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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Afghan Children's Fund

Sharbat Gula in 1984

A recent visit to the ArtScience Museum piqued my curiosity on couple of pictures but one of it stand out from the rest. This is the picture of girl in war torn Afghanistan in the 1980’s.   “ The most recognizable photograph” in the National Geographic Magazine’s history is being exhibited here till October.

The Afghan Girl or also known as the “Afghan Mona Lisa” is a picture of a 12-year refugee camp student at Nasir Bagh, Pakistan. Steve McCurry using his Nikon camera during USSR’s occupation of Afghanistan took this remarkable image. Her red scarf, innocent face and green eyes were enough to instigate people around the world to be aware not just of Afghan conflict but refugee problems around the world. It has called individuals to act either by being actively involved in conflict resolution or giving donation to countries needing aid.

At the age of 30, Sharbat finally saw the June 1985 printed copy of the magazine’s front cover after an extensive search to locate her. She is now a mother to her 3 daughters with high hopes that her children will have a better life than what the world has offer her.

The Afghan Children's Fund or previously known as the Afghan Girls Fund was established by the magazine with the vision to help educate Afghan girls and young women.  Six years ago, the charitable organization changes its name to the current name to broaden its scope and help more Afghan children.

Sharbat Gula in 2002

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