Ali Kaaf attended Darat al Funun's first Summer Academy in 1999, under the direction of Marwan. Kaaf returned to the 2003 Summer Academy as Marwan's assistant. He continued his studies at Universität der Künste in Berlin under the supervision of Marwan and Rebecca Horn. In 2004 he had his first exhibition, Aswad, at Darat al Funun.
"I did not know at the time that when the Darat opened its doors, it would open a new world to me and change my entire life, and that it would be the start of a long and intimate relationship with this extraordinary cultural institution in the Arab world."
Excerpt from 'The Long Stone Stairs', Ali Kaaf, Arab Art Histories, Khalid Shoman Foundation, 2013