Monday, January 28, 2013


Photographer Steve McCurry shot one of the most enduring photos ever in 1994, the “Afghan Girl.” Sharbat Gula, a Pashtun refugee who had escaped the Russian invasion of her country to Pakistan was noticed because of her electrifying eyes. Shepherded by her grandmother (her parents killed by air raids) she and her three sisters and brother hiked a week through mountains covered with snow to get to the camp. The photo appears as the June 1985 cover of National Geographic. Recently, at age 28, 29, or 30 she was found 17 hard-lived years later—a married mother of three (a fourth child had died)… a survivor in Afghanistan. Invasion. Resistance. Invasion. A quarter century of war, 1.5 million killed, 3.5 million refugees. She barely looked at McCurry for the reunion photo and certainly wouldn’t smile, since that bit of intimacy is reserved for her husband.

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