National Geographic green-eyed Afghan girl

National Geographic green-eyed Afghan girl now in Italy


The National Geographic green-eyed Afghan Girl is now in Italy. She arrived as part of the  evacuation of Afghans after the Taliban takeover of the country.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi said Italy organised the evacuation of Sharbat Gula after she asked for help.

A government statement said Gula would be helped integrate into life in Italy.

National Geographic green-eyed Afghan girl

Gula gained international fame in 1984 after National Geographic published war photographer Steve McCurry’s photograph of her on their cover.

In 2014, she went into hiding when Pakistani authorities accused her of buying a fake identity card. She flew to Kabul. There, the president hosted a reception for her and presented her with keys to a new flat.

Italy responded to Gula’s request

In a statement announcing Gula’s arrival in Rome, Draghi’s office said her photograph had come to “symbolise the vicissitudes and conflict of the chapter in history that Afghanistan and its people were going through at the time.”

It also said it had received requests “by those in civil society, and in particular by non-profit organisations working in Afghanistan”.

Her travel to Italy was “part of the wider evacuation program in place for Afghan citizens and the government’s plan for their reception and integration,” the statement said.

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