Syrian Arab Republic
Artist and Former President of International Muslimah Artists Network
Hijri 1375-Present (AH); Common Era 1956-Present (CE)
Ilham Badreddine Mahfouz was born in 1956 in Damascus, Syria and immigrated to the United States in 1972. She studied interior design at LaSalle University in Chicago and went on to earn a bachelor of fine arts in painting and ceramics at Eastern Michigan University. Ilham’s art is a combination of influences. She draws on impressionist and abstract traditions in her painting, but also weaves in Arabic calligraphy.1 She has exhibited her award-winning paintings and ceramics at solo and group shows around the United States. In addition to her shows, her work has been published in books such as Masters of Today (2009).2 In 1994, she cofounded Alternative Artist’s Group in which she remains an active member. In 1997, she served as president of the International Muslimah Artists’ Network (IMAN). The organization aims to expand opportunities for Muslim women in the visual and performing arts as well as in literature and poetry. Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Ilham used art as a catalyst for healing and dialog. She organized “Visions of Peace: Arab American Artists,” which was “the first exhibit in the [United States] to explore Arab Americans’ artistic reactions to September 11.”3  “Ilham Badreddine Mahfouz,” Encyclopedia of Arab Artists.  Ilham Badreddine Mahfouz, official Website.  “Ilham Badreddine Mahfouz,” Encyclopedia of Arab Artists.