Sangam Festival

Focus on… Dr Waheed Arian

We have three copies of Dr Arian’s book In the Wars to give away. Please follow us on social media to find out more.

Name: Dr Waheed Arian

South Asian heritage: Born in Afghanistan in 1983

Profession: A&E doctor in the NHS in Chester. Advisor to global organisations and governments on the development of healthcare and education systems. Speaker at national and international conferences and events.

Childhood: Born in war-torn Afghanistan during the Soviet conflict, he fled with his family over mountainous terrain, almost being killed by a Soviet air attack. He then spent most of his childhood in refugee camps in Pakistan.

Medical training: He chose to dedicate himself to medicine after contracting tuberculosis, while suffering from malnutrition and malaria. He taught himself from medical textbooks and learned English from BBC World Service broadcasts.

The family returned to Kabul after the Soviet withdrawal, but when the insurgency grew, he was smuggled to the UK aged 15. He studied all hours and was accepted to study medicine at Cambridge University in 2003, later gaining further qualifications from Imperial College and Harvard.

He worked in London hospitals and then took a post at Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool and now works at Chester Hospital.

Home life: Married with a son, lives in Chester.

Charitable work: Dr Arian returned regularly to Afghanistan during his leave from work. He then founded Arian Teleheal, a pioneering charity working with clinicians on the ground in low-resource and war-torn countries and connecting them with their counterparts in the UK, Europe, UK and Australia.

Books: His autobiography In the Wars: A story of conflict, survival and saving lives was published in hardback by Bantam Press in 2021 and in paperback in June 2022. The book details his journey from the bomb-ridden backstreets of Kabul during the Soviet conflict to speaking to presidents and international experts.

Arian Wellbeing: Having overcoming PTSD and following the Covid pandemic, Dr Arian developed Arian Wellbeing, offering personalised holistic care from psychologists, licenced therapists, personal trainers and nutritionists.


  • Presidential Award from His Excellency Dr Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the President of Afghanistan, through his Minister Advisor on Health Matters
  • Health Service Journal Highly Commended Rising Star Award 2016
  • UNESCO Global Hope Hero 2017
  • NHS Innovation Clinical Entrepreneur Fellow and Mentor 2017
  • UN Global Hero Award 2017
  • Points of Light Award 2018
  • Rotary International Peace Award 2018
  • Appointed to the WHO Roster of Digital Health Experts in 2019
  • Doctor of the Year, Who Cares Wins Awards 2021
  • One of The Times People of the Year 2021
  • Winner of the Achievement Through Adversity category in the 23rd GG2 Leadership and Diversity Awards 2022

Afghan Aid has a range of traditional recipes on its website: