Dr. Saleyha Ahsan is a practicing A&E doctor at a London hospital, a former Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps and a well-known broadcaster. Saleyha co-presents the hit BBC2 health series, Trust Me, I’m a Doctor. She has also presented the BBC1 program Fast Tales about Ramadan and co-presented a BBC2 Horizon special on the Longitude Prize in recent years.
After graduating from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Saleyha joined the Royal Army Medical Corps, where she led her troop on an operational tour of Bosnia. It was there that Saleyha was inspired by the work of military doctors and applied to study medicine. Her medical and military background form the inspiration for her media work to date and she recently presented a special report for Newsnight on Army medical preparations for battleground theatres and a BBC Inside Out special on the increasing role of reservists in the Army today.
Saleyha left the Army in 2000 and settled into being a medical student whilst also returning to journalism. Once a civilian Saleyha proceeded to work in countries she had not been able to visit when she was in the Army. Her on-screen experience began in 2001 when she co-presented and filmed for a Chameleon Films series, Dangerous Journeys for Channel 4, which saw her travelling to both the Indian and Pakistan sides of Kashmir interviewing Kashmiri mujahideen in the pre-9/11 era. She reported for a BBC Radio 5 Live Special documentary from within a mujahideen training camp in Kashmir, after gaining exclusive access just weeks after 9/11. She then went onto make a further special report in Palestine during the intifada of 2002.
During the uprising in Libya in 2011, Saleyha spent six months independently filming doctors on the front line. She reported for the BBC’s From Our Own Correspondent, Channel 4 News online, BBC online, the BMJ online and Latitude News. In 2013 she was followed to Syria by a BBC Panorama team making the film Saving Syria’s Children, where she was working as a doctor.
Saleyha directed her debut cinematic short film My Mother’s Daughter in 2008 which won Best European Film at Los Angeles based film festival, Pangea Daybacked by the TED organization and also Best International Film for the Tehran based Parvania Etesami Film festival.
In 2011 Saleyha completed a master’s degree in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.