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Embroidery Within Boundarys: Afghan Women Creating a Future

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Rangina Hamidi & Mary Littrell, Photos by Paula Lerner 2017

From the harsh and hidden lives of women in Afghanistan emerges a story of creativity, courage, and reclaiming a future through ancient cultural traditions. Fifteen years ago, Rangina Hamidi made the decision to dedicate her life to helping rebuild her native Kandahar, Afghanistan. The Taliban had been driven out by American forces following 9/11, but Kandahar was a shambles. Tens of thousands of women, widowed by years of conflict, struggled to support themselves and their families. Rangina started an entrepreneurial enterprise—Kandahar Treasure—using the exquisite traditional khamak embroidery of Kandahar to help women work within their cultural boundaries, to earn their living, and to find a degree of self-determination.

Embroidering Within Boundaries chronicles the development of this remarkable and inspiring business run solely by Afghan women. Throughout the narrative, intimate and moving profiles of Kandahar Treasure artisans illustrate how they have gained confidence, education, and the will to lead their families into a more stable and prosperous future.

172 pages

Trade Paperback, $34.95