STAFF REPORT LHR: January 14 marks the fourth death anniversary of Pakistans computer prodigy, Arfa Karim, who in 2004 at the age of nine became the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional in the world, the title that she kept till 2008.
Born in Faisalabads Ram Diwali area on February 2, 1995, Arfa went on to represent Pakistan at various international forums, including the TechEd Developers Conference. Upon completing her course, Microsoft owner Bill Gates invited her to visit the companys headquarters in the US. Software Development Division Vice President Somasegar also acknowledged her achievement in his blog. Arfa was studying at the Lahore Grammar School`s Paragon Campus for her A Levels. She also received numerous awards and gold medals from private and government institutions for her achievement. She received the Fatima Jinnah Gold Medal in the field of science and technology in 2005, besides the Salaam Pakistan Youth Award. She also received Presidents Award for Pride of Performance.
On December 22, 2011, Arfa suffered from a cardiac arrest after an epileptic seizure that damaged her brain, and was admitted to the CMH in critical condition. On January 9, 2012, Bill Gates contacted Arfas parents and directed his doctors to adopt “every kind of measure” for her treatment. She died on January 14, 2012, aged 16. Arfa paved way for several other young minds into the IT field – including five-year-old Sania who in August 2015 was declared the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP).