Embroidering Within Boundaries

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's decision was to start an entrepreneurial enterprise, using the exquisite traditional embroidery of Kandahar, to help women work within the cultural boundaries of Pashtunwali to earn their living and to find a degree of self-determination. Thus Kandahar Treasure was born.

This book, written with global scholar Mary Littrell, traces the converging paths of traditional khamak embroidery, the 400 brave women who have found in it a way to build their lives, and the tenuous state of their efforts as the fate of Kandahar hangs in the balance. 

The late, award-winning photojournalist Paula Lerner was dedicated to telling the stories of women in Afghanistan. Her remarkable images throughout the book show Afghan women's proud struggle, strength, and beauty.

10" x 10"