This haunting image of “Aghan Girl” was photographed in a refugee camp in Pakistan in December 1984 by Steve McCurry. She appeared on the June 1985 cover of National Geographic. She has become one of the most famous faces in photographic history.
McCurry did not know her name at the time. He looked for her several times in the ensuing years, but without success. Then, 17 years later, he finallyÂ found her and learned her name and tragic story. Sharbat Gula, which means “sweetwater flower girl” in Pashtu, came to Pakistan in 1983 after both of her parents were killed in a Soviet air raid on their Afghan village.
The fascinating story of McCurry’s search for her is told in this four part video series.
The four videos in this series should play automatically one after the other. If they don’t, use the links below to see them all.
The Search for “Afghan Girl” – Video, Part Two
The Search for â€œAfghan Girlâ€ â€“ Video, Part Three
The Search for â€œAfghan Girlâ€ â€“ Video, Part Four
Sharbat Gula’s story at National Geographic
The story behind the photo at NPR
A Life Revealed – at National GeographicÂ – You may need a subscription to NatGeo to view this article.