2016 is almost over and new year is just around the corner. In 2016, we’ve seen tragic stories about refugees, wars and strife across the world, immense people departing and more.

For Pakistan, 2016 was no less. We lost many stars including Abdul Sattar Edhi, Amjad Sabri and Junaid Jamshed. However, the good comes with the bad. With all these tragedies, Pakistan and its people also achieved many great things this year.

Here are the 5 Stories that made Pakistanis proud this year.

Rafia Qaseem Baig – Pakistan’s first ever female Bomb Hunter

pakistan in 2016

Rafia Qaseem Baig, who belongs from KPK province, joined the police force as a constable in 2009. On her first day at the job, a bomb blast occurred near the sessions court. Attending the bomb site and seeing the massacre, she decided to join Bomb Disposal Unit.

Rafia had to fight against resistance and make her way through to join BDU. She became the first woman to join Bomb Disposal Unit in the history of Pakistan.

She did her Masters in Economics and International Relations but she wanted to continue her education, which is why she is now doing LLB from the University of Peshawar.

Dr. Anum Najam – Pakistan’s first Quadriplegic Psychiatrist

pakistan in 2016

Dr. Anum Najam, Pakistan’s first Quadriplegic Psychiatrist is a wheel chair bound, but that didn’t stopped her from achieving her goal. Anam, who was born normal, was the victim of an armed robbery in 2008. One of the bullet penetrated her neck and the result was her paralyzed body below the neck.

Fighting through the pain and failing to even have grip in her hands, she did not lose hope and recovered. After her recovery, she resumed her studies and completed her MBBS without a second thought.

In 2016, she became the first Quadriplegic Psychiatrist in Pakistan.

Fayeem Avzl – Son of an Ambulance driver who won International Awards for his Film Making skills

pakistan in 2016

Story of Fayeem Avzl proves that all you need in life to achieve something is dedication and hard work. Son of an ambulance driver, decided to drop out from national College of Arts to pursue his love for film-making, which later became a huge success story.
While working at School of Creative Arts, UOL, Fayeem decided to make his own short films. His Supun Xik – The Last of the Wakhi Shepherdess won two awards, one in Bulgaria and one in Russia by the Early Bird Film Festival in 2016.

Maria Toorpakia Wazir – Girl from Waziristan who disguised herself as a boy to pursue her dreams

pakistan in 2016

Born in a man dominated society, it was very hard for Maria to pursue her dreams in either gymnastics or squash, but she did so in a spectacular manner.

Maria disguised herself as a boy from a very young age that allowed herself to go unnoticed. Doing so, she was able to join gym and Squash courts. At the age of 12, she was ranked number two in all of Pakistan for weightlifting in the junior division. However, Maria switched her focus to squash after that.

After few years, she decided to reveal her identity which invited very much expected criticism and hatred towards her. To help pursue her dreams, she contacted former and current squash players to help her.

Jonathan Power, former number 1, helped her to move abroad. he trained Maria, which led to her great success in squash career. Maria reached a career high position of 56 in 2016.

Shahmeer Amir – The 11th greatest hacker in the World in 2016

pakistan in 2016

Pakistani nation, which is ranked as the 4th most intelligent nation in the World, often succeeds when they try to achieve something. Same is the story of Shahmeer, who became the third best bug hunter in the World in 2016.

Shahmeer, who was born in Multan, developed interest in the field of technical problem solving at a very young age. Back in the day, he had a Pentium 3, which would often go through problems such as software issues and Registry errors etc. Googling and solving the issues gave Shahmeer a knack for finding solutions.

He then started exploring the field of ethical hacking and next thing he knew, he was reporting bugs for companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo and Google.

Till now, he has reported over 300 bugs for big corporations and earned around $150,000 in total bounties. HackerOne, a vulnerability disclosure company in California, ranked Shahmeer as the 11th best hacker in the entire World in 2016.