Reuters.- Italy granted refuge to Sharbat Gula, the green-eyed “Afghan girl” whose 1985 National Geographic photo became a symbol of her country’s wars, Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s office reported Thursday.

The government intervened after Gula asked for help leaving Afghanistan after the Taliban conquered the country in August, according to a statement, adding that his arrival is part of a larger program to evacuate and integrate Afghan citizens.

American photographer Steve McCurry took the image of Gluttony when she was a child living in a refugee camp on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

His striking green eyes, which stood out in a face framed by a headscarf with a mixture of ferocity and pain, made her famous internationally, but her identity was only discovered in 2002, when McCurry returned to the region and located it.

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An FBI analyst, a forensic specialist and the inventor of iris recognition verified his identity, National Geographic said at the time.

In 2016, Pakistan arrested Gula for forging a national identity card in an attempt to enter the country.

Then-Afghan President Ashraf Ghani welcomed him and promised him an apartment to ensure that he “lives with dignity and safety in his homeland.”

Since taking power, Taliban leaders have said they would respect women’s rights in accordance with Islamic law. However, under the Taliban government from 1996 to 2001, women could not work and girls could not go to school. Women had to cover their faces and be accompanied by a male relative when leaving home.

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