Sharbat Gula – Afghan Girl is a 1984 photographic portrait by journalist Steve McCurry which appeared on the June 1985 cover of National Geographic. The image is of a young woman with green eyes in a red headscarf looking intently at the camera. It has been likened to Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of the Mona Lisa and has been called “the First World’s Third World Mona Lisa”. The image became “emblematic” of “refugee girl/woman located in some distant camp” deserving of the compassion of the Western viewer.
In early 2002 the subject of the photo was identified as Sharbat Gula (born ca. 1972), also known as Sharbat Bibi, an Afghan woman who was living as a refugee in Pakistan during the time of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan when she was photographed.