The Italian government announced on Thursday that Sharbat Gula, who in 1985 gained worldwide fame as the green-eyed 'Afghan Girl' image by photojournalist Steve McCurry, is in Rome being evacuated from Afghanistan.
Prime Minister Matio Dragui's office said that the government organized Ms Gula's transfer to Italy following requests from NGOs active in Afghanistan, and in the framework of the government's Afghan evacuation, reception and integration program.
Apparently the British-American charity Future Brillance and NFT for Social Good Platform Metagood, responded to Sharbat Gula's appeal to be helped to leave their country.
McCurry took Gula's photo at the Nasir Bagh refugee camp in 1984 and her image went on to become the cover of National Geographic magazine the following year. Two decades later McCurry managed to locate Gula when he took her photograph again. She is now aged 49.
Steve McCurry said he is grateful for the humanitarian gesture of the Italian government, the operational excellence of Future Brilliance, and the generous financial support of Metagood.
This was the most incredible news to receive on Thanksgiving Day, said Bonnie McCurry, Steve's sister who was involved in the operation. It is truly a godsend; this rescue mission has been a group effort from the start. It’s a dream come true. Sharbat is incredibly grateful to the Italian people, and we are all deeply grateful to the Italian government for their support and generosity.
Future Brillance is a dynamic, women-led, non profit organisation that fosters stabilisation in vulnerable communities through workforce and enterprise development. Since August 2021, they have supported safe passage for more than 300 Afghans, mainly women and children.
The Italian government, one of seveal Western countries that have been evacuating Afghan citizens since the Taliban took over the country last August, said that Gula's photo symbolizes the vissicitudes and conflict chapter of Afghanistan's history that its people are undergoing currently