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Born in Damietta, Egypt in 1922, Sida was to move to Cairo where he attended the School of Fine Arts and in 1947 became one of the founder members of the Group of Modern Art. Sida was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 1950 and travelled to the United States where he attended the University of Minnesota gaining a M.Ed. and was to return to the U.S.A. to study at Columbia University in New York before completing his PhD at Ohio State University; his dissertation of 1965 being titled Arabic Calligraphy in Contemporary Egyptian Murals, with an Essay on Arab Tradition and Art.
It is important to point out that Youssef Sida was to form a close friendship with Richard Ettinghausen and his wife Elizabeth who were to acquire the present work. Richard Ettinghausen, amongst the most important Islamic scholars of the 20th century, was to become Chairman of the Islamic Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Professor of Art History at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts.