The Afghan with green eyes, who became famous 30 years ago following the publication of his portrait in National Geographic, was evacuated to Italy, after the capture of Kabul by the Taliban has just announced Rome.
According to “l’Associated PressItalian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said he organized the evacuation of 49-year-old Sharbat Gula. “The Afghan national has arrived in Rome” informed the official statement. This operation took place within the framework of the evacuation of the Afghans by the West following the takeover of the country by the Taliban.
The government decided to come to his aid following his cry for help to leave Afghanistan. In addition, the press release specifies that Italy has promised to support it in integrating into this new life.
Immortalized in 1984
It was in 1984 that the face of Sharbat Gula had toured the world thanks to his portrait on the cover of the magazine “National Geographic”. War photographer Steve McCurry had captured the intense green gaze of the young girl who was then about twelve years old. At that time, Sharbat was studying at the school in Nasir Bagh refugee camp.
Orphan, she had to flee her country invaded by the Soviets in 1979, who had killed her parents. It was accompanied by her brothers and sisters, and her grandmother, that she had joined Pakistan. The photographer reporter had found her in 2002, and photographed her again.
Forcibly married at the age of 13, and mother of five children, one of whom died shortly after her birth, she resurfaced in 2016. Accused of having bought a fake Pakistani identity card, the authorities had ordered his deportation.
As a reminder, Italy was one of five Western countries that airlifted hundreds of Afghans out of the country after US forces left and the Taliban took control in August.