Taher Qassim MBE

Taher was born in Yemen and studied in Yemen, Sweden, and England. He has worked in Primary Health Care, Public Health and has been involved in community development and participation locally, regionally and internationally over the last 34 plus years. Part of this work was in different countries in the Middle East and Africa. In 1991 Taher came to LSTM to study his MSc in Community Health. 

Taher is currently a full-time Public Health Practitioner with Liverpool City Council. His role is to work collaboratively with different partners delivering services on public health priorities for the people of Liverpool. Over the last four years, Taher played a leading role in the bowel cancer screening programme in Liverpool. This role is looking at the strategic overview and the delivery of screening services ensuring people from different backgrounds are given similar opportunities to improve the quality of their lives.

Taher was a founder member and a leader of a few local and national voluntary organisations including a co-founder and the chair of the Liverpool Arabic Centre, a co-founder and the chair of the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, a chair of Merseyside Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) consortium, a chair of the National Yemeni Community Coordinating Council (YCCC) UK, a co-founder of Liverpool Friends of Yemen for peace, and a member of the International British Yemeni Society Committee. Taher was awarded MBE in September 2007 for his contribution to improving achievements in education among young BAME communities.

In 2019, Taher returned to LSTM to give a special seminar before his retirement. We took this opportunity to ask Taher some questions:

Q. Why did you choose to study at LSTM?

I had friends who recommended LSTM and my wife did her MSc Community Health before me.

Q. How you feel your time here shaped your future? 

It was the exposure with international students and international lecturers and tutors. These interactions were stimulating and inspiring. Students were encouraged to be open minded, critical, and finding ways to resolve public health issues.

Q. What are you most proud of among your achievements

I am proud of being able to hold my international family connected with one another, to respect one another, and show the sense of love and affection without reservations. I was able to put into practice my MSc into practical applications in public health research, health improvement, and managing change. My involvement with a range of international organisations before and after doing MSc was the backbone of my continued learning not only in public health but life in general. As a founder of various charity and community organisations, the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival stand alone as one of the best achievements. I feel proud and privileged to have created this organisation that accommodate artists from different parts of the World to show case positive Arab culture. The audience old and new of the festival get a flavour of the Arab arts in Liverpool and watched Worldwide by millions of people through major TV networks such as BBC Arabic TV, CNN, and others.

Q. What advice would you give to our current students?

My advice is to:

Know yourself and your abilities, get inspired to inspire, take the opportunities when they arise the may not come back, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, MCommH provides you tools to research, debate, argue, plan, manage, take risks, try them and use them at different levels. Mistakes and failures are part of the success.


Watch Taher's exclusive LSTM seminar 'A Shpherd in Public Health' here.