Afghan girls robotics team arrives in Kabul

The team of six will be showcasing robots they've created at the inaugural FIRST Global Challenge, a three-day competition at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., featuring robotics teams from around world.

Afghanistan's all-girl robotics team has arrived in the US for a competition after President Donald Trump personally intervened to allow them into the country. But Mohib said that based on discussions with USA officials, it appears the girls were rebuffed due to concerns they would not return to Afghanistan.

Trump intervened to find a way to permit the girls entry, the AP reports.

The U.S. State Department had told the Associated Press that it would not comment on why the girls' visas had been denied but that "all visa applications are adjudicated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with U.S. law".

However, it soon came to light that the six were denied a visa to enter the U.S., despite working tirelessly to do so.

In the short time since their visa dilemma drew global attention, the girls' case has become a flashpoint in the debate about Trump's efforts to tighten entrance to the US, including from many majority-Muslim countries.

Roodaba Noori, a member of the team, said they got extremely sad when their visa application was rejected earlier this month.

There isn't an explanation as to why the team was initially rebuffed, but they are now bound for the event thanks to the DHS allowing them to have "parole" status, which means they can enter the United States precisely because of the public benefit their mere presence would garner for the nation, via the report.

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"Seventeen years ago, this would not have been possible at all", Mohib told reporters. When their visas were refused, they planned to compete via Skype.

"It's important for Afghan women to be able to share their ideas", said Mehraban.

The six girls from Herat, Afghanistan, were reportedly blocked from attending the robotics competition even after two rounds of interviews for a one-week visa.

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

According to the American media report, the USA has finally given visa to young girls of Afghanistan to participate in a contest that creates robots.

The U.S. won't say why the girls were rejected for visas, citing confidentiality.

The president of FIRST Global, which organized the robotics competition, is former Democratic congressman and retired U.S. Navy Admiral Joe Sestak. "Go girls!", tweeted U.S State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

  • Adam Floyd