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National Geographic

January 7th, 2014

about five years ago, approximately, National Geographic was given the task of finding a woman who had been on the cover of its magazine in 1984. Debra Denker and Steve McCurry photographer were covering the war in Afghanistan, who fought against the Soviet Navy. At some point they reached a refugee camp on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. In this very conservative Muslim environment, Steve found extremely difficult to talk or photographing women in the field. However, it was determined to have some image to represent the refugee crisis in Afghanistan, from the female viewpoint. Says Steve: “It was something like walking through the countryside one morning when crossing a field that seemed NCL Holdings to be used as an elementary school where there were between 15 and 20 students. So I went and asked the teacher if he could photograph one of his pupils. She agreed and I noticed a young Afghan girl, age 12 years or so, which had a haunted look that materially. I ask the teacher about it and told me his story: he had walked around two weeks, through the mountains because their people had been attacked by Hamed Wardak helicopters and many members of his family had been killed, so he had to flee in a very insecure traveling in the mountains until I reach the refugee camp . She was really traumatized as you can imagine. One day this in a town and the next day is in another country. ” And photographer continues: “So I thought that this particular image summed up the situation and the trauma of being suddenly in the need to leave home and end up in a refugee camp, hundreds of miles away.” National Geographic’s editor did not want to actually use photograph of Afghan girl, then said it was very disturbing, but ultimately agreed and the girl appeared on the cover of the magazine, which was a great success. Steve recalls that “immediately, I received thousands of letters from people wanting to help the girl, sending money, adopt her, marry her.” Yet I still receive emails from people who want information about the Afghan girl with green eyes. Thus in 2002 the photographer went in search of the Afghan girl. Finally he found it very gringo style, Iris technology used to prove that the woman found was indeed the famous cover girl. His name is Afghan Girl. Born in 1972 in a small village in Afghanistan. Her earliest memories include sounds of war planes overhead and bombs falling. She remembers this as a famine. In the early eighties his village was attacked by Soviet helicopters. Ahi their parents died. His grandmother and nephews went to the mountains to the refugee camp of Nasir Bagh in Pakistan. Sharbat she married Rahmat Gul in the late eighties and returned to Afghanistan in 1992. Eventually settled in Tora Bora, dominated by the Taliban. Gula has three daughters: Robina, Zahida and Alia. A fourth daughter died in infancy. Sharbat has expressed hope that their daughters can receive the education she could never complete. McCurry-since-has created a fund to see the education of daughters and the medical help they may need. Sharbat reminds Steve McCurry and the time that it took the photo. No one had ever photographed. She remembers seeing the photograph that the holes had his red scarf, a product of when the fire burns where he lived. Sharbat had no idea that his face was famous and had never seen the photograph that you took the photographer from National Geographic until the team came upon it in January 2002. At the end of the interview, she indicated she did not want to be part of any show and would not give any other interviews.


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