High Rise team members Ben and Jack at the One Young World Summit in Manchester

With our client, Dr Waheed Arian, at the One Young World Summit

The annual One Young World Summit took place in Manchester at the end of last month seeing hundreds of delegates gathering together to talk about issues facing young people around the globe.

High-Rise were lucky enough to get to go along as our client, Dr Waheed Arian was speaking at the event.

We attended the third day of the Summit, held at Manchester Central.

Now, if you don’t know much about Waheed, you should definitely read his book. In the Wars details the incredible journey that took him from Afghanistan to the UK.

Waheed’s memoir tells how his family put their hopes in him being able to leave Afghanistan due to the Soviet conflict. As a young boy he spent time in refugee camps in Pakistan. On returning to Kabul, he was in danger of being recruited by the Taliban. On arriving in Britain, he was detained at a young offenders institution. But, was later released without charge and went on to study medicine at the University of Cambridge.

Speaking at the conference

The opening question from Dr Isaac Olufadewa was on Waheed’s decision to become a doctor – something he decided on from a very early age.

He said: “There is so much trauma and misery in refugee camps. But there are people who can heal. I had a dream of becoming a doctor and doing just that.”

At the One Young World Summit, Waheed drew on his life experiences, as well as discussing wider issues, such as global health inequality, his work as an A&E NHS doctor, mental health and his charity, Arian Teleheal.

And it was interesting listening to all of Waheed’s answers because as someone who had not attended a Summit before but who finds it important to listen to the experience of refugees, it was enlightening to hear someone who could detail their journey and fight for a better life.

I mean, I had some knowledge of refugee and migration matters from my undergraduate degree in politics, but to hear the experiences from someone such as Waheed, who fled war to become an NHS doctor and study at a world-leading university, was hugely inspirational. Waheed talks with passion, compassion and a motivation to help. 


As well as appearing at the One Young World Summit, Waheed recently appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs. You can listen back to his recording with TV presenter Lauren Laverne on the BBC website.