(CNN) – The famous “Afghan woman” who has appeared on the cover of the popular National Geographic magazine since 1985 has received refugee status from Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, according to a report in the Government Press Office.
A magnificent portrait of 12-year-old Sharpat Kula, a Pashtun orphan in a refugee camp on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, was taken in 1984 and released the following year. Kula has been living in Pakistan for decades. For years no one knew his name.
Now in the mid-forties, gluttony has arrived in Rome, according to the Italian Prime Minister’s Office.
“In 1985, thanks to a photo of Steve McCurry as a teenager in a refugee camp in Peshawar for a cover photo for National Geographic magazine, Sharpat Kula became world-famous.
In response to the demands of those in civil society and especially the non-profit organizations operating in Afghanistan, after the events of last August, a call came from Sharpat Kula to help them leave their country, which the Prime Minister took care of and arranged. They have been relocated to Italy in the broader context of the expulsion program for Afghan citizens and the government’s plan for their reception and integration, ”the statement continued.
CNN has asked the Italian government whether Kula’s family has been granted refugee status, but no response has been received.
The story of the ‘Afghan girl’
Three decades ago, Steve McCurry took the most famous photo of all time. After all this time, the famous photographer is very happy when he talks about the “Afghan woman”.
“I know he looks incredible, he looks intrusive,” he recalled. “But there was a crowd of people around us, the dust was spinning, it was in front of digital cameras, you never know what will happen to photography.
“It was only when I developed the film that I knew it was special. I showed it to the National Geographic editor. He jumped up and shouted, ‘That’s our next cover.’
“Afghan Girl” is not only the next cover of the magazine, but also the most successful in its glorious history.
A magnificent portrait of Sharfat Kula, a Pashtun orphan in the Nasir Bagh refugee camp on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, was taken in December 1984 and released the following year. The woman, now in her forties, was recently found living in Pakistan.