Disclaimer*: The articles shared under 'Your Voice' section are sent to us by contributors and we neither confirm nor deny the authenticity of any facts stated below. Parhlo will not be liable for any false, inaccurate, inappropriate or incomplete information presented on the website. Read our disclaimer.
Today, the whole of Pakistan is witnessing the eighth death anniversary of Arfa Karim. She was the youngest Microsoft MCP in 2004 at the age of nine and kept the title until 2008. She made her entire country proud of her and proved that Pakistani girls have the potential for doing great things and serving their country.
Arifa Karim and all the awards she had achieved
Arfa has been awarded many National and International awards and certificates including the Fatima Jinnah gold medal, the Salaam Pakistan Youth Award and the prestigious Pride of Performance Award. In July 2005, she visited the United States on an invitation from the Microsoft Corporation.
The co-founder of the company, Bill Gates, met Arfa personally and presented to her the certified Microsoft Application Certificate for her achievements and performance in the information technology sector, the government also launched an Arfa Software Technology Park.
She proved her potential and became the ideal for Pakistani girls and gave hope to all the girls sitting behind in the rural areas of Pakistan, that everyone who had potential could come forward and move mountains. She became a light in the dark for all the girls who needed a source of guidance.
Youngest Microsoft MCP in the world
They now knew that they were not in this world to get married and bear children, they were to do great things and pursue their dreams, that they could be the youngest Microsoft MCP in the world. She gave the international community the message that Pakistani girls had great talents that just needed an opportunity to flourish and come out.
On December 20, 2011, she suffered a cardiac arrest after an epileptic seizure that damaged her brain after which she passed away on the 14th of January, 2012 at the age of 16. The youngest Microsoft (MCP) in the world left us on this day, seven years ago. However, she left many questions on her back.
She proved that girls have equal talent and potential just like boys do, but what have we done to reduce gender discrimination in our society? Are we providing an equal platform for our girls to showcase their talent? Today, the whole of Pakistan is mourning the sad death of Zainab and crying for justice, did Arfa expect such a country, where girls would be a victim to sexual abuse and rape at such an age?
There are two types of people in the world, the “Thinkers” and the “Doers”. Arfa was clearly a doer, her actions and achievements are talking on the behalf of every girl in Pakistan that they just need an opportunity to move mountains. If we had the proper health care facilities in our country, we could have saved Arfa from the fate that she met. But the real question is, what have we done to save the other Arfas in our country?
It’s been eight long years since we lost a genius
When Arfa passed away eight years ago, the whole country was sad about the loss; even today, we are mourning on the loss of Zainab, but what have we done till now to change anything and make life better for our girls? We know that our religion provides the same status for girls that it does for boys, but are we really practicing it? The 14th of January will keep coming and going every year, but if we really remember Arfa in hearts, we need to change the society we live in, we need to improve our thinking, and we need to provide an equal platform to girls.
Salute to Arifa’s father, Mr. Amjad Abdul Karim Randhawa
Today, we salute Mr. Amjad Abdul Karim Randhawa, father of Arfa Karim for he brought up her daughter keeping the gender discrimination on a side and provided her the platform where she could prove herself. Her father gave her the freedom to think, and supported her. He gave her the confidence that she could do anything that she wanted to, and she did. He showed her that boys and girls were equal in status and she proved it.
Let’s close our eyes for a while and think if our sisters, daughters, and wives had been given a chance to do what they wanted, then how far they could have reached and how they could have served the country.