Arfa Karim was a computer genius from Pakistan who became the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional in 2004. She held the title until 2008 and later participated in many international events and conferences. She could have achieved more but the fate had something else in store for her. Arfa died of cardiac arrest in January 2012; she was 16 years of age. Children from around the world, especially from developing nations, can take inspiration from her life, which was short yet full of achievements.
Arfa shocked and dazzled the world with her achievement in 2004 when, at the age of nine, she completed Microsoft Certified Professional exam with flying colours. She was the youngest person to earn this distinction at the time. The news of her brilliance reached the United States. Microsoft’s Chairman Bill Gates invited her to visit the company’s headquarters in Seattle.
Arfa later participated in many events including the Microsoft Developers Conference in Barcelona where she was the only developer from Pakistan. Her achievements brought significant fame and recognition around the world. She was particularly famous in the home country of Pakistan where she received some of the highest government awards. Arfa was a humanitarian to the core and used the monetary benefits to educate the under-privileged children.
Computer was her first love and she worked hard to get computers installed in her native village, a place where even the grown-ups did not have any idea about computing. Arfa also spent her time and energy in educating the youth of Pakistan about the importance of computing. She also served as the brand ambassador of computing and telecommunication brands in Pakistan.
Arfa was planning to seek education in computer technology and later join the industry giants in the US. Her dreams of creating new software and applications were cut short when she suffered cardiac arrest in December 2011. Bill Gates offered to send in a private plane for her to be taken for treatment to the US. There was no time left for that as she died on 14th January 2012. Arfa is no more but her legacy continues. An information technology park in Lahore has also been named after her.