Afghan All-Girl Squad Wins In Biggest Robotics Fest In Europe
Remember the Afghan all-girls robotics team which was initially denied entry to the US? Well, there’s no stopping the girls now. Last weekend, the squad earned the Entrepreneur Award at the Robotex festival in Tallinn, Estonia, the biggest robotics festival in Europe.
Following the news, the Afghan Embassy in London congratulated the six teenage girls on Twitter:
Congratulations to our Afghan Girls Robotics Team for winning the entrepreneur challenge in the biggest Robotics Festival in Europe in Estonia. #ProudAfghans #Robotex17 #AfgDigital pic.twitter.com/nIM6GudIul
— AfghanEmbassyLondon (@Afghan_Emb_LON) November 26, 2017
The girls hail from Herat, the third-largest city in Afghanistan.
In July this year, the team won a silver medal for “courageous achievement” at the First Global Challenge in Washington DC, Al Jazeera reported. They overcame hardships in a war-torn country, gender stereotypes, lack of resources and US bureaucracy on their way to the contest.
The six girls from Afghanistan guided their robot, through remote control, to sort blue and orange balls, down a patch of turf inside the competition hall in Washington
They broke all stereotypes by challenging teenagers from 150 other countries. But it wasn’t an easy route to conquer. Earlier this year, the squad was denied visas twice by the US State Department. But at the last minute, they were able to enter the country with intervention from the government.
According to Refinery29, New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who helped persuade the State Department to let the team enter the US before President Trump intervened, said, “It was very inspirational to meet them.”
“I was particularly interested because we tried to help in our office to work with the State Department on getting them visas. I sit in both the Armed Services Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee. And so I have followed very closely, as have so many in America, the end of the Taliban rule and Afghanistan opening up its society, getting girls in school.”
“We were not a terrorist group to go to America and scare people,” Fatema Ghaderyan, 14, told AFP. “We just wanted to show the power and skills of Afghan girls to Americans.”
Jean Shaheen added, “To think they overcame all these obstacles, they finished with a silver medal for courage for what they did. They all had their medals on and they showed them very proudly. That’s a wonderful example for people around the world of what can be accomplished with commitment and support when you have the determination to do it.”
Remember the Afghan Girl's robotics team that was initially denied entry to the US? They just won the biggest robotics festival in Europe pic.twitter.com/fKbLRaFHH0
— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) November 27, 2017
You girls are truly inspirational. Keep the swag on!
Feature Image Credit: The Express Tribune
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