghastly Good Taste', a commentary on architecture, published in 1934. He was knighted in 1969 and was appointed Poet Laureate in 1972. John Betjeman died on 19 May 1984 at his home in Trebetherick, Cornwall and was buried at the nearby church of St Enodoc.

John Kercher

John Kercher has been a full time professional writer and journalist for more than thirty years, during which time he has published several thousand articles and interviews for the British and overseas newspaper and magazine markets. He is the author of 'The Film Biography of Warren Beatty' and has written 24 children's annuals and edited several magazines. He holds a BSc degree in Sociology from London University and lives in Surrey.

John O'Donoghue

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John Sherrill

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Justin Pollard

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