Saturday, March 2, 2013

What I've Been Reading

For a long time I tended to see the world through the lens of my life in the United States. I grew up in a safe home with electricity, clean well water from indoor plumbing, a warm bed and wonderful meals prepared by loving hands. We even had a colored television.

When I went through college classes that opened my eyes to situations in other countries as well as some in the USA, I realized the plight that many live with. The destruction, poverty and war that tore apart countries was devastating. What saddened me even more was the injustice given to women. We are blessed in the US to have the opportunity to gain an education, work in the field we want, raise our children as we want and worship where we want. Many women are seen as nothing more than a possession. They cannot think for themselves or contribute to their communities.

Ms. Lemmon tells the story of a group of women who conquered fear and created a network for survival. When the Taliban seized the city of Kabul, five sisters lost their opportunity to attend college. They were forced to take backward steps and huddle in their homes, afraid to show their faces in public. But, this is more than a story about a family living through war. These women rose above fear and fought back to keep their home and loved ones safe, while they combined their abilities to create a successful business. Through their work, they reached out to neighbors and taught skills, even as bombs blew and missiles hurtled.

Led by Kamila Sidiqi, one of the sisters, they found a way to use sewing skills and sheer determination to not only come out of the war alive, but to draw the women of the community together. I found their story both inspirational and encouraging.

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