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Sharbat Gula is seen in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Nov. 9, 2016. Photo: Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency/Getty Image

Sharbat Gula, who became known internationally as "Afghan girl" after she was featured on a 1985 cover of National Geographic, has arrived in Rome, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi's office said on Thursday.

Driving the news: Gula, who was pictured in National Geographic when she was 12 years old, was evacuated after appealing for help to leave the country following the Taliban's takeover in August, Draghi's office said.

U.S. photographer Steve McCurry poses next to his photo, "Afghan Girl," at an exhibition in Hamburg, Germany, in 2013. Photo: Ulrich Perrey/AFP via Getty Images
  • Steve McCurry took Gula's photo in a refugee camp on the Pakistan-Afghan border, but her identity wasn't known until the U.S. photographer traveled back to the region in 2002 to track her down, according to National Geographic.

What they're saying: Gula's photograph came to "symbolize the vicissitudes and conflict of the chapter in history that Afghanistan and its people were going through at the time," Draghi's office said in a statement.

  • The company organized her evacuation "as part of the wider evacuation program in place for Afghan citizens and the government’s plan for their reception and integration," it added.

The big picture: Since the Taliban declared victory in Afghanistan, Afghan women and girls have faced an uncertain future, with many fearing the total loss of the hard-won rights to education, employment and other freedoms.

Go deeper

In photos: Americans hit stores for Black Friday

Shoppers walk through Macy's department store in New York City on Black Friday. Photo: Yuki Iwamura/AFP via Getty Images

Shoppers across the nation flocked to malls and major retailers Friday in search of "Black Friday" deals. About 158 million people were expected to shop in stores or online between Thursday and the end of the day Monday, according to the National Retail Federation.

Why it matters: Retailers hope a desire to return to holiday traditions will translate to big spending during the annual post-Thanksgiving sales events, even in the face of supply chain issues and rising prices due to inflation, as Axios' Hope King reported.

3 hours ago - Health

Meta removes over 600 accounts linked to COVID disinformation effort by China

Facebook's corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Meta announced Wednesday it has removed over 600 Facebook and Instagram accounts linked to a Chinese influence operation that claimed the U.S. was pressuring the World Health Organization (WHO) to blame COVID on China.

Why it matters: Though Meta said the network was unsuccessful, it marks yet another COVID disinformation campaign instigated by China in an effort to discredit the U.S.

Stacey Abrams launches second campaign for Georgia governor

Photo: Eze Amos/Getty Images

Stacey Abrams, voting rights activist and former 2018 candidate for Georgia governor, is running for the position again in 2022. Abrams would be the first Black female governor in the country.

Why it matters: Abrams caught national attention in 2018 by narrowly losing an election to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in a state held firmly by the GOP for nearly two decades.