A group of six teenage Afghan daughters with a ardour for science trekked 500 miles from their home of Herat to the violence plagued capital city of Kabul all with the hope of competing in the U.S. But they won’t be coming to the country any time soon.
The daughters had hoped to obtain a one-week travelling visa to the U.S. to take their robot to the FIRST Global Challenge, an international robotics tournament happening in Washington , D.C ., later this month. Despite their efforts, their visa request was repudiated, Forbes reported.
Roya Mahboob, Afghanistan’s first female tech CEO, helped introduce the six daughters to robotics. And the teens’ passion for vying became readily apparent when they induced the 500 mile trek — twice — to the American embassy in Kabul. It’s a splendid feat in and of itself, as they risked fatality in a city that only last month read more than 150 killed in a truck bombing.
When they got news their visas would be denied, the girls were” crying all the day ,” Mahboob told Forbes.
As Forbes points out, getting a visa to traveling from Afghanistan to the U.S. isn’t easy. State Department records prove the two countries dedicated out less than 100 business travel visas to traveling Afghans in April.
The denial of the girls’ visas arrives as President Donald Trump continues his crack down on traveling from other Muslim-majority countries to the United States. Starting last Thursday, Trump again enforced his ban days after the Supreme Court partially reinstated the ban on travel and immigration by citizens of six majority-Muslim countries: Libya, Somalia, Iran, Yemen, Sudan, and Syria.
The robot the teens made will still get to compete in D.C ., with the girls watching on a video conference from Herat.