Green-eyed “Afghan Girl” from National Geographic Evacuated to Italy

The cover of National Geographic magazine from 1985 with then-girl Sharbat Gula and her shocking, deep green eyes that became a symbol of the wars in Afghanistan (Steve McCurry / National Geographic)

Italy granted refuge to Sharbat Gula, the “afghan girlGreen-eyed whose 1985 photo in National Geographic became a symbol of his country’s wars, the prime minister’s office said Thursday Mario draghi. The government intervened after Gula asked for help to leave Afghanistan after the conquest of the country by the Taliban in August, according to a statement, adding that his arrival is part of a larger program to evacuate and integrate Afghan citizens.

The famous “Afghan girl” came to Italy as part of the West’s evacuation of Afghans following the Taliban’s takeover of the country, the Italian government reported on Thursday. The prime minister’s office said his country organized the evacuation of Gulla after she asked for help to leave the country. The Italian government will now help her integrate into life in Italy, according to the statement.

The American Photographer Steve McCurry took the image of Gluttony when I was a child and lived in a refugee camp on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

His striking green eyes, which stood out in a face framed by a headscarf with a mixture of ferocity and pain, made her famous internationally, but her identity was only discovered in 2002, when McCurry returned to the region and located her.

Sharbat Gula, the
Sharbat Gula, the green-eyed “Afghan girl” whose 1985 National Geographic photo became a symbol of her country’s wars, in a November 2016 file photo (Reuters) (STRINGER /)

An FBI analyst, a forensic specialist and the inventor of iris recognition verified his identity, he said. National Geographic at that moment.

Italy It was one of several Western countries that airlifted hundreds of Afghans from the country following the departure of US forces and the Taliban seizure of power in August. It’s a statement in which he announced the arrival of Gulla to Rome, Draghi’s office said that his photograph had come to “symbolize the vicissitudes and conflict of the chapter in history that Afghanistan and its people were going through at that time.”.

He said he had received requests “of those who are part of civil society and, in particular, of non-profit organizations working in Afghanistan”Supporting the request for help from Gulla to leave the country.

Italy organized his trip to Italy “as part of the broader program for the evacuation of Afghan citizens and the government’s plan for their reception and integration”According to the statement.

In 2016, Pakistan arrested Gluttony for forging a national identity card in an attempt to enter to live in the country. At that time the human rights NGO Amnesty International (AI) condemned their expulsion, calling it a “grave injustice”.

The then Afghan president, Ashraf ghani, welcomed him and promised him an apartment to make sure that “live with dignity and safety in your homeland”.

American photographer Steve McCurry in front of his portrait image
The American photographer Steve McCurry in front of the image of his portrait “Afghan Girl”, in June 2009 (Reuters) (Tim Chong /)

Since taking power, Taliban leaders have said they would respect women’s rights in accordance with Islamic law. However, under the Taliban government from 1996 to 2001, women could not work and girls could not go to school. Women had to cover their faces and be accompanied by a male relative when leaving home.


National Geographic woman with green eyes to be expelled from Pakistan