Born in war-torn Afghanistan, Waheed Arian's first memories are of bombs.  Fleeing the conflict with his family, he spent much of his childhood in refugee camps in Pakistan. After he contracted tuberculosis, 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?

Smuggled to the UK at fifteen with just $100 in his pocket he studied all hours to achieve his vocation and was accepted to read medicine at Cambridge University, Imperial College and Harvard, and went on to become a doctor in the NHS.  

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.

Winner of Unesco's Global Hero Award.

Chaired by Michael Chaplin


'A thrilling and absorbing read from first to last. What a life and what an inspiration.' Stephen Fry

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  • Priority Booking for Festival Friends opens at 08.00 on Tuesday 19th April. Tickets go on general sale from Thursday 21st April. 
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