20/11: The Orkut Experience

by Shane Leavy

Gaining notoriety recently when an Indian court served them notice over a hate campaign against India that featured on the social network service, the virtual community on the internet has hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis taking part in a vast array of discussions with people from around the world. Some of them though seem to be conveying the kind of image that may not be representative of the nation at large

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Shortly after joining Orkut I posted a topic on the International Relations community for fun: imagine you were sent back in time to Germany in the 1920s and you bumped into a young Adolf Hitler. If you only had time to either kill him or let him go, what would you do?

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11/11: 11 Year Old Boy Genius

I just came across an article about an 11 year old boy from Pakistan who has completed his matriculation exams at such a young age. The article is below:

Eleven-year- old Mohammad Affan Yasin who studied at home because his poor parents could not afford to send him to school became the youngest student to pass matriculation exam last August.

His feat was recognised by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz who received him on Thursday and awarded him Rs20,000 and announced that the government would finance his education up to B.A.

The young boy from Lahore is currently doing his I Com at a college in Lahore.

Affan, born on March 3, 1995, belongs to a family with modest income. He quit school after grade III due to the family's financial problems and did his matriculation as a private student in August 2006.

Affan told the prime minister that he wished to join the armed forces when he reaches the required age. He said he devoted eight to 10 hours daily to his studies, watched cricket occasionally and had other hobbies.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said Affan had set an example for other children that "if you really put an effort and do your best, you can achieve your goals".

The prime minister congratulated his parents on encouraging him to pursue education. "Education is the most important asset for the young generation and only education can help them meet the challenges of the future and help them participate in the development of the country," he said.

The father of the boy appreciated the government's gesture in financing his son's college education. Affan has six brothers and sisters who are all studying. His father said he was doing his best to provide education to the whole family for their better future.

I was a bit surprised as to why I hadn't already heard of this news. It is a shame that the country's media hasn't given this news the attention it deserves. I would much rather hear about such achievements by brilliant Pakistanis than some monologue about the president or the prime minister going about their job.

This is indeed a great achievement by Mohammad Affan Yasin. It seems like a long time back when I went through O Levels and this brings back memories of studying; head bent over a book and reading the same line again and again until my eyes crossed out. The lad must have worked really hard to achieve this and I am proud of him for his hard work and devotion. We need more people like Mohammad Affan who work hard and succeed where others just sit back and lament the problems in the system.

I wish Mohammad Affan great success in his life.


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