Sunday June 4th, 2023
Download SceneNow app

The Egyptian Board Game That Will Teach You More About Who We Really Are

If you think you know all there is to know about Egypt, you really don't.

Staff Writer

Can we get in a 'these darn kids' mode? Yes? Okay. These darn kids are forever stuck on never-ending Netflix binge-watching, while the culture of our distinct and unique nation is gradually disappearing like that Instagram post they scrolled through an hour ago. We don't mean to bash the hope of our future, but seriously, some of these kids may have no idea what Aswan's high dam is, or where Aswan is on the map of Egypt. It's apocalyptic, guys. We're freaking out! But, we know better than to get stuck in that mode and discourage them, and apparently, rolling your eyes nowadays doesn't scare children. Luckily, we have dedicated people like those behind Weladna, who are commited to producing educational material in a fun and interactive way, like they did in the form Baladna, their new board game.

Enter Baladna: a vibrant map-based board game centred on exploring the vicinities of Egypt’s nooks and crannies. The entire homeland will be coming to your living room to drop some knowledge, which includes obvious things we know like infamous foul w ta3meya carts, to hidden gems like the red sea corals.

The board game – with 12 stages and instructions given through flash cards and an interactive map – will lead to hours of miming, screaming, finger pointing, the construction of a human pyramid, and the possible end to some friendships, or the loss of a limb or a sibling in the process.The educational twist to the game is built around a lot more than dead pharaoh’s tombs and the usual historical babbles of your typical middle-aged history teacher. Fatma, the founder of Weladna, explained “The game takes a more humane and environmental approach to the diverse Egyptian cultures, habits and customs.” We're guessing this is going to means more eye-opening facts about the customs of the beautiful people of Nubia, and the different languages spoken by Egyptian Bedouins, and way less of the cliché 7adaret saba3talaf sana of omm el donya one liners.

If you’re long past your teen years and would still like to dig your knees into your friends’ backs as you sit victoriously at the top of a human pyramid, don’t despair just yet. Co-founder Ali is so keen on playing the game himself that he's currently working on expansion packs enticingly thematic enough for him to coax his friends to play.

Remember, just because you wear a suit to work, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn about the architectural structure of the Baron palace while having a bit of fun, does it?

The colourful board game can be purchased at major bookstores like Diwan and Dar El-Shorouk, as well as through the Weladna website, or through the official Weladna Facebook page.