Afghan Girls’ Robotics Team, Denied Entry to US, Wins Top European Competition

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An “all girls” Afghani robotics team, who were denied entry into the USA over the summer, were victorious in a major European Robotics competition – Robotex.

The challenge was to solve real world problems that would have practical applications for potential customers. Called the Robotex festival, the event was held in Estonia.

A quarter of the 12 strong team were from Herat, the third largest city in Afghanistan, won with a prototype robot, which harnessed the energy of the sun to support farmers in managing their land.

“We are extremely proud of the wonderful accomplishments of the Afghan All-Girl Robotics Team,” Afghanistan’s ambassador to the UK, Said T Jawad, said in a statement.

They are an excellent example for people around the world of what can be accomplished by young Afghans if given the right support and the opportunity to excel in their education.”

This was a resounding victory considering that six members of the team were not allowed entry to participate in a Washington based competition. It was unclear as to the reason behind the denial, but the decision was eventually reversed through a parole process, which allows visitors on humanitarian grounds or because of the public benefit, and they went on to win a silver medal in the competition.

Robotics News, December 3