International News Nov 25, 2021 7:11 PM EST

Afghan 'girl with the green eyes' finds safe haven in Italy

'Afghan girl' Sharbat Gula was immortalized in the 1985 National Geographic cover.

Afghan 'girl with the green eyes' finds safe haven in Italy
Angelo Isidorou Vancouver, British Columbia
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Sharbat Gula, who is best known as "Afghan girl with the green eyes," who captivated readers when she graced the cover of National Geographic, has reportedly been given safe haven in Italy, after fleeing from the Taliban.

Gula was immortalized in the 1985 National Geographic cover for her piercing green eyes. She became the face of the Afghan war and has persevered in the region ever since.

According to the Daily Mail, the widowed mother of four was evacuated to Italy following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. The office of Premier Mario Draghi said Italy organized the evacuation after Gula asked to be helped to leave the country.

Italy is one of several Western countries that has airlifted hundreds of Afghans out of the country following the departure of US forces and the Taliban takeover.

In a statement announcing Gula's arrival in Rome, Draghi's office said her iconic photo came to "symbolize the vicissitudes and conflict of the chapter in history that Afghanistan and its people were going through at the time."

The statement said it received requests "by those in civil society, and in particular by non-profit organizations working in Afghanistan," backing Gula's plea for help to leave the country.

Italy organized her travel to Italy "as part of the wider evacuation program in place for Afghan citizens and the government's plan for their reception and integration," the statement continued.

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