Radiologist Dr Waheed Arian spoke movingly about his experiences as a former Afghan refugee on Desert Island Discs. He arrived as a 15 year-old asylum seeker and was initially confined in the Feltham Young Offender Institution, before continuing his education and winning a place at Cambridge.
He urged listeners to show tolerance towards refugees.
“i would simply ask people to think of people who are fleeing conflict, persecution or for other reasons as human beings,” he said. Of course we have to protect borders, we also have to make sure criminal gangs are not operational, but blaming refugees, people who’ve fled conflict, and trying to politicise or weaponise them, I think that’s inhumane.”
His charity, Arian Teleheal, enables local doctors in war zones and less well resourced charities consult with expert clinicians from across the world, by using resources like smartphones, instant messaging and video chat.