Sharbat Gula--"Life Is No Better In Afganistan"
After sifting through countless tips, chasing false leads and even daring to cross a conflict-ridden border, McCurry finally caught up to her again. Her name turned out to be Sharbat Gula, and McCurry had something to tell her. Something to show her, actually: her iconic photo. It had become the face most associated with the Afghan-Soviet war and an icon for the heavy toll of war in general. And Gula knew nothing about it until McCurry tracked her down.
How did she feel about her face being known to millions of people around the world? "Meh," she was quoted as saying, so long as you don't go looking for a source.
Oh, and she has to live in the mountains for much of the year now because the pollution in the city, where her husband earns a dollar a day, is too much for her asthma. So we really can't blame her for not getting too excited about a photo that's done nothing to improve her existence. She still agreed to sit for a second photo by McCurry, though -- the second one in her entire life. She had to lower her veil for it, obviously, which is massively frowned upon in her culture, but she did it anyway because she was told there was a chance it could inspire others to help the people of Afghanistan.