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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

“Afghan girl”, whose piercing green eyes captivated the world in 1984, is once again fleeing her country.

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Rome – The famous “Afghan Girl” with green eyes from National Geographic magazine has arrived in Italy as part of the evacuation of Afghans by the West after the Takeover of the country by the Talibanthe Italian government said Thursday. Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s office said Italy arranged for Sharbat Gulla’s evacuation after she asked for help out of the country. The Italian government will now help integrate her into life in Italy, the statement said.

Gulla gained international fame in 1984 as an Afghan refugee girl, after her photograph by war photographer Steve McCurry, with piercing green eyes, was published on the cover of National Geographic. McCurry found her again in 2002.

Photo by Steve McCurry from National Geographic of Sharbat Gula, “Afghan Girl.”

Steve McCurry / National Geographic

In 2014, she appeared in Pakistan, but went into hiding when authorities accused her of buying a fake Pakistani identity card and ordered their deportation. They flew her to Kabul, where the president hosted a reception at the presidential palace and handed her the keys to a new apartment.

Italy was one of several Western countries that airlifted hundreds of Afghans out of the country following the departure of US forces and the Taliban seizure of power in August.

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

Afghan refugee asks the United States to grant family refuge …


He said he had received requests “from civil society, and in particular from non-profit organizations working in Afghanistan,” supporting Gulla’s request for help to leave the country.

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

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