I lived most of life in a very closed and conservative family who rarely understood my inner thoughts and needs. My only retreats where thus my paintings, which used to express my thoughts and ideas. They were in fact very dictatorial when it came to choosing what to study, and that was a big sorrow for me. To them painting was something unacceptable and un-noble. They never appreciated my talent, which I had since I was five. I have been enthused about painting ever since I was a small child. I started drawing little scribbles on my note pad until as I grew older my painting blossomed with me. My first sketch was when I was 6 years old and I sketched Ishtar Goddess of Fertility in the Sumerian Civilization. I used to be influenced by any beautiful scenery and always sketched whatever I came across. I did not attend any art lessons until about the age of 18 when I was mentored by famous Iraqi artist Mr. Ismael al Shakely – my first collective exhibition was in 1968 – and I won the 2nd prize while competing against famous Iraqi pioneers. In 1979, I started attending art classes in England at Stanhope Institute and that was my first real art lessons. My art style was never a traditional one – perhaps because I self-tutored myself; each exhibition I held, carried with it a new technique and experience. I don’t follow a specific school – I create my own school which is pertinent to the subject I am working at and thus applying the tonality & mood of work. Moving from country to country left deep nostalgic feelings in me. Being away from Iraq and not being able to share the peoples’ misery and happiness grew in me a certain revolutionary feeling that I must at least share with them something which is my paintings. At the same time, Iraq was witnessing historic turning points, and that also left in me some anxiety and concern that I depicted them through my paintings. It increased my love for my country and the attachment I have always felt to my homeland. Later on I moved to another country and it was absolutely forbidden to engage or discuss any political issues. The only way I was able to express my thoughts was through my canvas and brush. Art is a part of me, it is a message – and I hope I am reaching my target through my work.