Afifa Aleiby

Akram Al Halabi
Akram Halabi

afifa aleiby

Afifa Aleiby (B.1953) is an Iraqi artist born in the city of Basra, in the utmost southern part of Iraq. She took up her studies at the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad while working as an illustrator for the Iraqi press before leaving Iraq for the Soviet Union in 1974 to study and specialize in monumental art at the renowned Suikuv Institute in Moscow. Due to the political situation in Iraq, she was unable to return to her native country after the completion of her studies and decided to move to Italy and later back to Moscow before settling in Yemen to work as a teacher at the Institute of Fine Arts in Aden, where she also illustrated children’s books and magazines. Aleiby has since been living and working in the Netherlands and keeps contributing to many cultural activities in support of the Iraqi and international democratic movement in the struggle against terrorism, racism, war, and dictatorship. Not having returned to her native country for 35 years, she has built a strong connection to every country she has been living in since leaving Iraq, both in a cultural and personal sense. Her connection to humanity and different cultures has made solidarity transcending geographical and cultural borders an important theme in her work. Bringing together different influences from Renaissance painting to religious icons and social realism, she uses the female figure as a recurring motif to reflect beauty, taste, politics, and society.