Afghan National Geographic cover-icon evacuated to Italy

16:32, 26 November 2021
Afghan National Geographic cover-icon evacuated to Italy Photo: Xinhua/ Look Press

A resident of Afghanistan Sharbat Gula, who was notable for her photo on the cover of National Geographic magazine, was evacuated to Italy over the unfavorable situation in the country, the official website of the Italian government reported.

“In response to the requests made by those in civil society, the Italian government has 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,” Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said in a statement.

Afghan woman Sharbat Gula is widely known as the local "Mona Lisa" after she was featured on the cover of National Geographic magazine in 1985 by photographer Steve McCurry in a refugee camp in northwest Pakistan. The girl's name was not known for a long time, she was called the “Afghan Mona Lisa”.

Gula, now 49, was 12 years old when she was photographed. She is currently a widowed mother of four children. 

In 2002, National Geographic found the girls of its cover in Afghanistan and managed to officially establish her identity.