A teenager from Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, Rohana Khattak wins the New York Time’s ‘Invent a Word’ challenge by introducing the word ‘oblivionaire’ referring to the global economic leaders.

The new English word is derived from two existing words ‘oblivious’ and ‘billionaire.’ As clear from the name, it means the billionaire who is oblivious of the consequences of the accumulation of their wealth on the poor and middle class.  

The 16 years old explained the meaning of the word saying that oblivionaire is a billionaire who chooses to be blind or unaware of the disparity and inequality that their wealth is causing. Rohana sounds touched by social inequality caused by the unequal distribution of wealth. The world is moved by how a teenager used this medium to bring a bitter social reality to notice. Explaining why this word should be a part of English vocabulary, Rohana said,

“According to Oxfam International, the “world’s 10 richest men more than doubled their fortunes” to $1.5 trillion “during the first two years of a pandemic that has seen the incomes of 99 percent of humanity fall and over 160 million more people forced into poverty.” She further asserted, “we live in an era that has multiple global catastrophes taking place at the same time and inequality to the point that, while millions of children are starving to death, others have more money than they can spend. This egregious imbalance is not drawing enough attention, and we need to have the vocabulary to name the people who, in the lap of luxury, detach themselves from responsibility to the millions of people suffering and in agony around the planet.”

Rohana also gave an example using this word in a sentence explaining the cause why she coined this term.

“Gen Z’s furor over the so-called oblivionaires who ignore global crises is blowing up on social media, in a campaign being noticed by many global and political figures.”

The teenage girl received appreciation from all across the country. The Pakistani ambassador to the US, Sardar Masood Khan also tweeted for Rohana congratulating her for winning the competition and inventing the word.  

Author

Ayesha Areej is a staff writer at The Academia Magazine

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