Zaki grew up in Cairo, looking at art books and reproductions of paintings by Degas, Renoir, and Sargent. His first experience watching a movie in a theater was when his mom took him to see Bertolucci's The Last Emperor. But apart from that unique experience, it was mostly Hollywood blockbusters that were making their way to Cairo back then. Zaki could only satisfy his curiosity and passion for the cinematic image when he was lucky enough to get a hold of an issue of Premiere magazine. He would stare at still images from American and European movies, over and over, until he could get a hold of a new issue. A few years later Zaki was studying art at the faculty of Fine Arts in Cairo, where he got to learn about Kirchner, Nolde, Kokoschka and Munch. Soon after graduation, he started building sculptural works and installations, which later became the subject of numerous exhibitions in New York, London, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Beirut, among others. His work was featured in publications by Phaidon Press, Frieze, and Bidoun, to mention a few. Most recently, Zaki has built two monumental permanent public artworks in Vienna and Stockholm.
Zaki now dedicates his time to photography, shooting analogue, Polaroids and digital. His main focus is fashion and portraiture. He is constantly traveling between Cairo, New York and Europe.