Nat Geo Green-Eyed Girl “Afghanistan’s Most Famous Refugee” Now In Italy

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Rome:

The green-eyed Afghan woman, who was immortalized decades ago on the cover of National Geographic, has been evacuated to Italy, the Italian government said on Thursday.

“The Afghan national has arrived in Rome to drink sherbet,” it said in a statement without giving a specific date.

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Rome said it had responded to requests from nonprofits operating in Afghanistan to help it leave the Taliban-controlled country, “arranging for him to travel to Italy as part of a broader eviction program for Afghan citizens and the government’s plans to welcome and integrate them.”

Gula became arguably Afghanistan’s most famous refugee after US photographer Steve McCurry captured his portrait in a camp in Pakistan in the 1980s and appeared on the front page of National Geographic magazine.

Gula said he first came to Pakistan as an orphan, about four or five years after the 1979 Soviet invasion, one of the millions of Afghans seeking refuge on the border.

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He was deported back to Afghanistan in 2016 after being arrested for living in Pakistan on a fake identity card.

In early September, Rome said it had evacuated about 5,000 Afghans from Afghanistan since the Taliban seized power in August.

Earlier this month, Italy said it had granted citizenship to Maria Bashir, Afghanistan’s first female chief prosecutor, after she landed in a European country on 9 September.

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Italy was among the five countries most involved in NATO’s US-led mission in Afghanistan, along with Germany, Britain and Turkey.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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