Press & Reviews

Examiner.com, Durham Books Examiner: “Breadwinners in Burquas”

Author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon calls them “breadwinners in burquas,” the women of Afghanistan who managed to support their families and get an education despite the repressive presence of the Taliban. Lemmon went to Afghanistan in 2005 to do the research for a story for the Financial Times on Afghan women entrepreneurs.  The women she met and their real stories are …

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The Browser image copyThe Browser, Writing Worth Reading: Gayle Lemmon on Women and War

FiveBooks Interviews:  Gayle Lemmon on Women and War: When war comes, women pick up the pieces, providing for families and taking up jobs previously done by men. Increasingly, women are to be found on the frontlines of combat too, as the author and journalist explains Your bestselling book The Dressmaker of Khair Khana revolves around a burqa-clad entrepreneur who started …

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People LogoPeople Mag: Fascinating Window on Afghan Life Under the Taliban

Pick of the week – 4 stars! When Kabul fell under Taliban control in September 1996, Kamela Sediqi’s life changed immediately and completely: The teen could no longer attend school; she had to wear a full-length burqa in public and be accompanied by a male relative – or risk being beaten by gangs enforcing the Taliban code of “moral purity.” …

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omagazine-logoO Magazine: 18 Books To Watch in April 2011

1 of 18 books to watch in April 2011!  Oppressed by the brutal Taliban, a courageous Afghan woman and her sisters succeed as unlikely entrepreneurs in this inspiring true story. – 3/22/2011

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publishers weekly logoPublishers Weekly Pick of the Week!

Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week! 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 …

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Kirkus Reviews LogoKirkus Reviews: A memorable, inspiring story of courageous community-building

The story of a young Afghan woman who outwitted the Taliban to become a successful entrepreneur. At age 19, Kamila Sidiqi started a tailoring business in Kabul that saved her family and possibly hundreds of women from starvation. In 1996, the Taliban seized control of the Afghan government and “began reshaping the cosmopolitan capital according to their utopian vision of …

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Parade Mag logoParade Mag: Book Review

One of Parade Magazine’s Picks! An Afghan family finds a way to survive in Kabul under Taliban rule in this awe-inspiring true story. With nothing but an idea and the tenacity to see it through, teenager Kamila Sidiqi starts a home business with her sisters that grows to support both the spirits and the finances of an entire neighborhood. Fans …

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FT logo imagesThe Financial Times: Review by Tamzin Baker

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon highlights the role women play in rebuilding Afghanistan In this portrait of an Afghan dressmaker, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, highlights the role women play in building their country. The story begins in 1996, the year the Taliban take over Kabul. Teenager Kamila Sidiqi is forced to give up her teaching …

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logo-washingtontimesWashington Times: Book Review

”The Dressmaker of Khair Khana” is a heart-wrenching, heartwarming story about the courageous women of war-ravaged Afghanistan, akin to Greg Mortenson’s inspiring best-seller, “Three Cups of Tea.” Set in Kabul, it is the true tale of the heroines who managed to survive the brutality of the Taliban regime, the “bread winners in burqas,” who not only suffered but flourished against …

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Harpers Bazaar LogoHarpers Bazaar: How Fashion Saved My Family From the Taliban

When the Taliban took over her hometown in 1996, Afghan businesswoman Kamila Sidiqi knew she had to find a way to survive. But she never expected that salvation would come from sewing dresses. Sitting alone in her living room on a wintry afternoon only months after the Taliban swept into Kabul in 1996, nineteen year-old Kamila Sidiqi realized it was …

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LA Times logoLA Times: Discoveries Book Review

Kamela Sediqi was not yet 20 when the Taliban took over in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1996. When her father, a military man under former strongman Najibullah (who was killed by the Taliban), moved out of Kabul, he left Sediqi in charge of her sisters and younger brother. The Taliban issued their edicts: Women were to stay at home, they were …

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huff post logoHuffington Post- A Truly Uplifting and Very True Story

When Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, author of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, first met Kamila Sidiqi, it was to interview her as the basis of a case study in female entrepreneurship for Harvard Business School. Kamila had overcome enormous odds to begin a home-based seamstress business in her neighborhood of Khair Khana in Kabul, Afghanistan, a business that grew to encompass …

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usa_today_logoUSA Today: Book Review

Now, The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon (Harper, $24.99) may be poised for similar success. Out today, the book is backed by a perfect blend of publishing elements — a remarkable Afghan heroine, a high-profile writer, bookseller support and a marketing campaign …

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800px-New_York_Post_logoNew York Post Review

“Kabul resident Kamila Sidiqi had a teaching degree, but when the Taliban took over, she was barred from teaching and barely able to leave her house. When her father and a brother were forced to leave the city, she became the breadwinner for her family — herself and five siblings. She knew how to sew, so she picked up a …

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TheStreet.com Review

Many books have been written about the harsh conditions women in Afghanistan had to suffer during the Taliban rule. We’ve read about them being arrested for leaving the house without a male relative, getting stoned for not wearing a burqa and getting beaten to death for exposing an arm in public. Few, if any books, however, have told the tale …

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mercy_corps__1_2_8498Mercy Corps: New Book Honors Afghan Women Entrepreneurs

International Women’s Day reminds me of the many courageous women I’ve had the pleasure of meeting during my last years at Mercy Corps. In all corners of the globe, women work tirelessly — sometimes against incredible odds — to build better, more prosperous and peaceful lives for their families. Nowhere is this more true than in Afghanistan. A few months …

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vanity-fair-logoVanity Fair: “Hot Type” Section February 2011

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon embroiders the life of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana (Harper), the remarkable story of an ingenious young Afghan woman who, under the Taliban’s rule, created jobs for 100 women. – 2/15/2011

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LIbrary journal logoLibrary Journal Review

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 …

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publishers weekly logoPublishers Weekly Q&A With Gayle

Against All Odds: Q & A About The Dressmaker With Gayle Lemmon. In The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon tells the story of Kamila Sediqi, an Afghan dressmaker who used her business skills to keep her family and her community together. Kamila started her business in 1996, and has accomplished so much since then. Why do you think …

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usa_today_logoUSA Today: Angelina Jolie pens a blurb for Dressmaker of Khair Khana

  Angelina Jolie pens a blurb for Gayle Lemmon’s Dressmaker of Khair Khana Author/reporter Gayle Lemmon has met actress/activist Angelina Jolie only by e-mail. But both share an interest in female entrepreneurs in war-torn places such as Afghanistan. That explains how Jolie came to provide a blurb for the back jacket of TheDressmaker of Khair Khana, Lemmon’s book about a …

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CSM LOgoChristian Science Monitor: What to read? 15 promising titles for early 2011!

1 of 15 Promising Titles for Early 2011! Christian Science Monitor contributor Gayle Tzemach Lemmon tells a true, inspiring story of courageous women and quiet heroism at work in Taliban-era Afghanistan. – Marjorie Kehe, Monitor book editor 1/8/2011

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American_Library_Association-logo-C053B6D846-seeklogo.comALA Booklist Review

Most books that cover women’s lives in Afghanistan under the Taliban recount suffering and loss, but journalist Lemmon wanted to shed light on the untold stories of enterprising women who found ways to take care of themselves and their families during the five oppressive years the Taliban was in power. Kamila Sidiqi’s hopes of using her teaching degree were dashed …

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Harvard_shield-BusinessHBS Alumni Magazine: Entrepreneurship Under Taliban Rule

Launching a business comes with challenges—especially if that business happens to be in a war-torn region. Students in a Harvard Business School course on entrepreneurship will have to consider such hurdles in a new case study about an Afghan school teacher who started a dress-making business under Taliban rule. The case will be presented as a guest lecture by a …

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NW ImageMaking Loans Work for Women – Newsweek

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, deputy director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations, has spent more than five years writing and reporting on female entrepreneurs in Afghanistan. Her work is now the subject of a forthcoming book, The Dressmaker of Khair Khana. She spoke to NEWSWEEK’s Tania Barnes about how the international community can support …

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