• Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

Italy Grants Refugee Status To “Afghan Girl” Made Famous On Iconic National Geographic Cover

Byeditorial

Nov 25, 2021

(CNN) – The “Afghan girl” who became famous after appearing on the cover of an iconic National Geographic magazine from 1985 received refugee status from Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi, according to a statement from the government press office. Italian.

The striking portrait of 12-year-old Sharbat Gula, a Pashtun orphan in a refugee camp on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, was taken in 1984 and published the following year. Gula was located decades later living in Pakistan. No one knew his name for years.

Now in her late 40s, Gluttony has come to Rome, according to the Italian Prime Minister’s Office.

“In 1985, thanks to the photography of Steve Mc Curry, who the previous year had portrayed her very young in a refugee camp in Peshawar for the cover of National Geographic magazine, Sharbat Gula gained worldwide notoriety, to the point of symbolizing the vicissitudes and conflicts of the historical phase that Afghanistan and its people were going through, ”says a part of a statement issued by Draghi’s office.

Responding to requests from those in civil society and in particular among non-profit organizations active in Afghanistan who, after the events of last August, received the call from Sharbat Gula for help to leave their country , the Prime Minister took care of this and organized their transfer to Italy in the broader context of the evacuation program for Afghan citizens and the government’s plan for their reception and integration, ”the statement continued.

CNN has asked the Italian government if Gula’s family was also granted refugee status, but has yet to receive a response.

The story of the ‘Afghan girl’

Three decades ago, Steve McCurry took arguably the most iconic photo of all time. Yet even after all this time, the prominent photographer is overjoyed when he talks about the “Afghan girl.”

“I knew he had an incredible gaze, a penetrating gaze,” he recalls. “But there was a crowd of people around us, the dust was swirling, and it was before digital cameras and you never knew what would happen to the photo.

“When I developed the image, I knew it was special. I showed it to the editor of National Geographic, and he jumped to his feet and yelled, ‘That’s our next cover.”

The “Afghan Girl” not only became the next magazine cover, but the most successful in its distinguished history.

The striking portrait of Sharbat Gula, 12, a Pashtun orphan in the Nasir Bagh refugee camp on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, was taken in December 1984 and published the following year. The woman, now in her forties, has recently been discovered to be living in Pakistan.

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