Educated first in Jaffa, then in Beirut, Lebanon, and finally at the Higher Institute of Arts in Cairo, Egypt, al-Akhal received a diploma in 1957. She taught art at the Makassed Girls College in Beirut from 1957 to 1960.
She is one of the first Palestinian women to be formally trained in the arts. The expressive content of her work is based on the tragedy of Palestinian national life. She heads the Art and Heritage section of the PLO's department of Information and Culture. She is a member of the General Union of Palestinian Artists and of the General Union of Arab Artists.
Al-Akhal has exhibited in Egypt, Lebanon, Jerusalem, Jordan, Pennsylvania, New York, Washington, Michigan, Chicago, Texas, California, Kuwait, England, China, Morocco, Berlin, Paris, Rome, and Vienna.