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National Geographic’s iconic ‘Afghan girl’ given safe haven in Italy


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Italy has given the iconic green-eyed National Geographic “Afghan girl” safe haven simply months after the Taliban re-took management of her homeland.

On Thursday, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s workplace introduced that the nation organized for Sharbat Gula’s journey to Italy as a part of their evacuation efforts for Afghan residents trying to depart the embattled nation. 

“In response to the requests made by those in civil society, and in particular by non-profit organizations working in Afghanistan, who, after the events of last August, have supported Sharbat Gula in her plea for help to leave her country, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers has made this possible, organizing for her to travel to Italy as part of the wider evacuation program in place for Afghan citizens and the Government’s plan for their reception and integration,” Draghi’s workplace mentioned in asserting Gula’s arrival in Rome. 

Gula first shot to world consideration in 1985 after being featured on a National Geographic journal cowl. Her picture, most identified for her hanging inexperienced eyes, was taken by US struggle photographer Steve McCurry when she was in a refugee camp in northwest Pakistan throughout the Soviet-Afghan struggle. 

Gula's welcoming in Italy is part of the country's efforts to take in Afghan refugees following the Taliban's takeover earlier this year.
Gula’s welcoming in Italy is a part of the nation’s efforts to take in Afghan refugees following the Taliban’s takeover earlier this yr.
Daniel Young/US Naval Forces Europe-Africa through AP
National Geographic's famed green-eyed "Afghan Girl" Sharbat Gulla poses for a photo during a meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, at the Presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Nov. 9, 2016.
Sharbat Gulla, pictured right here 2016, is now 49.
Rahmat Gul/AP

Her identification was revealed in 2002 when McCurry returned to the area and tracked her down. 

Gula, now 49, was 12 years previous when photographed by McCurry. She is at the moment a widowed mom of 4. 

In 2016, Gula was arrested by Pakistani police for having a faux ID card — costs she denied. Not lengthy after being arrested, she was deported to Afghanistan, the place she was warmly welcomed by Afghan president Ashraf Ghani, who gave her keys to an condo.

Gula’s arrival in Italy comes practically three months after the United States accomplished their full troop withdrawal and preliminary evacuation efforts of Americans and Afghan allies overseas. In the ultimate weeks main as much as the withdrawal deadline, the Taliban took management of a lot of Afghanistan and ultimately Kabul, as soon as once more seizing management of the nation. 

In August, Italy claimed they evacuated practically 5,000 Afghans, reportedly essentially the most evacuated by a rustic in the European Union.  

Photographer Steve McCurry poses with the iconic photo he took.
Photographer Steve McCurry poses with the iconic picture he took.
Sipa USA through AP

The Italian authorities intervened in the 49-year-old’s evacuation after Gula requested assist to go away. 

During their earlier rule from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban prevented girls from working, and banned ladies from faculty. 

Since taking management in August, the militant group has mentioned they might respect “women’s rights,” together with permitting girls to attend faculty and work

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