Salima Salih is an Iraqi short story writer, translator and artist, from the city of Mosul. She is well known for her articles that advocates human rights, especially women's. She has published a lot of literary works, including "The Year of Cancer" novel, and "The Transformations" story collection. She wrote for "Alef Ba’" and "Al-Shabab" magazines, and was nominated as one of the members of "Al-Multaqa Prize" committee for short Arabic stories.
Salima grew up in an environment that encouraged her to read, explore, and express herself freely. Her mother was knowledgeable and, thus, taught her many languages, the names of flowers and herbs, and how to make a garden out of a wasteland. She, too, narrated children's tales, that helped develop Salima's creativity. Throughout her school years, Salima found inspiration in the works composed by of a lot of poets, including Marouf al-Rusafi and Hafez Ibrahim. She memorized hundreds of poetry, and took part in a number of poetry competitions. She then shifted to reading books, in which she read for various authors and in different genres. Few of these authors are Mikhail Naima, Abdulaziz Al-Qusi and Sigmund Freud. She read extensively and her pace picked up until she was able to finish reading around 300 pages per day. When she turned nineteen years old, Salima published her first story collection. Salima, too, loved acting, and wrote a play during her high school years, in which she acted in front of a large audience.
After graduating from high school, Salima enrolled in the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad, where she studied painting in the year 1967, and music, in which she learned how to play the violin, in 1969. She studied music for a year and a half, after which she stopped due to the irregularity of lectures at the time, as well as her inability to reach the institute's new campus. In her sixties, Salima finished studying law at the University of Baghdad, and have written two plays, one of which she performed in and was displayed on the television. Additionally, she obtained her Doctorate degree in Journalism from University of Leipzig, in 1986, for her thesis "Global Trends in the Development of Social Media."
While studying at University of Baghdad, Salima held several positions in the field of journalism, and continued to work in the field for 16 years; namely, from 1961 till 1977. She wrote about freedom, defending women's right and their cry for liberation. In 1968, she was appointed as writer for "Alef Ba’" magazine, and for Al-Shabab" magazine a year later. Moreover, Salima contributed in establishing a number of social journalism ethics.
She then specialized in writing literary fiction and short stories, some of which were published in literary magazines, and had some of her short literary pieces of writing published in Al-Qandil magazine, while others were broadcast over the radio. She also wrote fictional and non-fictional stories for children and young adults. One of the reasons for her choosing to specialize in short stories was the scarcity of publishing houses at the time, which in turn endangered the prosperity of this form of literature, in specific. This meant that the press was solely responsible for publishing and promoting literature. Besides, readers preferred to spend their free time reading literary texts that were characteristically short in length. When Salima started writing, she adopted the traditional format to lay out her stories, which consisted of an introduction, body and conclusion. She later shifted to Philosophical Writings, and published her first story collection "The Transformations," despite the restrictions imposed on authors writing in this genre at the time. In 2016, Salima was appointed as a member of "Al-Multaqa Prize" for short Arabic stories committee, shortly after receiving Dr. Luay Hamzah's retirement letter stating his resignation from his position due to his deteriorating health condition.
Salima has translated her works into several languages including English, German, Spanish, Persian and Malayalam, as well as translated several books from German to Arabic.
Salima organized "Nawafid" exhibition, in which she displayed her digital paintings. Through her paintings, Salima set out to emphasize the different elements of nature, even the unpleasant ones, and make the invisible aspects of life visible. Salima believes that painting and writing poetry are closely interconnected, as her poems inspire the design of her paintings from one end, and that her paintings substitute poetry as a better form of expression from another end.