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Pakistani girl awarded at international speech competition

KARACHI: Shaheera Abdul Jalil Albasit, a student of St Joseph Girls College, Karachi, has secured the ‘First Honourable Mention’ award in a speech competition in India. ‘The Quanta-2009 15th International Competition for Science, Mathematics, Electronics and Computer Science’ was held in Lucknow, Utter Pardesh, India from Nov 14 to 17.

The participants contested all segments of the competition as teams of two. The event attracted participants from 40 countries. Shaheera’s original options for speech were, “Science can cot progress with the constraints of morality” and she had chosen Albert Einstein’s popular quote, “Gravitational attraction is not responsible for people falling in love.” However, looking at the other participants she modified the contents and spoke extempore on differences between science and morality, that mesmerised the audience making them cheer for Pakistan, particularly the Nepalese, Malaysian and Singaporean participants who chanted ‘Hey Pakistan’ slogans.

Shaheera told Daily Times that her classmate had learned about the Quanta competition online, and they decided to file a nomination that got them accepted as the sole participants from Pakistan. On getting approval, the five girls approached their schoolteacher for further preparations. Talking about the biggest hurdle that was a lack of necessary funds, Shaheera said she contacted Sindh Minister for Youth Affairs, Faisal Sabzwari who referred them to the City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal for help. The city nazim asked Karachi District Coordination Officer Muhammad Hanif Khan to make the necessary financial arrangements, who issued a cheque of Rs 206,400.
Source: Daily Times

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