January 27, 1941|
|Died||August 30, 2004
|Education||Byam Shaw School of Art, the American University in Beirut|
|Known for||Painting, Ceramics, Writing|
|Notable work||Baghdad Diaries|
She was born into a distinguished Iraqi family which included Mahmoud Shawkat, the last Prime Minister of the Ottoman Empire. In 1919, her father Mohammed Selim al-Radi was one of the first Iraqis to be educated in the United States when he studied agriculture in Texas. He married Suad Abbas, became an Iraqi diplomat and was appointed ambassador to Iran in 1947 and then to India from 1949 to 1958, where Nuha al-Radi grew up. She was educated at private English-speaking schools in Delhi and Simla, except for a brief spell in 1956 when she attended a boarding school in Alexandria to improve her Arabic, but this was interrupted by the Suez Crisis.
After the Iraqi Revolution broke out in 1958 and the monarchy was overthrown, Nuha al-Radi became a ceramist, having joined the Byam Shaw School of Art in London and later worked with Chelsea Pottery. She returned to Baghdad and exhibited in Iraq, Britain and Europe. She graduated in liberal arts from the American University in Beirut, taught there and continued to work and exhibit as a ceramist, but the outbreak of the Lebanese civil war forced her to return to Baghdad.
In 1991, after the first three days of bombing in Operation Desert Storm, she began writing a diary in English. This was first published as "Baghdad Diary” and then translated into Dutch. She continued updating it until 1996. In 1998 her eyewitness account of the Gulf War and its aftermath was published as "Baghdad Diaries" and translated into several languages. The 2003 edition of the book includes a postscript with remarks on the American invasion of Iraq.
She died in 2004 from leukemia.
- Muneeza Shamsie, Independent scholar. "Nuha al-Radi." The Literary Encyclopedia. 10 Feb. 2003. The Literary Dictionary Company. 17 December 2006. <http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5215>
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