Born in 1891 in Douar Skouila village in Tanbara, Egypt, Mokhtar was an Egyptian sculptor who attended the School of Fine Arts in Cairo upon its opening in 1908 by Prince Yusuf Kamal, and was part of the original "Pioneers" of the Egyptian Art movement. Mukhtar moved to Cairo as a child with his mother, and in 1908 joined the newly founded Egyptian School of Fine Arts. He was highly influenced by Laplagne, who was the director of the school and a professor of sculpture. In 1911, he was granted a scholarship to study art in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. Despite his early death, he greatly impacted the realization and formation of contemporary Egyptian art. His work is credited with signaling the beginning of the Egyptian modernist movement, and he is often referred to as the father of modern Egyptian sculpture.