During June we are going to read The dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Lemmon. This is a book about sewing (rather than quilting) and about creating a brighter future even when it seems impossible.

This is a true story about Kamila from Kabul. When the Taliban take over control in 1996, she has just finished her teaching degree. But under the new rules, women are not permitted to work, attend school, or even leave the house without a male relative.

Kamila’s brothers and father have to flee their home and leave the female family members behind. Kamila is forced to stop working at her school and must find another way to provide for the remaining family members, her mother and sisters. She travels alone (now a forbidden act) to her get to her oldest sister home where she learns how to sew.

Soon Kamila has turned her new-found sewing skills into a little business and she sees an opportunity to help other women in her community. With the help of her sisters, she opens a tailoring school in their home to teach women how to sew and to give them work once they completed their training.

In this remarkable story, we learn how Kamila manages to employ nearly one hundred of her friends and neighbours, all the while escaping the scrutiny of the Taliban.

The Huffington Post noted,

‘The Dressmaker of Khair Khana’ is a book to be shared across genders and generations, a truly uplifting and very true story of how one woman set out to start a business and ended up preserving the dignity of so many women.

Join our online Book Club

Head over to the UKQU Book Club to find out all details and to discuss the book (click Forum to find the Topics). Don’t forget to bring cake and tea!

The book for July will be revealed towards the end of June. 

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