|Born||Arfa Abdul Karim Randhawa|
2 February 1995
Chak No. 4JB Ram Dewali, Faisalabad, Pakistan
|Died||14 January 2012 (aged 16)|
|Cause of death||Cardiac arrest|
|Resting place||Chak No. 4JB Ram Dewali, Faisalabad|
|Education||A-level (first year)|
|Alma mater||Lahore Grammar School|
|Known for||World's youngest Microsoft Certified Professional, 2004–2006|
|Awards||Fatimah Jinnah Gold Medal |
Salaam Pakistan Youth Award
President's Pride of Performance in 2005
Arfa Abdul Karim Randhawa (Urdu: ارفع کریم رندھاوا, 2 February 1995 – 14 January 2012) was a Pakistani student and computer prodigy who, in 2004 at the age of nine, became the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP). She had her name in Guinness Book of World Records. She kept the title until 2008. Arfa represented Pakistan on various international forums including the TechEd Developers Conference. She also received the President's Award for Pride of Performance in 2005. A science park in Lahore, the Arfa Software Technology Park, was named after her. She was invited by Bill Gates to visit Microsoft Headquarters in the United States. She died on 14 January 2012, aged 16, following a cardiac arrest.
After returning to Pakistan from a visit to Microsoft headquarters, Arfa gave numerous television and newspaper interviews. S. Somasegar, the vice president of Microsoft's Software Development Division, wrote about her in his blog. On 2 August 2005, Arfa was presented the Fatimah Jinnah Gold Medal in the field of Science and Technology by the Prime Minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz on the occasion of the 113th anniversary of the birth of Fatima Jinnah. She also received the Salaam Pakistan Youth Award in August 2005 from the President of Pakistan. Arfa is also the recipient of the President's Award for Pride of Performance in 2005, a civil award usually 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. Arfa was made brand ambassador for Pakistan Telecommunication Company's 3G Wireless Broadband service, "EVO", in January 2010.
Upon her return from the US, she became an icon in Pakistan. She was interviewed by various channels, was invited to various international conferences and summits and also received awards from the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan. She notably is also the youngest recipient of the Pride of Performance award in Pakistan. In 2006, Microsoft invited her to be the key note speaker at the Tech-Ed developers conference which was held in Barcelona.
Representation at international forums
Arfa represented Pakistan on various international forums, and 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. 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.
She was a prodigy who achieved Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) status at the age of 9.
- Her achievement was recognized personally by Bill Gates, who invited her to Microsoft Headquarters.
- She received the Pride of Performance award from the Government of Pakistan.
- On 2 August 2005 she was the youngest to receive a first flight certificate from Dubai Flying Club.
- She 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 received the Salaam Pakistan Youth Award in August 2005 from the President of Pakistan.
- She received the President’s Award for Proud Performance, a civil award usually granted to those who have shown excellence in their respective fields over a long period of time; being the youngest recipient of this award.
- She was made brand ambassador for Pakistan Telecommunication Company’s 3G Wireless Broadband service, named EVO, in January 2010.
Cardiac arrest and death
In 2011, at the age of 16, Arfa was studying at the Lahore Grammar School Paragon Campus in her second year of A-levels. On 22 December 2011, she suffered a cardiac arrest after an epileptic seizure that damaged her brain and was admitted to Lahore's Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in critical condition.
On 9 January 2012, Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, contacted 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 moving Arfa to another hospital due to her being on a ventilator and in critical condition. Members of Arfa's family have lauded Bill Gates for offering to bear her treatment expenses.
On 13 January 2012, Arfa started to improve, and some parts of her brain showed signs of improvement. Her father, Amjad Abdul Karim Randhawa, said Microsoft had raised the possibility of flying Arfa to the U.S. for care.
Arfa died at a hospital in Lahore on 14 January 2012, aged 16. Her funeral, which was held on the following day, was attended by the Chief Minister of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif. She was buried in her ancestral village Chak No. 4JB Ram Dewali, Faisalabad.
Arfa Software Technology Park
Arfa Software Technology Park is the Country’s largest Information and Communications Technology Park. This seventeen story building is the first international standard facility in Pakistan and it is located in Lahore. This project was started under the name “Lahore Technology Park”, and on 15 January 2012 it was renamed as “Arfa Software Technology Park” by Chief Minister of Punjab, Mian Shahbaz Sharif. It was named in honor of Miss Arfa Karim who was the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional and died at the age of 16. Chief Minister Punjab announced to change the name of Lahore Technology Park in recognition of her achievements.
Arfa Software Technology Park (ASTP) will help share the Government of the Punjab's IT vision with the IT industry and the general public. ASTP is a one-window operation to attract local software companies and foreign investors to start IT related businesses in an expeditious manner. This initiative of the Government of Punjab will surely bring technology revolution in this region.
Other people who have beaten Arfa Karim's record
- On 29 March 2006, a young Pakistani boy named Babar Iqbal became the youngest MCP in the world at the age of 9 years and 27 days.
- Muhammad Huzair Awan, a young Pakistani boy became youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) at the age of 7 years, the title which was achieved by Arfa Karim Randhawa at the age of 9 years.
- Babar advances in IT with 4th record Archived 25 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine., Geo TV
- "Arfa Karim in Guinness Book". Tribune.com.pk. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
- "Software Technology Park name changed to Arfa Software Technology Park". The News (newspaper). 16 January 2012. Archived from the original on 16 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
- "9-year-old earns accolade as Microsoft pro". Retrieved 14 January 2012.
- "Remembering a remarkable girl who made a mark on Microsoft". 30 December 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
- "Arfa Karim Randhawa young IT child prodigy | Pakistan's youngest MCP". 2 January 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- In smarts, she's a perfect 10 – Seattle Pi.
- "Fatima Jinnah Award given to 59 personalities". DAWN. 3 August 2005. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
- Technology: 'Shining Pakistan' – DAWN Science; 10 September 2005. Archived 21 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- http://www.dawn.com/news/688081/arfa-karim-passes-away-in-lahore, Dawn newspaper, Published 14 Jan 2012, Retrieved 22 Dec 2016
- "PTCL striving hard to provide best services". Daily Times. 24 January 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
- "Child prodigy honoured". DAWN. 27 August 2005. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
- "Arfa Abdul Karim's funeral prayer offered in Lahore". Samaa News. 15 January 2012. Archived from the original on 16 January 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
- http://www.dawn.com/news/688277/arfa-loses-fight-against-epilepsy, Dawn newspaper, Published 15 Jan 2012, Retrieved 22 Dec 2016
- "Bill Gates contacts Arfa's father for treatment". Geo.tv. 7 January 2012. Archived from the original on 12 January 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
- http://nation.com.pk/lahore/13-Jan-2012/arfa-karim-s-condition-improving, The Nation newspaper, Published 13 Jan 2012, Retrieved 22 Dec 2016
- http://tribune.com.pk/story/321836/last-farewell-for-child-prodigy-arfa-Abdul/, The Express Tribune newspaper, Published 15 Jan 2012, Retrieved 22 Dec 2016
- "DIK's Babar advances in IT with 4rth [sic] record Dated Friday, July 24, 2009". Geo News. 26 May 2015. Archived from the original on 25 December 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
- "Aiming high: 7-year-old computer whiz claims Microsoft honour". The Express Tribune.
- "Ganske kvik: Syv-årig dreng består Microsoft-certificering". Computer World.
- Special Report: Honor to Arfa Abdul Karim Randhawa World’s Youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), Arfa Kareem (February 2, 1995 – January 14, 2012) Research Project
- (in Urdu) Video: Arfa Abdul Karim Randhawa Died in Lahore Hospital
- Special Report: Honor to Arfa Abdul Karim Randhawa Interviews & Pictures of Arifa Abdul Karim
- (in Urdu) Video: Arfa Abdul Karim passed away Exclusive Interview and Photos