Afghan women's robotics team thank UAE diplomat for providing safe passage

The award-winning team were taken to safety via Pakistan, Dubai, Germany and finally Mexico

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Afghanistan's internationally acclaimed women's robotics team thanked a UAE diplomat for helping them fly to safety as Kabul fell to the Taliban.

In a video shared by the UAE's Embassy in Pakistan, four members of the team thanked Ambassador Hamad Al Zaabi for arranging safe passage.

Mr Al Zabi arranged for the team to fly from Islamabad to Dubai, then on to Frankfurt with the Emirates airline, before heading to Mexico, whose government offered them permanent refuge.

"Dear ambassador Mr Hamad Al Zaabi, we are really thankful for everything that you have done for us," one of the youngest team members said.

"Thank you so much for our generation - the new generation of Afghanistan."

Another team member thanked the ambassador and said the team would be grateful for any "support in the future".

Other members of the team, aged between 16 and 18, were flown to safety in the Qatari capital of Doha, before being sent on to Mexico.

The Afghan Girls Robotics Team, based in the country's third largest city of Herat, was seen as a success story of the post-Taliban years.

Their status as educated women with skills in science and technology, who competed at events around the world, stood at odds to the Taliban's regime of 1996-2001, which forbade girls from an education.

The team were whisked out of Afghanistan as fears grew that the Taliban would impose its hardline rule on the population.

Ambassador Al Zaabi has served as the UAE's most senior diplomat in Islamabad since September 2017.

Updated: August 31st 2021, 10:01 AM