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"The Afghan Girl"

Sharbat Gula posing with her portrait on the cover of 1985’s National Geographic.The image itself was named “the most recognized photograph” in the history of the magazine.

"Sharbat Gula (born ca. 1972) is an Afghan woman who was the subject of a famous photograph by journalist Steve McCurry. Gula was living as a refugee in Pakistan during the time of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan when she was photographed. The image brought her recognition when it was featured on the cover of the June 1985 issue of National Geographic Magazine at a time when she was approximately 12 years old. In January 2002, a National Geographic team traveled to Afghanistan to locate the subject of the now-famous photograph. The team finally located Sharbat Gula, then around the age of 30, in a remote region of Afghanistan." (Article)


Via the New York Times:

The lone American prisoner of war from the Afghan conflict, captured by insurgents nearly five years ago, has been released to American forces in exchange for five Taliban prisoners held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, Obama administration officials said Saturday.

The soldier, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, was handed over to American Special Operations forces inside Afghanistan about 10:30 a.m. Saturday by a group of 18 Taliban, officials said. They said Sergeant Bergdahl was in good condition and able to walk.

The five Taliban prisoners at Guantánamo were being transferred to the custody of officials from Qatar, who will accompany them back to that Persian Gulf state, where they will be subject to security restrictions, including a one-year travel ban. Qatari officials acted as intermediaries as the swap was negotiated.

The sergeant’s parents, Bob and Jani Bergdahl, said in a statement: “We were so joyful and relieved when President Obama called us today to give us the news that Bowe is finally coming home! We cannot wait to wrap our arms around our only son.”

One Defense Department official said that once Sergeant Bergdahl was safely aboard an American military helicopter, he wrote on a paper plate with a pen — because it was so loud — “S.F.?” seeking to find out if his rescuers were American Special Forces.

One soldier yelled back, “Yes, we’ve been looking for you for a long time,” at which point, the official said, Sergeant Bergdahl broke down crying.

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