Arfa Karim was born on February 2, 1995 in Ram Diwali village located near Faisalabad in Pakistan. She rose to fame at the early age of nine years when in 2004 she became the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional of the world. A record she held till 2008. She was invited by Bill Gates of Microsoft to visit USA and meet him. She went to the USA and met Bill Gates at Microsoft headquarters.
After returning from her visit she became a celebrity and appeared in a number of television shows. She gave a number of interviews. She was also honored by the Government of Pakistan for her achievement. On August 2, 2005 she was awarded the Fatima Jinnah gold medal in the field of science and technology by the then prime minister of Pakistan. Again in August 2005 she received the Salaam Pakistan Youth Award by the then President of Pakistan. She also received the prestigious President’s Award for the Pride of Performance a civil award conferred upon people who have shown excellence in their field of expertise. Till to date she is the youngest recipient of the award. She was also the brand ambassador of the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited’s broad band service named EVO. She not only gained fame nationally but also internationally and represented Pakistan in a few forums that were held outside Pakistan.
Arfa was the student of Lahore Grammar School and was studying in A levels. On December 22, 2011 she suffered cardiac arrest after an epileptic seizure and was shifted to Combined Military Hospital in emergency. Her condition deteriorated and she went into a comma. Upon hearing about her condition Bill Gates contacted her parents and offered all possible help he could. He set up a panel of doctors who remained in contact with local doctors and offered whatever help they could. Bill Gates even offered to fly her out of the country for medical treatment but due to her condition the doctors did not permit that.
On January 13, 2012 her condition showed signs of improvement and some activity was noticed in her brain. This raised the possibility of flying her out of the country for treatment. However, unfortunately on January 13, 2012 Arfa Karim died on around 9:50 PM local time. She was laid to rest in her ancestral village on January 15, 2012.
In recognition of her services the Government of Punjab and Sindh announced to name the IT technology parks being developed in the provinces after Arfa Karim. She was an intelligent student and a very nice person may Allah bless her soul and give patience to her family to bear the unexpected and sudden loss.
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