The famous green-eyed “Afghan Girl” from National Geographic magazine arrived in Italy as part of the evacuation of Afghans from the west after the Taliban took control of the country, the Italian government said.
Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s office said Italy organized the evacuation of Sharbat Gula after she asked for help to leave the country. The Italian government would help integrate him into life in Italy, the statement said on Thursday.
Gula gained international fame in 1984 as an Afghan refugee, after a photograph of her by war photographer Steve McCurry, with piercing green eyes, was published on the cover of National Geographic. McCurry found her in 2002.
In 2014, she was in Pakistan but went into hiding when authorities accused her of purchasing a fake Pakistani ID card and ordered her deportation. She was flown to Kabul where the president hosted a reception for her at the presidential palace and handed her the keys to a new apartment.
Italy was one of many Western countries that airlifted hundreds of Afghans out of the country after US forces left and the Taliban took control in August.