Sharbat Gula

Sharbat Gula.

That’s the name of the the Afghan girl who was on the cover of National Geographic seventeen years ago. That photograph, NG has said, is the one that more people than any other have written in to ask about: do they know her name? Do they know what happened to her? Did she survive?

Now we know. She survived; she has three daughters of her own. She’s . . .

My God. She’s alive. That simple fact makes me want to cry. I didn’t realize how much I *wanted* her to be alive.

She’d never seen the photo. I wonder what it’s like to discover you’re one of the best-known faces in the western world. I wonder what it’s like–

–to be her.