Afghan Girl: Italy gives safe haven to Sharbat Gula

Italy organises Gula’s transfer as part of evacuation of Afghan citizens after Taliban takeover.

Sharbat Gula, who gained worldwide fame as the green-eyed ‘Afghan Girl’ image by photojournalist Steve McCurry, has been welcomed in Rome after being evacuated from Afghanistan.

The news was announced on Thursday by prime minister Mario Draghi’s office which said it had organised Gula’s transfer to Italy within the broader context of the government’s Afghan evacuation, reception and integration programme.

Italy welcomes Sharbat Gula

The statement said that the government had responded to requests from “non-profit organisations active in Afghanistan who, after the events of last August, received Sharbat Gula’s appeal to be helped to leave their country.”

  • Italy continues to airlift Afghan refugees to Rome

McCurry took Gula’s photo at the Nasir Bagh refugee camp in 1984 and her image went on to become the iconic cover of the National Geographic magazine the following year.

Two decades later McCurry managed to locate Gula when he took her photograph again. She is now aged 49.

Photo Steve McCurry-National Geographic