An all-girl Afghan robotics team arrived at Kabul airport on Thursday to receive their U.S. visas and head to the 'FIRST Global Challenge' robotics competition in Washington, D.C. after having been twice denied entry to the United States. Jillian Kitchener reports.
Third time's a charm -- finally, after being denied visas twice, the Afghan girls robotics team is off to the United States to compete against the best in the world. The Department of Homeland Security approved a request from the State Department to permit their travel to Washington, DC. Next week, they will take part in an international robotics competition called FIRST Global Challenge. And 15-year-old Lida Azizi says they're all very excited. (SOUNDBITE) (Dari) 15- YEAR-OLD MEMBER OF AFGHAN ALL FEMALE ROBOTICS TEAM, LIDA AZIZI, SAYING: "Afghanistan is a war torn country which is difficult for women to improve, but now this is a big chance for us to take part in this competition and also it's really good for our country too." Critics had argued that U.S. agencies were denying the girls an opportunity by not allowing them to compete in the U.S. against more than 160 countries. The earlier decision had also drawn criticism of U.S. President Donald Trump, who opponents say is seeking to ban Muslims from entering the country... even though Afghanistan is not currently on his temporary travel ban list. But now the girls are on their way...ready to show the world what they can do.