Ahmed Aldawdi was born in Kurdistan, Iraq, into a creative family. His creativity was nourished from a young age by education from an academically- trained artist. This early spark for the visual arts led him to pursue his own self-education in the arts. He worked as a professional painter and calligrapher in his home country. He also served in the military there and became an interpreter for the U.S. Army forces in Iraq. Due to this work, his life was at great risk, so he sought refuge in the United States. He was able to come to the U.S., along with his wife and three sons. He came to the Hart Gallery through Bridge Refugee Services, here in Chattanooga. As an artist, he works meticulously with oil colors, creating his own color charts for color mixing. He is interested in Surrealism, but also loves to practice Realism. Despite having some physical limitations, he continues to pursue his art, and considers it to be a lifelong learning process. He says that “art is in my soul” and he will always come back to it.