Rafa Nasiri (also al Nasiri) 1940-2013, an ingenious dedicated painter and printmaker, was born in Tikrit, a city besides the Tigris, approximately 180 km north of Baghdad. Studied art at the Institute of Fine Arts, Baghdad; was granted a scholarship to enhance his academic studies in Beijing, China, to be the first Iraqi artist specialized in graphic art. He was later granted another scholarship to Portugal. To promote the art of printmaking in Iraq, he established a special department in the Institute of Fine arts, Baghdad, and later, in 1987, a private graphic studio in Baghdad. Spent 25 years of his life teaching art in the Institute of Fine Arts Baghdad 1964-1989, while freely practicing painting and printmaking. In the aftermath of the Gulf war 1991, he moved to Amman, Jordan to teach art until 1997 when he moved to Bahrain University. In 2003 he settled back in Amman, Jordan as a full-time artist.
Considered as one of the leading modern innovators in Iraq and the Arab world, Rafa Nasiri's artworks along his career life was able to extend wider borders and take place in world museums.