Sunday, January 29, 2012


Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai (born 1998) is an eighth-grade Pakistani student from the town of Mingora in Swat District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and is known for being a children's rights activist. At 13 years old she gained notability for championing the cause of the people of Swat by blogging for the BBC under a pseudonym about the atrocities of the Tehrik-i-Taliban regime. The international children's advocacy group KidsRights Foundation included Yousafzai among the nominees for the International Children's Peace Prize, making her the first Pakistani girl nominated for the award. South African Nobel laureate, Desmund Tutu announced the nominations during a 2011 ceremony in Amsterdam, Holland, but Yousafzai did not win the prize.

Yousafzai lived in Mingora Swat, occupied by the Taliban before the military operation in 2009. During this time, education was banned and many townspeople were executed. Schools were destroyed, and girls' schools bore the brunt. She wrote a diary for the BBC under the pseudonym of "Gul Makai" where she related the deeds of the Taliban in Swat.

For her courageous and outstanding services for the promotion of peace under extremely hostile conditions, she was awarded the first National Peace Award by the Pakistani government on 19 December 2011. Speaking to the media afterwards, she expressed her intent to form a political party focused on education. Effective immediately, the Govt Girls Secondary School, Mission Road, was renamed as Malala Yousufzai Govt Girls Secondary School in her honor.

She was named after Malalai of Maiwand, a Pashtun poet and warrior woman.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Arfa Karim Randhawa (Urdu: ارفع کریم رندهاوا) (2 February 1995 – 14 January 2012), was a Pakistani student and computer prodigy, who in 2004 at the age of nine years became the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) in the world, a title she kept until 2008. She was invited by Bill Gates to visit the Microsoft Headquarters in USA. A Science park in Lahore was named after her as Arfa Software Technology Park.

Early life

Arfa was born in a family that hailed from the village of Chak No. 4JB Ram Dewali in Faisalabad, Punjab. After returning to Pakistan from a visit to Microsoft headquarters, Arfa had numerous interviews with television and newspapers. S. Somasegar, the vice president of the Software Development Division, wrote about her in his blog. On 2 August 2005, Arfa Karim was presented the Fatimah Jinnah Gold Medal in the field of Science and Technology by the then Prime Minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz on the occasion of 113th birth anniversary of Fatima Jinnah. She also received the Salaam Pakistan Youth Award again in August 2005 by the President of Pakistan. Arfa Karim is also the recipient of the President's Award for Pride of Performance, a civil award granted to people who have shown excellence in their respective fields over a long period of time. She is the youngest recipient of this award. In recognition of her achievement Arfa was made brand ambassador for Pakistan Telecommunication Company's 3G Wireless Broadband service named EVO in January 2010.

Representation at international forums

Arfa Karim has also represented Pakistan on various international forums, she was invited by the Pakistan Information Technology Professionals Forum for a stay of two weeks in Dubai. A dinner reception was hosted for her there, which was attended by the dignitaries of Dubai including the Ambassador of Pakistan. During that trip, Arfa was presented with various awards and gifts including a laptop. During the same tour she also flew a plane in a flying club at the age of 10 and received the first flight certificate. In November 2006, Arfa attended the Tech-Ed Developers conference themed Get ahead of the game held in Barcelona on an invitation from Microsoft. She was the only Pakistani among over 5000 developers in that conference.

Cardiac arrest

In 2011, at the age of 16, Arfa Karim was studying at the Lahore Grammar School Paragon Campus in her second year of A Levels. She suffered a cardiac arrest after an epileptic seizure which damaged her brain on 22 December 2011, and was admitted to Lahore's Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in critical condition.

Offer by Bill Gates

On 9 January 2012, Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft, made contact with Arfa's parents, and directed his doctors to adopt "every kind of measure" for her treatment. Gates set up a special panel of international doctors who remained in contact with her local doctors through teleconference. The panel received details about her illness and provided assistance in diagnosis and treatment. Local doctors dismissed the option of Arfa being moved to another hospital due to her being on a ventilator and in critical condition. Relatives and family members of Arfa have lauded Bill Gates for offering to bear her treatment expenses.

Signs of improvement

On 13 January 2012, Arfa Karim started to improve and some parts of her brain showed signs of improvement. Her father, Amjad Karim Randhawa, said Microsoft had raised the possibility of flying Arfa to the US for care.


On 14 January 2012, 16-year-old Arfa Karim died at 9:50 PM (Pakistan Standard Time) at Combined Military Hospital (CMH) Lahore. Her Namaz-e-Janaza was offered in Cavalry Ground Lahore at 10 AM on 15 January 2012, and later at Faisalabad the same day. The funeral was attended by Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif. She was buried at her ancestral village Chak No. 4JB Ram Dewali, Faisalabad.

Arfa Software Technology Park

On 15 January 2012, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif announced that the name of Lahore Technology Park would be changed to Arfa Software Technology Park.

Arfa Karim Randhawa


2 February 1995
Chak No. 4JB Ram Dewali, Faisalabad, Pakistan


14 January 2012 (aged 16)
Lahore, Pakistan

Resting place

Chak No. 4JB Ram Dewali, Faisalabad






A-level (first year)

Alma mater

Lahore Grammar School



Known for

World's youngest Microsoft Certified Professional, 2004-2008


Fatimah Jinnah Gold Medal
Salaam Pakistan Youth Award
President's Pride of Performance