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Obituary: Miriam Hyman

Miriam Hyman Image copyright Other
Image caption An eye-care centre for children has been set up in India in Miriam's name

A freelance picture editor with a wide circle of friends and a close-knit family, Miriam Hyman was born, graduated and died, all within one square mile in London.

The 31-year-old, who was born in University College Hospital and graduated from University College London, was on her way to work in Canary Wharf when she was caught in the Tavistock Square bus explosion on 7 July 2005.

Only minutes earlier, she had spoken to her father to reassure him she was safe after being evacuated from King's Cross, the scene of another of the London bomb attacks.

Ms Hyman grew up in the north London neighbourhood of Hampstead Garden Suburb, the daughter of John and Mavis Hyman.

Educated at the local Brooklands Junior School and Copthall School, Mill Hill, she read French and history of art at university, graduating in 1994.

She went on to work for Quarto Publishing, BBC books and finally as a freelancer.

She planned to start a hand-made greetings card company called Mimento, a play on her nickname, Mim.

Speaking at the inquest into her death, her sister Esther Hyman said Miriam's interest in people was insatiable and she got great satisfaction from her own mixed influences, her travels and the time she lived abroad.

She also loved the countryside, walking, hiking and enjoying nature, as well as making cards, pictures and jewellery for family and friends.

She was, her sister said, a constant in her friends' lives, some of whom she had known since infant school.

"Miriam attracted friends like a magnet and she kept them too. They remember her laughter and lust for life, her ability to listen attentively and help others to see clearly," she said.

Joy and laughter

Shortly after her death, her close friend Chris Riley, who met her at the BBC in 1997, paid tribute to Miriam.

"Her enduring warmth, unquenchable interest in your life and an overwhelming sense of how to make you feel special made me seek her out often, always marvelling at her thoughtfulness and generosity," he said.

Mr Riley said they shared an interest in science and art, and often visited galleries and museums.

Ms Hyman raised money for a cancer charity and worked to bring greater understanding between Palestinians and Jews, he added.

To her family, Miriam was a close companion and a trusted confidante who brought joy and laughter into their lives, Esther Hyman said.

She found life funny in innumerable small ways, she added.

Since Miriam's death, the Miriam Hyman Children's Eye Care Centre has been set up in Orissa, India, to treat children, including those unable to pay.

Meanwhile, her secondary school, Copthall, is developing an electronic educational resource telling Miriam's story to help promote responsible citizenship.

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