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9 Year Old Girl in Pakistan Is a Microsoft Certified Professional.
Contributed by: G3nu1n3, at 5/02/2005 08:16:00 PM.

At just 9 years old, Arfa Karim Randhawa , of Faisalabad, Pakistan, is one of the youngest MCPs in the world.

The Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) credential is for technology professionals who have the skills to successfully implement a Microsoft product or technology as part of a business solution.

Arfa recently received her credentials from Emre Berkin, chairman of Microsoft's Europe, Middle East and Africa region, and Jawwad Rehman, Microsoft's country manager for Pakistan.

Via e-mail, Randhawa recently discussed how the child of an agricultural family came to achieve this status and what it means to her and her family.


PressPass: When did you first become interested in computers?

Arfa: At the age of 5, when I was in kindergarten, I often used to pass by the computer labs and see students doing work on computers. I realized that calculation, which would take us a long time to do, can be done in less than a second with the help of computers. So that is how my interest in computers began. I started to explore computers on my own and first used one at the age of 6, when I was in first grade. Then I went to Applied Technologies (APTECH) for further studies.

PressPass: Why did you decide to pursue MCP certification?

Arfa: When I went to APTECH, my teachers, keeping in view my aim and age, decided that I should go for a certification of Microsoft. Because of my interest in software development, they decided that I should go for my MCP. It took me four months, and I did it during my summer vacation.PressPass: What does it mean to you to receive this honor?

Arfa: It means a lot to me, because it helped me get recognition worldwide and to fulfill the dreams of my parents, especially my late grandfather, Ch. Abdul Karim Randhawa. I am thankful to Almighty Allah and my teachers, without whom I could not have achieved this honor. This is just the beginning.

PressPass: How have your family and friends reacted?

Arfa: The reaction of my family and friends was, naturally, very exciting. They are exhilarated and very much proud of me. My father provided me the opportunities, the required hardware, various software and the main thing, which is my confidence level.

I live in Faisalabad, a major industrial city of Pakistan. Faisalabad is called "Manchester of Pakistan," and it is famous for its cloth industry. I belong to a purely agricultural family from a rural background. My late grandfather was an unlettered scholar and had a great passion for higher education for his next generation. My father is serving with a U.N. peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. My mother is a landlady and looks after the land affairs in the absence of my father. I have two younger brothers, named Sarmad and Dawood, ages 7 and 3, respectively. Prior to me, no one in my family is in the field of IT, but I can feel that my brothers are following my footsteps very anxiously and enthusiastically. They are posing a constant challenge to my world record.

PressPass: Have you ever visited America?

Arfa:
I have not visited America as of now. However, I would love to come to the United States, for two reasons. Firstly, I would like to pay a visit to Disneyland. Secondly, I would like to meet Bill Gates.

PressPass: What are your impressions of Microsoft?

Arfa:
Microsoft has changed the way people think about computers. Microsoft has laid down the foundations for next-generation computing and is the founder in terms of providing user-friendly software--thereby increasing the number of novice users. I like the way Microsoft participates in other-than-mainstream activities, such as academic research, charities, scholarships and connecting the disconnected by providing technology support to underserved people. Microsoft develops a lot of software that allows people to realize their potential. This is exactly what my experience is with Microsoft. I have a passion for software, and Microsoft provides me a true platform.

PressPass: Would you ever want to work at Microsoft?

Arfa:
I would definitely like to work at Microsoft, since software development and exploring new technologies has always been my passion, and Microsoft is best when it comes to next-generation software technologies. Technology evangelism has always been my passion since I learned how to use computers. Not only I would like to work as the youngest technology evangelist at Microsoft, I would like to work on those cutting-edge technologies which would be explored by technology evangelists five years from now. Moreover, I would love to visit Microsoft headquarters at Redmond. I have dreamt a lot about the Redmond campus. I have visualized in my dreams so many times the working environment of Microsoft. I would like to see the labs where Microsoft Visual Studio .NET and the Microsoft .NET Framework have been developed.

PressPass: What other kinds of activities or hobbies do you enjoy?

Arfa:
Computers, singing, reading, painting and gardening are my hobbies. I have won a singing competition at the national level. I keep my self updated by reading different books and encyclopedias.

PressPass: Do you have any advice for other young people?

Arfa:
I have a message for the kids across the globe: If you want to do something big in your life, you must remember that shyness is only in the mind. If you think shy, you act shy. But if you think confident, you act confident. Therefore, never let shyness conquer your mind.


Source: Microsoft


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21 Comments:

  • dude.. now thats awesome... something we should all be proud of!

    By Anonymous Some Desi, at 5/02/2005 09:32:00 PM  

  • Arfa you have done really a good work. May I wish you all the best and good luck for your future.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/04/2005 04:32:00 PM  

  • This link does not exist on Microsoft site... This is true or a fake story??

    By Anonymous Kashif Raza, at 5/05/2005 06:59:00 PM  

  • Microsoft server is currently not hosting the story. Only God knows why, but her picture is (atleast) still hosted there.

    Check the address of Arfa's pic its:-

    http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/images/features/2005/05-02Arfa.jpg

    By Blogger G3nu1n3, at 5/06/2005 12:11:00 AM  

  • yeah thats sort of weird...

    Where did you get the pic link from? It must have been on their press site... Lets wait for Google to google it...

    By Blogger yasirmemon, at 5/12/2005 08:29:00 AM  

  • The pic was in the original article initially posted and then removed by Microsoft.

    Whats left off the original article are the extracts that are posted here.

    By Blogger G3nu1n3, at 5/13/2005 01:24:00 AM  

  • yo this is my first cousin. shez so smart at studies. me and my family is proud of her,

    Saud khan Randhawa

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/14/2005 10:34:00 AM  

  • I wish you could have left ur email address to contact you.

    We would love to have a interview session (online) with your cousin Arfa if it is possible.

    By Blogger G3nu1n3, at 5/14/2005 12:58:00 PM  

  • Arfa, we are very proud of you. In fact, my neighbor here in the US works for Microsoft and he first told me about Arfa and her accomplishment. He read it on their company's website. We were talking how it would be nice if Bill Gates sponsored her to come here. It would be a good marketing tool for them and provide Arfa with a good opportunity. Lets see if he does that. Maybe someone at Microsoft can push for it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/16/2005 07:31:00 PM  

  • Hi, me is Sohail Afra's Teacher,
    I taught her computer science basics from scratch,started from basic computer architecture to Windows programming in C#.NET, Would you beleive she covers all these in just 4.5 months,She is really an intelligent girl.We are all pray for her better future.

    By Blogger sohail, at 5/25/2005 05:59:00 PM  

  • Sohail ... Thanks a lot for taking time to post about Arfa ... From your words she seems even more intelligent than we initially thought.

    I only wish if we could have Arfa here at G3Technews.

    By Blogger G3nu1n3, at 5/25/2005 08:43:00 PM  

  • She will be with me(from june 1st) in her summer vacations, to prepare for her second Online Exam,
    She will be here at G3Technews very soon.

    By Blogger sohail, at 5/26/2005 01:31:00 PM  

  • Hello.... shez my daughter, realy...I am presently serving with UN in Congo, Africa. Whatelse can you ask from GOD...I m blessed and request you all to pray for her.....lots of credit goes to her teachers, sohail & Khurram who were instrumental in discovering the talent..Amjad Karim

    By Blogger Amjad Karim, at 5/31/2005 04:23:00 PM  

  • Yes I am a proud father.The credit goes to Sohail & Khurram(her teachers) who discovered the talent groomed her well. I pray & wish for her future.

    By Blogger Amjad Karim, at 5/31/2005 04:29:00 PM  

  • Amjad sahib, please accept hearty congratulations on Arfa’s achievements.

    I am sure this just the start of the long list of achievements you daughter will enjoy in the years to come.

    Her success was not just possible due to her god gifted abilities but the support of her family and the guidance of her teachers also have a part to play.

    So congratulation to all of the family, teachers and (not to forget) the whiz child Arfa.

    By Blogger G3nu1n3, at 5/31/2005 07:28:00 PM  

  • Wow, awesome..

    We here in the Philippines are proud of your achievements Arfa.

    Congratulations. Way to go, keep on exploring..

    We wish you all the best.

    By Anonymous Ruby Ann O., at 6/15/2005 03:07:00 PM  

  • It's good to start them young hopefully in a few years there will be a lot more 9 year olds with MCP maybe even a few with MCSE, this way they can actually produce an OS with no bugs in it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/19/2005 11:35:00 PM  

  • i am so proud of this daughter of Pakistan.
    May God bless u with success always.
    i am from riyadh saudi arabia

    By Anonymous Saleem, at 8/04/2005 04:34:00 AM  

  • Congrats to Arifa,her parents and her teachers on her brillant success. May Allah make her to be successful in future also..Ameen, Suma Ameen. Mr. Sohail (Afra's Teacher) can I have your or Afra e-mail id? I also want to be MCP. I want to have guidiance by someone.. I will be thankful to you if contact me and answer some of my questions...
    my contact info is : aishaajmal@hotmail.com
    Waiting for your reply...
    Allah Hafiz,
    Aisha Ajmal.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/26/2005 07:41:00 PM  

  • Assalamualaikum,
    I recently read about arfa's achievements in the U.S tech magazine WIRED. As an overseans Pakistani, I could not have been more proud and have already shown this article various individuals. Mr and Mrs Randhawa, my heartiest congratulations. Arfa, may Allah guide you bring prosperity to your family and country. This, from a techie in Manchester.

    By Anonymous Khurram Ahmad, at 12/15/2005 08:37:00 AM  

  • She has been featured on

    GooJobDude

    By Blogger goodjob, at 10/23/2009 08:37:00 PM  

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