February 5, 2002
6:08 PM   Subscribe

Everybody remembers this girl from the cover of National Geographic c1985 and on the cover of their Best 100 Photos Ever book. Now she's in hiding on the Afghan-Pakistani border believing the CIA are after her when they found out she gave English classes to Bin Laden's daughters. There was already a major hunt for her after the photo came out
posted by Zootoon (13 comments total)
The National Geographic server must not be much, can not reach the site.

Interesting article. I would probably disappear into the hills too, if I thought the CIA were after me.
posted by bjgeiger at 6:28 PM on February 5, 2002

"Looks like that model doesn't apply to people who don't want to become western celebrities and actually want to live their lives out in peace."

She has perhaps strived for peace in her life, but she does so in a war-torn land. Admittedly my opinion is painfully tainted by Western influences, but she would have lived a more peaceful life on the talkshow circuit. She wants to be left alone perhaps, but one thing is for sure: because she ran away from such trite celebrity, this woman has chosen not to live her life out in peace.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:01 PM on February 5, 2002

it's all so meta-media.
posted by goneill at 7:04 PM on February 5, 2002

As a young girl, her eyes spoke of the suffering of a nation.

she's like the lion of kabul :) i hope the cia don't get her!
posted by kliuless at 7:20 PM on February 5, 2002

skallas: how does someone who dosn't speak english teach english to bin-laden's daughters? You did read the artical, didn't you? Why do you think she's afraid of the CIA?

Speaking of which... Bin Laden had his daughters educated?
posted by delmoi at 8:16 PM on February 5, 2002

She is hot, though.
posted by bingo at 11:17 PM on February 5, 2002


posted by Frasermoo at 12:48 AM on February 6, 2002

bingo -
I wouldn't say she's hot... but definitely on the high-end of the scale... of course, all we've ever seen is a face.

Actually, I think it's her eyes that are stunning.
posted by presto at 4:55 AM on February 6, 2002

Here's an online gallery, including the photo of the girl, by Steve McCurry, the original photographer. Many of the pics are just as stunning, but those eyes...
posted by Zootoon at 5:56 AM on February 6, 2002

When I first saw this photograph on the cover of the National Geographic, it made a young and very naive immigrant boy marvel at how these Americans knew all about the mysterious and beautiful people in this really huge world.

And years later, seeing the same photograph again is what makes this article so sad for me.
posted by DaShiv at 7:04 AM on February 6, 2002

I'm sure her dealings with westerners so far has been nothing but trouble for her.

Really? Do you have anything to base this conjecture on?

I wonder how her dealings with the school she attended were. From the linked article:

"According to them, Alam Bibi learned English at a school in Peshawar funded by a Western aid organisation."

From what I read, there is no objective evidence that would suggest that Westerners have been "nothing but trouble" for this girl. Unless you've read something else that does suggest this, your statement appears to be grounded on nothing more than a (misguided?) case of Western guilt.
posted by syzygy at 7:30 AM on February 6, 2002

It's one of the most beautiful and haunting images I've ever seen but that girl does not exist anymore. . .and the woman she became should be left alone by the CIA, and the western media, to live out her life.

Or maybe she could do a Letterman or Hollywood Squares appearance then fade back into obscurity. . .
posted by Danf at 7:37 AM on February 6, 2002

Nothing, it seems, stays lost forever. Not when the planet continues to shrink, anyway. Some things should stay lost; this girl, if she's still alive, has her own life and problems, and doesn't need to be made into some icon of Afghan suffering for our clip-art media understanding. It was one photo, representing but an instant of her life, and I wish we could leave it at that.

I liked the story better with its old mystery ending.

posted by Mars Saxman at 9:13 AM on February 6, 2002

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