Waving the national flag, the all-girl team was given a resounding welcome as they made their appearance at the inauguration ceremony of the competition
Robotics Team Introduced First At Opening Ceremony
Afghanistan’s robotics team on Monday stood shoulder-to-shoulder with teams from 163 countries at the inauguration ceremony of the FIRST Global international robotics competition in Washington DC.
Waving the national flag, the girls received a loud ovation from the crowd at the opening ceremony on Sunday.
The teams were introduced alphabetically, which meant the Afghan team – which are all girls - were the first of 163 countries to enter.
The three-day international robotics competition in Washington DC aims to promote science and technology among youths worldwide.
Members of the Afghan robotics team said they hope to do well in the competition.
“We hope that our robot works as we have designed to get a position in this competition,” said Lida Azizi, a member of the robotics team.
“We have worked hard and we wanted to see our robot working and we were not disappointed. Our families believed in us and helped us a lot and we managed to get here and to one day be our country’s future engineers,” said Fatima Qaderiyan, another member of the team.
The girls, from Herat, are between the ages of 15 and 18. Initially their visa applications for the U.S were rejected and only after President Donald Trump reportedly intervened was the decision overturned.
The announcement however came at the last minute which meant the girls immediately flew to Kabul to get visas. With little time to spare the girls landed in Washington DC on Saturday, just in time for the opening ceremony on Sunday.
“I am happy that we got the chance to attend this competition to show Afghan women’s abilities and to show that women can also build robots,” said Kawsar Roshan, another member of the team.