Afghan girls robotics team competes after visa obstacles

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Afghan girls robotics team competes after visa obstacles
Afghan girls robotics team competes after visa obstacles

WASHINGTON (AP) – A robotics team of six girls from Afghanistan is taking part in an international competition in Washington, after clearing visa obstacles that prompted intervention from President Donald Trump.

The team’s ball-sorting robot played in its first game on Monday morning.

The team is competing against teams from more than 150 countries in the FIRST Global Challenge. It’s a robotics competition designed to encourage youths to pursue careers in math and science.

Like other robots in the competition, the girls’ robot can recognize blue and orange and sort balls into correct locations.

The team was twice rejected for U.S. visas. They arrived in Washington from their hometown of Herat, Afghanistan, early Saturday after Trump’s last-minute intervention to sidestep the visa system.

Afghanistan team member Somaya Faryuqi, right, has the flag of Afghanistan drawn on her cheek prior to the opening ceremony for the FIRST Global Challenge 2017, in Washington, Sunday, July 16, 2017. They will be competing against entrants from more than 150 countries in the FIRST Global Challenge. It’s the first annual robotics competition designed to encourage youths to pursue careers in math and science.
(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Afghanistan team member Kwasar Rashan holds the Afghan flag while waiting for the opening ceremony march of the FIRST Global Challenge 2017, in Washington, Sunday, July 16, 2017. Twice rejected for U.S. visas, the all-girls robotics team from Afghanistan arrived in Washington early Saturday after an extraordinary, last-minute intervention by President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Afghanistan team member Lisa Azizi troubleshoots the team’s robot entry prior to the opening ceremony for the FIRST Global Challenge in Washington, Sunday, July 16, 2017. They will be competing against entrants from more than 150 countries in the international competition. It’s the first annual robotics competition designed to encourage youths to pursue careers in math and science. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Afghanistan team member Kwasar Rashan, center, walks with her teammates to line-up for the opening ceremony march of the FIRST Global Challenge 2017, in Washington, Sunday, July 16, 2017. Twice rejected for U.S. visas, the all-girls robotics team from Afghanistan arrived in Washington early Saturday after an extraordinary, last-minute intervention by President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Afghanistan team member Lisa Azizi trouble shoots the teams robot entry prior to the opening ceremony for the FIRST Global Challenge 2017, in Washington, Sunday, July 16, 2017. They will be competing against entrants from more than 150 countries in the FIRST Global Challenge. It’s the first annual robotics competition designed to encourage youths to pursue careers in math and science. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Africa team members Salma Ouafik, left, Raja Godri, center, and Aya Tarist, right, wait for the opening ceremony for the FIRST Global Challenge 2017, in Washington, Sunday, July 16, 2017. They will be competing against entrants from more than 150 countries in the FIRST Global Challenge. It’s the first annual robotics competition designed to encourage youths to pursue careers in math and science. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
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