Ameena Ahmad Ahuja
Alma materSlade School of Art
Known forCalligraphic paintings
SpouseVishnu Ahuja
ParentNuruddin Ahmed
AwardsPadma Shri

Ameena Ahmad Ahuja is an Indian painter, calligrapher, writer and linguist, known for her Urdu poetry-inspired art works.[1]


Ameena Ahmad Ahuja was born to a British mother and Nuruddin Ahmed, a barrister and litterateur. She did her training in art at the Slade School of Art in London.[2] She is a former member of faculty of the Department of Russian at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)[2] and, besides Russian, she is proficient in languages such as Persian, German, French, Hindi and English.[1] Her career also covered stints at Columbia University as a lecturer of poetry and as an Artist-in-residence at the Harvard University and her exhibitions have been staged at many places in India[3] and abroad including Moscow, Tokyo, Venezuela, Columbia and New York.[4] She has served as the official translator during the visits of Soviet dignitaries including Alexei Kosygin, Nikolai Bulganin, Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev to India.[1]

She was married to Vishnu Ahuja, a diplomat and former ambassador to the USSR and had opportunities to visit many countries, accompanying her husband, who has since died.[1]


She is the author of the book, Calligraphy in Islam, a text in Urdu, published 2009 by Penguin India.[5]

Awards and honours

The Government of India awarded her the fourth highest civilian honour of the Padma Shri, in 2009, for her contributions to Arts.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d Austa, Sanjay (April 2005). "Calligraphying Poetry on Canvas". The South Asian. Archived from the original on 3 February 2017. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b Sharma, Parul (17 May 2007). "Amazing synthesis of art, poetry". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 22 November 2022. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  3. ^ Israni, Natasha (5 March 2001). "Wisdom of Birds and Animals: Exhibition of calligraphic paintings by Ameena Ahmed Ahuja". India Today. Archived from the original on 22 November 2022. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Ameena Ahmad Ahuja donates 33 paintings to Jamia Millia Islamia". One India. 16 May 2007. Archived from the original on 22 November 2022. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  5. ^ Ameena Ahmed Ahuja (2009). Calligraphy in Islam. Penguin India. p. 120. ISBN 9780670082605.
  6. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2016.

Further reading