Father of robotics team member killed in Herat attack

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 3, 2017

Fatema Qaderyan and her teammates competed in the FIRST Global Challenge worldwide youth event in Washington last month.

Afghan technology entrepreneur Roya Mahboob, who helped the team get to the United States, tweeted his condolences to Fatemah Qaderyan Thursday writing, "Condolences to Team Afghanistan's captain, Fatemah whose father passed away in recent attack by ISIS in Herat".

With a big smile, Fatemah Qaderyan, 14, the team captain, illustrated just how far girls, even from a challenging place like Afghanistan, could go if given the opportunity.

The six team members were initially denied visas to travel to the US.

USA authorities had twice refused access to the team to participate in the science contest, decisions that followed implementation of stricter visa policies under President Donald Trump. "Today, after she fainted several times, doctors started IV fluid therapy".

"We are all devastated, Fatemah hasn't eaten or spoken since the incident, and is in a state of shock", a person close to the family explained to AFP. "She is going through a very hard time", Mehrban told Al Jazeera. They had twice applied for visas, twice travelled the 500 miles from Herat to Kabul for interviews, twice been refused.

At the FIRST Global Challenge competition, the team won a silver medal for "courageous achievement".

More than 30 people were killed in the attack and more than 60 others were injured, authorities said. The regional branch of the Islamic State claimed responsibility for two of them.

Areas dominated by Shia Muslims in Afghanistan have been repeatedly hit by attacks in the past year, by both IS and the Taliban.

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