Talk:Afghan Girl

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Please do not reinsert images of Sharbat Gula unless you can tag them correctly and find a way that these qualify under a qualifying license (fairuse... etc). Jtkiefer T | @ | C ----- 22:01, August 31, 2005 (UTC)

I'm writng to Steve for permission and if I don't hear from him I'll write to NG. CDA 23:03, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
The direct to national geographic showed her with her children. I edited the article for accuracy.Levarro 04:04, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

Where is she now?[edit]

Anyone know any news about her? Is she alive now? What happened to her next?

I don't know if this is right, but someone said she went to Canada.--LF2 00:38, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

National Geographic had a follow-up of her when they and McCurry found her again. It included a photo of her from more recent times. I don't have the issue date/number on me. 02:50, 26 December 2006 (UTC) she is in Pakistan — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:57, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Charitable foundation[edit]

Does anyone have a link to the charitable foundation that can be placed in External Links?


Graceless aging[edit]

Please read WP:TALK. This talk page is not for general discussion of her appearance unless it directly relates to improving the article.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

I'm sorry, but damn... Did anybody else notice how beat up she was looking in her older picture (no pun intended)? She looks more like a 40 year old not 30. It's a shame, because she was a cute girl.

This is an obvious truth that most people are unwilling to speak; the great thing about Wikipedia is that you can say things anonymously, without fear of repercussions. According to the CIA World Factbook the life expectancy at birth for women born in 2006 in Afghanistan is forty-three and a half years. -Ashley Pomeroy 02:06, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Give me a break. I didn't realize Wikipedia was a place created by men, for men, so that men could pass judgment on women's beauty. This "widely considered a disappointment" crap in the entry has to go, and I deleted it. At least provide a source for what is otherwise opionated chatter. (talk) 18:12, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

she is 30? she looks like 55 years old . too bad she was so pretty

55 sounds about right. Taking the ratio between the life expectancies of US female (80.97 years, 2007 est) and Afghan female (43.6years, 2007 est), a 30 year old Afghan woman would compare to a 55 year old US woman. Shawnc 16:11, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Well, that's the consequence of living in a country that's suffered war after war after war. Special thanks needs to be extended to the Soviets, the many Afghani warlords and Taliban, as well as the Americans and the Brits. The country hasn't known peace in ages. Terrible living standards are going to have an effect on the way anyone looks. (talk) 16:37, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

She has the Thousand-yard stare, and considering she's a survivor from a soviet bombing, she clearly had to be in a traumatized state when the photo was taken. It's highly likely she suffers from PTSD. Very few war survivors are able to get out without long term psychological suffering. (talk) 00:44, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't think she has the thousand-yard stare, just the terrified stare of a girl whose world is collapsing around her as she watches. (talk) 20:04, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

I think she's still quite beautiful. Bet she cleans up well. (talk) 02:22, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Such a comment is quite unnecessary (and rather mean if I may say so). I agree that she is still quite beautiful today. Not in the classical sense maybe, but her eyes are fascinating and bewitching. Haunting even (there's a lot of history in those eyes). (talk) 20:08, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Image licensing[edit]

Currently the image licensing status of the photo "Afghan Girl" is:

Notice that it says that: It is not acceptable to use images with this tag in the article of the person or persons depicted on the cover, unless used directly in connection with the publication of this image. Such usages will be removed. PleASE DO NOT reinsert the photo of Sharbat Gula until it's properly licensed, otherwise it may costitute an infringemnt of Steve McCurrys copyright.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 05:50, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

this is not a license, it is a rationale, and it is the wrong one. i've added the Please remember that the non-free content criteriarequirethat non-free images on Wikipedia must not "[be] used in a manner that is likely to replace the original market role of the original copyrighted media." Use of historic images from press agencies must onlybe of a transformative nature, when the image itselfis the subject of commentary rather than the event it depicts (which is the original market role, and is not allowed per policy). tag, which is indubitably applicable to the image. 14:22, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Name translation[edit]

I don't know any Pashto to comment much further but the translation of her name to "flower juice girl" seems odd. Wouldn't the flower juice be "nectar" in English? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:42, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

  • I don't speak Pashtu but I do speak Persian and Sherbat means nectar/juice. There is no girl in its definition. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:39, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree. There is no "girl" in her name. And coming from a Pashtun family, her correct name should be Sharbat Gul, without the A at the end -- that is only something commonly added to the end of a person's name when you are speaking to them in Pashto. "Gul" means flower, there is no such word as "Gula." It's simply incorrect. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:03, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Use of the word "overthrow"[edit]

As far as I can tell, the Taliban was not overthrown, it was routed militarily by outsiders. Overthrow implies an internal operation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:32, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Not a biography[edit]

This article is not supposed to be a biography. The woman in the picture is not notable. The picture itself is.

I've renamed the article and we should start working on fixing the article's text and tone to make it about the world famous photo, and not about the accidentally famous woman. --Damiens.rf 22:09, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

But the biography that developed and was uncovered later after re-locating her has become significant. No? Kingturtle (talk) 23:38, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
It's "worth mentioning", no doubt. But since the "biography" derived its limited notability from the picture's notability, the article should focus on the picture, not on the bio. --Damiens.rf 02:18, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
A photo was taken over later in her life, and it was made into a documentary. So it isn't just about the photo. Therefore (photo) might not be the best description. Afghan Girl would be a little better, but she's no longer a girl in the other photo. I still prefer using her name for the article name. Kingturtle (talk) 05:47, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
We can't make the photo a secondary entity to her (in respect to notability). The article should talk about the original photo and explain how and why it became famous. A section should be dedicated to explain how the photo's notability led some journalist to try to discover who was that girl, and all that it entailed. --Damiens.rf 14:39, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Was she even known specifically as the Afghan Girl before the documentary about the search for her was published? Kingturtle (talk) 13:02, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
It is of my understanding that "the photo" was know as "the afghan girl photo". --Damiens.rf 16:45, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
You've just moved this back to Afghan Girl (photo) after another user had moved it back to Sharbat Gula. You mention in your edit summary that the move was undiscussed. However, your initial move of the page was unilateral, and it appears that the only person that replied on the talk page at the time was in disagreement. What's the consensus on this? I felt that Victor falk's comparison of the subject to Phan Thị Kim Phúc was apt.
Also, please take greater care in your edits as you undid certain changes that were unaffected by the question of whether this article should be a biography. —CapitalLetterBeginning (talk) 11:19, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment: I do not care much which title this article has; I lean towards using her real name because it is more precise, specific and respectful. What I absolutely oppose, and I can't stress this enough, is the use of Infobox Person. The article is as much about the photography itself, and should it prominently displayed as independent of the person it portrays.¨¨ victor falk 02:12, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
That's fair enough; Infobox Person isn't required in an article about a person. I was just restoring elements of revision 254954328, the last revision prior to the move in December 2008. I'll stress that a move to Sharbat Gula does not entail the inclusion of Infobox Person in the article. —CapitalLetterBeginning (talk) 11:44, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Which is the original photo?[edit]

There are two images in the article. One claims to be the original photo and one shows the national geographic cover. I've noticed that the photo used in the cover extends further up to show the top of her head and scarf (is that the correct term? sorry don't mean to be offensive, just ignorant) and has a more of the background of the scene in it and extends further down to include the bottom of her scarf and her shoulders. I have a high-res .jpg (2000px X 3000px) which also resembles the national geographic picture more (as it is rectangular/portrait and includes the top and bottom of the image as opposed to being much more square like the other picture.) So my question is: is this picture actually the (digitised version of the) genuine original picture and the National Geographic picture has been edited somehow, or is the image used for the National Geographic cover the genuine original picture and this picture is actually cropped (and therefore not a digitised version of the original photo)?
Also, as a second point, should this photo be included as it is (arguably) related to the article? (talk) 10:15, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

I have removed the cover due to fair use violation. Also, shouldn't this article be titled with the name of the actual woman? - Talk to you later, Presidentman (talk) Random Picture of the Day 22:30, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Requested move (1)[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: No consensus to move. Ucucha 21:41, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Afghan GirlSharbat Gula — Relist. Vegaswikian (talk) 23:30, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

This is her proper name, so I believe we should use her actual name (especially because the article is partially her biography). Talk to you later, Presidentman (talk) Random Picture of the Day 22:36, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

  • Oppose. This is an article about the photo "Afghan Girl", not a biography (even if there is mention of a few details of the woman's life). There is also disagreement in the Not a biography section above. — AjaxSmack 04:08, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Article is about the photo, which is titled "Afghan Girl" and until her real name was discovered, the subject of the photo was known that way for 18 years. Also, "Afghan Girl" is the most likely the more commonly searched for term. — MrDolomite • Talk 15:56, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Article was moved from Sharbat Gula unilaterally without discussion by Damiens.rf on 12 December 2008. Victor falk moved it back on 15 March 2009, "by analogy with Phan Thị Kim Phúc". Another good analogue would be Thích Quảng Đức. I would argue that the article is not more about the photo than about Gula herself – certainly, the photo is the source of her notability, but it elicited an interest in Gula as a person that persisted to the extent of her being tracked down almost two decades later for a follow-up. I think the fact that her name was unknown to the public for 18 years is irrelevant; the important fact is that it's known now. Incidentally, did McCurry officially title the photograph "Afghan Girl", or is that just a name that's caught on through common use? –CapitalLetterBeginning (talk) 15:40, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Support As it is written, the article is about the girl, not the photograph. Can see no reason why it should have been moved to Afghan Girl in the first place. Skinsmoke (talk) 21:37, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose The common search term is obviously going to be Afghan Girl. I oppose the move for the same reason the 50 Cent article is not at Curtis James Jackson III.--Labattblueboy (talk) 04:15, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment Hardly similar! Curtis James Jackson III choses to be known as 50 Cent. I don't see any evidence that Sharbat Gula choses to be, or indeed is, known as Afghan Girl. Certainly the photograph is known as Afghan Girl, but not the person. And, as it is written, this article remains about the person. Skinsmoke (talk) 13:15, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
They are very similar. I have never heard her referred to by her proper name. If you don't like that example, how about wikipedia using Venus de Milo instead of Aphrodite of Milos. IMO it's a clear case of WP:COMMONNAME. The only portion of the article strictly about the subject is the Photo's subject section, the remainder of the article is within in the context of the photograph.--Labattblueboy (talk) 11:42, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. The term "Afghan Girl" refers to the photograph and was only used to refer to the subject of the photograph because her name and whereabouts were unknown. With proper sources attesting to her real name, a move to Sharbat Gula seems entirely appropriate since the article does focus more on the person than the photograph. Big Bird (talkcontribs) 15:43, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: {{{1}}} Ucucha 21:41, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

If it was me[edit]

she's been written about more than a lot of other people on this here wikipedia. show me a mainstream journalism article on any of the thousands of vanity articles and etc that are on here on wikipedia. . the articles in the mainstream press are about her. about her, and the photograph... the photograph and her.

lets have articles about famous movies that dont mention the actors? better yet, lets have still frames from movies where it is considered 'unencyclopedia' to have a caption where the actors name is placed. or the model. if the photo is a famous photo of a model?

no. there can be an article about her, there is more coverage about her, in mainstream media, than there is about a bunch of other people that have articles. and if you have two separate articles, someone wil say 'combine them', and there yo uhave it.. combined. . articles.

Decora (talk) 01:19, 11 April 2011 (UTC)


I passed across some photos of a condition called "central heterochromia" and it reminded me of this cover. Is it possible the photo's subject had this condition? It would explain the eye color which made the photo popula--Turn685 (talk) 18:23, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

The answer is probably much more straightforward: She has green eyes, pure and simple. Why not? I've read light eyes are not a rarity in Iran and common in Afghanistan. The ancient Iranians were apparently fair like Eastern Europeans. Check Indo-Iranians#Genetics. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 19:57, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Now that I've finally bothered to look up central heterochromia I get what you're actually referring to. Looking at high-res versions, there are indeed brown streaks around the centre of her iris. So, yes, she has the condition, as far as I can tell, but it's hard to recognise in lower-res versions. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:00, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
There is hardly any evidence to connect it with South Asians. For a long time it was found that all Iranian peoples descended from ancient Mesopotamians in the South-West of Iran, 10.000 ybp. The few R1a sequences in North India and East-Iranians originated from a time period long before the postulated "Aryan Invasion Myth", in particular from South-Siberia/North-China (see: [ - Predatory open access journal, not a reliable source. #.UtKWQKO1Ib0 A.Klyosov]). --Muramidase (talk) 13:12, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
This is completely off-topic, but see Indo-Aryan migration. It's not a "myth". The R1a haplogroup may or may not be associated with Indo-European migrations, but the genetic, archaeological and historical evidence points to the conclusion I gave above. It's not really contested, and I don't see how it could. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:19, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I thought it looked like she had it! Here's the high-res[1] and a photo of another person who has a similar color [2] for comparison. Here's also a photo of a girl from nepal with central heterochromia as an example. --Turn685 (talk) 16:24, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Requested move (2)[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: no consensus, so by default the page remains at its current stable title.
The discussion was a bit disjointed, because although the formal propoal was to rename, there were actually 3 options on the table: title="Afghan Girl", title="Sharbat Gula", or split into two articles. As Andrewa noted, the decision the split should come first. So I suggest that the next step is to start a discussion on whether to WP:SPLIT this article. If it is not split, then a further move request could be made to choose the title of the one article. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 22:00, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

Afghan GirlSharbat Gula – Whatever this article once was, it is now serving as a biography of a woman who was the subject of an iconic photograph. As such, we should name the article based on the name of the person. One could argue per WP:COMMONNAME that this photograph was so famous, and her identity was unknown for SO long, that "Afghan girl" is indeed her COMMONNAME, but I would reject this argument. "Afghan girl" is not, and was never, her "name" nor was it ever considered to be her name by those who used it; instead, it was a moniker or nickname, given because her real name wasn't known (as such, it could be distinguished from pseudonyms like Lady Gaga vs Stefani Germanotta); it's more akin to Green river killer or other monikers given to people who haven't (yet) been identified. If you look at the other entries in Category:Subjects_of_iconic_photographs, all of them are now at the real name, even if at the time of the photographs their identities weren't always known - the only exception being Tank Man, whose name still isn't known. If we were to split this article, and have one article about the photo at Afghan Girl (photo) and another article about this woman's life, that would also be acceptable - but having the title of a known, and still-living person, be "Afghan girl" when her real name is known and published widely in reliable sources just seems wrong. Even if COMMONNAME points us in a different direction in terms of pure hits, we should still move this article per WP:IAR; I think the wiki will be clearly better if this article is titled with her name, and not a moniker which was only used since her name wasn't known. I do note that COMMONNAME states: "Ambiguous or inaccurate names for the article subject, as determined in reliable sources, are often avoided even though they may be more frequently used by reliable sources." I think this is a great example of same - this name is ambiguous (which Afghan girl?), and inaccurate (e.g. this is clearly not intended to be her name, nor was it ever intended by anyone using it to stand in the place of her name - Afghan girl was a placeholder, that is all). Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 20:35, 22 April 2014 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's policy on article titles.
  • Oppose - Frankly, I'm not sure Sharbat Gula is notable. This article is about a notable photograph of a non-notable person. We should probably try to make it clear that this article is not a biography. NickCT (talk) 21:01, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
    • Read the article and look at the references - they make her notable. The article is not about the photograph. It is a BLP. --B2C 21:11, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Would you agree to a split - one article about the woman, and another about the photo? If you look at the article now, and the categories attached to this article, it is clearly a biography at present. In any case, if there were a separate article about this woman, I believe it WOULD be notable, since National Geographic and other RS have done several detailed profiles of her.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 21:12, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
I think the two topics are too intertwined to warrant separation. It's highly unlikely that anyone would seek to learn about her but not the image, or vice versa. --B2C 21:16, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
@Obiwankenobi: Well the photo is definately notable. If the Sharbat is notable to, then yes a split seems reasonable. But, Obi, this really strikes me as a WP:BLP1E issue. Would you contend that without this photo Sharbat would have any notability? As B2C implied, Sharbat doesn't seem notable without the photo. NickCT (talk) 23:20, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't think BLP1E applies. The picture was one event, that gave her (and esp the photo) worldwide fame. Then 17 years later, they find her, and do a full profile and documentary - about finding her, and about her life. Then, she is again on the cover of Nat'l Geo, a 3rd time, a year or two ago. Meanwhile, hundreds of RS covering her story again and again. I think this is far from 1E. This is an unknown person who was plucked out of obscurity, and she - and her life- is now notable.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 23:28, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Ok. So if this is far from 1E, what is the subject notable for outside of the image? NickCT (talk) 00:53, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. The argument against moving is that most people looking for an article about this girl would not know her name, and are most likely to search with "Afghan girl". Without even looking at the article I know who this article is about, because of the current title. If it was at her name, I wouldn't know. In that sense the current title meets natural and recognizable. However, the topic of this article is not just the image, it's the girl, and anyone familiar with her (not just her image, as I am) would recognize her name.

    Her image is famous, iconic, and she is relatively obscure, but the article is about her, she is notable, and the title should reflect her name. --B2C 21:11, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

    • Would you contend she's notable without the photo? Why doesn't WP:BLP1E apply? If you think she is notable without the photo, what exactly is she notable for? NickCT (talk) 23:21, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
      • I reject WP:BLP1E, period. Notable is notable. Shouldn't matter what the person is notable for, whether it's one event or 500.

        In any case, because of the enormous popularity of the image, interest in who she is and what happened to her is there, and as a result all key events of her life became notable. Hence this BLP. --B2C 21:45, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

  • Comment - Obviously this is a WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS argument, but I think it's worth pointing out that Whistler's Mother is about the painting. It's not a biography about Whistler's mother. NickCT (talk) 23:24, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Like I said, I have no opposition to a split, but not sure what that would accomplish, as the two subjects are so intertwined its hard to separate them. Better to have this be a bio, and discuss the photo in that context.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 23:28, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This is an article about the photo "Afghan Girl", not a biography (even if there is mention of a few details of Sharbat Gula's life). There is also discussion of this issue at a previous move discussion and the Not a biography section above. As User:MrDolomite and User:Labattblueboy mentioned there, for the first 18 years of its existence, the photo was only known as "Afghan Girl" and "Afghan Girl" is likely the more common search term. I also oppose a split due to lack of material and per WP:BLP1E. —  AjaxSmack  01:05, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
this is the second time You've brought up the 'not a biography' section above but when i read it, there was one editor saying it wasnt a bio, and all the others disagreeing! The current state of the article IS a bio, and there are sufficient sources to write an entire article on this woman going far beyond the photo (and indeed sufficient sources to write a much more extensive article about the photo). Her life, how she was treated, what she symbolizes or doesnt symbolize has been discussed ad nauseum in books and articles.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 03:01, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per NickCT and AjaxSmack. This is an article about a picture, with a few details about the otherwise non-notable subject. Chris Troutman (talk) 02:32, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
have you actually read the article? What does the first line say? What categories is it in? Its one thing to say 'this should be turned into an article about the photo', but claiming its not today acting as a biography is bizarre in the extreme. It even lists names of her children (which i suppose we should remove) but also gives details of her life and discusses entities that were set up in HER honor, not in honor of the photo.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 02:41, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I read above: Whatever this article once was, it is now serving as a biography of a woman who was the subject of an iconic photograph. I read the article. Well, whatever it's claimed above that the article now is, no, it's a (rather dodgy) article about a widely-reproduced photo; with an interesting but inappropriate opening sentence, and inappropriate categories. As is fairly common for widely reproduced photos with one or two main characters whose identity wasn't (identities weren't) known to the photographer, efforts have been made to identify the person. Here, these efforts have borne fruit. A number of Wikipedia editors seem very keen on such matters. (Consider all the discussion over the identity of kisser and kissee in a photo by Eisenstaedt.) Well, OK, but I see nothing in the article that indicates any notability of the girl/woman that's independent of the photo. It's OK to say something (sourced) about her within the article on the photo, but it remains an article about the (perhaps unfortunately titled) photo. (Yes, when the article does say something about her, this should be sourced; She married in the late 1980s and returned to Afghanistan in 1992. Gula had three daughters: Robina, Zahida, and Alia. A fourth daughter died in infancy. Gula has expressed the hope that her girls will receive the education she was never able to complete is not sourced.) -- Hoary (talk) 07:09, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
    • @Hoary: - re "it remains an article about the (perhaps unfortunately titled) photo" - Exactly right. NickCT (talk) 11:59, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose. Oppose because the article is about an iconic photograph in the context of 1980s Afganistan, and because it is not a biography. It is not about the person, and neither should it be, she is a private person who never sought publicity. I had initial thought to support a split, but the BLP would fail BLP1E. "Weak", because even as a non-biography, it features a person, and a person should be named by name, not by a western label. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 11:42, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose This article is, and should remain, about the notable photograph, whose current title is instantly recognizable. A BLP article at the name of the lady is possible, given sufficient reliable sourcing, if she freely participated in the projects promoting her fame. Xoloz (talk) 21:01, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. A search for "afghan girl" will find this article, whichever name we give it. The woman has a name. She's not some Afghan girl, she's a flesh and blood person, deserving of respect. I know respecting human dignity is not written in a policy here, but it's not forbidden either. I'm expressly citing WP:IAR here, which is policy - one of the five pillars, in fact - so if respecting this woman by calling her BLP by her name conflicts with some rule or other, ignore the rule: an encyclopedia that is respectful of the dignity of its subjects is a better encyclopedia than one that gratuitously insults them. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 17:28, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
re "The woman has a name." - Yes! The woman does have a name. So does the photograph. And the photography, which this article is about, is called "Afghan Girl". NickCT (talk) 19:33, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
It's about both, Nick. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 20:32, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Support: Whatever it used to look like, the content of the article is clearly focused more on the person than the photograph at this point. Note also that the "If you look at the other entries in Category:Subjects_of_iconic_photographs, all of them are now at the real name, even if at the time of the photographs their identities weren't always known" point is not an WP:OTHERSTUFF argument at all (that sub-essay applies to "keep this article about my band because other band articles exist" arguments), it's a naming-and-scope-within-category consistency argument: Either bring this into line with the rest of the category, or change those articles to be in line with this one, or make a really copelling argument why they should be so different. (Hint: No such argument has been made here.) Next, the "she's not really notable" argument is a wash. That was true in the 1980s and '90s, but she's been the subject of print and film documentary works that do not focus on the photograph as art, but on the woman behind it. I.e., I'm detecting a lot of "this subject shouldn't be notable" reasoning here, and it's not a valid rationale (cf. WP:IDONTLIKEIT and WP:IDONTKNOWIT for the reasoning why). This is entirely about WP:RS (even the WP:N/WP:GNG distractions are), and RS is more than satisfied here. The split argument isn't terribly compelling; the two are intertwined enough that we'd just end up with two stubs that never expand much if any further than the content we already have here, and which mostly duplicate each other. That said, I'd rather see the split happen than a bio article remain at the name of a photographic work that features that person. PS: As User:Obi-Wan Kenobi reports in the "Discussion" section below, nGram evidence shows that her real name is well-attested in reliable sources, perhaps more so at this poitn than "the Faghan Girl".  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  10:11, 25 April 2014 (UTC) Update: Support even stronger: The suggestions below that the article being improved with more material and sources, in ways that happen to make it lean toward the woman rather than the photo as the main subject of the article, is somehow foul play, are totally missing the point of why this or any other article exists, and are strong candidates for WP:TROUT-slapping.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  09:31, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
    • @SMcCandlish: - re " the content of the article is clearly focused more on the person than the photograph at this point" - That's an argument to change the content. re "she's been the subject of print and film documentary works that do not focus on the photograph as art" - Was she the subject of those works, or was the photo the subject? I've still to hear one person arguing this point of view to present a single RS that deals only with the subject. NickCT (talk) 13:33, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
      • That didn't even make sense. There is no principle anywhere that reliable source coverage of someone, for notability analysis, must only address them as people for everything other than what they're notable for. Does not compute! Both she and the photo were the subjects of the documentary material, as others have noted in detail that I won't bother repeating. An argument to change that content? I can't believe you just said that. You would really remove content about the person just to WP:WIN a RM debate? Abort, Retry, Fail?
  • Support: What we have here is an entire article about a person, notable more than anything else because of a photograph. Naming the article about the person after the photograph in which she appears is backwards. -- Irn (talk) 00:05, 27 April 2014 (UTC)
    • @Irn: - "notable more than anything else because of a photograph" - People notable for a single event or piece of work generally aren't notable. See WP:BLP1E for details. NickCT (talk) 13:33, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
      • @NickCT: I know that. I've read the discussion below as well. Suffice it to say, I disagree with your reading of BLP1E. -- Irn (talk) 14:01, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Support per the standard that where identified the subjects of iconic photographs are titled by their names and not by the photograph's name. Timrollpickering (talk) 17:15, 27 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose move to Sharbat Gula, keep as Afghan Girl In the previous move discussion, an editor mentions that I moved this article to "Sharbat Gula". I actually didn't remember doing that until I read about it following this discussion, but I can explain why I did it anyway; partly because of precision (in the colloquial sense, not the wp:precise one of which I was only vaguely aware of if at all back then), but mostly because I feared an article called "Afghan girl" could be deleted by a passing admin as "just another picture of some random Afghan refugee", and I thought her having a name would be a better claim of WP:GNG. In another discussion about the title called "Not a biography", I made the following (and only) comment: Comment: I do not care much which title this article has; I lean towards using her real name because it is more precise, specific and respectful. What I absolutely oppose, and I can't stress this enough, is the use of Infobox Person. The article is as much about the photography itself, and should it prominently displayed as independent of the person it portrays.¨¨ victor falk 02:12, 19 March 2009 (UTC). Emphasis not added.
For me, this image has always been "that famous National Geographic cover". Then Sharbat Gula was discovered in 2002. I think it's a case of some sort of wp:recentism, and that in a historical perspective it is the picture that is famous and not the person. The Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo are famous as works of art in themselves, and makes the persons famous, but that notoriety is only secondarily derived. And we do indeed have an article about Lisa Gherardini. If by some archeological tour de force, we were to learn some glimpses of biographical details like the name about the model that posed for the Venus de Milo statue, we would perhaps create an article, let's say Aphroditedemilosa, depending on exact details. But we would never, ever, move Venus de Milo to "Aphroditedemilosa". This last analogy is what proves to me that "Afghan Girl" is the right title, a question upon which I've been ambiguous for years. walk victor falk talk 15:11, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Hi Victor - what would you think of a split, then? When I read it now, it reads as a biography, and I think the subject passes WP:GNG, and the photo obviously passes GNG. We could do a lot more expansion on the photo part, the impact of the photo, etc, and could also expand the biography based on the nat geo research into her life.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 15:18, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Not sure. It might be a good idea. If nothing else as an experiment, to see what happens, with a scheduled eventual re-merge discussion in 6 months or a year. There seem to be different groups of editors who want to push the article in either an artistic or biographical direction, and ideally each could start to grow unhindered. My concern is whether the content is too meagre, the worst case scenario is that we end up with two poor stubbish articles. Perhaps we should conduct a split survey. walk victor falk talk 15:46, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There's no justification for two articles, one on the subject of the photo and the other on the subject. So the question is, which of the two (if either I suppose) do we want? Clearly the photograph is notable, while the subject is notable only by inheritance from the photo. Material on her is fascinating and should be kept, but only because of the photo. So the article should be refactored to focus (again) on the photo rather than the subject. Andrewa (talk) 17:01, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
The same could be said of the men in the Iwo Jima photograph, but we have detailed bios of them - even if some died shortly after the picture was taken.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 17:08, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
There should be a ==Sharbat Gula== section for all the pure biographical details, leaving the rest of the article free to concentrate on the work of art, and all other things related to the photograph and the person. walk victor falk talk 18:52, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Agree... and with a redirect from her name to the section. Or it might be better to call the section The subject and redirect her name to an anchor there instead, or (my favourite) do a refactor and have a section The subject with subsections Search for the Afghan Girl (the existing section by that name) and Sharbat Gula, and again the redirect from Sharbat Gula pointing to the section by that name. Andrewa (talk) 17:09, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Good point. But I don't think it changes the outcome of this particular RM, we just end up at the same conclusion by a slightly longer logical route. Even if we do end up splitting this article to have one on the photo and one on the subject, there's then no reason for the proposed move, as the page history is at least as applicable to the photo article as to the article on its subject.
And there's another possibility, and that's that the bios of the subjects of Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima (I assume that's the Iwo Jima photograph, a link would have been nice) may not meet the notability guideline themselves. Two wrongs don't make a right. But that's a topic for another time and place, let's see how this RM goes first.
So to recap, if we split the article then no reason to move, and if we don't then it's the photo not the subject that is notable, and again no move. Andrewa (talk) 17:00, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. The title should reflect what the page is about. Coreyemotela (talk) 12:56, 3 May 2014 (UTC).
  • Support per B2C and SMcCandlish. The claim that this article is about the photograph, not the person, is clearly wrong. One out of the four sections of the article is about the photo. You don't have a section entitled "Early Life" in an article about a photo. Neljack (talk) 23:59, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment Some editors are letting the tail wag the dog here. If I was to edit the article about Leornado da Vinci's famous painting in such a way that it emphasised the model, should it be renamed Lisa Gheradini, and be mainly a biography about her? As Andrewa says [3], the only question is whether to have a single article about the photograph and its subject, or to split it in two. walk victor falk talk 07:03, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment I think this edit is rather important [4]. The article has been written until I corrected it in such a way to mislead people into believing that it was the discovery of Sharbat Gula that made the picture famous. walk victor falk talk 07:42, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
Victor I have reverted your good faith efforts as I think we should wait until the discussion is finished before rewriting the article so dramatically.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 14:51, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
It's ok; I was fostered in the culture of WP:AfD, where to {{fixit}} issues with an article during the nomination is very strongly encouraged. I just wish that editors were more thoughtful and not so easily swayed by the superficial appearance of an article at a particular moment, I hope that they do due dilligence and monitor an article's history and consider the potential forms an article could take. For what's it's worth, here's the article as it was after some of the undue weight on biographical details was corrected: walk victor falk talk 15:45, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
I think that's fine for AFD but to rewrite the article according to one side of a disputed move discussion doesn't really represent the longer standing consensus. The lede has been about Sharbat Gula since the article was written - look at the first entry - and the lede has remained relatively consistent over time. If there is consensus to split, this article should be renamed and a new article written only about the photograph - indeed it might be better to have a fresh start for the photo article since so much more can be said about it.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 16:05, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
  • It's not surprising that the article started not even two years after her discovery would give more weight to her, she was very much in the media's focus then. But that's a case of wp:recentism, the picture has been notable for 30 years. In an ideal world, there would have been an article about it long before she was found, back in 1985 should wikipedia had existed then.
    As to splitting off the biography to a new article, I can only repeat what Andrewa said: [5]. walk victor falk talk 18:11, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
Not quite sure how to handle that suggestion. My opinion is that the subject is only notable because of the photograph, that is, not notable in her own right at all, so no split is justified. But if a split is agreed on, and if the history is more relevant to the biographical article (two big ifs), then there's a case for a move. And not otherwise. So should we defer a decision on the move? If a split is seriously contemplated, that might be the best way forward. Andrewa (talk) 01:21, 5 May 2014 (UTC)
That's still really just a suggestion that the person "shouldn't" be notable in your view. Notability is not determined by how meritorious something is, but simply by non-trivial coverage in multiple, independent reliable sources. The person "is only notable because of" those sources, not the photograph. The subject only became covered by those sources because of the photograph, certainly, but that's not the same proposition.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  09:03, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose the subject of this article "Afghan Girl" should be the photograph, which is in and of itself, notable. The woman/girl who is the subject of the photo is not inextricably intertwined. Moving this article to the subject's name would be as if the subject of the Mona Lisa were the "proper topic" instead of the painting. Or "The Girl with the Pearl Earring" was actually written to be about the girl instead of the painting. Or if "V-J Day in Times Square" were to be a biography of the sailor and the nurse, and not the photo, and we assumed the nurse and the sailor were more notable than the photo and their lives were inextricable from the history of the photo. If the subject of the photo is notable, they can have their own article split off at their own name. But this article should not be moved, and should be stripped to being just about the photo. -- (talk) 07:34, 8 May 2014 (UTC)


  • On BLP1E: i think those claiming blp1e need to study that policy more carefully. This is an excerpt:
"Wikipedia is not news, or an indiscriminate collection of information. Being in the news does not in itself mean that someone should be the subject of a Wikipedia article. We should generally avoid having an article on a person when each of three conditions is met:
  1. If reliable sources cover the person only in the context of a single event.
  2. If that person otherwise remains, and is likely to remain, a low-profile individual. Biographies in these cases can give undue weight to the event and conflict with neutral point of view. In such cases, it is usually better to merge the information and redirect the person's name to the event article.
  3. If the event is not significant or the individual's role was either not substantial or not well documented. John Hinckley, Jr., for example, has a separate article because the single event he was associated with, the Reagan assassination attempt, was significant and his role was both substantial and well documented."

Now, reliable sources cover her participation in the first photograph, and her participation in the second series of photographs and the cover story, as well as giving lots of other details of her life - eg [6] So we already have two events, spread by 17 years, thus negating point one. Second, this person is a low profile individual, no debate there - so that one passes. Finally, the events - both taking the first picture, and the "discovery" later, were both highly significant events, covered in major news media and still discussed to this day. In other words, this was not a flash in the pan, and her life - not just the photo, but the details of HER life have been subject to scrutiny, investigation, scholarship, critique and debate. Her role in the events (eg the taking of the photographs) was nothing less than substantial - the photo and the subsequent search were ABOUT her, and the charity set up in her name was done FOR her. Thus, we have clearly 2 out of 3 conditions of BLP1E NOT met (and all 3 are required per the policy to apply). If you do a google books search on her name you will find numerous books - even published in 2012 - that discuss her case, her life, her biography, and what it represents, how she was held up as a symbol and to what extent that was a good or bad thing. Thus, for good or bad, Gula is clearly notable per WP:GNG, all the more reason to rename this article. I'm becoming more convinced a split is in order, as we've done for many other photograph/subject pairs (eg the soldiers in the Iwo Jima photo, for example, including 3 marines who were killed shortly after the picture was taken).-Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 03:27, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

  • Oppose - I'm sorry, but I disagree with "So we already have two events, spread by 17 years, thus negating point one.". Those two events are intrinsically linked. You're basically arguing that interviewing the subject of a major artwork 17 years after the artwork was made constitutes two notable events. The first is the making of the artwork. The second is the interview. The reality is that the second could not have happened without the first. I still only see the whole episode as a de facto single event. I'm just not buying that Sharbat is notable without the photo. NickCT (talk) 12:07, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
no, Nick, two separately reported events does not make 'a de facto single event' - good luck arguing that one with a judge. Additionally, while I agree she would not be notable if not for the photo, that does not mean she fails WP:BLP1E - you need to read it, not simply quote it. Hinkley would not be notable if he didn't try to shoot Reagan, and many other famous criminals are in the same boat, and yet we still have articles on them. That's why the 3rd clause of BLP1E exists - as it's meant to eliminate events which are insignificant or where the person played a minor role. That isn't the case with Hinkley and that isn't the case here - she was the subject of the first photo (and of much analysis, discussion) and she was the subject of the second photo (again much analysis, discussion), and she was also an agent, as she had to specifically grant permission to have a second photo taken and be seen by a male who wasn't her relative, something which stretched her own boundaries. Her history is intertwined with that photo but ultimately it wasn't the photo that won people over, it was her - her face, her eyes, her expression - that is real - it isn't just some work of art that she happened to be a model for. People are compelled by and interested in HER story, which the photo provides a glimpse of. Anyway, both you and Smoky have failed to read BlP1e so unless you can demonstrate that this case fits ALL 3 criteria your arguments should be considered moot.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 12:50, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
You want to go point-by-point? Ok.
If reliable sources cover the person only in the context of a single event.
Yes - Sharbat is only covered in RS in the context of the photo.
If that person otherwise remains, and is likely to remain, a low-profile individual.
Yes - No reason to think Sharbat would be notable if photo had not been taken.
If the event is not significant or the individual's role was either not substantial....
Yes - While "not significant" is highly subjective, the Afghan Girl photo is clearly not as significant as the Attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, which you brought up.
Sound good? NickCT (talk) 13:31, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Wrong, Nick. RS cover her in the context of TWO events (the first photo, and then the search-for-her photo session), AND beyond. RS discuss her life in the refugee camp, they discuss how her parents were killed, they discuss the second meeting with McCurry, they discuss her life back in the village, they discuss her presence in Tora Bora which was carpet bombed by the Americans, they discuss her views on the Taliban and the burka, they discuss her anger at being photographed by a stranger, etc. It's also rubbish to claim that two events separated by 17 years are one event. Reliable sources also discuss Sharbat Gula in the context of Western feminism, in the context of Northern hegemony, in the context of subject/photographer relations, in the context of Aghanistan and our occupation thereof, in the context of Pashtun culture and women's rights, in the context of biometric identification techniques, etc... I could go on and on. I suggest you do a google books search, her name comes up dozens or perhaps hundreds of times, with analysis that goes far beyond the fact that she was in a photo - she has become representative of much larger issues. Secondly, its really rather lame to say that the event is "not as significant" as the attempted assassination of Reagan. I wasn't making such a claim - my point was that the event itself WAS significant, and her role in it was substantial. It would silly to say that the event of "finding" the Afghan girl was not "significant" - indeed it is so significant that publications 10 years after the event STILL talk about it. Thus, for two out of three BLP1E criteria, it fails - the only one it passes BLP1E on is that she is low-profile, you'll get no argument from me on that. But she doesn't meet the other two criteria, so BLP1E DOESN'T apply. You'll need to bring better arguments if you want to convince me or a closing admin otherwise.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 13:51, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
" It's also rubbish to claim that two events separated by 17 years are one event." - I don't buy that. The second event would not and could not have occurred independent of the first. Claiming that they are independently notable and distinct events seems a bit dodgy.
"RS cover her in the context of TWO events" - Can you point to a single reference that mentions Sharbat without mentioning the photo at all?
"my point was that the event itself WAS significant" - And my point was that "significant" is highly subjective. You apparently agree that the photo is not a significant as what the guideline cites (i.e. the assassination attempt). I don't really agree that the photo rises to the level of "significant". Where do we go from there?
"You'll need to bring better arguments if you want to convince me or a closing admin otherwise" - Perhaps we've lost count of the number of "oppose" comments above? I'm not sure I have to convince anyone of anything.
Regardless, I appreciate your sentiment here. In a perfect world, everyone would have a Wikipedia page. I just don't think policy supports it. NickCT (talk) 14:29, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
You have a very strange notion of "event" then. And yes, all of the sources mention Sharbat mention the photo, but they also go into detail, depending on the topic of the book, into analysis of what it means - for feminism, for human rights, for biometrics, etc. I really suggest you go read some of the sources that come up in google books. For me significance is determined by longevity of coverage, for one thing. The initial photo is the most recognized photo by National Geographic in their entire history, and the story of the finding of Gula was covered by major media sources, and her story has been covered in a great number of reliable sources since then, even today, 12 years after she was "found". That to me easily passes the bar of "significant" and goes far beyond regular news coverage, which again, BLP1E was intended to avoid. In any case, Gula HAS a wikipedia page, this is it, I know people keep saying that this isn't a biography, but it is, regardless of how much you want it not to be one. It's in bio cats, it's tagged to the biography project, the lede starts with HER name, and the story is about her + the photo. see Raising_the_Flag_on_Iwo_Jima for an example of an article ABOUT a photo - notice the detail they go into around how the photo was taken, where, by whom, all of the circumstances surrounding the photo, etc. It would be quite easy to write a long and well sourced article about this photo, but this isn't it - this is, and should remain, a biography of someone who was lifted from obscurity and whose voice was heard by the world.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 14:43, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
I agree. The article does look like a bio page. But, as I and a number of others have pointed out, it probably shouldn't look like a bio page. I'd remove the cats, and bump her name to further down in the lede. Perhaps we can use the feedback from the Requested Move to do that.
"I really suggest you go read some of the sources" - I'm sure this is a very interesting subject, and I'm glad you have an appreciation for it, but photographics arts is "not really my bag baby".
"to me easily passes the bar of "significant"" - Ok, and I don't think you're crazy for feeling that way. I just don't agree. And as I said, what passes for "significant" is ultimately going to fairly subjective. NickCT (talk) 14:55, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Nick, please read the policies you are citing. The policy in question actually describes what significant is, which is this: "The significance of an event or individual is indicated by how persistent the coverage is in reliable sources." Now, I have given evidence, and you can find plenty more, that this event - the original photo, the re-finding, the interview, the second photo, are STILL discussed in reliable sources, 12 years after the fact. There are over 100 hits in Google scholar on her name alone, and I could drop a list of 10 books just below that cover the event, all published many years after the event. It boggles me that you still consider this "not significant". Significance is not determined by touchy-feely-subjective-assessments, it is covered by "how persistent the coverage is in reliable sources".--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 15:02, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
"how persistent the coverage is in reliable sources" is still ultimately a "touchy-feely-subjective-assessment". I mean, define "persistence of coverage". Is coverage since 1984 a long time? You could argue this photo has received coverage for longer than say September 11 attacks. Does that mean the photo is more significant than the September 11 attacks? What about Hurricane Diana (1984)? That barely received any coverage after-the-fact, but it caused a hundred million dollars worth of damage, and surely had more economic impact than Afghan Girl. Was that event less or more significant?
Regardless, as I'd said, you seem to think this photo constitutes a "significant event". Others don't. I'm not sure sure we're going to reach consensus on this. NickCT (talk) 15:45, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
No, you're the only one so far who has disagreed with this point of policy. Demonstrate to me that the story has not has persistent coverage, and I will change my mind. All evidence points the other way. She is probably one of the most talked-about individual Afghan women of all time.


  • Further evidence of the notability of her name, comes from Google ngrams search: ngram. One problem here is that "Afghan girl" is a generic term, so it's possible there are instances where the phrase is used to refer to something else. However, "Afghan Girl", in capitals, would almost always refer to the photo - and there we see in the Ngrams that coverage in books has increased over time, and the mention of her name is more frequent than the mention of the photo (at least, when spelled with capital letters). This is typical from the sources I've reviewed - they mention the photo, but then go on to analyze her life and its relevance to whatever topic the book is covering, be it feminism, western hegemony, military action in Afghanistan, or biometric identification, just to name a few instances where her case has been discussed. For example, here she is compared to another famous Pashtun girl, Malala [7].--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 16:40, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
re "No, you're the only one so far who has disagreed with this point of policy." - That seems a tad dishonest. A whole bunch of folks have now said that they doubt Sharbat's notability and some have specifically cited BLP1E. Clearly those folks would likely agree that this photo doesn't constitute a "significant event" or they probably wouldn't have cited BLP1E. Obi-Wan Kenobi, I'm sorry mate. Again, I understand your position, and I don't think you're wrong for feeling the way you do, but I think consensus is falling against you here. NickCT (talk) 17:00, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
To be honest, I don't think most people have read BLP1E carefully - it's a pet peeve of mine, people citing policy without actually reading it. We need to wait for others to weigh in to see what they think, given the more careful reading of BLP1E and the evidence I have provided around the notability and persistent coverage of this story. i agree, others have argued she isn't notable enough to have an article, but none except you have disputed the specific 3 clauses that cause BLP1E to apply. If BLP1E doesn't apply, then we look at WP:GNG, and she clearly passes on this front - there was a documentary made about her.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 17:04, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
"it's a pet peeve of mine, people citing policy without actually reading it." - You know, I've always thought that part of WP:AGF should be "assume competence". I'd try to assume that people have read it, but simply have a different interpretation than you. These issues are really such that two smart, reasonable people can look at them and walk away with different opinions.
"we look at WP:GNG, and she clearly passes on this front - there was a documentary made about her" - Ok. Well she may well pass WP:GNG. And if she does, then I'd agree that a SPLIT is the right answer. But up to this point, all the RS I've seen has been primarily focused on the photo, or only focuses on her purely in the context of the photo. Point to RS that deals with Sharbat outside the context of the photo and I'll happily support a split. NickCT (talk) 18:12, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
The coverage I have seen goes far beyond the photo. The photo is just an entry point. Some discussions barely mention the photo at all, focusing on the second encounter and how she behaved during it. But, given the famousness of the photo, it's rather silly to ask for coverage of her that doesn't mention it. It always will, I think. That doesn't make it BLP1E though, again, you have to read the 3 criteria. Your argument now hinges on (1) two events separated by 17 years being "one" event and (2) a weird interpretation of "significant" that doesn't jibe with anything I've ever heard of - given we're talking about one of the most famous photographs, ever. National geographic received thousands of letters when after they found her, Americans were inspired to go volunteer at aid agencies in Pakistan and Afghanistan as a result of this story, the overall impact has been significant. It's not about comparing and saying "Well, this hurricane did more damage" - significance here is not a comparative matter, it is a matter of, as the policy states, is the persistent coverage. There is. Would it help if I provided quotes and book refs from 2008 onwards?--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 18:26, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
re "given we're talking about one of the most famous photographs, ever" - Granted I don't know much about photography, but this statement strikes me as slightly hyperbolic. I think of many other photographs before this one when I consider "most famous photographs of all time". I'd be interested to know how you arrive at that characterization. Is it possible your personal interest in this photo is skewing your perspective slightly here?
re "The coverage I have seen goes far beyond the photo." - The coverage may go beyond the photo, but that doesn't change the fact that she's only notable for one thing.
re "two events separated by 17 years being "one" event" - It's not that the "events" are actually the same, but that the "subject" at the center of those events (i.e. the photo) is the same.
re "a weird interpretation of "significant" " - Yeah. And there's my point once again. Your interpretation of "significant" may be different than mine, which may be different from someone else's. There is no right answer. NickCT (talk) 19:49, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
But is this long discussion even relevant to this RM? There's no dispute that the photo is notable, nor any suggestion that its notability is derived from its subject. The photo is clearly encyclopedic, and we should have an article whose topic is the photo itself, and there's been no shred of evidence that this might not be the case. This discussion then seems to be, is the subject also notable enough for a separate article? If she is, then fine, split this article, and no move required. If she's not, then of course no move required either. There's no third possibility, so what's the problem? Andrewa (talk) 02:12, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
@Andrewa: - re "is the subject also notable enough for a separate article?" - Exactly. The long discussion Obi and I are engaged in is about the notability of subject, not the picture. NickCT (talk) 15:46, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
@NickCT: Then I ask again, in what way is it relevant to the RM discussion of which it is part? Andrewa (talk) 17:49, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
@Andrewa: - I think the conversation sorta meandered here. You'll note this section started with Obi saying that he thought we ought to split because he felt both the subject and photo were notable. We then started debating whether the subject was notable enough to justify a split. I guess technically it's not completely relevant to the RM discussion.
I think a couple folks (including Obi) are in the "Support or Split" camp. Arguing about splitting could be seen as relevant to the RM discussion in that respect. NickCT (talk) 19:17, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
The conversation started b/c people were saying "No, we can't rename, she's not worthy of an article per BLP1E". I disagreed, and started the section to demonstrate why in my view the subject was notable and would qualify for an article and that BLP1E doesn't apply. In my original nom I believe I stated move or split, I'm still open to both. The argument that they are so intertwined that splitting would result in two stubs doesn't convince me, I think quite a large article could be written on the photo, and the bio could also be expanded. However, given the contents and the fact that the lede and tenor of this article has been a bio since it was written, suggests we should rename this article and write the article about the photo elsewhere - in other words, the history belongs with the woman, less so the photo. Much much more can be said about the photo.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 20:19, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
OK, I did a check of the history (every 100 edits) and you're right... the lede originally read Sharbat Gula (born 1972) is a Afhan woman of Pashtun ethnicity. Her face became famous as a cover photograph on a 1985 issue of National Geographic magazine (sic) and doesn't ever seem to have changed from that focus. So there may be a case for moving the article, which I admit surprised me, if it's then to be split. And the decision whether to split should still be decided first (see #Order of operations below), but preferably not actually implemented until after any move. Andrewa (talk) 00:43, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
@Andrewa: - re "the lede originally read Sharbat Gula " - I noticed that too, and it surprised me. NickCT (talk) 14:52, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes, the lede does not match the title. And the remarkable thing is, it probably never has, and we've taken a long time to find that very obvious problem, haven't we! I was assuming (in violation perhaps of WP:GF but based on much bitter experience) that the lede had swapped back and forwards, probably several times, and we still haven't eliminated that possibility completely but it looks unlikely (I wish I had a better history search tool), and doesn't much matter anyway.
The important thing is, now we need to (finally) fix it. Andrewa (talk) 21:21, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

Order of operations[edit]

First, we need to decide whether or not to split the article.

Second, if and only if the decision is to split the article, we need to decide where the page history goes... that is, whether to move the existing article.

Third, having decided where the page history goes and in need moved the existing article, we split it.

Or that's the procedure as I see it.

A split would probably be the easiest way. And as someone else pointed out above we do have at least the precedent of Raising the flag on Iwo Jima, the subjects of which are only notable as such but all have their own articles anyway. Andrewa (talk) 01:32, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

  • There are two stories here:
(1) Steve McCurry's ''Afgan Girl'', the famous photograph of Sharbat Gula.
(2) Sharbat Gula, notable for being the subject of Steve McCurry's famous photograph ''Afgan Girl''.
I think both are so connected, and currently so short, that they belong in the one article. There is room for expansion on the photograph, but now is premature to talk of a spinout or a page split. The biography is not much beyond a BPL1E, and the person is a private person who never sought publicity, and I don't think expansion of the biography is a good idea, even if there are quite a few facts in the content.
I think the article should remain primarily about the photograph, with biographical details of the subject and her family restrained, out of respect to the subject's privacy. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 02:17, 5 May 2014 (UTC)
Agree. We must assume that a valid model release was obtained before publication of the photo on the front page of National Geographic (from her grandfather I suppose, as she was eleven or twelve at the time and both her parents were killed when she was six), and that their later generosity was just that. But it's not a licence to intrude. Andrewa (talk) 03:55, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

And what if we don't want to split? RM discussion above appears to lean towards oppose. I think the order of operation should be, 1) Close the RM as no move, 2) Rewrite this article to make it clear the article is about a photograph and not about a person. NickCT (talk) 14:56, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

Consensus is not about # of !votes, it's about strength of argument. I don't think anyone has suitably demonstrated that the subject does not pass WP:GNG. The vast majority of other famous photos are split, so I'm really unsure why some people are resisting that option here.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 18:02, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
re "Consensus is not about # of !votes, it's about strength of argument" - Ah the common refrain of people who have lost the vote. NickCT (talk) 18:18, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
I count 9 oppose votes to 7 support. And no, it's not a common refrain of a loser, it's simply a citation of policy i.e. WP:CONSENSUS.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 18:34, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
A policy commonly cited by those who have lost the vote. Regardless, I understand and respect your position Obi-Wan Kenobi. Setting aside my reading of policy, I'd like it if this person had their own page too. NickCT (talk) 18:56, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
I think that begs the question of what is the topic of the article? The evidence so far (see the bottom of the previous section) is that the title and lede have never matched. And we (the community) have been very slow to notice that.
But if we seek consensus for a split and get it, that then becomes a minor issue. Andrewa (talk) 21:38, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
That works well, if we have a consensus not to move. But do we?
If we have no consensus, then that's just asking for more disagreement, and is at best a last resort. Andrewa (talk) 21:27, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Expansion of Afghan_Girl#1984_photograph[edit]

There should be more on how the National Geographic impacted the public and what makes the picture iconic, to the point people were still curious after decades. walk victor falk talk 16:51, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Agree. The interest is still there, as this talk page itself shows! Andrewa (talk) 03:51, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Post RM[edit]

The article now needs considerable work to reflect its topic. I have started with the lede [8], but several of the section headings do not make sense under this title either. Andrewa (talk) 08:16, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

@Andrewa: - re "The evidence so far (see the bottom of the previous section) is that the title and lede have never matched." & "I have started with the lede" - I agree Andrewa, and I support the edits you've made. The lede and the title should have been synched a long time ago.
You know, one potentially simple solution to this entire dispute might just be for User:Obiwankenobi to start a new BLP for Sharbat Gula. If she is in fact notable, as Obi seems to feel, the article should survive deletion...... NickCT (talk) 12:50, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
Exactly. Or anyone else who thinks that she is notable in her own right could and should do this. And there seemed no shortage of such people just a little while ago, so it may be a bit unfair to single one out.
I am of two minds on this. Policy seems to me to oppose a split or a new article.
(A split or a new article almost amount to the same thing, except that the split route could involve a page move to associate the existing page history with the new name, while the new article route doesn't. Particularly from the readers' point of view, this is a relatively minor consideration, as I've said above. If we'd managed a consensus not to move above, the two routes as I've called them would then be virtually identical, but we didn't. It still doesn't matter much IMO.)
On the other hand, our practice (which also represents an implicit consensus) seems to support a split or new article.
The precedent raised by of the Raising the flag on Iwo Jima article, raised in the discussion above, is a very interesting one. It seems to me to be a case in which notability has been inherited (even to the point that it might be good to discuss it in that particular essay, or elsewhere). I would see no chance at all of the deletion of the articles on the six soldiers in the photograph. Three of them (Harlon Block, Franklin Sousley and Michael Strank) were killed within days of the photo being taken, and frankly had done nothing notable up until that time. The other three, Ira Hayes, John Bradley (United States Navy) and Ralph Ignatowski were similarly NN up until that point, and did nothing notable afterwards apart from spinoffs from the photo (they appeared playing themselves in the John Wayne film Sands of Iwo Jima for example), in fact they all had rather sad lives, similar to many vets. One had a notable son James Bradley (author), a living person who has authored or co-authored three books on related matters that sold well enough to warrant an article in his own right, and that's fair enough. On the other hand there's a seventh dubious article, on Ralph Ignatowski (also killed on Iwo Jima) whose main if not only claim to fame is that he was a buddy of one of the flag raisers who survived. So he has successfully inherited notability that was already inherited!
And we also have articles on some but not all of the raisers of the first flag and others involved in that, for example Harold G. Schrier possibly later became notable, Navy Cross for later actions, Henry Oliver Hansen probably not, killed soon afterwards.
But these guys are all American war heroes, they probably all have living close relatives, and as I said above, there's IMO no chance of deleting or merging their articles. And does it really hurt Wikipedia to keep them? A very little, perhaps, and perhaps not at all. Certainly far less than several similarly hopeless US-centricities I can point out and have in the past.
Point is mainly, there's a lot going on there...! Andrewa (talk) 17:54, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
I don't have time right now to deal with this, I need to pull some library books to get better cites on Sharbat on how she is covered in other RS after the event. Let's just leave the article as is for now pending a potential split, I will just correct some categorizations and apply them to the redirect in the meantime. As I mentioned above, due to the history, since day 1, of this article being ABOUT the subject, and the bulk of the article being ABOUT the subject, I think we should save the history and split off a new article on the photo. I'm assuming that those who !voted to not rename would find this acceptable, provided we had a new article devoted to photo and analysis of the impact of the photo.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 17:58, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
That sounds an excellent way forward to me. Andrewa (talk) 18:04, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
For example, the photo was analyzed in detail in Beautiful Suffering: Photography and the Traffic in Pain (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007. in an essay by Holly Edwards, but this isn't available online.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 18:13, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
Lots of edit conflicts, and you've modified your comment to which I had already replied. To clarify, I think we should continue to clean up and refocus the current article, but not removing any material that will hopefully go into the split. Of course it's all in the history. Where that history goes is IMO unimportant so long as it's clearly accessible somewhere. Andrewa (talk) 18:18, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
@Andrewa - re "may be a bit unfair to single one out" - Perhaps. I'll strive to be fairer.
re "Raising the flag on Iwo Jima" - You know, somehow I'd missed this line of reasoning in the RM discussion. It's an WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS argument, but a darn good one! Those Iwo Jima guys really ought not have articles.
Looking at this a little more extensively, it seems like there's a whole bunch of "other stuff", which might be potentially relevant here;
Florence Owens Thompson - Biography on subject of artwork w/ no article for artwork
Nguyen Van Lem - Biography on subject of artwork w/ no article for artwork
Lunch atop a Skyscraper - Article on artwork w/ no biography article(s) for subject(s)
Whistler's Mother - Article on artwork w/ seperate biography article(s) for subject(s)
V-J Day in Times Square - Article on artwork w/ no biography article(s) for subject(s)
Girl with a Pearl Earring - Article on artwork w/ no biography article(s) for subject(s)
Leonard Siffleet - Biography on subject of artwork w/ no article for artwork
Vulture Stalking a Child - Biography on artist w/ no article for artwork or subjects of artwork
The Kiss of Life - Biography on artist w/ no article for artwork or subjects of artwork
Fire Escape Collapse - Article on artwork w/ no article(s) for subject(s)
& as previously mentioned -
Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima - Article on artwork w/ separate biography article(s) for subject(s)
Glancing through this quickly, it does in fact seem that the "other" generally stuff supports the idea that this article ought to be called Sharbat Gula.
I find this quite interesting. There doesn't seem to be a standard, which I'd ascribe to a lack of policy in this area. Frankly, I feel that WP:BLP1E ought to be amended to explicitly include individuals known only in the context of a single piece of photography/artwork. Either that or there ought to be WP:Notability (subjects of artwork), which enunciates a policy. NickCT (talk) 21:51, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
I don't think we need a new policy - WP:GNG covers this quite well. In the case of Gula her name shows up in dozens of books analyzing many different aspects of western involvement in Afghanistan and she clearly passes GNG. Some of the other subjects don't - they were mentioned at the time the photo was taken but rarely spoken of again. In Gula's case a multi-year effort was put in place to identify her and a number of articles were written about her and her life after she was found thus passing GNG.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 22:51, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
Probably the quickest and easiest way to establish Gula's notability is to create a good stub article specifically on her, rather than on the photograph. I am not going to do this myself as I'm of two minds on it and so it would be arguably pointy, but if you're confident she satisfies the GNG that's no problem for you. If the move had gone ahead I'd have had no problems starting an article on the photograph, which even more clearly satisfies the GNG, but it was not to be. Andrewa (talk) 01:55, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
It's very interesting, and perhaps we're opening a can of worms! IMO this discussion has exceeded what's germane to this article, it should move to a more appropriate place... perhaps WT:Notability (people)? I notice that page has copious archives, a search of them is probably a good idea. WP:SOLDIER is also relevant to the Iwo Jima photo people, note that it's a WikiProject page but it is linked to from WP:Notability (people). Andrewa (talk) 01:55, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
@Andrewa: - re "opening a can of worms!" - Yeah. "Other stuff" arguments typically are cans of worms. Food for thought though. It would be nice if lengthy discussions like the ones we're having translated into policy discussions. Perhaps we can take a stab at policy after concluding here. NickCT (talk) 13:37, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
@NickCT: Agree. I'm not even sure we need to go any further here.
Our other stuff essays could also use some work IMO... WP:OSE is linked to from WP:OTHERSTUFF, but is significantly more upbeat, and I'm on its side. OSE arguments can be valid, and both essays do concede this. But as you say, frequently a can of worms, and not for the fainthearted, but also likely to have policy and/or guideline implications. Logically, it seem to me that an OSE argument if both valid and germane to the discussion will always be evidence that either (1) policy and/or guidelines need work, or (2) they are being disregarded elsewhere. In either case further action is indicated elsewhere. Both essays should make this point IMO, and provide pointers to exactly how it's best to initiate this further action. Andrewa (talk) 17:31, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
@Andrewa: - You are, as usual, most perceptive and correct. If you do start any policy discussions, please give me a shout and I'll participate! NickCT (talk) 02:00, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Another famous photo[edit]

In one of the previous discussions Phan Thi Kim Phuc was noted as an example of the subject of a famous and award-winning photo who has her own article, with the popular photo title Napalm Girl redirected to it. I don't think it's a parallel, as Phan Thi Kim Phuc has pursued a considerable public life since the photograph. Andrewa (talk) 17:34, 10 May 2014 (UTC)


The above while important IMO has strayed from the topic of this section, which was intended to discuss development of the article Afghan Girl following the closure of the latest RM above.

My understanding is that, currently, the topic of this article is the photograph. Historically, this was confused by the subject also being known as Afghan Girl, but she's now more commonly referred to by her name, hence the RM. The position is not as clear-cut as I'd like owing to the no consensus close, but that's where we are at now.

On that basis, there's quite a lot of work to do. Andrewa (talk) 02:08, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

I propose starting a stub article to focus on the photograph, remove most details of the photograph from this article, and then start a new move request to move to Sharbat Gula - the purpose being to keep the bulk of the relevant history here. The article on the photograph should be written from scratch with the photo as the core topic, not the person as this one is written.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 02:13, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
I think it's too late for that now. We've explored that possibility in the RM, at some depth. There was not sufficient support to justify moving the article, and I think you need to accept that, and move on.
On the other hand, if you're confident that a split is justified, there's nothing to stop you creating say Afghan Girl (photograph) and developing an article on the photograph there. It's an acceptable way to go forward, just not the best way IMO. We'd then need another RM to shift the article on Sharbat Gula to her name, and we'd probably then redirect Afghan Girl to the article on the photograph, and then have another RM to move the article on the photograph back to Afghan Girl undisambiguated. That seems a pointlessly roundabout procedure to me.
Or if you do go down this path, Afghan Girl (photo) seems to have been an earlier name for it. Andrewa (talk) 07:22, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
Split the article by all means, but my advice is, create the new article at Sharbat Gula. That makes far less work for everyone, and better matches the RM result above. Andrewa (talk) 05:37, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
Starting a new photograph article is highly inappropriate in light of the requested move. If you want to start a new article on the woman/girl, then go ahead. -- (talk) 05:49, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
Agree. Andrewa (talk) 17:58, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

The above discussion does seem to be finally addressing the issue. It seems to me that we have a rough consensus that the topic of the current article is the photograph. Perhaps surprisingly, its lede has never before reflected this as far as I can tell, but does now. [9] There have been several attempts over the years to move it to a title that would indicate that it's a biography rather than an article on the photo, and these have all failed.

And they have failed despite the proponents seeming largely or even completely unaware that one consequence of such a move would be that we can't use the photograph itself in such an article, see #Use of the photograph in the biography article. Once this point is grasped, I'm skeptical that a move proposal will have any support whatsoever.

Are we now agreed to continue to develop the article taking its topic to be the photograph?

In the hope that we are, I've now performed a far-from-perfect refactor. [10] It's a start. Andrewa (talk) 18:11, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

  • disagreed there was no consensus, meaning no decision was arrived at. That said, there seems to be agreement to split. If you take the time to read the article, the bulk of the article is about the girl, the woman, the search for her, etc - all of that is about her. The inability to include her photo in the article is a technical issue and should not discourage us. Most importantly since the bulk of the material in the article now belongs in an article about the woman, we should start a new article on the photo and preserve the history for the bio -again pointing out that the lede has indicated this is a bio since day 1. I'm not sure why anyone would want to link the history of this article with an article about the photo which would look and read completely differently - indeed the 'search' for the woman is much more a story about her than about the original photo itself, and of course all of the follow up was about her. We need to find new sources that discuss the meaning of this photo and use that to draft a new article, I will take a crack at this next week. Let's leave it be in the meantime I don't see value in converting this towards a photo article and then undoing that to convert it back to a bio, as it's been for about 6 years.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 18:12, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

Some detailed replies[edit]

there was no consensus, meaning no decision was arrived at - wrong. The decision was not to move.

That said, there seems to be agreement to split. Disagree. There is no consensus on that as of yet, and little interest even in discussing it so far. I'll open a new section on that below.

Done, see #Proposed split. Andrewa (talk) 19:49, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

If you take the time to read the article - a personal attack. Please do not do this.

the bulk of the article is about the girl, the woman - Disagree.

the search for her, etc - all of that is about her - yes, but equally about the photo.

The inability to include her photo in the article is a technical issue and should not discourage us. Disagree.

Most importantly since the bulk of the material in the article now belongs in an article about the woman, we should start a new article on the photo and preserve the history for the bio -again pointing out that the lede has indicated this is a bio since day 1. It's not IMO important where the history ends up so long as it is clearly linked to and preserved.

I'm not sure why anyone would want to link the history of this article with an article about the photo which would look and read completely differently - As I've said repeatedly, because it saves a lot of work.

indeed the 'search' for the woman is much more a story about her than about the original photo itself, and of course all of the follow up was about her. I think the search does belong in the article on the photo.

We need to find new sources that discuss the meaning of this photo and use that to draft a new article, I will take a crack at this next week. Good.

Let's leave it be in the meantime I don't see value in converting this towards a photo article and then undoing that to convert it back to a bio, as it's been for about 6 years. And I don't see the point in waiting. It's all in the history. If there's consensus to revert, then we'll do that. Meantime, at least the lede, title and article structure will be in step.

Suggest you might develop this new article on the photo in your own userspace, and then see whether there's support for moving it to the article namespace as part of a multi-move. You'll need to use dummy images for the fair-use images, perhaps the paintings on commons. If the new article is well written I would not oppose that. It just seems pointless to me. Far better to develop the existing article, using your new material. Andrewa (talk) 19:39, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

Andrew if you don't care where the history ends up after a split, but I do, why oppose me? There's absolutely no difference in the amount of work required.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 23:49, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
Because I disagree about there being absolutely no difference in the amount of work required. Andrewa (talk) 02:01, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Use of the photograph in the biography article[edit]

I just stumbled upon an excellent point I'd missed... in the history of Sharbat Gula there's a move from that name back to Afghan Girl as follows: 03:30, 16 March 2009‎ Damiens.rf (talk | contribs | block)‎ . . (33 bytes) (+33)‎ . . (moved Sharbat Gula to Afghan Girl (photo) over redirect: if this was to be a bio, we wouldn't be allowed to use this picture in the infobox). I reproduce it here because there's a chance that the next move my overwrite this history. It's the edit summary that is important.

The point is of course that File:Sharbat Gula.jpg is an unfree image and can only be used in this article because of the fair use rationale, which specifically relates to an article on the photograph itself. It can't be, and never should have been, used in an article on Sharbat Gula herself.

We don't seem to have a free photograph, but there is what appears to be a painting of her based on the photograph at File:ART-HABBACH " FACE TO FACE".jpg in commons, one of two such artworks there. Andrewa (talk) 06:09, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

Doesn't that fail derivative work? (ie. should it even be on commons?) -- (talk) 06:15, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
I wouldn't have put it there... but that's a question for the Commons community. If it's there we can use it. And my opinion isn't the last word, I may be wrong about the artist's source.
But I'm not sure we should use it anyway. I find it unattractive, and I think its use would violate the spirit at least of WP:BLP.
Problem is, without any images the article on Sharbat Gula herself is going to be just plain boring. This may be an unusual but IMO valid argument against the split. Our bottom line, remember, is the reader experience. Andrewa (talk) 06:28, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

Post refactor[edit]

As indicated above, I have refactored the article to reflect its topic as the photo rather than its subject. [11]

This may well be the first time in its long history that the article title, lede and structure are all in step.

There is still much to do. It's not terribly tidy, and there's still the unresolved question of whether the personal details should be split out to a biographical article. Andrewa (talk) 18:23, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

Proposed split[edit]

It's stated above that there is consensus to split the article into two, one on the photo and the other a bio of the subject. [12] I disagree that there's consensus as yet on this, in fact I see little interest in even discussing the proposal. But it should be discussed, obviously.

I have added a split template to the article. [13] Andrewa (talk) 19:57, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

  • split obviously. The photo is notable, but the woman is as well and clearly passes GNG. BLP1E doesn't apply since there were several events - the taking of the photo and her discovery many years later, and has been the subject of coverage in multiple RS. Since the many years of history of this article it has been a biography, that history should be preserved and linked to the bio article, and relevant contents about the photo should be split off to a new article that would then be moved to this title (Afghan Girl).--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 21:43, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
    • By the subject of coverage in multiple RS do you mean that she's mentioned in articles whose topic is the photo or the photographer? That is borderline notability at best. You have now had the time you requested to find sources that justify an article on the subject. Where are they? At the risk of arguing from silence, see my vote below. Andrewa (talk) 01:32, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Neutral - As I stated above. I think the right move for the "splitters" would simply be to create a new article. I don't see much tangible difference between a "split" and a "new article". The image of the photo should remain on this page. NickCT (talk) 01:58, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
Just to clarify... by this page I assume you mean the page currently at Afghan Girl, and if the image of the photo is to stay, that means that the topic of the page will be the photo, not the person, after any split? Andrewa (talk) 02:05, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes. The topic of the Afghan Girl article should be the photograph "Afghan Girl". NickCT (talk) 13:47, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Yes, for a pure bio, there is enough coverage to pass the GNG, but not enough for it to exceed a stub, and here is a better place for all of the content. BLP1E applies, as all stories are directly dependent on being the subject in the photograph. Also applying is the BLP guidance on private individuals, which also means that the bio article would remain stub level. A proper biography covers all aspects of a person, and this would not be appropriate. Further, what content there would be in a stubby bio remains appropriate in this article, and so a split would amount to a content fork. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 02:30, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Split since some editors seem to want to make this article into a biography, which it should not be, and not a photograph article. So, having a separate biography article will solve that editing headache. If it isn't split, I think the amount of biographic information in this article should be much reduced, since it isn't a biography article, and should not be one. -- (talk) 04:55, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose split. A split would do no great harm, and if we had a strong consensus to split I'd happily go along with it, but we don't, to the point that I believe that the articles would just be merged again in time. There just isn't enough material for a biographical article available from reliable secondary sources (which also brings up the matter of her notability, of course... an AfD of the biography would most likely result in a merge and redirect). Not one of the references or external links currently [14] in the article is about Sharbat Gula (well, one is busted so I guess it might have been). Some appear to be by their titles, for example the Washington Post article National Geographic:Afghan Girl, A Life Revealed [15]], but the headline is misleading. There are five paragraphs, only one of them on Sharbat Gula. On the other hand, two of them are background on Steve Curry. The overall topic of the Washington Post article is the photograph. There's still work to do on this article, but the current arrangement, with a section in the photo covering what little material is available on the subject, is the right way to go. Andrewa (talk) 01:40, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Support since the scope of the article currently does not match the title - e.g. the section on early life. Neljack (talk) 06:51, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Split: There is currently a lot of controversy surrounding this photograph, namely that Sharbat Gula wasn't named for 17 years. I think that we either need to change the title of this Wikipedia entry to her name Sharbat Gula or split this article into two: one about the "Afghan Girl" photo and the second about Sharbat Gula herself. Wikipedia isn't just an informational space, it is inherently socio-political since it is considered a legitimate reference of information/knowledge. We need to support the history of women and the history of countries in the Global South (especially where these two intersect) in order to alleviate the severe marginalization of these histories. In addition, the photograph "Afgahn Girl" and Sharbat Gula are not interchangeable, though she may be the referent of the photograph. Sharbat Gula is a human being with a history outside of this photograph and thus should be considered for her own article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:CF3C:A460:2D2B:E74D:2365:C156 (talk) 18:29, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Split There is enough material and notability for her to have a standalone article. It will also help the categorization of the article with biographical categories. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 16:09, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. No notability w/o the photo. The story is one. Verne Equinox (talk) 20:09, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm going to remove the tag since there seems to be no consensus for splitting. Sam Walton (talk) 13:25, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Awkward wording.[edit]

"However, there were a number of women who came forward and identified themselves erroneously as the famous Afghan Girl. In addition, after being shown the 1984 photo, a handful of young men falsely claimed Gula as their wife."

How sure are we that all the women were just "erroneous" and all of the men were being deliberately "false"? In lieu of some evidence can we synchronize these terms? I'm going to be bold. (talk) 06:18, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Watch the NatGeo special where they chase down the false leads. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 16:11, 17 August 2014 (UTC)


hi may be this news helpful to expanding this article — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:54, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Which is surname?[edit]

Her name is "Sharbat Gula". I'd always understood Gula to be her given name, and Sharbat to be the family name.

If that's the case, the reference to "Gula" throughout should be "Sharbat" per WP:SURNAME.

It's also possible that I simply have no understanding of Afghan names, of course. TJRC (talk) 01:40, 27 February 2015 (UTC)


At one point in the article, it says she had three daughters and a fourth died as a baby. Then, shortly after, it says she lives with her sons. So does she have daughters or sons or both? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:55, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

See this edit. Could probably use a better source; I don't recognize this one. TJRC (talk) 18:11, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

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