The ‘Afghan girl with green eyes’ who made the cover of National Geographic receives asylum in Italy

Published:

Nov 25, 2021 23:25 GMT

Sharbat Gula, who became famous in 1985, was arrested in Pakistan in 2016, after decades of stay there, and was deported to Afghanistan on charges of using false Pakistani identity documents.

Sharbat Gula, the Afghan who in 1985 starred in one of the most famous covers of National Geographic magazine as a child, arrived in Rome as part of the Italian asylum and evacuation program for Afghan citizens and the government plan for its reception and integration, the Government of that European country announced on Thursday.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi confirmed that the arrival of the woman, now 49 years old, responds to requests from non-profit organizations that in Afghanistan, since last August, when the Taliban took power, supported Gula’s request for help to Leave the country.

Draghi’s office said his photograph had reached “symbolize vicissitudes and conflict of the chapter in history that Afghanistan and its people were going through at that time. “

The green-eyed girl became Afghanistan’s most famous refugee after American photographer Steve McCurry photographed her in a camp in Pakistan in the 1980s, and the photo was featured on the cover of National Geographic magazine.

Gula was arrested in Pakistan in 2016, after decades of stay there, and deported to Afghanistan, accused of obtaining false Pakistani identity documents for herself and her two children after bribing several officials, charges that could have carried her up to 14 years in prison.

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