Sharbat Gula, an Afghan woman with green eyes who did not die decades ago on the cover of National Geographic, has been transferred to Italy, the Italian government said Thursday.
“Afghan citizen Sharbat Gula has arrived in Rome,” he said in a statement, not giving a specific date.
Rome said it had responded to a request from non-profit organizations working in Afghanistan to help him leave the Taliban-occupied country, “arranging for him to travel to Italy as part of an expulsion program for Afghan citizens and the government’s political agenda. Their reception and inclusion”.
Gula became a major refugee in Afghanistan after US photographer Steve McCurry painted a picture of himself in a Pakistani camp in the 1980’s and it was printed on the cover of National Geographic magazine.
Gula said he first arrived in Pakistan as an orphan, four or five years after the Soviet uprising in 1979, one of millions of Afghans who had fled the border since then.
He was deported to Afghanistan in 2016 after being arrested for living in Pakistan on fraudulent documents.
In early September, Rome said it had evacuated about 5,000 Afghans from Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power in August.
Italy earlier this month said it had granted citizenship to Afghanistan’s top ambassador, Maria Bashir, after arriving in Europe on September 9.
Italy was one of five countries most affected by the US-led NATO operation in Afghanistan along with Germany, Britain and Turkey.
(This article was not edited by staff at NDTV and is self-contained from a blended diet.)
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