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|WASHINGTON Women's Tyrunn Walker Jersey , July 20 (Xinhua) -- A team of six Afghan girls has won limelight in an international robotic competition held there for their "courageous achievement" after a bumpy U.S. journey that almost crushed their dreams.
They were in Washington D.C. this week for the First Global Challenge event, a robotic contest that encourages youth to pursue careers in science.
The three-day event, which kicked off over the weekend, attracted teenagers from over 150 countries, competing at DAR Constitution Hall for medals of a variety of categories.
The Afghan girls won a silver medal Tuesday for what judges praised the group's "can-do attitude" as they overcame war, hardship and U.S. bureaucracy on their way to the contest.
The six girls came from Herat Province Women's Kayvon Webster Jersey , Afghanistan. In order to get a permission to attend the event to be held abroad, they twice traveled about 800 kilometers from their hometown across dangerous territories to the U.S. embassy in the capital Kabul, only to have their visa rejected.
"When I heard the embassy's decision, I got very disappointed and I could not believe it," 14-year-old team leader Fatemah Qaderyan told Xinhua.
"I worked very hard to learn about robotics and how to build them," said Qaderyan Women's Nickell Robey-Coleman Jersey , who cried after learning the team's visa was turned down.
The second time didn't work either, though the girls convinced their worried parents into allowing them to travel again to Kabul in the aftermath of a truck bombing in May that killed over 150 people.
The U.S. authorities didn't disclose reasons for rejection, but Afghan Ambassador to the United States Hamdullah Mohib reportedly said the decisions were based on concerns that those girls, aged between 14 to 16 years old, would not return to their country after the contest.
Afghanistan is not subject to a temporary ban imposed on six Muslim-majority countries under the order of U.S. President Donald Trump. But teams from countries on that list, including Syria and Iran Women's Andrew Whitworth Jersey , were granted visas to travel to the U.S. capital to compete.
Roya Mahboo, the Afghan's team sponsor, said the war-torn Afghanistan does not have a lot of resources for children to learn robots, and others should not to be so strict with those teenagers who only wanted to show their talent and skills.
Eventually, a worldwide outcry promoted Trump and other officials to have their visas approved after two frustrating rejections and the girls arrived in D.C. midnight Saturday, only one day prior to the robot competition's opening.
In the competition Women's Connor Barwin Jersey , each team, provided with kits that included wheels, gears and video controllers, maneuver a robot to collect and sort orange and blue based on their colors.
The top honors went to the Team Europe for the most cumulative scoring throughout the contest, followed by the Polish and the Armenian teams.
Though the Afghan girls, selected from 150 teenager applicants based on math and science exams scoring Women's Jamon Brown Jersey , did not make to the top ranks overall, they agreed their performance was better than what they had hoped for, given the limited robot-related resources accessible to their start-from-scratch training.
"We don't have robotic people. We do not have knowledge of this field, but we try hard," Mahboo said.
Besides, those girls only had two weeks to build a robot due to logistic problems Women's Rob Havenstein Jersey , while others teams had up to four months to make their own.
"I want to show the world that the girls have the ability," Qaderyan said. "They can make it if you give them an opportunity."
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