Al-Raheem was born in 1947 in Baghdad of a Najaf family. Her father is Mahdi Al-Raheem who was Head of the Baghdad Chamber of Commerce in the sixties. After education in Iraq, the UK and France, she headed the Iraqi Institute in Washington before returning to Iraq after its occupation. The US-led authorities in Baghdad appointed Al-Raheem as director of schools rehabilitation projects. Al-Raheem is married to an American citizen.