The mysterious Afghan girl whose direct gaze has intrigued the West for so long is Sharbat Gula. She lives in a remote region of Afghanistan with her husband and three daughters.
Sharbat was located nearly two decades after her picture appeared on the cover of National Geographic magazine in 1985. She had no idea her face had become an icon, said Steve McCurry, the photographer who made the famous portrait for National Geographic in 1984, and who tried to find her again during many subsequent trips he made to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In January 2002, a National Geographic team returned to the Nasir Bagh refugee camp in Pakistan, where Sharbat Gula was originally photographed, to search for her. She was identified through a series of contacts that led to her brother and husband, who agreed to ask her if she was willing to be interviewed.
Sharbat has been photographed on only two occasions: in 1984 and at the reunion with Steve McCurry. She had never seen her famous portrait before it was shown to her by the photographer.