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afghan girl

by Parth Sharma



In 1984, a photographer by the name of Steve McCurry took a portrait of a then child by the name of Sharbat Gula. The photo featured on the cover of the June 1985 issue of Nat Geo. 


A portrait immortalised in our recent history.


In the time that the photograph was taken, Gula and her family fled the then soviet occupied afghanistan. Known forevermore as the ‘Afghan Girl’, her story parallels that of the country she once belonged to. 


Invasion, in its truest form, can be seen in both these stories with outcomes that ripple the same wave- consent taken away from little children, left to grow up with the consequences of powerful men doing what they think is right.


Gula’s bright green eyes were what made the portrait a moment in history; the eyes of many such women stay closed with the impending trial that now follows them. 


There’s an ache in knowing that though many are now aware of what’s happening around the world, few are truly informed. 


In what right do we speak sitting in our chairs, misappropriating the pain of thousands who now, just like Gula, flee as yet another force occupies their homeland? To what end does art, then justify a notion of comprehension around such an unfathomable tragedy?

Parth is an enthusiast of the literary arts, who you can find cooped up, rereading dusty old books in a library.

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