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Green-eyed photo Afghan Girl Sharbat Gulla 2021, evacuated to Italy

The green-eyed 'Afghan Girl' from the infamous photograph has been relocated to Italy.

The Italian government announced Thursday that National Geographic magazine's iconic green-eyed "Afghan Girl" had arrived in Italy as part of the West's evacuation of Afghans following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

According to Premier Mario Draghi's office, Italy arranged for Sharbat Gulla's evacuation when she requested assistance in leaving the country. The Italian government will now assist her in adjusting to life in Italy, according to the statement.

Ms Gulla achieved international prominence as an Afghan refugee girl in 1984, when war photographer Steve McCurry's portrait of her, with her piercing green eyes, was featured on the cover of National Geographic. McCurry rediscovered her in 2002.

Green-eyed photo Afghan Girl Sharbat Gulla 2021, evacuated to Italy
Sharbat Gulla became internationally famous after this photograph of her as a child was featured on the cover of National Geographic.

She reappeared in Pakistan in 2014 but fled after authorities suspected her of purchasing a forged Pakistani identification card and demanded her deported. She was transported to Kabul, where the president greeted her and handed her the keys to a new apartment.

Italy was one of several Western nations that flew hundreds of Afghans out of the country following the withdrawal of US forces in August and the Taliban takeover.

Mr Draghi's office stated in a statement announcing Ms Gulla's arrival in Rome that her portrait had come to "symbolize the vicissitudes and turmoil of the historical chapter that Afghanistan and its people were experiencing at the time."

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