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Amar Latif (born 4 December 1974) is a blind British entrepreneur, actor, director, motivational speaker and world traveller. His blindness is due to the incurable eye condition Retinitis Pigmentosa. By the age of 20, he had 95% sight loss.
Amar is the founder and director of Traveleyes, the world's first commercial international air tour operator company to specialise in serving blind as well as sighted travellers. In founding this ground-breaking enterprise, he set out to challenge the assumption that visually impaired travellers should ever have to accept restrictions on their world travel aspirations. A Scotsman now based in Leeds, Latif often personally acts as world tour-guide.
Education and Experience
Amar Latif gained a BSc in Mathematics, Statistics and Finance at the University of Strathclyde, spending part of his course in Canada at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. On leaving university, he trained as an accountant, and eventually became Head of Commercial Finance for British Telecom.
In 2007, he was presented with the inaugural Stelios Disabled Entrepreneur Award. This award is presented by EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou in partnership with the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability. Latif's awards include the 2005 'Outstanding Young Business Entrepreneur of the World' and 'Outstanding Young Person of the UK', both awarded by the Chamber of Commerce International (JCI), the 2006 One Vision Man of the Year and the University of Strathclyde’s 2006 Alumnus of the Year award.
Amar Latif was a participant in the first series of the BBC Two documentary Beyond Boundaries. Broadcast in October and November 2005, the four-part programme explored the levels of endurance attainable by a group of travellers with various disabilities on a gruelling 220 mile trek from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts of Nicaragua. Amar also directed the Channel 4 documentary Sightseeing Blind, broadcast on 15 April 2007. His most recent TV acting roles have included parts in the BBC Three surreal comedy series It's Adam and Shelley, and the BBC One drama series Love Soup with Tamsin Greig, produced by Verity Lambert, scheduled for screening in early 2008. He appeared as a special guest on the television cookery show Ready, Steady, Cook.
He has also appeared in theatrical productions in the UK, including musical revue and serious drama. He has played music professionally in the USA and Canada in a Blues duo, playing guitar and singing.
Latif is well known for his charity work. He is a fund-raising public speaker, as well as taking on other fund-raising activities, one of which involved him abseiling down the side of a major public building dressed as Batman.
- "Amar Latif". Retrieved 2008-01-29.
- "Traveleyes". Archived from the original on 13 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
- Traveleyes - Home
- Baxter, Kevin (10 January 2008). "My big idea Traveleyes". The Times (London). Retrieved 23 April 2010.
- Stelios disabled entrepreneur award
- Press Releases from RNC - All the latest from The Royal National College of the Blind,
- Alumnus Of The Year 2006 - University of Strathclyde
- BBC - Ouch! - TV & Radio - Beyond Boundaries
- Sightseeing Blind - University of Strathclyde