Notre Dame High School Reads…
The “One School-One Book” program at Notre Dame High School:
The One School-One Book initiative began at Notre Dame High School in the 2011-2012 year when the entire school community: administrators, faculty, staff, students and even some parents read the incredible book Left to Tell, by Immaculee Ilibagiza. The tradition continues this year! The intention of this program is to have a common, meaningful point for discussion and expanded learning opportunities. Books are selected keeping in mind the value of reading about strong women who face and conquer struggles. The selections expand our horizons, giving us the opportunity to learn about people whose life experiences are vastly different from ours, yet with whom we can relate in many ways.
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana is the captivating true story of Kamila Sidiqi, a young woman living in Afghanistan at the time when the Taliban took control of the country and the world for Afghanis changed in profound ways, particularly for women. Sidiqi finds herself with the seemingly overwhelming tasks of both providing for and protecting herself and her five siblings. In the absence of personal freedom and resources in dangerous and oppressive conditions, Kamila’s strength, ingenuity, faith and commitment to her family are revealed.
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a contributing editor-at-large for Newsweek and The Daily Beast. She is the Deputy Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program at the Council of Foreign Relations. Ms. Lemmon’s writing is informed by her expertise in foreign policy and its effects on women; her education and experience in journalism and business; along with her particular interest in the lives of women in developing countries, make her uniquely qualified to tell the story of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana.
The Things to Think About While Reading:
§ What (single) aspect of women’s lives in Afghanistan after the Taliban took control would be most difficult for you?
§ What role did faith play in Kamila Sidiqi’s life as she faced tremendous challenges?
§ What one word would you use to describe Kamila Sidiqi’s character?
§ Within the context of this story, how would “sisterhood” be defined? What are some examples?
§ Compare and contrast Kamila Sidiqi with Immacculee Ilibagiza. (Grades 10-12 only)
§ What impressions do you have about the various men who were discussed throughout the book?
§ What do you know about the current political and social situation in Afghanistan? What do you think the future of this country will be? (You are encouraged to do some research).