That Haunting Picture of the Green-Eyed Afghan Girl

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The photographer Steve McCurry disguised himself in Pashtun clothing, and headed into the mountains of eastern Afghanistan in the late 1970s at a time when the Afghan war with the Russians was fierce and dangerous.

He wasn’t sure at the time if he was doing the right thing; he was certainly not to know that it was the start of such an illustrious career as a photojournalist. His photographs of faces from the front line and portraits of ordinary people in war zones have become the trademark of his work.

For the past 25 years, McCurry has spent most of his time on the road, and always in search of those perfect shots. He found one at a refugee camp in Pakistan and his haunting image of the 12-year-old green-eyed girl is now among the most recognized photographs in the world.


Steve McCurry, photographer;