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Arfa loses fight against epilepsy

LAHORE: Arfa Karim, the world`s youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), breathed her last here on Saturday night at Combined Military Hospital, Lahore. She was 16.

Her funeral prayers will be offered on Sunday at 10am at Cavalry Ground, Cantt. Her body will be taken to Faisalabad for burial at her native village.

Arfa Karim remained in intensive care at CMH after suffering an idiopathic epileptic seizure and cardiac arrest a few weeks ago. After battling for life for 26 days, one of Pakistan`s brightest brains left this world for good.

Born in 1995, Arfa got the honour of World`s Youngest Microsoft Certified Professional when she was only nine in 2004. Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft, invited Arfa to visit the Microsoft Headquarters in the USA when she was 10-year old.

Later, in August 2005, she was also honoured by the Pakistan government for the Fatima Jinnah Gold Medal in the field of science and technology which she received from the then prime minister Shaukat Aziz.

She was also awarded Salaam Pakistan Youth Award in 2005 which had been set up by Nobel laureate Dr Abdul Salam. Arfa has won the Presidential Award for Pride of Performance.

She represented Pakistan on international fora. She was also included as the honourable guest by IT professionals of Dubai for twoweek stay in Dubai. During that trip, Arfa was awarded a number of medals by various tech societies and computer companies working in Dubai.

Amazingly, she was certified for flying aplane at a flying club in Dubai at the age of 10.

Arfa also participated in Microsoft keynote session in the Tech-Ed Developers Conference held in Barcelona, in 2006. The theme of the conference was `Get ahead of the game` and Arfa was in fact a great example of being ahead of the game.

The medical experts say the epilepsy can be caused by various infectious and non-infectious diseases but in idiopathic epilepsy no underlying disease of the brain or body can be identified in the early or short investigations.

Arfa was studying at the Lahore Grammar School`s Paragon Campus for her A Levels.

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