A Decade of Excellence – Reaching for the Stars (Part II)

Rising Youth of Pakistan

The second half of the decade was even more remarkable then the first. You can read about the first decade of shining Pakistani stars in this article. The following can only give you a glimpse of the capabilities of our youngsters. Read on and be amazed.

Pakistani Students Excel at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair(s) (ISEF)

The ISEF (Intel International Science and Engineering Fair) is the largest scientific research oriented event in the world for high school students, held mostly in the USA. About 1500 students from 70 countries compete against each other. They are selected from national level science fairs held in their respective countries. Our students have been making their presence felt at ISEF for many years now:

  1. Ambreen Bibi and Mehwish Ghafoor: In 2011, Ambreen & Mehwish (students of Federal Government College for Women, G-10/4 Islamabad) won third prize in the category of Environmental Sciences. Their project was “Degradation of Environmental Pollutants using Nano Composites”.
  2. Bushra Shahed, Mahnoor Hassan & Shiza Gulab: In 2012, Bushra, Mahnoor & Shiza (students of Peshawar’s Institute of Computer and Management Sciences) won fourth prize in the category of Animal Sciences. Their project was “Energy Square for Cattle”.
  3. Iqra Irsahd, Sana Batool & Shazia Bibi: In 2014, Iqra, Sana & Shazia (students of Punjab Daanish School, Hasilpur) won a special award for their project “The Wind Turbine”.

But it is pertinent to mention here, those students who inspired others to not just participate but to actually win:

  1. Hamza Shiekh: In 2006 for the first time in our history Hamza (a 9th grade student of Head Start School, Islamabad) won second prize in the category of Chemistry. His project was “Is Pea Flour an Effective Bio-Insecticide against the Stored Grain Pests?” He had an asteroid named after him (Sheikh 21618), and was also granted a year’s membership at The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.
  2. Kulsum Bilal: In 2007, 13 year old Kulsum (a student of Kinnaird High School, Lahore) won second prize in the category of Environmental Management. Her project was “Feasibility and Recycling of Chicken Feathers into Paper Products”.
  3. Arif Piyarali, Sara Moez Ali and Zehra Suleman Tejani: In 2008, Arif, Sara and Zehra (students of Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, Karachi) won first prize. Their project was “Novel Drug Therapy of Silver Nano Particles to cure MRSA Infections”.

Notable Achievements of Pakistani Youth

Moosa Feroz

In March 2012, Moosa participated in an online World Math’s Day competition, held in Australia and won a gold medal in the 11-13 category. Around 1.5 million students from 240 countries took part.  Later on he was invited along with his parents to attend the award ceremony there. The Australian Government also made him a ‘Math Ambassador’.

Alveena Durani

In June 2012, 18 year old Alveena who was residing in Tanzania at that time, became the first Pakistani female to climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa.

Syed Rehan Ahmed

In June 2012, he was ranked among the ‘Top 99 students of Business Administration & Management in the World’ in the international competition and assessment held by the Nyenrode University in Netherlands, which is one of the top management institutes in Europe.

Out of more than a million applicants, 219 were short listed. All candidates were given a very difficult test. Rehan scored 71 out of 80.

Shadab Rasool Buriro

In July 2012, Shadab won a silver medal at the GENIUS Olympiad (Global Environmental Issues – U.S.), which is an international competition where talented high school students can share their work on environmental issues. Students from around 50 different countries submitted 657 projects, of which 248 were short listed. Shadab’s project aimed at removing “injurious impurities from industrial waste water using tea waste” (he was a matric student at Pak-Turk School in Khairpur, Sindh at that time).

He was also awarded a 250,000 dollar scholarship by the State University of New York.

pakistani_youthAhmed Shujaan, Azeem Liaqat & Zainab Hameed

In July 2012, a team comprising of 15 year old Ahmed (from Aitchison College, Lahore), Azeem (from Salamat International Campus for Advanced Studies, Lahore) and Zainab (from Karachi Grammar School) stood first at ‘The Karl Popper Debating Championship’ held in Leon, Mexico. It is one of the biggest high-school debating contests in the world. 250 students from nearly 45 countries across all five continents got together to debate on prepared as well as unprepared topics.

Our team faced South Korea in the finals, and all three were listed in the top 5 speakers of the contest.

Muhammad Mohsin Ali

In August 2012, Mohsin topped Punjab University’s B.A/B.Sc examination by securing a massive 688 out of 800. But what is even more incredible is that he achieved this without formally attending any college and doing an arduous job at the local tandoor alongside to support his family. He has created a record of getting the highest marks ever.

Overseas Sword of Honor (2012-2014)

There has been a hat-trick! For three years in succession our cadet officers have won the coveted ‘overseas sword of honor’. They are Muhammad Talha Zahid, Asad Mushtaq and Shaheer Ullah Khan.

Alvaz Adnan

In April 2013, Alvaz (a student of PakTurk School, Lahore) won a silver medal for her project “Removal of Dyes from Effluent of Factories” at the International Environmental Project Olympiad (INEPO Euroasia) held in Azerbaijaan.

Samina Baig

In May 2013, Samina became the youngest Muslim and first Pakistani female to scale Mount Everest.

Mansoor Karim

At the age of 15, Mansoor has become the youngest Pakistani to successfully attempt Alpine skiing, which is a game of skiing downwards on snow-covered hills. He accompanied his older brother Niamet, in the Ski Expedition 2013 in July, which had been organized by Pakistan Adventure Tour and Expedition for the first time. The challenge was to first climb the peaks that rose to 6000 meters and above, and then ski to the base.

Both brothers made a record by climbing and skiing down four peaks, thus completing the expedition.

Shehroze Ali & Muhammad Hasnain

In September 2013, Sheroze who belongs to Lahore and Muhammad who belongs to Peshawar both got first position in the world in ACCA papers; Corporate & Business Law (F4) as well as Financial Management (F9).

Rai Haris Manzoor

In January 2014, 9 year old Rai created a world record of becoming the youngest person to pass the O’ level examination in Science, from the University of Cambridge.

Haris1Haris Khan

In February 2014, ten year old Haris became the youngest Smartphone application developer in the world. He currently lives in Ireland and loves football like any boy of his age. His game ‘Super Soccer Kick’ is available at Apple’s app store for download.

Alam Khatoon and Vishah Nazim; Muhammad bin Aslam and Naqi Raza

In May 2014, Alam and Vishah (students of PakTurk School, girl’s branch Islamabad) won a gold medal for their project “Superior Braking System for Mountain Vehicles in Poor Countries”.

While Muhammad and Naqi (students of PakTurk School, Lahore) won a gold medal for their project “The Self-Washing Car System” at the Golden Climate International Environmental Olympiad in Kenya. They also got first position globally.

Huda Nur

In May 2014, Huda (a student of PakTurk School, Lahore) won a bronze medal for her project “Optimization of Parameters for Dehairing of Hides” at I-SWEEP (International-Sustainable World Energy, Engineering & Environment) Olympiad, a one-of-its-kind international science competition.

Hasham Hadi Khan

In August 2014, 9 year old Hasham, the youngest member of the team that participated in the 6th International Scrabble Championship, created a world record by beating his Sri Lankan opponent and scored 878 points. A large number of the world’s best players were present on the occasion, including the current world champion Nigel Richards, who admitted that even he had never scored more than 700 in any major competition.

Malala Yousafzaimalala_yousafzai

In October 2014, Malala co- received the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her efforts for the educational rights of children as well as the rights of women, which has now become a campaign of international proportions.  Just 17 years of age, Malala has become the youngest Nobel Prize laureate in the world, and the only Pakistani to win a Nobel Prize for Peace.

Haroon Tariq

Well it would seem that the best was saved for the last! For in November 2014 it was made official that Haroon has broken all previous world records by achieving the highest number of A(s) and A*(stars) ever, that is 87As, of which 57 are in (GCSE & IGCSE) and 30 are in (A Levels).

So all around the world, Pakistan is getting the recognition it deserves; and for that we have our youth to thank for!

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Hajra Saeed

Hajra Saeed has been writing for the past 20 years. During her career she has contributed to various leading newspapers and magazines, but currently writes for the special supplements of ‘The Nation’. She has written on a wide array of topics; however areas of interest are social issues, religion, philosophy and presenting a positive image of Pakistan. Has experience in copy writing, content writing, technical writing, screenwriting and teaching. Likes to read, do online courses as well as charity work.