Afifa Aleiby (born 1952, Basra) grew up in a family devoted to culture and the arts where she painted from an early age. She studied at the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad and worked as an illustrator for the Iraqi press. In 1974, she left Iraq for the Soviet Union to study at the Surikov Institute in Moscow. In 1981, unable to return to Iraq due to the political situation, she moved to Italy and later to Yemen, where she taught at the Institute of Fine Arts in Aden. Aleiby has contributed to cultural activities in support of the Iraqi and international democratic movements, and in the struggle against terrorism, racism, war and dictatorship. She has participated in numerous art exhibitions, from Baghdad and Moscow to Yemen, Italy, Syria, Lebanon, England and the United States. Aleiby has been living and working in the Netherlands since the mid 1990s.