HiMY SYeD, Independent Photojournalist, was born in 1970 on an island near some tennis courts (Wimbledon, England), migrating to the known centre of the universe (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) on groundhog day 1974.
His journalism career began in 1982 writing and cartooning a child’s perspective on the Village of Parkdale in west end Toronto for The Cuckoo’s Egg newspaper.
Since then he has written and/or photographed globally for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Colorlines Magazine, New York Magazine, Dublin Magazine, Outside the Beltway, The Progressive, the International Journal of Arts & Sciences, among others in South Asia and North America.
Locally his photos have seen print in Desi Life Magazine, Desi Talk, Socialist Worker, The Activist Magazine, Schmap Toronto City Guide 2007, Toronto Magazine 2009 and the Ryerson University School of Journalism.
A hand drawn map of a possible realignment of political boundaries across south west asia projected into the near future, he first published in 1992, has remained in public discourse and discussion on the future of the countries in South Asia during each and every election cycle or leadership change in the region.
He work has been featured on the front page of Christianity Today ( 12 / 19 / 2007 ), and was Labourstart ‘s Photo of The Week ( 3 / 17 / 2007 ).
His photographs often complement daily posts published on Toronto’s leading city blogs: Spacing Magazine’s Toronto Wire, BlogTO, Torontoist, OpenFile Toronto ; in addition to numerous wiki pages on TorontoWiki.org and Wikisauga.ca.
Municipally, his photos contribute towards a culture of civic engagement.
In British Columbia, photos of the June is Bike Month critical mass 2006 bike ride were published in an information primer for public distribution in advance of a public consultation process by the Sustainability Group with the City of Vancouver for a then new initiative called EcoDensity.
In Ontario, the Toronto Reference Library has included his photos in their 2008-2011 strategic planning document. The strategic plan is a document produced mainly for internal use and for distribution to library stakeholders, such as other library systems, politicians, funders, and by the Library Foundation for distribution to potential donors.
In Toronto, his work appeared in Upping the Antiracism: Chinese Canadian Youth Against Racism , published by The Chinese Canada National Council Toronto Chapter (CCNCTO). The booklet was written and designed by Chinese Canadian youth to raise issues including media underrepresentation, racial stereotyping, and cultural barriers from the perspective of youth.
His photos have appeared in books, most recently in uTOpia compilation #4: HTO, and most notably on the cover of The Hurt Business, edited by William Anthony Nericcio.
In June 2002 he attended the funeral of an unsung Canadian hero of the internet revolution, Greg Allan, in Meaford Ontario. The outcome of this trek up north was a book entitled Greg Allan: March 6, 1973 – June 16, 2002 | Adam_Baum: PostNuke .50 – .714.
In January 2005, following the Boxing Day Tsunami across South East Asia and the Indian Ocean, he organized the first of two Tsunami Global Vigil for the Global Village in cities around the world from his grandparent’s online desktop in San Francisco. One month after the Tsunami, along with two dozen Californians, he recreated a giant outline of the Indian Ocean region in luminaria on Ocean Beach.
In December 2005, he was featured in Time Magazine (Canadian Edition) and the National Post for organizing year end vigils commemorating all 52 victims of gun violence during Toronto’s Summer of The Gun, following the boxing day shooting and murder of Jane Creba on Yonge Street. Consequently, gun violence prevailed as a major issue during the then federal election campaign.
The Globe and Mail profiled him during his run for a seat on city council initially as a semi-finalist in the City Idol contest and then against Toronto’s deputy mayor in Ward 19 Trinity-Spadina. His photoblog images and campaign video log entries found their way onto numerous blogs and online media covering the 2006 municipal election.
SYeD, though investing significant amounts of time in a dozen different cities has kept downtown Toronto as his home base since 1974. His parallel careers include Interest-Free Banking and Islamic Finance, Civil Rights Advocacy, and creating Giant Outstallation Art often using the beach as his canvas or the streets for his labyrinths.
He has never been married but has been divorced twice.