Studied at the College of Fine Arts in Cairo, and pursued advanced studies in painting and sculpture at the Egyptian Academy of Fine Arts in Rome. Attia also received an MFA in sculpture from the University of Pennsylvania. He represented Egypt at the Venice Biennial in 1995, taking the top pavilion prize with Akram Al-Magdoub. His work has been shown in private and group exhibitions in Cairo, New York, Paris, Rome, and Philadelphia. He has also been commissioned for a number of public works in Egypt, Italy, and the U.S. Attia currently lives and works between Cairo and New York.