East-West Center Oral History Project: Arjumand Faisel

Arjumand Faisel

Arjumand Faisel had been an actor, TV anchorman and talent manager before age 20. He was already a family physician and senior instructor at Aga Khan University Medical College in Karachi when he came to EWC in 1987 as a Masters in Public Health grantee in Open Grants.  His EWC experience in public health training changed his career "from seeing patients to seeing populations and worrying about them."  Later he worked with USAID in Pakistan and WHO/ERMD in Egypt.  He started his own firm, Arjumand and Associates in 2002.  Choosing EWC/UHM over Johns Hopkins and other famous medical colleges, Faisel has this to say upon his return to the Pakistani medical community:  "I found that my colleagues that went to Hopkins...I really found I was more enriched than them, and it really reflected when you were working... They only knew the theories, but East-West Center had taught me to evolve into a society and to live with a society in a different way. Though they may be theoretically much more stronger in epidemiology or maybe biostatistics or something, I found that I had a better understanding of the systems and things and of people."


Read Faisel's interview narrative (pdf)


  • Personal Background
  • Life Before EWC - Save a Human Life/Patient Welfare Project - Work in Public Health
  • Life at EWC - Application Process - Choosing EWC - Best memories/Interaction with Students - Practicing at Queen’s Hospital
  • Life After EWC - Joining USAID in Islamabad - Joining WHO - Work as Independent Consultant
  • EWC's Impact


Interview Quotes
“Everybody was so welcoming.  The whole environment was so friendly.   That was such a lovely environment.  It really changed my personality.  I have never seen people offering help so much and coming from such different cultures.  Surprisingly, the Chinese group became my best friends there, and I used to love their food and they started loving mine.  So we started changing and cooking for each other.  I would give them my food and they would share their food because they were very close in the same rooms, and we were in the same kitchen.  It was great fun. “

“Well, I learned to smile, a lot.  That was a major change.  There were certain personality changes in me.  I developed a great understanding of why people, different people, react in different ways.  For example, we were having an intercultural course seminar at the Center, and they were asking how do the brides dress up in your community.  I mentioned well, they wear red clothes, and somebody got up and said, “Red?  Oh my god! Red on a wedding day?  It can’t be possible.”  I said, “Why?  Red is the color of weddings.”  “Red is not the color of weddings!”  So it started opening up my mind.”


These narratives, which reflect interviewees’ personal perceptions, opinions and memories, may contain errors of fact. They do not reflect positions or versions of history officially approved by the East-West Center.