The acclaimed story of Kamila Sadiqi’s thriving dress business in Afghanistan under the Taliban’s repressive and demoralizing rule has touched hearts on a global scale. Kamila’s account, told by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon in The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, is an endearing portrayal of a woman who, led by her faith, felt it was her duty to help her family as well as her whole community. Encouraged by her father who stressed that the “pen is mightier than the sword,” Kamila used her education as a means of survival. She recognized that entrepreneurship was a powerful tool because of its ability to assist people—and she put it to use by employing over 100 people from her neighborhood. Kamila’s story is reminiscent of many other women in Afghanistan who, despite their constraints, have worked hard to assist their societies during periods of despair and hardship. Tanenbaum’s Peacemakers in Action, Jamila Afghani and Sakena Yacoobi, similarly serve as models of dedicated Afghani women who have used their education for their greater good.
Nastasia Bach, Religion and Conflict Resolution Intern