TORONTO – The Syed siblings have been singing together most of their lives.
Now in university, Hasna, Hana, Sarah and Bilal continue to hang out, singing and writing songs that bring awareness to issues that matter to them. Their journey began in elementary school, when they realized their voices needed to be heard.
“Every time that we’d see something on the news about a global issue, something devastating that happened in the world, we’d be knocking on doors trying to fundraise money and giving it to charities,” says Hasna, the eldest of the Syed siblings.
These singing siblings use music to inspire others to get involved in making a change. Their song “Raise Our Voices” is currently featured in a United Nations (UN) campaign against child labour.
In addition to the UN campaign, they earned plenty of attention last summer when they wrote a song for the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games called “Champions”.
Today they’re being recognized for the creation of their non-profit organization: Global Youth Impact. It is a group devoted to building leadership among youth and engaging them in global issues, natural disasters and important events happening in the world.
“Young people want to see change. Young people wanna try to do something that’ll make a difference … so we made this organization so that it could be a platform for young people to get together and have that voice,” says Hasna.
The Syeds’ desire to use their voices and make a difference comes from growing up watching their parents help both family and friends in their community. Now the children are helping change the world through song.
“Singing has been instilled in us as kids. It’s one of those things we’re passionate about and so when we get to combine that with community issues or global issues and use it to raise awareness … that’s the opportunity that we like to seize every time,” says Hasna.