After 20 years, America has officially ended its longest war and removed the last of its troops from Afghanistan. The messy and deadly evacuation has many tragic tales, one of which being the uncertain future of girls and women under Taliban rule. One story we’ve been following closely is the fate of the Afghan all-girls robotics team known as the Afghan Dreamers. The group of 20 young women—a symbol of opportunities for women and girls in a post-Taliban Afghanistan—were fearful of what extremist rule would mean, and they were seeking asylum elsewhere to ensure their safety and ability to continue their education. It’s reported that 10 of the girls safely arrived in Doha, Qatar; and, more recently, another five girls have landed in Mexico City.
The five members of the Afghan Dreamers arrived late on Tuesday, August 24, at Mexico City’s international airport. (They weren’t alone; they arrived with more than 100 journalists.) They were greeted with the “warmest welcome” by Martha Delgado, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Mexico.
▶️ «Serán recibidas con mucho cariño por el pueblo de México […] Ellas son portadoras de un sueño: demostrar que podemos tener un mundo igualitario, fraterno y de igualdad entre los géneros».
— Relaciones Exteriores (@SRE_mx) August 25, 2021
“They will be received with great affection by the people of Mexico,” Marcelo Ebrard, the country’s foreign minister, remarked at a news conference the same day. “They are bearers of a dream: to show that we can have an egalitarian, fraternal, and gender-equal world.”
The arrival in Mexico was made possible thanks to “extensive international effort and coordination from a group of volunteers,” according to one anonymous volunteer. Now that the team members have touched down, an institution in the country is offering a place to stay, food, and other basic services. They have received humanitarian visas which allow them to live in the country for up to 180 days, after which they can apply to extend the stay.
“We are very happy to be here and it is an honor that the government of Mexico has… saved our lives,” team member Fatemah Qaderyan said. “From now on forward we will have opportunities for many more achievements in our lives, and thus be part of the fight for a better life.”
While 15 members of the Afghan Dreamers are now outside of Afghanistan, some of the girls still remain in their home country, according to Afghan tech entrepreneur Roya Mahboob and founder of the team. Those who are still there have an uncertain future; the Taliban previously banned education for women and girls when it ruled from 1996 to 2001.
For those Afghans who have escaped, you can help them as they settle into new lives. NPR has a list of simple steps you can take to help refugees. You’ll also want to look to your local news to see if there are any organizations in your town that are working to help the victims of this humanitarian crisis.
Five members of the Afghan all-girls robotics team have been relocated to Mexico for their safety and continued education.
“They will be received with great affection by the people of Mexico,” Marcelo Ebrard, the country’s foreign minister, said. “They are bearers of a dream: to show that we can have an egalitarian, fraternal and gender-equal world.”
“We are very happy to be here and it is an honor that the government of Mexico has… saved our lives,” team member Fatemah Qaderyan remarked.
h/t: [IFL Science]