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Powered by GulfNews.com, one of the most popular daily English language newspapers in the United Arab Emirates.

Computer prodigy wants to make technology friendlier


07/26/2009 07:01 PM | By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter

Dubai: A young computer whiz who has four world records to his name says his aim in life is to work for the underprivileged and inspiring a positive improvement in their lives through technology.

"I had the resources and guidance to achieve my dreams but so many others don't. I want to help all those children and make a difference in their lives," said Babar Iqbal, who established a fourth world record by becoming the Youngest Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) at the age of 12. In achieving this feat at so young an age, Iqbal has surprised even seasoned IT experts.

Iqbal, who is generally known as a cyber genius, hails from Dera Ismail Khan in Pakistan, but he is undergoing training and working with Microsoft Gulf in Dubai.

He laid claim to the other world records by becoming the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) at the age of nine years, the youngest Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA), also at the age nine, and the youngest Certified Web Professional Associate (CIWA) at the age of ten.

"Rather than teaching IT to youngsters of my age, we must teach them games, animations, cartoon development and fun things. This way, they will have more fun and they will learn IT without realising," Iqbal told Gulf News from his home town of Dera Ismail Khan - a town in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) in Pakistan.

"I want to work with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and United Nations in order to achieve my aims," said Iqbal who is also the Microsoft regional technical coordinator for Imagine Cup. He is also involved with Infusion Development in the Gulf region.

His two brothers and two sisters are also Microsoft certified professionals.

"Technology is supposed to be sweet, something that everyone would love to have. That's why I always like to find fun things in technology. Today's world is all about IT, so education without IT is almost impossible," he noted.

Iqbal's elder brothers Kashif Iqbal and Asif Iqbal - both Dubai-based IT professionals - are his mentors.

"Babar used to trouble us a lot by interfering in our work at the age of five when we were studying IT. We used to get annoyed with him but later started encouraging him having seen his great interest in the field of computers," recalled Kashif.

"My efforts have always been focused on the following principle: "The earlier you start, the better it is," said Iqbal, who is now a grade nine student.

Do you know any child who could be labelled a prodigy? What do you think encourages them to work so hard at such a young age? Share your thoughts with us at letter2editor@gulfnews.com

 
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