The identity of a young woman who posed for one of National Geographic magazine's most famous cover photos has remained a mystery, until recently.
In 1984, photographer Steve McCurry took a picture of a beautiful Afghan girl living in a refugee camp in Pakistan. The girl's piercing green eyes and haunted expression captivated the world and landed her photo on the cover of the magazine's June 1985 issue.
Mr. McCurry had forgotten to record her name, but after the photo won fame he persevered for 18 years in his bid to identify her.
This January at the Nasir Bagh refugee camp in Pakistan, Mr. McCurry met a man who knew the girl's family and arranged for the photographer to meet the girl and her husband in Peshawar.
Mr. McCurry says as soon as he saw Sharbat Gula he knew she was the girl from his famous photograph. Her identity was confirmed through facial-recognition technology.
After receiving permission from her husband, Mrs. Gula agreed to remove her Burqa (veil) and sit for another portrait. Mr. McCurry says she is about 30 years old now. And he says pain and hardship are still written on her face -- the result of 18 more years of survival in difficult circumstances.
Both photographs of Sharbat Gula will appear together in the April issue of National Geographic.