The green-eyed Afghan girl whose videos and photos are being widely circulated on social media these days is a child beggar on Kabul streets in search of food as well as looking to find her lost addicted father.
Zainab is an 8-year-old Afghan girl, originally from Parwan province, but has been internally displaced due to poverty, war and violence and is now living in Kabul with her mother and 5 siblings.
Firoz Sidiqy, a Khaama Press journalist and photographer went to visit her on Sunday, found Zainab’s home through her uncle who works as a cleaner in Kabul municipality.
Zainab’s uncle initially did not allow the journalist to meet her saying there is an order by the Taliban that no more journalists shall talk to the girl.
“Taliban has said that anyone would like to help the family is most welcome, but taking videos and photographs are not permitted”, Zainaibs uncle told Khaama Press.
After a continuous request by Firoz, a mobile number was given by Zainab’s uncle to call the Taliban member and seek his permission, and eventually, the guy speaking behind the phone permitted taking some photographs only.
Zainab’s father has been addicted to narcotics for the last 10 years, he has gone away 7 months ago and never returned back home.
The little girl does not know where her father has gone to or whether he is alive or dead.
Zainab wishes to go to school, a dream which now seems impossible for her to fulfill both due to the poverty she is in and the closure of schools for the girls in Afghanistan.
The girls’ schools doors were shut down as the Taliban returned to power again on August 15, 2021.
Recently, Afghanistan’s popular cricket star, Rashid Khan pledged to financially help Zainab’s family financially and help her go to school.
This comes as many believe Zainab has unique eyes like Sharbat Gula, the famous National Geographic green-eyed Afghan girl who has recently been given asylum in Italy.
Sharbat Gula was photographed by Steve McCurry, a National Geographic photographer in 1984 when she was a refugee in Peshawar, Pakistan.
The next year in 1985, Shabat Gula’s picture was published on a back-cover of the National Geographic magazine and that made her famous fo her unique green eyes.