Speaking and consultancy
Dr Waheed Arian’s remarkable life story has inspired millions of people across the world. His achievements in overcoming almost unsurmountable challenges to achieve an incredible dream have been described by commentators as “inspiring”, “humbling” and “so against the odds that it sounds like a Hollywood movie”.
Dr Arian’s unbelievable journey has given him a unique insight into what is needed to succeed against all the odds.
He is a sought-after public speaker internationally, entertaining and inspiring audiences at medical conferences and other events including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Goalkeepers Conference 2017, as well speaking at the first TEDxNHS.
Dr Arian recently addressed the UNESCO Global Hope Coalition summit, the Royal College of Radiologists 2017 international conference and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine’s South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit. Dr Arian will be giving a keynote speech at Africa Healthcare Week 2018, the largest event of its kind.
Dr Arian welcomes speaking invitations, as he believes that his story and insights he has gained through his struggles and successes can inspire, empower and educate people all around the world.
He also offers consultancy support to individuals, groups and organisations.
Dr Arian is multi-lingual in English, Pashto, Farsi and Hindi/Urdo, as well as having conversational-level Arabic.
He is an accomplished presenter on a wide range of topics, and tailors his talks to the audience as required. His topics include:
- Innovation – predicting the future to innovate and lead pioneering work in any field.
- Personal development – motivation, resilience, inspiration, empowerment, time-management and organisation.
- Entrepreneurship – setting up and running a start-up.
- Philanthropy – establishing and running a national and international charitable trust.
- Promoting global peace and tolerance – how to build bridges between different communities.
- Leadership and management – medical, educational, business, design, IT, politics, fashion and other fields.
- Information Technology and Design – use of day to day technology and complex technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, in different fields.
- Communication – national and international diplomacy/relations, negotiations, public speaking, presentation skills, interview skills, and working with the media.
- Brand building and promotion – using mainstream and social media to build brands.
- Education – most educational topics at school, undergrad, postgrad and higher levels.
AN INCREDIBLE LIFE-STORY
Only in his mid-30s now, Dr Arian was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1983 and spent his childhood in the middle of the Soviet conflict. His family moved from house-to-house regularly to avoid the fighting, and Dr Arian had no regular schooling, as teachers were often unable to attend because of the risk of bombs and rockets.
As the fighting intensified in Kabul, Dr Arian’s family made the decision to flee to Pakistan. This was a hazardous mountain crossing, during which they were attacked by Soviet jets and helicopter gunships, only just escaping with their lives.
Arriving in what they hoped would be sanctuary in a Pakistan refugee camp, the whole family had to live in a single room with no proper power supply or air conditioning. The blistering heat and unsanitary conditions combined to make illness widespread and Dr Arian suffered from a potentially-fatal combination of malnutrition, malaria and TB.
Living in the refugee camp, Dr Arian developed the dream of becoming a doctor, so he could help his family and the people around them.
Following the Soviet withdrawal, Dr Arian’s family returned to Kabul. However, peace eluded them, as the insurgency grew in intensity. With dangers growing, Dr Arian’s family sent him to the one place they hoped he could find safety and fulfil his dream of becoming a doctor – the UK.
Knowing only a few words of English, Dr Arian took multiple jobs, including working in a shop and as a cleaner to support himself and his family. He studied at several colleges in the evening, and gained the A Levels required to study medicine at Cambridge University.
Overcoming social isolation at one of the world’s top universities, Dr Arian went on to acquire world-class qualifications from Harvard and Imperial. Qualifying as a doctor, he practised in Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals, and the Royal Free Hospital, before moving to Aintree University Hospital.
During this time, Dr Arian was using his leave to travel back to Afghanistan to assist medics who were caring for patients injured in the ongoing conflict. During these trips, he realised that many UK medics would like to help too, but could not travel safely to Afghanistan.
This inspired him to establish Arian Teleheal, a charitable trust which now has 100 volunteer medics who advise their colleagues in Afghanistan and other countries using social media or other every-day technologies.
With feedback from the Afghan health authorities that the scheme had saved dozens of lives, Dr Arian began working to roll the telemedicine scheme out to other conflict zones or developing areas, including Syria and a number of African countries, which it will begin in 2018.
Dr Arian’s achievements have been recognised with the UN Global Hero Award (2017), the Health Service Journal Highly Commended Rising Star Award (2016), and the Presidential Award from His Excellency Dr Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the President of Afghanistan, through his Minister Advisor on Health Matters. Dr Arian was also appointed as a NHS Innovation Fellow in 2017.
Dr Arian is currently planning an academy to share the lessons he has learned and to inspire people from all walks of life across the globe, so that they can fulfil their full potential and can contribute positively to their societies. He is also working on his autobiography, which he hopes will reach even more people globally, inspiring them to achieve their own dreams.