Sharbat Gula, the Afghan girl from McCurry’s famous photo is now safe in Rome

Sharbat Gula, the Afghan girl from McCurry’s famous photo is now safe in Rome
Sharbat Gula, the Afghan girl from McCurry’s famous photo is now safe in Rome

Sharbat Gula is safe a Roma. His name probably says something only to a few, but the disturbing image of his face is certainly known all over the world. twelve year old portrait In the 1984 by the famous American photographer Steve McCurry and published a year later on the cover of National Geographic Magazine, with the title Afghan girl. A shot that has become iconic, a sort of symbol of all Afghan conflicts.

Gula was just a little girl seven years when in 1979 his country was invaded bySoviet Union and she remained in spite of herself all her life at the mercy of an endless war. Until today, when she landed in Rome, how did she know Palazzo Chigi, adding that the Presidency of the Council “has propitiated and organized the transfer in Italy, in the broader context of evacuation program of Afghan citizens and the government’s plan for their reception and integration ”.

Today Sharbat Gula he has 49 years old. It is very different from when McCurry portrayed her in a refugee camp in the Pakistani city of Peshawar. His magnetic “eyes of ice” of an incredible intensity and green color are still the same, as documented by McCurry himself, who with the National Geographic in 2002 he organized an expedition to go look for her. After a few months of research it was found and the photographer was able to immortalize her again, also showing her that famous photo that she had not yet seen and which earned her the nickname of Mona Lisa of the Afghan War.

Its history has been troubled. Between the ages of 13 and 16 she was forced to marry a man named Rahmat Gul, who later left her a widow. In 1992 he managed to move to Pakistan with her three daughters, only to be arrested because, according to the accusations, she had used false documents to settle in the country. Only in 2016 did he return to Afghanistan, where it was even welcomed by the then president Ashraf Ghani, who gave her the keys to an apartment in Acceptance. But last summer, with the return of the Taliban to power, her whole world collapsed again and she still tried to save herself, refugee for the umpteenth time.

Now the Italian action returns to give her hope which, as Palazzo Chigi recalls, responds “to the solicitations of those in civil society and in particular among non-profit organizations active in Afghanistan have received, after the events of last August, the appeal of Sharbat Gula to be helped to leave their country “.


Sharbat Gula Afghan girl McCurrys famous photo safe Rome

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