CEMA member Hasanat Ahmad celebrates 50 years in journalism!

January 26, 2015

Fifty years is a long time to be in any profession, leave aside a cynical one like journalism. Well, CEMA member and director Hasanat Ahmad Syed, publisher of New Canada and founder of the Human Rights and Race Relations Centre has, and quite successfully. Starting off in Pakistan he completed his 50th year in a country that the world loves to adore as the haven of multiculturalism, Canada.

Some celebrations are in order and there are rumours of this happening soon, at a CEMA meeting! 🙂

Meanwhile, here is a short bio of Hasanat lifted from the HRRRC website by CEMA, along with a couple of photographs. Our best to Hasanat and wishing him even more success.

Hasanat Ahmad Syed, a well-known figure in Toronto circles, hails from India, settled in Pakistan and later immigrated to Canada over 25 years ago.

Active in the Human Rights and Race Relations Centre since its inception in 1994, and currently as its Chair, Mr. Syed has diligently brought to attention issues of racism. He has a passion for a just and equitable society. His unique and positive way of rewarding those who are actively involved in the eradication of racism in our society has contributed significantly to creating harmonious relations between various communities.

The Centre annually holds the grant of awards to community leaders, politicians, media personalities and police officers.

He figures in Canadian WHO’s WHO every year

In addition, Mr. Syed uses his journalistic talents to raise profile of the community issues

As Editor of New Canada for a decade and a half, he has highlighted the significant contribution of immigrants to ensure their enhancement of political, social and civic life in Canada. His enthusiasm for, and prowess in journalism comes from his parents who were both eminent journalists in India and Pakistan. His father, Dr. Shafi Ahmad, was a leading Muslim journalist in Delhi, and his mother, Begum Shafi Ahmad, was a pioneering woman journalist in Pakistan. He belonged to elite Information Service of Pakistan, and in that capacity, he served as a Public Relations Adviser to many Federal Ministers of Pakistan.

Mr. Syed is a prolific writer and is the author of a number of books, including the latest one, “Outstanding Immigrants in the New Millennium” prompted the following comment from the Governor General, the Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson”, the enormous amount of work involved in publishing this wonderful book speaks loudly of your commitment to promote great Canadians at home and abroad.”

Mr. Syed has played a very prominent role in the successful settlement of his community (Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam) in Canada, including the building of a $25-million housing project in Toronto. He has received numerous awards including one in January 2003, Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal was conferred on him by Government of Canada.

Mr. Syed is President of South Asian Journalists Club and a Director of Canadian Ethnic Journalists and Writers Club. He was on the Board of Directors of the Ahmadiyya Abode of Peace Inc. (1992-2001), and on the National Secretary for External Relations of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, Canada (1989-2001). He was elected as Secretary of Canada Day Committee of Metropolitan Toronto(1996-2003), and Executive Director / Project Director of the Centre for Internationally Trained Professionals.

He holds a Law degree, and a Master of Arts degree in International Relations.

Mr. Syed had been a contributor to UNESCO Features, Paris, during 1955-58, which were circulated in seven world languages by the UNESCO.


Hasanat Ahmad Syed ( whose preferred name back home was Syed Hasanat Ahmad) is author of many books, particulars of some of the books will be found under HRRRC / publications:

Outstanding Immigrants in the New millennium, which he presented to the then Prime Minister Rt. Hon Jean Chretien in his Ottawa office on May 11.2001. A review of the boom will be found in HRRRC publications.

Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I – THE WAY OF RIGHTEOUS, published by Islam International Ltd London UK – a research biography of the first successor of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi,Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian.

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE HIDDEN TREASURES OF ISLAM. This book presents thumb-nail sketches of 89 books of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi. Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian and published by Islam International.

Trilingual Urdu-Hindi and English dictionary – three volumes compiled for Canadian audiences – a work done ci collaboration with a number of scholars.

A STUDY ON MEDIA APATHY AND MARCH 21 based on a workshop held by Human Rights and race Relations Centre on March 6,1998.

YOUNG VOICES ON RACISM 2002. This is a selection of essays written by students enrolled in schools managed by Toronto District School Board and Toronto Catholic District School Board.