Sharbat Gula, the Afghan ‘green-eyed’ girl whose photo went viral after being printed on the cover of the National Geographic magazine in 1984, has now been given asylum by Italy, the Italian government announced on Thursday.

The office of Premier Mario Draghi said Italy organized the evacuation of Sharbat Gula after she asked to be helped to leave the country. The Italian government will now help to get her integrated into life in Italy, the statement said.

Sharbat Gula and her family members have been taken to Italy as part of Afghanistan’s emergency humanitarian program by the western countries.

She got international fame after her photo taken by Steve McCurry was published on the cover page of a National Geographic magazine in 1984. The photographer found her again in 2002.

Sharbat Gula used to live in a refugee camp in Pakistan for years and was forcefully deported to Kabul in 2017 after she was accused of holding a fake Pakistani identity card. The Afghan government welcomed her warm providing her with a free government apartment.

Thousands of notable Afghan women, officials, journalists, and rights activists have been evacuated to Europe, England, Canada, and the United States following the fall of Kabul in the hands of the Taliban on August 15, 2021.


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