National Geographic’s green-eyed ‘Afghan Girl’ evacuated to Italy

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The famous green-eyed “Afghan Girl”, who appeared on the cover of National Geographic magazine in 1985, has arrived in Italy as part of the evacuation of Afghans from the West following the Taliban takeover.

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The Italian government organized the evacuation of Sharbat Gula after she sought help to leave Afghanistan, and Rome said on Thursday it would help her settle down in Italy.

Gula gained global fame as an Afghan refugee girl in 1984, when her green-eyed photograph of war photographer Steve McCurry graced the cover of National Geographic.

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His identity was only revealed in 2002 when McCurry returned to the area and tracked him down.

In 2014, she surfaced in Pakistan but went into hiding when authorities accused her of buying fake Pakistani identity cards and ordered her deportation.

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He was taken to Kabul, where the President hosted a reception for him at the Rashtrapati Bhavan and handed over the keys to a new apartment.

Italy was one of several Western countries that airlifted hundreds of Afghans from the country in August following the withdrawal of US forces and the takeover of the Taliban.

Rome said it arranged Gula’s trip to Italy as part of a program to support Afghan citizens.

In a statement announcing Gula’s arrival in Rome, Premier Mario Draghi’s office said his photograph “symbolizes the reversal of the chapter in history and the conflict that Afghanistan and its people were going through at the time.”

AP/Reuters

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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