National Geographic Honored at Lotus Awards for Work in Afghanistan

On June 7, 2012, The Asia Foundation and the Lotus Circle honor a decade-long partnership with the National Geographic Society working to improve the lives of girls in Afghanistan through education. The partnership began in 2002 after photographer Steve McCurry rediscovered Sharbat Gula, the “Afghan girl with the haunting green eyes,” whom he had photographed in a refugee camp in Pakistan, never learning her name. Her image was featured on the cover of National Geographic magazine in June 1985—becoming one of the magazine’s most iconic photographs—and again in April 2002 after McCurry found her in Afghanistan following a 17-year search. At that time she asked if the Society would provide education to girls in Afghanistan—something she had been denied. An education fund was established, and the partnership was launched. John Fahey, NGS Chairman and CEO, will accept the Lotus Award in New York, where Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, founder of the Afghan Institute of Learning, will also be honored. This slideshow features National Geographic images that will be on display at the Lotus Awards in New York.

Related locations: Afghanistan, New York
Related programs: Empower Women