President Trump’s travel ban has been controversial, to say the least. The ban faced additionally negative publicity after six Afghan teen girls were barred from entering the U.S. for an international robotics competition set to take place in Washington July 16-18. After much deliberation between government officials, the U.S. reversed their initial decision and granted the girls visas.
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The girls, who invented a robot that can sort through vibrant color balls and put them in their correct place, were understandably ecstatic over the decision.
One of the girls, Rodaba Noori, 15, told the Guardian: “We are so happy I can’t find words for it … We will stay in the United States for about seven days. We will compare the cultures between the US and Afghanistan, and go sightseeing and talk to the people.”
Initially, the teens thought there was a possibility that they wouldn’t be allowed into the country and stated they would watch their robot, which had already been admitted into the U.S., over Skype, according to NPR.
The teens would have been crushed to miss seeing their invention in action, especially as they come from a country that discourages women from taking part in science and math activities.
The manager of the teens, Alireza Mehraban, explained that the girls, who go to three different high schools in Afghanistan, worked extremely hard on their robot, sometimes working six days a week and at all hours of the day.
Mehraban told the Washington Post this monumental occasion will be an important milestone for Afgan women. “It’s a happy moment for our team,” Mehraban said. “We are going from a war-torn country and the purpose is to show the capability of Afghan women. It’s an important step for Afghan women.”
The American government was reportedly concerned that the girls might attempt to stay in the country after their competition and join others who remain to this country illegally.
Ivanka Trump, an outspoken advocate for women’s rights, took to Twitter to welcome the teens to America.
Kawsar Roshan, the team leader of the group, told the AP she worked over the fasting month of Ramadan as this was her dream.“Since I was a child, I wanted to show that girls can do anything, also outside the home.” It would appear this is their chance to do just that.