1960's Prized Asset
Ahmed Moustafa was born in 1943, in Egypt’s coastal hub of Alexandria at a time when the world was engulfed by war. Between 1949 and 1961, when Egypt – and the Middle East – was struggling for freedom and identity, caught between Nasserist pan-Arabism and Leftist nationalism, the young Ahmed first began to acquire and display his keen eye for detail that reveals the creativity and spontaneity of the future ‘Master Calligrapher’.
Throughout his formative years, his tutors at primary and secondary level in Alexandria must have noted with keen anticipation and pleasure Ahmed’s pursuit of knowledge and use of scant resources. They were not to be disappointed.
After leaving The Abbasia Secondary School, Ahmed’s prodigious talent and ability to realise his vision enabled him to enter the Faculty of Fine Arts and Architecture at the Department of Painting and Stage Design of Alexandria University in 1961. Six years later, he graduated with a BA honours with “Highest National Distinction in Fine Arts”.
After graduating, he worked at the Faculty for eight years. Alexandria was a hive of activity between 1966 and 1973 and Ahmed was certainly both prolific and prominent. He scooped the Egyptian Festival of Education Prize, followed by 2nd Prize in Painting at the 8th Biennale of Alexandria in 1968, and First Prize in Sculpture at the 10th Biennale of Alexandria in 1973. During this period the artist also represented Egypt in most national and international exhibitions and took part in his own one-man and group shows in Cairo and Alexandria. These works were observed to be of a “classical occidental style”. In 1974 Ahmed Moustafa came to London to further his studies and in that same year his work was chosen to be exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.