Born in Qameshli (Syria) in 1951. Studies at the Faculty of Arts, Damascus, 1976. Studies at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1986. PhD in Arts, Université Paris VIII, 1989. He lived and worked in Paris as from 1981 until his return to Damascus in 2005.
After 25 years of compelled exile and of being forbidden to go back to Syria, it was finally possible for him to go to Damascus in 2005 and to organise a large exhibition there. Since 2010, his Syrian passport was confiscated and he could neither exit the country nor return to France where his wife and daughter live.
The works of Youssef Abdelke are in a large number of museums and institutions, including The British Museum in London and the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris.
On July 19, 2013, the Syrian regime forces arrested Yousef Ebdalki after he signed a declaration calling for the departure of President Bashar al-Assad, and liberated 5 weeks later on the 22nd of August.