Business Insider – Several members of Afghanistan’s female robotics team have been safely rescued from the countryEstimated Reading Time: just 2 min

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Four Afghan members of a robotics team make repairs on a robot.
Members of the Afghanistan team make a repair to their robot after their first round competing in the FIRST Global Robotics Challenge, Monday, July 17, 2017, in Washington.

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

  • Members of a female robotics team in Afghanistan have been safely evacuated to Qatar.
  • A board member for the team’s parent organization said they are fundraising so the girls can continue their education.
  • "If you ever talk to them, they have this infectious amount of hope," Elizabeth Schaeffer Brown said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Several members of an Afghanistan female robotics team have been safely evacuated to Qatar, following multiple cancelled flights out of the Taliban-controlled country, according to multiple reports.

The Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Friday that some members of the team have safely arrived in Doha, from Kabul, Afghanistan, where thousands of Afghans are attempting to flee following the collapse of the US-backed Afghan government and the swift takeover by the Taliban earlier this week.

The team, which is home to a group of girls between 13 and 18, first broke into the spotlight in 2017 during an international robotics competition in Washington, DC, following an uphill battle among the team’s members to enter the US.

In a statement, the team’s parent organization, the Digital Citizen Fund, expressed gratitude to the Qatar government, which they said helped expedite the visa process for the girls, and also sent a plane into Kabul even after outbound flights from Afghanistan were repeatedly cancelled.

Elizabeth Schaeffer Brown, a board member on the Digital Citizen Fund, told NBC News that the organization had been working since early this month to assure the girls’ safe evacuation to Qatar, after it became clear the Taliban would take control.

"Ultimately the girls ‘rescued’ themselves," Schaeffer Brown told the outlet. "If it were not for their hard work and courage to pursue an education, which brought them in contact with the world, they would still be trapped."

It is not yet clear where the high-school girls will live following their evacuation, but Schaeffer Brown told The Washington Post that the current priority is raising scholarship money to help the students continue their education.

"They would continue to build the future of their country; they are the future," she told the outlet. "It’s all about the future."

All of the current members of the team were born after the Taliban lost control of Afghanistan in 2001, according to The Post, and thus never lived under the strictest tenets of the Taliban-imposed sharia law, which banned the education of young girls and shuttered women’s rights and progress in the country.

"If you ever talk to them, they have this infectious amount of hope. They don’t talk about the Taliban or war -they talk about what they want to do, their dreams," Schaeffer Brown said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Source: Business Insider
Author: (Erin Snodgrass)
Date: August 21st 2021

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