Statement from the National Geographic Society:
In 1985, National Geographic brought the powerful image of Sharbat Gula to its readership through the photographic work of Steve McCurry. The photograph provided a human face to the challenges of rural women in Afghanistan, many of whom have since become refugees.
National Geographic has strongly supported Mrs. Gula’s release from her recent detention in Pakistan, and we are pleased that she and her family will be repatriated to her home country, Afghanistan, later this week.
In 2002, National Geographic established a modest fund to support the well-being of Mrs. Gula and her family and to provide for the education of her children. During this time, Mr. Rahimullah Yusufzai provided National Geographic counsel, ensured that payments from National Geographic reached Mrs. Gula and looked after Mrs. Gula’s general welfare.
Over the past 14 years, Mr. Yusufzai has done a wonderful job, acting appropriately and truthfully at all times with complete credibility and reliability. We strongly endorse his good works and, on behalf of National Geographic, thank him for assisting during this most recent, challenging situation.
As a journalistic organization, National Geographic magazine and other National Geographic media will continue to photograph and cover stories like Mrs. Gula’s that describe the human condition.