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The Story Behind Steve McCurry's Iconic 'Afghan Girl' Photo

“The Afghan Girl” is one of the most popular photos in the world, shot by National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry. He was in an Afghan refugee camp in Pakistan in December 1984 when he came across the girl in a makeshift classroom.  It was the time of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. “I noticed this one little girl with these incredible eyes and I instantly knew that this was really the only picture I wanted to take,”- he said later. “The Afghan Girl” is Sharbat Gula. She has also been often referred to as the Afghan Mona Lisa.

 

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