When it comes to international media coverage, Pakistan is not so fortunate and always draws the shorter straw. Therefore, it is always a pleasure when the country is highlighted in a positive light.

Forbes just released the 30 under 30 2018 Asia list and 9 Pakistanis are featured in it!

Meet the young people making a change:

Hussain, a 23 year old Karachi based social activist, is the founder of Perihelion Systems. His company aims to ‘enrich lives through technology’. The most pre-eminent products include EDU-AID, One Health and Glove Gauge. One health is a disease surveillance and tracking system whereas EDU-AID is a software that translates American sign language for hearing/speech impaired.

Hussain also received ‘Queen’s Young leaders Award’ in 2017 for his technological contribution in the health department. He has also mentored over 200 students from less privileged backgrounds by teaching them computer programming.

Farrukh is a 24 year old Oxford graduate. He took notice of the lack of access to clean drinking water in the rural areas of Pakistan and devised the project ‘Bondh E Shams’ that ensures the availability of clean drinking water. It is one-of-a-kind solar powered system where one pump can potentially provide clean water for 5,000 people every day. Or to be more specific, 3 million cups of water every year, for 25 years!

Bashir is a co-founder at PixelArt Games Academy. At 29, she has been featured in the enterprise technology category. She has been pursuing her passion for video gaming and smashing the gender stereotypes in the most extraordinary way. The PixelArt Games Academy is bridging the gap between the gaming industry and education, and keeping a constant 33% female ratio. The Academy also provides scholarships for women who have an interest in video gaming and game development.

The Shaffi brothers came up with a price comparison platform for electronics called ‘PriceOye’ in 2015. In an e-commerce war where the first tier cities are the target, this platform focuses on the second and third tier cities of Pakistan. It provides price analysis for the consumers enabling them to opt for the most suitable and savvy of deals.

Niazi is a full fledged scientist at the young age of 17. This teenager has made Pakistan proud by being the first person to photograph the honeycomb shape made when electrically charged particles try to pass through a pool of oil. His work has also appeared in Royal Society Open Science journal.

According to WHO, Pakistan is one of the 57 countries that have a critical health workforce deficiency. In response, these 24 year olds decided to cater to the need and launched Neurostic: a healthcare start-up. The aim is to provide services and devices of high quality at low and affordable costs. Neurostic has also been providing services for amputees in Iran, Afghanistan, and Syria along with Pakistan, because these countries have almost no rehabilitation facilities.

Mustehsan is our favorite singer. But that is not all she is! She is a champion of women rights. After her debut performance with Coke Studio Mustehsan was an overnight success. The outspoken 25 year old is a social media influencer who has used her fame for all the right causes such as cyber bullying, depression and mental health awareness. She was also among BBC’s 100 Influential Women of 2017.

This is not the first time that Pakistanis have been recognized by Forbes.

Muniba Mazari and Fiza Farhan were featured back in 2016. Being nominated by Forbes is truly an honor. However, the lack of said nomination is not an indicator of a lack of talent in the country. We have a young population brimming with skills and intellect that we are proud of – whether they made it to the Forbes’ list or not.

Lets take a moment to appreciate our own list of such names!

Wazir is a professional squash player who has won International acclaims for the country. She has been fighting stereotypes with complete support from her family. She has also spoken about extremism in our society at platforms such as TedxTeen.

Pakistan’s first woman fighter pilot! Of course, we couldn’t be more proud of her. At the age of 26, Farooq is the only female fighter who qualified the final test for combat.

Gul started playing Chess when she was only six years old. At 13 she is an internationally acclaimed chess player.

Syed won the DOTA 2 championship at the age of 15. His dedication made him sell his bike in order to enter the tournament. But it was totally worth it since he won $1.2 million. He is currently living in the US and a member of the team Evil Geniuses.

Bottom line?

Extremism and terrorism may be challenges faced by Pakistan but they do not define it. Pakistan is a country with a plethora of talented individuals willing to break the glass ceiling in a number of fields.

Doubtlessly, Pakistanis have what it takes!

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