Three days ago, IFLScience reported on a brilliant all-girl robotics team from Afghanistan that was begging to escape their home country and move to Canada, as they faced an uncertain future under the new control of the Taliban government. Now, reports are emerging that exactly half of the team have successfully fled the country and arrived in Qatar, with hopes of a brighter future and the ability to continue inventing.
"Several members of the girls Afghan robotics team have safely arrived in Doha, Qatar, from Kabul, Afghanistan," said the Digital Citizen Fund (DCF) and Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement, reported by Today.
Comprised of 20 girls aged 18 and under, the team was highly acclaimed for creating a low-cost ventilator out of old car parts to help with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In 2017, the team was briefly banned from entering the USA, but went on to win silver for courageous achievement at the FIRST Global Challenge in Washington, DC.
Following the Taliban takeover, the girls feared for their future and safety in STEM fields. Despite the new government claiming women will be allowed to work and be educated up to university level, many are concerned about the rights of women working in the country, including leading human rights lawyer Kimberley Motley who is fighting for the right of the robotics team to leave the country.
The remaining members are still in Afghanistan, with Qatar and the DCF reportedly arranging the transport out of the country for them soon.