‘This book is a gift, a dazzling testimony to the extraordinary contributions that refugees make to the host communities that welcome them.‘ KHALED HOSSEINI, author of The Kite Runner
‘A thrilling and absorbing read from first to last. What a life and what an inspiration.’ STEPHEN FRY
UNESCO’s Global Hero Award
Who Cares Wins Best Doctor Award
The Times‘s Man of the Year Award
Born in war-torn Afghanistan, Waheed Arian’s first memories are of bombs. His first-hand experience of the power of medicine inspired him to dedicate his life to healing others. But how does a boy with nothing hope to become a doctor?
Fleeing the conflict with his family, he spent much of his childhood in refugee camps in Pakistan, living sometimes ten to a room without basic sanitation or access to education. Waheed largely taught himself, from textbooks bought from street-sellers, and learned English from the BBC World Service. Smuggled to the UK at fifteen with just a hundred dollars in his pocket, he found a job in a shop. He was advised to set his sights on becoming a taxi driver. But the boy from Kabul had bigger ambitions.
Working through PTSD and anxiety, he studied all hours to achieve his vocation. He was accepted to read medicine at Cambridge University, Imperial College and Harvard, and went on to become a doctor in the NHS, currently in A&E on the Covid frontline. But he wanted to do more. In 2015 he founded Arian Teleheal, a pioneering global charity that connects doctors in war zones and low-resource countries with their counterparts in the US, UK, Europe and Australia. Together, learning from each other, they save and change lives – the lives of millions of people just like Waheed.
For readers of Educated and War Doctor, this is the extraordinary memoir of a boy who recognized the power of education and dreamed about helping others. It is a tale of courage, ambition and unwavering resilience in the face of all the challenges that life can throw in your way.
‘A powerful, heart-warming account… I was moved and delighted.’ JOHN SIMPSON
‘Immensely powerful and moving… Dr Arian’s journey, resilience and heart are truly remarkable.’ DR RACHEL CLARKE
‘One of the most incredible life stories you will ever hear.’ JAMES O’BRIEN
‘A story of astonishing resilience. An incredible story about an incredible man.’ DAVID BECKHAM