Abdel Aleem, Mariam (1930–2010) By Dwider, Sarah
Mariam Abdel Aleem was a prominent Egyptian graphic artist known for her printed works and engraving that stitched together symbols from ancient and contemporary Egypt to create abstracted compositions. These compositions often incorporated Arabic text and featured both hand-written calligraphy and appropriated or collaged text. In addition to her printed works, Abdel Aleem also produced paintings that focused on representations of Egyptian folk culture. Abdel Aleem graduated from the Higher Institute of Art Education in Cairo with a bachelor’s degree in 1954. In the years following, she studied graphic arts at the University of Southern California and received a master’s degree in Fine Arts in 1957. While in the United States, Abdel Aleem also studied at the Pratt Institute in New York. She taught printmaking as a member of Alexandria University’s Faculty of Fine Arts from its founding in 1958, and was appointed director of the Faculty in 1981. Mariam Abdel Aleem also served as a founding member of both the Association of Fine Artists in Alexandria and the Egyptian Art of Engraving Society. She frequently represented Egypt at international biennials including the Venice Biennale, the Sao Paulo Biennial, and the Graphics Biennial in Norway.