Born in 1955 in Hollywood, California to Iraqi parents, Maysaloun Faraj grew up between the US (1955-68) Baghdad, where she obtained a BS in Architecture from Baghdad University (1973-78) and London, where she furthered her art education and where she has been living and working since 1982. In her work, she draws on her mixed heritage to contemplate the intersection of place and identity. Her work is in notable public collections including the British Museum (London, UK), National Museum for Women in the Arts (Washington, US), Rotterdam Werldmuseum (the Netherlands), Agha Khan Collection (Canada/UK), Barjeel Foundation (Sharjah, UAE), National Museum (Amman, Jordan), Centre for Arab American Studies (Michigan, US) as well as private collections including Hussain Ali Harba (Turin, Italy), Ali Husri (Amman, Jordan) and the late Basil al-Rahim (London, UK). Faraj’s love for Iraq and her passion to bring the works of her fellow peers to the fore led to Strokes of Genius: Contemporary Iraqi Art (SOG), founded in 1995, a ground-breaking project comprising a UK-US exhibition tour (2000-3), iNCiA (International Network for Contemporary Iraqi Art) and the seminal SOG publication of which she is editor. In 2002 she co-founded Aya Gallery (London) with her husband Ali Mousawi, curating important exhibitions with a focus on Iraqi art. In 2008 she was invited to serve as a judge for the first Arab Art and Culture Award in the UK.