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A Life Revealed

A Life Revealed | World Regional Geography | Scoop.it
Seventeen years after she stared out from the cover of National Geographic, a former Afghan refugee comes face-to-face with the world once more.

 

The original cover is one of the more famous National Geographic photos of all time, and yet the woman in the photograph has not lived a life as though millions of people could recognize her eyes.  This is her story. 


Via Seth Dixon
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Shanelle Zaino's curator insight, October 22, 2014 1:17 PM

This is an iconic image that we have all seen.In 1984 a picture of a young Afghan refugee was taken and in June 1985 it was placed on the cover of National Geographic Magazine. 17 years later in 2002 the young woman was tracked down.During this visit a recent image was captured (the first and last time she was photographer was that day in 1984). Her name is Sharbat Gula and she never knew the impact her photo had made. So cutoff from the modern world void of most of her identity she did not even know how old she was.When the photo was taken she was in a refugee camp ,along with the remnants of her family that had survived the Afghan war.In 2002 when a search was assembled to find the woman with the piercing green eyes , the National Geographic organization did not know if she was still alive.After passing around her photo they were able to locate Sharbat .Reluctant to be caught talking to foreigners and uneasy about taking another photo National Geographic explained to the woman how she had inspired people to help her country. Having considered that she was  helping her people Sharbat agreed. National Geographic also helped to provide her family with much needed healthcare.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, November 3, 2014 1:58 PM

You can see in this woman's face that the years have been hard for her living as refugee. Although this seems like National Geographic giving themselves a pat on the back it is important to remember that this women became a national symbol for refugees and yet her life did not improve and furthermore she had no idea that her picture was so well known.

David Lizotte's curator insight, February 27, 6:36 PM

I never would have imagined the "Afghan girl" being alive. It's amazing how National Geographic was able to catch up and speak with her and photograph her. This demonstrates the pure professionalism and global outreach national geographic has. 

One of the things I am most thankful about is that I do not live in a war torn society. Being separated from my family, forced to flee and become a refugee is a horrid way of life that I know I would struggle to endure. Some Afghanistan people have been doing this for over twenty years. 

One time I was having a discussion with my friend. We talking about America and the westernized part of the world. He and I agreed how lucky we were to be born in America. We were born white males in the United States of America. We could have been born a woman living in Iran or Iraq, or even as a little rural Afghan boy whom would eventually be taken and abused by theTaliban. We kept going on with different scenarios and different countries. 

Want I want for people to realize is how advanced the United States of America is. Yes, we have our problems... but non comparable to other nations. Look at nations such as Afghanistan, Iraq, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda. These are first world nations which have war torn regions occupied by terrorists of all sorts. They also have little to no functioning government, although Afghanistan is improving. Even second world nations, although developing at a steady pace are plagued with an exponential amount of violent crimes and corruption. South Africa would be a prime example. 

Its amazing to read about the "Afghan girl"(s) or better yet Sharbat Gula. After all she has gone through she still has hope for her younger children. After enduring such a life of foul experiences she is still able to place all her faith into Allah and hope for the best for her children. It is also neat to see her place such a high level of importance on education. Education is the foundation for all development. 

Rescooped by Danielle Boucher from Geography Education
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Not all Olympic champions stand on the podium

Not all Olympic champions stand on the podium | World Regional Geography | Scoop.it
Tahmina Kohistani’s Olympics lasted exactly 14 and 42/100ths of a second.

 

This is a great article that highlights the Olympic successes that are underreported.  Due to geographic circumstances, simply competing is a remarkable accomplishment.  The women participants from Afghanistan and Iran are highlighted in this article. 


Via Seth Dixon
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lelapin's comment, August 11, 2012 1:27 PM
great article indeed. Thanks for turning the spotlight away from the podium, for a change.
Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 2, 2013 12:41 PM

The olympic games have become only about the podium winners in the media, if you dont win you dont matter. Tahmina Kohistani was the only female athlete from Afghanistan to compete in the games back in 2012. It is an amazing feat in itself that a female from Afghanistan even managed to get to the games never mind partacipate. She didnt win, she finished last, but it was her personal best time and the fastest she had ever run the 100 meter. But because she was not up on that podium none of that matter and many people did not even know she had run the race.  

Kendra King's curator insight, February 28, 11:12 AM

The coverage of the Olympics after opening ceremonies is heavily centered on the medal count and I don’t actually see a problem with that. Reason being is that the story, that supposedly never got coverage, was something I remember commentators speaking about when the Afghanistan team walked out on stage during the opening ceremonies thereby showing how “politics and social culture” are intertwined. Her journey qualified her as a “champion” right away and people saw that. Secondly, when there is a ridiculous amount of events and people to cover, one needs to pick and choose. Since the point of the Olympics is to win, it isn’t surprising that the most coverage is given on the metal winners. There are stories outside of Kohistani’s in which someone who didn’t make it to podium was covered (i.e. winter Olympics regarding Ryan Bradly or Jonny Wier). Typically when that happens though, the person is from our own country. What I think is wrong with the coverage is the huge focus on just our country. While the Olympics is a time where patriotism surges as we root for our own team, it is a symptom of a large problem. Americans are too America-centric in general. Just looking at the normal daily news cover in the states is a clear indication of the issue and I think that is why some of the more analytic pieces that show “politics and social culture” are generally under reported