The famous Afghan Girl: 10 Things to Know
The famous Afghan Girl, immortalised on film by photographer Steve McCurry has been denied bail by a judge in Peshawar, after her arrest in Pakistan for using fake identity papers.
What You Need to Know about the turbulent life of Sharbat Gula:
– Sharbat Gula was photographed by Steve McCurry in the year 1985 in Nasir Bagh, the still standing refugee camp near Peshawar where the photograph was taken
– She came to be known as the ‘Afghan Girl’ for 17 years until recently — when the news of her arrest sparked renewed interest. The old iconic Nat Geo photograph is all over the internet, only with a different headline now
– In 2002, Steve McCurry and his team went in search of this Afghan Girl in the same refugee camp and found a man who used to share the camp with her
– The Nat Geo team found that she had moved back to Afghanistan, and lived in the mountains near Tora Bora. The same man who claimed to know her, brought her back to the camp after a 3 day trip, to meet the teamHer story encapsulates an ordeal that confronts many Afghan refugees who have fled across the border into Pakistan because of decades of war.
– In an interview with Nat Geo, Kashar Khan, Sharbat’s brother said that they left Afghanistan because of the fighting
– In 2002, we learned that Sharbat had her kids: Robina who was 13 at the time, Zahida was three and Alia was one year old. Her normal day was waking up before sunrise, praying, fetching water from the stream, cooking, cleaning, doing the laundry.
– Sharbat was probably 6 when she lost her parents to the Soviet bombing. Her grandmother, her sisters and her brother trekked across snowcapped mountains to reach the refugee camp in Pakistan
– When photographer Steve McCurry heard of her arrest, NYTimes.com quoted him as saying, “I am committed to doing anything and everything possible to provide legal and financial support for her and her family. We object to this action by the authorities in the strongest possible terms. She has suffered throughout her entire life, and we believe that her arrest is an egregious violation of her human rights.”
It is overwhelming to reconnect with a story of what we all saw — an innocent girl stuck between wars and hatred, hoping for a life where she could find peace and stability.
Feature Image courtesy: Geo.Tv