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Afghanistan Female Robotics Team

The Afghan girls robotics team scored some points in their games on Monday


A robotics team comprised of six girls from Afghanistan scored some points in their games on Monday and Tuesday.

Alireza Mehraban, the team's mentor, said the team's robot scored one or two points in the first game and in the final two games of the day on Monday, according to ABC News, which earned the team additional points.

The team almost missed the competition because team members were rejected for U.S. visas twice. But, thanks to a last-minute intervention by President Trump, the girls made it in time for the opening ceremony of the three-day high school competition, FIRST Global Challenge.

In a statement, Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) thanked the State Department for ensuring that Afghanistan, as well as, Gambia, Yemen, Libya and Vanuatu, would be able to participate in the competition.

"I truly believe our greatest power is the power to convene, to bring nations together where people find that they have in common is greater than their differences," Sestak said.

The team from Herat, Afghanistan, arrived in Washington early Saturday. Awaiting them at the gate at Washington Dulles International Airport were a U.S. special envoy and Afghan Ambassador Hamdullah Mohib.

The girls' story gained notoriety after it went viral on social media. Colleen Elizabeth Johnson, one of three teenagers representing the U.S., told The New York Times that the girls are celebrities at the competition.

“They’re celebrities here now. They’re getting the welcome they deserve,” she said.

"Seventeen years ago, this would not have been possible at all," Mohib said in an interview. "They represent our aspirations and resilience despite having been brought up in a perpetual conflict. These girls will be proving to the world and the nation that nothing will prevent us from being an equal and active member of the international community."

The six girls were chosen from an initial pool of 150 student applicants. They were required to build their robot in two weeks.

First Global released the tournament ranks, Afghanistan's team is listed as 103.

"I'm so happy they can play," the girl's mentor Alireza Mehraban, told ABC News. "They are so happy to be here."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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