Afghan all-girl robotics team gains entry to the United States

Donald Trump intervenes personally, clears visa for Afghan girls heading for robotics event in US

"We worked hard and spent a lot of time", said Qaderian, who flew back and forth with her teammates from their hometown in western Afghanistan to apply at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Afghanistan isn't one of the six countries targeted by President Trump's travel ban.

When news began to spread of their visa denial, a number of groups openly criticised the U.S. government, with similar events around the world offering to host the girls at their competitions.

"After hearing about the girls' case, Trump asked officials at the National Security Council to assist in the matter, and they, in turn, consulted the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security", explains CNN. The girls will be granted one-time entry to the country.

After much public outcry, the U.S. government has relented and given a team of Afghan girl robotic engineers the visas to enter a competition.

"It's not as if he heard the story of these Afghan girls and said to himself, Huh, maybe I was wrong about needing a 'total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,'" Bosch continues.

The team will be presenting a ball-sorting robot which can distinguish between blue and orange balls and organize them in designated locations.

Mehraban said the girls were selected from among 150 aspiring engineers in Herat, a sprawling province that borders Iran and has been among the more stable parts of Afghanistan in the 16 years since the USA -led military invasion.

"Female students and faculty members, facing extra frustrations at home, are no exception".

"Seventeen years ago, this would not have been possible at all", said Afghan Ambassador Hamdullah Mohib. Of the 12, he said, '11 of them escaped'.

The three-day robotics competition begins Sunday in Washington.

The ordeal has a happy ending but still meant an arduous, emotional journey for the team.

"We just wanted to show the power and skills of Afghan girls to Americans".

"We continued working on our robots to show that Afghan girls are capable of doing big things", Mehraban said.

The worldwide competition, which runs July 16 to 18, is staged annually by the nonprofit First Global.

The reason seems to be President Donald Trump, as reported by CNN, has intervened on their behalf to ensure they make the global robotics event that welcomes teams from over 150 countries.

Earlier this month, a team of girls from Afghanistan were getting ready to go to the First Global Challenge robotics competition in the United States and, in the process, making history for girls and women in the war-torn country. "I truly believe our greatest power is the power to convene nations, to bring people together in the pursuit of a common goal and prove that our similarities greatly outweigh our differences", Joe Sestak, the president of First Global, was quoted as saying by AP. "Go girls!", tweeted State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

Fifteen year-old Lida Azizi, one of the team members, was excited at the prospect of getting her visa.



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