Afghan girls overcome challenges to attend robot competitionCreditCreditVideo by Washington Post
— What challenges did the Afghan girls face on their way to the competition?
— Have you ever seen or participated in a robotics competition? What was it like? What is your reaction to the one you saw in the video?
— What do the girls hope to accomplish through this experience?
Now, read the article, “‘In Afghanistan, We Laugh Differently’,” and answer the following questions:
1. In the summer of 2017, Kawsar and her robotics team were denied visas into the United States for a competition in Washington. How did the international community respond? What happened next for the girls?
2. Danna Harman, the reporter, writes that the girls’ experience was an “unimaginable odyssey between two worlds.” What does she mean by that? What “two worlds” were the girls navigating? Why was this moment previously “unimaginable” for them?
3. After being invited to the competition, the girls set up a workshop to build their robots. What was that workshop like?
4. What was Fatemah’s relationship with her father like? What happened to him?
5. Sometimes, the girls poke fun at the things people have said to them like: “You are so awesome.” “You guys are really inspiring!” “Yes, yes, you have touched our hearts!” Why do you think they find these comments funny?
6. What were some of the cultural differences between Afghanistan and the United States the girls discovered during their travels? Give two examples from the article.
7. Why do the girls envision their futures in Afghanistan and not in the United States or another country?
8. What impact has this journey had on the girls and their communities?
Finally, tell us more about what you think:
— What stereotypes about girls or Afghans does this article help break down? Give a few specific examples.
— Have you ever participated in an activity that has expanded your world, as robotics did for these Afghan girls?
If so, what was it and what was the experience like for you? What effect did it have on you and your life? For example, did it allow you to travel? Give you a new perspective? Teach you new things? Lead to other opportunities? Create some other positive outcome for you or your community?