Photographer Steve McCurry and author Debra Denker arrived in Afghanistan in 1984 while working for National Geographic. During that decade, the country had been ravaged by war, and many innocents had been driven from their homes to live in refugee camps in the border with Pakistan.
On one of those camps, Steve met an orphaned girl named Sharbat Gula and was mesmerized by her eyes. Up to that point, Steve had problems taking pictures of women because, according to Muslim tradition, a woman cannot look a stranger in the eye, making it difficult to find photographs of women during this time. Gula, however, looked straight into the camera with a defiant look. The result was the picture that would be on the cover of the magazine a year later, and would thus travel the world.
Seventeen years after the publication, McCurry went back to Afghanistan to search for the girl. He found a world-weary woman, wife and mother of three, having a fourth child died recently.
To know more about Steve McCurry's work, you can read his book "Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs".
This picture, entitled "Afghan Girl" was taken by american photographer Steve McCurry in 1974, somewhere along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.