37 Years After Her Piercing Green Eyes Seize the World, ‘Afghan Girl’ Begins New Life in Italy

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37 Years After Her Piercing Green Eyes Seize the World, ‘Afghan Girl’ Begins New Life in Italy


An Afghan woman who gained international recognition after a striking photo of her was featured on the cover of National Geographic is starting a new life in Italy.

Sharbat Gulla was 12 when war photographer Steve McCurry took her picture in a refugee camp in 1984 – his piercing green eyes staring into the lens.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said the country organized its evacuation after asking for help to leave Afghanistan after the Taliban took control.

Image:
Sharbat Gulla en 2016. Photo: AP

Ms. Gulla will now receive assistance to help her integrate into Italian life.

In 2014, she surfaced in Pakistan but was forced into hiding after being accused of buying a fake ID card.

She was evicted and flown to Kabul, where then-President Ashraf Ghani hosted a reception and handed over the keys to a new apartment.

Italy was one of many Western countries that airlifted hundreds of Afghans out of the country after US forces left in August.

Mr. Draghi said that Ms. Gulla’s photograph came “to symbolize the vicissitudes and conflict of the chapter of history that Afghanistan and its people were going through at the time.”

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