Arfa Karim

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Arfa Karim
Arfakrim12 - from Commons.jpg
Born Arfa Abdul Karim Randhawa
(1995-02-02)2 February 1995
Chak No. 4JB Ram Dewali, Faisalabad, Pakistan
Died 14 January 2012(2012-01-14) (aged 16)
Lahore, Pakistan
Cause of death Cardiac arrest
Resting place Chak No. 4JB Ram Dewali, Faisalabad
Nationality Pakistani
Education A-level (first year)
Alma mater Lahore Grammar School
Occupation Student
Known for World's youngest Microsoft Certified Professional, 2004–2006[1]
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 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.[2][3][4][5] She was invited by Bill Gates to visit Microsoft Headquarters in the United States.[6] She died on 14 January 2012, aged 16, following a cardiac arrest.

Early life[edit]

Arfa was born into a Punjabi family of Randhawa clan of Jat from the village of Chak No. 4JB Ram Dewali in Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan.[further explanation needed]

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.[5] On 2 August 2005, Arfa 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 the 113th anniversary of the birth of Fatima Jinnah.[7] She also received the Salaam Pakistan Youth Award again in August 2005 from the President of Pakistan.[8] Arfa is also the recipient of the President's Award for Pride of Performance in 2005,[9] 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.[10]

Representation at international forums[edit]

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.[11] In November 2006, Arfa attended the Tech-Ed Developers conference themed Get ahead of the game held in Barcelona on an invitation from Microsoft.[9] She was the only Pakistani among over 5000 developers in that conference.[12]

Cardiac arrest and death[edit]

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.[4]

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.[13] 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.[14]

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.[15]

Arfa died in hospital at 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 at her ancestral village Chak No. 4JB Ram Dewali, Faisalabad.[16]

Arfa Software Technology Park[edit]

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

Other people who have beaten Arfa Karim's record[edit]

  • 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.[17]
  • On 6 March 2014 Subhan Sheikh became the youngest MCP in the world at the age of 12
  • On 27 September 2014, Ayan Qureshi became the youngest MCP in the world at the age of 5.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Babar advances in IT with 4th record , Geo TV
  2. ^ "Software Technology Park name changed to Arfa Software Technology Park". The News (newspaper). 16 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "9-year-old earns accolade as Microsoft pro". Retrieved 14 January 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Remembering a remarkable girl who made a mark on Microsoft". 30 December 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Arfa Karim Randhawa young IT child prodigy | Pakistan's youngest MCP". 2 January 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  6. ^ In smarts, she's a perfect 10 – Seattle Pi.
  7. ^ "Fatima Jinnah Award given to 59 personalities". DAWN. 3 August 2005. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  8. ^ Technology: 'Shining Pakistan' – DAWN Science; 10 September 2005. Archived 21 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ a b, Dawn newspaper, Published 14 Jan 2012, Retrieved 22 Dec 2016
  10. ^ "PTCL striving hard to provide best services". Daily Times. 24 January 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  11. ^ "Child prodigy honoured". DAWN. 27 August 2005. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "Arfa Abdul Karim’s funeral prayer offered in Lahore". Samaa News. 15 January 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  13. ^, Dawn newspaper, Published 15 Jan 2012, Retrieved 22 Dec 2016
  14. ^ "Bill Gates contacts Arfa's father for treatment". 7 January 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2012. 
  15. ^, The Nation newspaper, Published 13 Jan 2012, Retrieved 22 Dec 2016
  16. ^, The Express Tribune newspaper, Published 15 Jan 2012, Retrieved 22 Dec 2016
  17. ^ "DIK's Babar advances in IT with 4rth [sic] record Dated Friday, July 24, 2009". Geo News. 26 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 

Arfa Karim- A Shining Star

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