“Afghan Girl with Green Eyes”, whose photo in 1985 is considered iconic National GeographicCover became a refugee again. Mario Draghi’s government announced, on Thursday, her transfer to Italy.
Sharbat Gula was photographed in 1984 in a refugee camp on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, where she resided with her family when she was 12 years old. Now she ran away from Afghanistan again, this time with her daughters.
After the Taliban seized power, the situation for Gula and her family gradually became unbearable. So I asked the Italian government to receive them. That happened, Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s spokesman said Thursday after her arrival in Rome. She is set to stay in Italy for the next few years. Draghi said the Italian government would help her integrate.
face of disaster
Jola’s photo, taken by war photographer Steve McCurry, appeared on the cover of the magazine in 1985 National Geographic It quickly became one of the most famous images in the history of photojournalism. The girl with piercing green eyes became the “face” of a humanitarian disaster: millions of Afghan civilians were forced to flee during those years after the Soviet Union invaded the country.
After years of searching, McCurry found her in 2002 and her picture found her way back on the cover National Geographic. Less sheen, but those serious green eyes still.
Hiding in Pakistan
The third known photo of Sharbat Gula is an anonymous shot. In 2014, she hid in Pakistan, where she lived for years. She was going to stay there with forged papers, and for “identity fraud” she risked fourteen years in prison and a fine of five thousand dollars.
In 2016, she was arrested and deported to Kabul, a few days before she was due to leave for her homeland. Then Afghan President Ashraf Ghani warmly welcomed her and promised to support her financially. A few months later, he formally handed her the keys to a new home.
“I hope the government will keep all its promises,” she said at the time. write the BBC. “I want to stay here, and I hope there will be peace in this country.” Like many Afghan women, Gula had to bury that hope.