Ghazel was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1966. She lives and works in Paris and Tehran. She has participated in many international biennials, including the 50th International Exhibition Venice Biennial (2003), the 8th Havana Biennial (2003), the 3rd Tirana Biennial (2005), the 7th Sharjah Biennial (2005), and the 15th Biennale of Sydney (2006). Her works are in many public collections including Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou (Paris), MUMOK Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig (Vienna) and the Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration (Paris).
Ghazel left Iran in 1986 to study in Montpellier.
She first did two years in Film Studies at Université Paul Valéry (Montpellier) and in 1988 she entered the Ecole Supérieure des Beaux Arts of Nimes where she received her BFA in 1990 and her MFA in 1992. Ghazel then returned to Paul Valéry University to finish the BA degree in Film Studies.
In order to be able to remain in France, Ghazel continued to be a student, but in 1997, after trying to change her immigration status from a student to a permanent resident, she received an expulsion letter from the governor of Languedoc-Roussillon. This was a turning point both in her life and her artistic life. She started the ongoing Wanted (Urgent in french) project, in which she looked for a husband for a marriage of convenience.
She started showing her Me series in 2000 and their presence in the Clandestini exhibition, curated by Francesco Bonami, at the international exhibition of the Venice Biennial in 2003 gave her worldwide recognition.
In 2010, Ghazel restarted drawing on world maps. These are now a significant part of her works.
Ghazel is a committed artist using humor as a major tool to get her social and political messages across.
In 2018 the French Minister of Culture made her a Knight (Chevalier) of the Order of the Arts and Letters. The ceremony took place on 21 December 2018 at the Musée national de l'histoire de l'immigration in Paris where her Wanted (Urgent) posters have been on permanent display since 2009. Mrs. Catherine Grenier, the director of the Giacometti Fondation in Paris presented Ghazel her medal.
In her investiture speech to Ghazel, Mrs Grenier said, "It is not so common in our art world to reward commitment, humour and modesty at the same time. This is why I am happy and proud that you have chosen me to present you with your medal".