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Arfa Karim
Arfakrim12 - from Commons.jpg
Arfa Abdul Karim Randhawa

(1995-02-02)2 February 1995
Died14 January 2012(2012-01-14) (aged 16)
Lahore, Pakistan
Cause of deathCardiac arrest
Resting placeChak No. 4JB Ram Dewali, Faisalabad
EducationA-level (first year)
Alma materLahore Grammar School
Years active1995–2012
Known forWorld's youngest Microsoft Certified Professional, 2004–2006[1]
AwardsFatimah Jinnah Gold Medal
Salaam Pakistan Youth Award
President's Pride of Performance in 2005

Arfa Abdul Karim Randhawa (Urdu: عرفه کریم رندھاوا‎; 2 February 1995 – 14 January 2012) was a Pakistani student and computer prodigy who became the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) in 2004. She was submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records for her achievement.[2] Randhawa kept the title until 2008 and went on to represent Pakistan on various international forums, including the TechEd Developers Conference. She received the President's Award for Pride of Performance by General Pervez Musharraf in 2005. A science park in Lahore, the Arfa Software Technology Park, was named in her honor.[3][4][5][6] When she was 10, Randhawa was invited by Bill Gates to visit the Microsoft headquarters in the United States.[7] She died on 14 January 2012, aged 16, from a cardiac arrest.


Early life

Randhawa was born into a Punjabi Jat family from the village of Chak No. 4JB Ram Diwali in Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan.


After returning to Pakistan from a visit to the Microsoft headquarters, Randhawa gave numerous television and newspaper interviews. S. Somasegar, the vice president of Microsoft's Software Development Division, wrote about her in his blog.[6] 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 at the 113th anniversary of Fatima Jinnah's birth.[8] She also received the Salaam Pakistan Youth Award in August 2005 from the President of Pakistan.[9] Randhawa received the President's Award for Pride of Performance in 2005,[10] 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. She was made brand ambassador for Pakistan Telecommunication Company's 3G Wireless Broadband service, "EVO", in January 2010.[11]


Upon her return from the US, Randhawa became an icon in Pakistan. She was interviewed by various channels, invited to several international conferences and summits, and received awards from the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan. In 2006, Microsoft invited her to be the keynote speaker at the Tech-Ed developers conference held in Barcelona.

Representation at international forums

Randhawa represented Pakistan on various international forums and was invited by the Pakistan Information Technology Professionals Forum for a two-week stay in Dubai, where a dinner reception was hosted in her honour; Dubai dignitaries, including the Ambassador of Pakistan, attended. She was presented with various awards and gifts, including a laptop.[12] In November 2006, Randhawa attended the Tech-Ed Developers conference themed Get Ahead of The Game held in after receiving an invitation from Microsoft.[10] She was the only Pakistani among over 5000 developers in that conference.[13]


In 2011, Randhawa 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.[5]

On 9 January 2012, Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, contacted Randhawa's parents and directed her 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 assisted in diagnosing and treating her illness.[14] Local doctors dismissed the option of moving Randhawa to another hospital due to her being on a ventilator and in critical condition. Members of her family have lauded Bill Gates for offering to bear her treatment expenses.[15]

On 13 January 2012, Randhawa 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 her to the U.S. for care.[16]

Randhawa 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 Diwali, Faisalabad.[17]

Arfa Software Technology Park

Arfa Software Technology Park is the country's largest Information and Communications Technology Park located in Lahore. The seventeen-storey building is the first international standard facility in Pakistan. The project started under the name "Lahore Technology Park" before being renamed "Arfa Software Technology Park" on 15 January 2012 by Sharif.

See also


  1. ^ " Latest News Breaking Pakistan, World, Live Videos".
  2. ^ "Arfa Karim in Guinness Book". Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  3. ^ "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.
  4. ^ "9-year-old earns accolade as Microsoft pro". Retrieved 14 January 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Remembering a remarkable girl who made a mark on Microsoft". 30 December 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Arfa Karim Randhawa young IT child prodigy | Pakistan's youngest MCP". 2 January 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  7. ^ In smarts, she's a perfect 10 – Seattle Pi.
  8. ^ "Fatima Jinnah Award given to 59 personalities". DAWN. 3 August 2005. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  9. ^ Technology: 'Shining Pakistan' – DAWN Science; 10 September 2005. Archived 21 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ a b (14 January 2012). "Arfa Karim passes away in Lahore". DAWN.COM.
  11. ^ "PTCL striving hard to provide best services". Daily Times. 24 January 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  12. ^ "Child prodigy honoured". DAWN. 27 August 2005. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  13. ^ "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.
  14. ^ Report, Dawn (15 January 2012). "Arfa loses fight against epilepsy". DAWN.COM.
  15. ^ "Bill Gates contacts Arfa's father for treatment". 7 January 2012. Archived from the original on 12 January 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
  16. ^ "The Nation newspaper, Published 13 Jan 2012, Retrieved 22 Dec 2016".
  17. ^ The Express Tribune newspaper, Published 15 Jan 2012, Retrieved 22 Dec 2016

External links

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