Syed Ahmad
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With profound sorrow, the grandchildren of Syed Ahmad wish to inform family and friends of the passing of our "Naana". Syed passed away peacefully on October 30, 2020 at Joseph Brant Hospital, Burlington, Ontario, surrounded by family, at the age of 90.

Born in India, Syed was the youngest of five sons of Ahmad Ghafoor and Jameela Khatoon. Since the age of 9, he dreamt of exploring the world and his first journey was to England to attend the London School of Economics as a student. Ultimately his chosen career as professor of Economics would take him across four continents from Aligarh University (India), the University of Khartoum (Sudan) where he was later appointed Head of the Department, the University of Kent (England) where he was also appointed Head of the Department, and finally to McMaster University in Hamilton in 1972 where he was later appointed as Chair of the Department.

Among his accomplishments, Syed was a founding member of the McMaster Arts & Science program, and he was delighted with its success. During his career, he published numerous papers in leading Economics journals and was awarded a DSc from the University of London. He went on to author the textbook "Capital in Economic Theory: Neo-Classical, Cambridge and Chaos". After retiring in 1995, he continued his travels, accepting visiting professor positions in Japan and Turkey. When asked where he would prefer to live, he quoted the poet Allama Iqbal: "Har mulk mulk mast ké mulké khudai mast." (Every country is my country, because every country is God's country.)

Along with his distinguished career, Syed pursued several personal interests. He especially loved playing Bridge, a constant throughout his life, ever since he began with his father at a young age. He had an insatiable thirst for knowledge, evident in the vast library of books and literature he collected in French, Urdu, and English on everything from Philosophy to Economics to Arts to Politics. For light reading, he enjoyed science fiction, detective stories and classics. His favorite authors included Isaac Asimov, Rex Stout, Agatha Christie as well as Jane Austen. Syed took great pleasure in Urdu literature, especially poetry, and he enjoyed creating and publishing the first numeric "Abjad" Urdu dictionary. His passion for books and knowledge was wonderfully infectious, and he encouraged the same love of learning, curiosity and critical thinking in his children and grandchildren through lively discussions on topics both mundane and lofty.

He lived a full life to the end, and will be deeply missed by his four daughters, Sumbul, Soraya, Shabana and Nazish, his three sons-in-law, Wasi, Shakeel and Jamil, (Pervez predeceased him), his sixteen grandchildren and great-grand-children. Also saddened by the loss are his nephews, nieces, extended family members and close friends. We will all remember Syed for his thoughtful insights, his quick wit and his kindness. He had a warm and generous nature, ensuring family and friends alike knew that his home was always open to them.

Syed is now buried as he had planned, next to his wife Zahida at the Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens. Inna lillah wa inna ilayhi raajiun (to God do we belong, and to Him is our return).

In lieu of memorial flowers, donations may be sent to the Heart and Stroke Foundation at: 1439 Upper Ottawa St., Unit 7, Hamilton, ON L8W 3J6
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Published in The Hamilton Spectator on Jan. 22, 2021.
Memories & Condolences
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6 entries
January 27, 2021
I knew Syed through a weekly lunch gathering of mostly emeritus economics professors, roughly 10-15 years ago. I was a newcomer, but he was always very kind to me as well as charming and wise. I know he will be missed greatly by his family, close friends and many others. Please accept my deepest condolences.
Phil DeCicca
January 26, 2021
I was one of his students at McMaster in the late 1970,s, took courses with him in capital theory, and chose him as my supervisor for dissertation. Such an impressive and loving professor he was that it is difficult to find people comparable to him. Unfortunately after just one year or so, he went on sabbatical, and I had to go with another professor as my supervisor. Yet I remained in contact with hi throughout his life. Indeed I asked for his comments on some of the chapters of a book I was writing some fifteen years ago - a book which was published by Brill in 2010 on the subject of Islamic Economics. I have acknowledged his feedback in the book. I still fondly remember going to his place annually on his invitation along with other graduate students - and he was the only professor who used to do this. What a wonderful person he was. Indeed he wrote a manuscript on the subject of ribs - I still have a cyclostyled copy of that with me. He presented it at an MSA conference in US, and told me that none there appreciated it. We will all miss him. May Allah have mercy on humans bless him; Aameen.

Rauf Azhar
Rauf Azhar
January 25, 2021
Janipur najmul Hasan his brother in law
Significant Other
January 23, 2021
He was a kind & considerate neighbour. He was always ready for a conversation & enjoyed a good laugh. We are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts & prayers are with you.
Janis Percy
January 22, 2021
He was a kind wonderful neighbor.
Paul D Percy
January 22, 2021
I am missing him very much because He was one of my most favourite people. I always enjoyed talking to him immensely considering how highly educated and knowledgeable he was, he could talk at any level to people of all ages. Even to my Canadian born children who are shy of talking to our elders thoroughly enjoyed talking to him. He is not only a loss to family and friends but all those who got to know him. May he Rest In Peace. My heartfelt sympathies with his entire family. Sharing your grief.
Reshma Alvi
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