“The Afghan with green eyes” made famous by “National Geographic” finds refuge in Italy

Immortalized by Steve McCurry in 1984, when she was 12, in a cliché that has become iconic, Sharbat Gula expressed the wish to leave Afghanistan. She was welcomed in Rome this Thursday, November 25.

This is one of the few photos that almost anyone can recognize. We see a young Afghan teenager, then barely 12 years old, who sets the goal. “His ice-green eyes, disarming and full of humanity, are the image of a mixed feeling of fear, rage and desire for revenge, Write the Corriere della Sera. They have become a symbol of the Afghan conflict and of all the wars in the Middle East. ”

The person the Milanese daily speaks of is called Sharbat Gula, and her portrait was taken in 1984 by American photographer Steve McCurry, in Pakistan, where the young Afghan girl had taken refuge. The photo then made the cover of an issue of the magazine National Geographic, in 1985, and then became famous all over the world.

Arrested in Pakistan in 2016

But Sharbat Gula’s life did not end that year. The girl lived part of her life in Pakistan, where she was arrested in 2016 for forging an identity document. She is then repatriated to Afghanistan, where the government promises to take care of her situation.

But like so many other Afghans, the Taliban’s return to power in 2021 was a game-changer for Sharbat Gula. “She then expressed the wish to leave the country”, indicates the transalpine media, which relays the information provided by the government of Rome.

It is also the executive which announced, on November 25, by means of a press release, that a transfer to Italy had been organized for Sharbat Gula, who is already in Rome. , or “It will be integrated into a reception program”, note it Corriere della Sera.

A destiny of exile similar to that of many other Afghans for her, which has been the image of the suffering of these people for so long.


Founded in 1876, the first Italian daily newspaper still mentions “In the evening” (“Evening”) in its title, although it has been released in the morning for over a century. Serious and sober, the newspaper has been able to weather the political vicissitudes by keeping


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