The Unknown Afghan Mona Lisa

Do you see her as scared or fierce?
Is she bewildered or ambivalent?
Can you tell if she is confident about her beauty?
Or do you get a different feeling every time you
Gaze upon this modern Mona Lisa?
Almost twenty years later,
This Afghan refugee has weathered and aged,
Yet still retains haunting green eyes of
Penetrating intensity….
She does not know her real age.
She cannot read or write.
Since this photograph was taken,
She has mothered three girls, suffered
Loss of a child and parents, endured poverty.
Though famous, she has not lived a happy life.
She did not know her photograph
Was one of the most celebrated in the world.
She is now married to a Pashtun baker,
Spends her life wearing a burqa.
If you passed her on the street,
You would never know her…
Unless, perhaps you caught
Glimpse of her fearsome green eyes.


One thought on “The Unknown Afghan Mona Lisa

  1. I remember seeing her in National Geographic.
    I thought she was startlingly beautiful.
    I look now, and she seems a tad masculine in her facial shape, almost demonic.

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