Tags: afghan girls | robotics team | european | competition

Afghan Girls Robotics Team Wins European Competition

Image: Afghan Girls Robotics Team Wins European Competition

Team Afghanistan participates in the opening ceremony for the FIRST Global Challenge in Washington in July. (Cliff Owen/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 30 Nov 2017 08:20 AM

The Afghan girls' robotics team won the top award at a European competition after the squad has seen its share of setbacks this year, including being briefly denied to enter the United States.

The teenagers, who come from Herat, Afghanistan, won the Entrepreneurial Challenge at the Robotex Festival in Tallinn, Estonia, which ran from Nov. 24-26, The New York Times reported.

Three of squad's 12 members took part in the event where they had to showcase a prototype that could solve a real-world problem, and that customers would want to buy. The team won with a robot that could use solar energy to support small-scale farmers in their fields, the Times said.

The team's participation and win was a shining point for the team this year after overcoming diplomatic bureaucracy, the Times noted. Six of the team members, ranging in age from 14 to 17, were denied visas to take part in the First Global Challenge robotics competition in Washington in July.

The team was eventually given visas for the U.S. competition after the Department of Homeland Security approval at the request of the State Department, The Washington Post reported, noting that the initial denial drew fire from human rights organizations.

"We are extremely proud of the wonderful accomplishments of the Afghan All-Girl Robotics Team," said Afghanistan's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Said T. Jawad, per the Times.

"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," Jawad said.

The girls were honored by the Afghan embassies in London and Washington, D.C. on Twitter.

Roya Mahboob, an Afghan technology entrepreneur and the chief executive of Digital Citizen Fund that sponsored the Afghan team, also congratulated the team on social media.

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The Afghan girls' robotics team won the top award at a European competition after the squad has seen its share of setbacks this year, including being briefly denied to enter the United States.
afghan girls, robotics team, european, competition
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2017-20-30
Thursday, 30 Nov 2017 08:20 AM
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