Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana

"The Dressmaker of Khair Khana" by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

The author wrote this book about a young Afghan women who during the Taliban reign, helped her family survive by starting a dress making business in the secrecy of her home.  She helped many other families by employing other women.  Kamila risked her life to help her family and those around her.  She showed such strength and courage.  "They were just kids trying to survive another year of war together with no parents to watch over them."  Many of these girls parents had fled for safety but believed the safest place was for their children to stay.  So without their parents, without men to earn money, they had to find a way to survive.  The pressure was great and the risks were severe.  "In that instant she felt perfectly alone, unable to share her burden, and with no choice but to simply carry on." So many women were left to care for their families in a hostile environment that didn't allow them much freedom.  "I want you to know I'm proud of you. I never for one moment doubted that you would be ale to take care of our family and that you could do anything you set your mind to.  You must stay at it, and you must try as hard as you can to help others.  This is our country and we must stay and see it through whatever comes.  That is our obligation and our privilege."  Kamila's father said this to her.  He was so proud of her for what she had done, he counted and believed in her.  I applaud her father for he is belief in her and for Kamila's courage to help others even when it put her life in danger.  "Her life was about more than her own safety."  "With all this despair crippling her city, who was she not to do her part?"  I wish that more people here, today, in our county, felt this way.  We all have a part to play in bettering our lives, our families, our communities, and our world.  Why do we not do our part?  "...but remember that they only have to catch you once to destroy everything.  You name, your family, your life.  Everything."  "Brave young women complete heroic acts every day, with no one bearing witness." The author wrote this story to tell the world that women everywhere are doing heroic things to keep their families together, to love and help others.  We all have our part to play.  This was an intriguing and encouraging book.  I appreciated the look into Afghan women and the types of oppression they have lived through.  

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