“Our neighbours thought I was the reason for my father’s death. They said that if I had not been on the robotics team, this might not have happened to him.”

“I always listen to my own calling. I think I must represent not only my own voice and beliefs, but the voice of all Afghan women. I want to stand up for their rights and represent the voices of those that have been silenced in our society…”

Fatemah Qaderyan, Captain
Afghan Girls Robotics Team
Oslo Freedom Forum

During the past few years, I learned of the efforts and accomplishments of the Afghan Girls Robotics Team. Their plight (and that of many, many other Afghans) is troubling. My sincere hope is that the new regime, whether viewed by the world as legitimate or not, respects basic human rights, the rights of women and girls and the right of everyone to a quality and bias-free education.

My understanding from the latest news reports (seen on CBC on August 15, 2021, CNet on August 17, 2021, and CNN on August 17, 2021) is that members of the Afghan Girls Robotics Team are keen on continuing their STEM/STEAM education and, with their families, may be seeking refuge in Canada. I hope that the new regime will permit members of the team and their families to leave Afghanistan peacefully and respectfully. I’m sure that Canada is welcoming.

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