19 September 2015
Assalamualaikum and Good Morning,
Its an honour for me to be standing here in front of an esteemed audience that includes respected Chairman Senate Mr. Raza Rabbani, Madam Rukhsana Zuberi, National Champions, participants, their families and their schools. Also, I am thankful to TEC Education Foundation for organizing this great event and recognizing me along with others.
Today, I am relieved to know that there are amazing people in Pakistan who recognize and support their youth. Going to the USA alone, representing my country Pakistan and winning the bronze medal was not my win but the win of my countrymen, my family and my friends. By being the celebration and official recognition of our win, Today’s event gives credence to the fact that the win was really ours.
My journey started in June 2014 when I was first told about this competition by my teacher at FFC Schools Mirpur Mathelo, Sir Razi. At the time I couldn’t have grasped the importance of this competition but I still participated. I went through its website, liked it and as I was already using PowerPoint I decided to appear in it. As I am living in a remote city I didn’t have many resources to prepare but i used what I had and ultimately appeared in the test. I scored 1000/1000 but still had no idea if I would win the national championship. But ultimately I was confirmed as the national champion in PowePoint 2007. Then we applied for the US visa but we were rejected twice for lack of international travel history. It took a lot of effort,we were disappointed but we didn’t lose faith. This year I applied again in PowerPoint 2013 and won a place in the team by scoring 1000/1000 again. I learned from my past, dedicated time to learn the Visa process, traveled to Islamabad and Alhamdulilah my visa was approved. But after all this work, we didn’t have any financial support. That moment was a very difficult decision. The expenses were a lot but this event was once in a life time opportunity. But ultimately my mom decided to go ahead. We were too close to leave it.
I had to do a lot myself. I hope that future students don’t face the same problems and that they are guided and financially supported by a government organization because after all this is for Pakistan. Also, I want to request the Government to talk with the US Embassy or Consulate so future students don’t have to fight so hard to ultimately be denied the opportunity due to visa problems.
From financial difficulties to visa issues to lack of time and resources for preparation, I had to face many challenges to participate in the Microsoft Office World Championship 2015. But at the end, winning the bronze medal for my country was a moment of pride and happiness which made me forget my past difficulties. But even greater happiness was when I wore my country’s flag on my shoulders.
This couldn’t have been possible without the prayers and support of my family, my friend and everyone around me.
The event was held in Texas and I really enjoyed the southern state. I got to meet amazing people from all around the World. I met friends from Ecuador in South America to Kenya in Africa to New Zealand to our neighbouring India. What I noticed what was that there is no difference between us and them. We have got the capability, we have got the ability. At the end, It’s all about opportunity and its about determination.
To conclude I would like to say that our youth is our future and how we treat it defines our future. If continued support is given to our youth we will surely shine. Yes, we are behind, yes our system and our society is plagued by problems, but we can cure this disease. If we do, we will surely gallop ahead.
I hope ventures in technology like this and others are supported so students like me and better than me can participate in them, win laurels for our country and prove to the world we are no less.