PHOTOGRAPHED BY MARK BERNDT
Working as a traditional artist with watercolor and ink, Zahra creates work that reflects her cultural roots in Kuwait as well as her life now in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She loves poetry and independent cinema and how quiet and mysterious the night is. She is deeply fond of the sea. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New Mexico in Languages and Literature, with a minor in Flamenco Dance and History as well as a minor in Philosophy. She has loved working with museums, non-profits, theater companies, cultural centers and has found making picture books to be dreamier than she had dreamed them to be!
Her debut picture book, Where Butterflies Fill the Sky, was published by Bloomsbury Books in 2022 and named one of the New York Times / New York Public Library's Best Illustrated Books as well as NPR’s Best Books of 2022. She is honored with an award by the UN Human Rights Commission for creating art that brings visibility to statelessness, indigenous groups, and minority rights.