Amar Latif is a blind traveller, entrepreneur and TV presenter with an astonishing track record of facing up to major challenges. Due to an incurable eye condition, Amar lost 95% of his sight by the time he was 18. Through sheer determination he has managed to turn an unpromising tale of loss into one of truly inspirational achievement.
Amar became known to millions through the ground-breaking BBC2 reality series, Beyond Boundaries (series 1), a jungle endurance expedition across Central America. Screened worldwide, this was a gruelling 220-mile trek on foot across the rugged interior of Nicaragua, from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast. Amar had to ford swollen rivers, cut through dense jungle, cross waterfalls, climb a 5,000 ft. active volcano and navigate the second largest lake in Latin America.
Since then, Amar has brought his fearless attitude and infectious sense of humour to travel documentaries like ‘Travelling Blind’, ‘The Last Leg Down Under’, and the award-winning BBC programme ‘River Walks: the Nidd’. His latest excursions have seen him taking a deep dive into faith and spirituality in ‘Pilgrimage: The Road to Istanbul’, and donning the MasterChef apron for the 15th series of Celebrity MasterChef, in which he made history as the UK series first ever blind contestant.
Away from the camera, Amar’s entrepreneurial achievements have seen him awarded with The Outstanding Young Person of the World accolade (Business / Entrepreneurial category) from the Chamber of Commerce International (JCI) and the prestigious Stelios Disabled Entrepreneur Award, presented by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.
These honours were all in recognition of Amar’s company, Traveleyes. Founded in 2004, Traveleyes is the world’s first commercial tour operator to specialise in holidays for blind as well as sighted travellers, and has opened the holiday travel industry to millions of blind and partially sighted people around the world, giving them the opportunity to skydive in Cuba, sail the Ionian Sea, and ski down Europe’s highest mountains. The company is still going strong despite the difficulties facing global travel, and has recently launched the Companion Cane – a device that facilitates sighted guiding without physical contact – to help the blind community keep on exploring even during the pandemic.
Amar is very rarely in one place for long, but when he isn’t travelling, he is often giving his time to charity. Amar is a patron for SeeAbility, an ambassador Leonard Cheshire Disability, and has been the face of appeals for many more – such as the BBC Lifeline appeal for Retina UK. He is also a regular fundraiser/supporter of other blind-related charities including Sightsavers and the RNIB.
Amar also works with schools around the world taking students on a wide range of travel adventures whilst having them describe the sights to other blind travellers. By broadening the mindset of young people today, Amar hopes to create a more accessible world for those with vision impairment in the future.
Amar is represented by Tatty Black, who can be contacted at [email protected]