Most of us remember Arfa Karim. Most of us remember being proud and fascinated by one of our very own who despite being so young managed to be the youngest Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) in the world. And later, most of us remember being saddened by the great misfortune that was her early death. But even though we have lost a great national treasure, the thing about Pakistan is that even amongst all the turmoil, we still manage to produce more – we’ve produced people with an obscene amount of As on their O’ levels, we’ve produced speakers, young scientists… the list goes on and on. Yet another person to join these ranks is young Shafay Thobani, who at the age of eight years and twenty four days managed to become the youngest MCTS in the world. While most eight year olds are in fourth grade learning how to spell, Shafay was learning about IP addresses and all other technical jargon that would go way over our heads. He took a 13 month training course which enabled him to sit for the exam and in that endeavour he secured 91 percent marks. In an event held recently at Marriot Karachi, we were introduced to Shafay. Speaking at the event, his father, Dr. Shah who is also associated with the IT field, talked about Shafay’s achievements and also his training process which sometimes required him to train for up to six hours a day in addition to his school work. For someone so young, a monumental feat indeed!
A presentation was run in which various people from the IT industry were featured along with the Minister for IT, Raza Haroon. They congratulated Shafay on his achievement and showered effusive praise upon him. Also featured, was the late Arfa Karim’s father and it was disclosed that it had been Arfa who had been the original inspiration behind Shafay’s feat. As Arfa inspired Shafay, hopefully, Shafay will inspire many more. Kudos to him!
Way to go, moms
If being tech savvy were a crime than a whole lot of Pakistani youth would be guilty all the way. So many of our young people are glued to their computer screens all day and while man would regard that as being a drawback, it could just as well be their making.
We live in a time when inflation is on the rise. We see our parents drudging it up day in day out, all for giving us a good life and sending us to the best institutions. In most instances, we would like to help but with our demanding schools and universities it becomes quite impossible for us. So what is the one thing that wouldn’t require us to spend a whole lot of our time or go out of the house and still provide us a substantial income? The answer’s easy: Internet businesses. While some might consider it a far-fetched idea, more and more young people are entering this field successfully. A recent workshop conducted by Weldon Moms (a support group for mothers and mothers to be) highlighted all the ways in which mothers could stay at home and supplement the family income while not having to rely on nannies to look after their kids. Also speaking at the event was Asma Aziz, the PR manager at Intel, who shed a bit of light on all the education related activity that Intel is currently involved in and then proceeded to give the moms a brief introduction to the sort of laptops or PC’s that they would need to run their operation. This was followed by Anita Weldon (founder of Weldon Moms) giving great insight into identifying one’s area of interest, formulating an idea and expanding on it. Next up was Salma Jafri, who put forward all the different avenues that one could explore in order to earn money online.
While this event was limited to mothers, this concept certainly doesn’t have to be. Young people are ideally situated to go on the same route and help out their parents in shouldering the many burdens that life throws at them.
- Shaza Khalid