The famous "Afghan woman with green eyes" of the National Geographic refugee in Italy

Becoming famous after the publication of a photo of her on the cover of National Geographic in 1985, Sharbat Gula was evacuated from Afghanistan to Italy after the capture of Kabul by the Taliban.

The famous Afghan with green eyes, immortalized more than 30 years ago on the cover of National Geographic magazine, was evacuated to Italy after the capture of Kabul by the Taliban, Rome announced Thursday.

“Afghan national Sharbat Gula arrived in Rome” after the Italian government “facilitated and organized her transfer,” said an official statement.

Sharbat Gula, a young woman with green eyes highlighted by a red scarf, rose to fame after the publication in 1985 of a photo taken the previous year in an Afghan refugee camp in Pakistan by photographer Steve McCurry.

“In the space of a few seconds, everything was perfect, the light, the background and the expression of his eyes,” said McCurry in his book “Inédit”, released in France in 2013.

Returned to Afghanistan in 2016

The illiterate mother of four says she arrived in Pakistan as an orphan, four or five years after the Soviet invasion of 1979, like millions of Afghans who fled the fighting across the border.

In 2016, she was returned to her country, as Pakistan at the time increased pressure on Afghan refugees to leave its territory.

Italy, which was with the United States, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Germany, one of the five countries most involved in NATO’s “Resolute Support” mission in Afghanistan, has evacuated thousands of Afghans from the country after the US withdrawal in August.

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