She was a lovely and thin tanned skin woman with black curled hair during her youth. How she looked like after Aladdin was born is uncertain, but she may have been older and a bit overweight, and probably bared little resemblance to her youthful self as Aladdin did not recognize his mother's teenage self upon seeing her.
In her youth, Zena was quite adventurous and very kind. In her final years, she seemed to be an honest woman who wanted Aladdin to live honestly and reprimanded him whenever he stole or lied. Despite this, she still loved and supported him the best way she could.
After Aladdin was born, Cassim wished to provide more for his wife and son and give them the wealthy life they deserved, so he went out into the world to find his fortunate opportunity outside the dismal streets of Agrabah's slums. His wife and son, waited, but tragedy befell Zena and she passed away under unknown circumstances. When Cassim returned after discovering his fortune, he could not find his wife and son and was told that they had both died, and thus he left broken hearted. However no one was aware that his son Aladdin still lived.
When Cassim is finally reunited with his long lost son, Aladdin tells his father that Zena died while he was still at a young age. Cassim in turn tells him how he left the family to earn money for them but then heard that both she and Aladdin were dead, which is why he stayed with the Forty Thieves.
Behind the Scenes
She was originally going to be a part of the original film where she disapproved of Aladdin's stealing and wanted them to earn money honestly. Later, when she made a rug, Aladdin offered to sell it and she reluctantly agreed under the condition that he be careful. He unfortunately lost the rug to a swindler, forcing her to sell off her engagement ring. Aladdin decided from then on to live honestly. When he came back from the Cave of Wonders, she was happy he brought a Genie who could support them but upset he was lying about being a prince to impress the princess. Near the end of the film, when he revealed his deception to the princess, she hugged him, happy he was finally being honest.
- Her name is of Arabic origin and can mean "beautiful ornament".