As evacuation efforts and the safe passage of girls and women in Afghanistan are increasingly imperiled under Taliban control, there was a big note of good news yesterday and this morning. The country’s all-girls robotics team, winner of international awards, has safely relocated. Several members landed in Mexico, where humanitarian visas run for up to 180 days with the option of extension, and others in Qatar, made possible by an extensive international effort and coordination from a volunteer group.
“We are happy to be here,” team member Fatemah Qaderyan said. The team gained fame last year by developing a low-cost ventilator for coronavirus patients using old car parts. Their story of evading Taliban searches was published yesterday with permission in vivid detail by Variety’s international editor, Manori Ravindran: “On the way from Herat to Kabul, we were very scared. Every hour, the Taliban would enter the car and check the inside of the car,” one of the girls said. “I myself was in a tent in the car so that they would not recognize me. My father is worried about us, because our lives are in danger.”
The team of girls and women, as young as 14, is also pressing ahead on a documentary. Their forthcoming film—Afghan Dreamers, named after the original team of six girls—is in post-production. Read the full story. Share encouraging updates when you have them, of the team’s or your own, at firstname.lastname@example.org.