Born in the town of Tunbarah, in 1891, Mahmoud Mouktar moved to Cairo in 1900. After graduating fromthe École Égyptienne des Beaux-Arts, Cairo in 1912, Mouktar received a scholarship funded by Prince Youssef Kamal to attend the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, enrolling in the studio of French sculptor, Jules-Felix Coutan, as a visiting student. It was also during this period that he briefly worked as the artistic director of a wax museum, Musée Grévin, at the end of World War I, where he sculpted statues of political leaders and popular figures.