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
Or online at: https://www.heartandstroke.ca/how-you-can-help/ways-to-give