World's 100 Most Powerful Arabs 2014
Wed 26 Mar 2014 03:56 PM
Samia Halaby

Designation: Artist

Country: Palestine

Born in 1936, Samia Halaby is perhaps the Arab world’s most distinguished and longest serving female artist.

Halaby began her career in the 1960s, and her work is housed in private and public collections all around the world. She has been based in New York since the 1970s, and the American city and her home country of Palestine both figure strongly in her work.

Born in Jerusalem, Halaby was forced to leave her home town in 1948 during the Nakba. She moved to the US with her family, and studied design at the University of Cincinnati and painting at Indiana University.

She would go on to teach at some of the world’s most prestigious art institutions, such as The Cooper Union, Bir Zeit University in the West Bank and the University of Michigan. She was also the first female art professor to teach at the Yale School of Art, in 1972.

Pioneer of the arts

Samia Halaby has been the subject of portraits and films made by other artists.