Afifa Aleiby

Nata nel 1952


data inserimento in W.A.D. 06/2023



My Life as human been and artist

I am an Iraqi artist, born in the city of Basra, in the utmost southern part of Iraq, and grew up in a family devoted to culture and the arts and, like all my brothers, I started painting from a very early age.

I received my primary and secondary education in Basra, and consequently took up my studies at the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad. In the same period, I worked as an illustrator for the Iraqi press. After this, I left Iraq for the then Soviet Union in order to study and specialize in monumental art at the well-known Surikov Institute in Moscow.

Due to the political situation in Iraq, I was unable to return to my native country after the completion of my studies. Therefore, I decided to go to Italy and later Moscow. After having traveled to Italy a second time, I settled in Yemen to work as a teacher at the Institute of Fine Arts in Aden, where I also illustrated children’s books and magazines.

In spite of all the difficulties surrounding me many relocations, moving from one country to another, I am always continued to devote myself to my work, instead of focusing on the difficulties, I regarded my life with different languages and cultures an enrichment of my expertise and experience as an artist.

I have contributed to a great many cultural activities in support of the Iraqi and international democratic movement, in the struggle against terrorism, racism, war and dictatorship. I have been participated in numerous art exhibitions, from Baghdad and Moscow to Yemen, Italy, Syria, Lebanon, England and the United States. 

During my youth, I have introduced to the international world of art through the books and publications in the library of my family in Basra. It was thanks to my family’s support that I was able to develop my artistic talents through further study. The developments that have taken place in my work over the years, during the various stages of my studies in Baghdad, Moscow, Italy and finally the Netherlands

I was deeply influenced by the work, and in particular the colors, of the French artist Toulouse Lautrec and the works of Picasso’s pink period, as well as by the finesse of Botticelli, Masaccio, Piero Della Francesca and other Italian Renaissance painters. During my time in Italy, I would be in an ideal position to deepen this knowledge of Italian Renaissance art through numerous and continuous visits to exhibitions, museums and churches.

While in Moscow, the spirituality of the Russian icons made a deep impression on me, especially during the early part of my studies. Later on, my knowledge was enriched further through extensive study of the rich and varied Russian and Soviets school.

I have been living and working in the Netherlands for several years now. Perhaps my most important show to date in the Netherlands was the retrospective of my works in the Museum Catharina gasthuis in Gouda. At present, I am working as a fulltime artist, periodically exhibiting my work in galleries in difference country.

I have been away from my native country of Iraq for more than 50 years now. Although I have repeatedly moved between countries during this time, I felt connected to every country I stayed in and all manner of people crossing my path. What I feel, in short, is a connection to humanity as a whole. It is my conviction that it is this feeling of connection, this solidarity, transcending geographical and cultural borders, which should unite all of humanity.

Afifa Aleiby


Afifa Aleiby-Curriculum Vitae- 1952: Born in Basra, Iraq

Academic Qualifications

1969-1974: Certificate Institute for Fine Arts, Baghdad, Iraq

1974-1981: Master of Arts at the Suurikof Institute for Fine Arts, Moscow, Russia

Work Experience

Illustrator of Tariq Al-Shaab (daily newspaper), and of several magazines for children, women and youth in Baghdad, Iraq

Illustrator of several books in Italy

Cooperation with several organizations for multicultural communication in Italy. Yemen. The Netherlands

1984-1986 Lecturer at the Institute of Fine Arts in Aden, South-Yemen.

Exhibiciones 1973 -2015

1973- Al-Jabha, Sahat al-Tahrir. Baghdad-Iraq

1974- Gallery of the Institute for Fine Arts. Baghdad, Iraq

1975- Gallery of the Organization of Iraqi artists. Baghdad, Iraq

1975- Gallery Nadi Al-Taaruf. Baghdad, Iraq

1996-Gallery Colbenkian. National Museum for Modern Art. Baghdad, Iraq

1981- Palagio di Parte Guelfa. Florence. Italy

1982- Ca Giustiniani. Venezia. Italy.

1982- Folklore Musume. Roma. Italy

1982- Arabic Culture Centre, Damasco, Syria

1982- Festival del Unita, Reggio Emilia. Italy.

1984- Gallery Bottega della Stampa. Brescia. Italy.

1986- Galleria Civica di Arte Moderna. Palazzo dei Diamanti. Ferrara, Italy

1986 -Nuova Galleria Internazionale, Roma, Italy.

1986- Folklore Musume. Damascus, Syria

1988- Fortezza S. Barbara. Pistoia, Italy

1990- Kufa Gallery, London, England

1992- Sala del Esposizione Quartiere No 1, Florence, Italy.

1993- Centro culturale Studio Palazzo, Festival due mondi, Spoleto, Italy

1994- City Gallery, Gouda. The Netherlands

1995- Zalm Hotel, Gouda. The Netherlands

1996- Arabic Cultural Centre. Brussels, Belgium

1996- Sale Topical, omaggio Gino Severini, Montespertoli, Italy

1997- Het Veem, Amsterdam. The Netherlands

1998- Fortezza S. Francesco. Omaggio a Dilvio Lotti, San Miniato, Italy

1999- Het Catharina Gasthuis Museum, Gouda. The Netherland

2000- Tjalf Gallery, Amsterdam. The Netherlands

2000- Beirut Biennale. Beirut. Lebanon

2000- Daar Al Mada– Damascus– Syria

2001-2014- De Twee Pauwen, The Hague. The Netherlands

2007- Exhibition space- Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Den Haag. The Netherlands

2006- 2008- Gallery Prima Vista, Maastricht, the Netherlands

2006-2008- Galleria Torna buoni.  Florence. Italy

2007-Transit Art, Amersfoort. The Netherlands

2008-2010- Zink Exposities, Bergen. The Netherlands.

2010-2017- Boushary Gallery. Salmia. Kuwait

2011- Family Exhibition. Tow brothers.

Son and I. Boushahry Gallery. Salmia. Kuwait

2013- Boushahry Gallery. Salmia. Kuwait

2017- Boushary Gallery. Salmia. Kuweit.

2019 – Pulchri..  The Hague. Netherlands

2019 – MoMa Museum. New York City.

2020 – Gallery Kristin hjellegjerde. London. UK.

2021 – Gallery Kristin Hjellegierde. Berlin. Germany

2021 – Picasso Gallery. Cairo. Egypt.

2022 – Dubai Art.  UAE.

2023 – Dubai Art. UAE.

2023 – Alzawyea Gallery. Dubai. UAE


2012 – 70×70 cm


2016 – 100x80x30cm

Resting after Harvest

2023 – 90x80xH30cm

Spring Music

2017 – 70×60 cm



1991 – 95x75cm