The Latest: Afghan girls robotics team arrives in Kabul
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Latest on developments with the Afghan girls robotic team (all times local):
3:30 p .m.
The six members of Afghanistan’s all-girls robotics team have arrived at the Kabul airport from their home in Herat in western Afghanistan.
All six girls packed into a small taxicab to head to the U.S. Embassy with their passports in hand to get their documentation for entry into the United States.
Their manager, Alireza Mehraban, piled their luggage and himself into a second taxicab.
At the airport, workers and passengers wondered at the media attention the girls were receiving, unaware of their identities.
Fifteen-year-old Lida Azizi, one of the team members, was excited at the prospect of traveling to the competition.
“I am very happy. This is such an important trip for us,” she said.
The third time’s the charm for war-torn Afghanistan’s all girls team who have been applying for entry into the U.S. to participate in an international robotics competition in Washington.
The girls will receive “parole” status allowing them into the country after being told President Donald Trump personally intervened to reverse a decision by the U.S. State Department to deny them visas, says team manager Alireza Mehraban.
Mehraban says: “It’s a happy moment for our team.”
The girls will now be able to participate in next week’s international competition along with entrants from 157 countries, which also includes Syrian refugees.
Mehraban added that “it’s important for Afghan women to be able to share their ideas.”
A group of girls from Afghanistan are finally getting their wish of coming to the United States for a robotics competition.
The girls’ applications for U.S. visas had been denied twice, but the White House says President Donald Trump intervened and they will be allowed to enter U.S. and participate in the competition under a so-called parole status.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed details of the reversal on Wednesday, ending a saga that had sparked international backlash. The decision by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services means the six girls from the war-torn country will be allowed in, along with their chaperone, so they can participate in the competition.