“During my monsoon coverage in India, I learned that there was this terrible flood in one of the cities in Gujarat. So, I got a flight, and to my horror, I saw that three-quarters of the city was underwater. People were living on their roofs. They had no fresh water. They had no food. So, I set about documenting this situation,” he said a video accompanying his book, “Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs,” published by Phaidon.
“I literally spent the entire day walking around up to my waist or my chest in water, and the water was very dirty an fully of dead animals. It was very disgusting,” McCurry added. “But It was fascinating how people persevere, how they can live through these situations and actually cope and do quite well, despite this kind of very difficult circumstance.”
No one knew the name of the girl with piercing green eyes whose image captivated the world when she appeared on the cover of National Geographic nearly two decades ago.
Her name is Sharbat Gula, and she lives with her husband and three daughters in a remote part of Afghanistan, according to a 21 March 2002 National Geographicstory. She is estimated to be between 27 and 30 years old.
A group who set out to look for the Afghan girl made famous by Steve McCurry‘s 1984 photograph located the woman after searching in a Pakistani refugee camp and several villages until someone recognized her face and led them to her brother.
“The second I saw the color of her brother’s eyes, I knew we had the right family,” said Boyd Matson, host of the National Geographic television show Explorer.