Three decades ago, Steve McCurry took arguably the most iconic picture of all time. Yet even after all this time, the pre-eminent photographer brims with enthusiasm when he talks about "Afghan Girl. I showed it to the editor of the National Geographic, and he leaped to his feet and shouted, 'that's our next cover'. Not only did "Afghan Girl" become the magazine's next cover, but the most successful in its distinguished history. The striking portrait of year-old Sharbat Gula, a Pashtun orphan in the Nasir Bagh refugee camp on the Afghan-Pakistan border, was taken in December and published the following year. The woman, now in her forties, has recently been found to be living in Pakistan.
The story behind the world's most famous photograph
Afghanistan Women Photos and Premium High Res Pictures - Getty Images
By Artspace Editors. Each story includes McCurry's first-hand account alongside specially commissioned essays, ephemera, and personal photographs from his private archive. Few people know the name of Sharbat Gula, yet her image is instantly familiar. The image, known simply as The Afghan Girl , eventually became the most recognized photograph in the history of National Geographic magazine, after it appeared on the cover in June In , the year-old met two mujahideen fighters in northern Pakistan and secretly accompanied them across the border to photograph the civil war developing in Afghanistan between insurgents and the Soviet-supported government in Kabul. The images that emerged launched his career as a documentary photographer, and subsequent trips to the Afghan war zone resulted in his being awarded, in , the Robert Capa Gold Medal for best photographic reporting. Then in , while he was traveling across the subcontinent working on projects covering the monsoon and the Indian railways, he was approached by National Geographic magazine with an assignment to photograph a feature article exploring the increasing numbers of refugee camps that had grown up along the Afghan-Pakistan border.
Afghan bombing: Kabul education centre attack kills at least 24
At least 24 people were killed and dozens wounded in Saturday's suicide bomb attack outside an education centre in Kabul, Afghan officials now say. The explosion at the private facility, which offers courses for students in higher education, occurred late in the afternoon, the interior ministry said. The building in the predominantly Shia Muslim Dasht-e-Barchi area usually hosts hundreds of students.
Firooza Omar was at home when she heard about last week's deadly attack. Militants had stormed the maternity ward of the Dasht-e-Barchi hospital in the Afghan capital Kabul , killing at least 24 people, including newborns, mothers and nurses. I could see the suffering of these other babies," the year-old psychiatrist says. As the mother of a four-month-old boy, she decided to help in a way she was uniquely placed to, and volunteered to nurse babies whose mothers had been killed or injured. With the support of her husband, who agreed to look after their child while she was away, Firooza travelled to the nearby Ataturk Children's Hospital, where around rescued women and children had been taken.