Makouk is open to limitless forms of play that brings friends, children, adults, and creatures back to their natural ways of self expression, questioning and exploration, seeking always to journey through play to explore questions, themes and elements that affect us and our universe.
If you feel stuck, and want to transform your rut, you can play a Makouk game, or Makouk can help create a playful journey, program or learning experience that will travel into a world you wish to explore. The universe awaits you, come on, let’s play!
Makouk can help tackle different themes:
The journey from Weladna to Makouk
Weladna began on Planet Earth, and like all creatures, it aspired to give in to its natural instincts and embark on a journey of discovery, revival, and metamorphosis. Inspired by the importance of play, Weladna came across all sorts of inspiring creatures, and then realized that play is not just for children …Play is for everyone!
Through play, we feed our instinctual desires, while breaking down redundant patterns of thought, bringing clarity, fun and more understanding of experiences. Thus, Makouk was born into the one hundred billion galaxies to connect all humans, children and grown ups through play.
Whether an alien, human, animal or insect it’s easy to play because it’s our instinct.
Let’s join forces and come aboard, you’ll never get bored. Play is in us all!
Unfortunately, modern culture has created the perception of play to be unserious, or a waste of time. Even in modern arabic language “اللعب” is translated into “عبث و لهو ” with a complete loss of its social, developmental and cultural value.
In turn, the perception of play has further pushed humans away from instinctive behaviour. However, science agrees upon the benefits of play; not just for children, but everyone! Various forms of play have proven to contribute to cognitive abilities as well as social, mental and emotional development. By engaging in play we are going to our natural selves and exploring our engagement and interaction within and without.
From Weladna, to Makouk, we found many sources of inspiration and information that further developed our interest in the importance of play. Creative thinkers, philosophers, scientists and motivating humans’ works and thoughts added and supported our cause. To feed your curiosity on play theory we have added works and media that can stimulate and inform you on play theory.
Ali, an engineer on paper, has been working in the social field for the past decade. Ali has worked extensively with children in Egypt as well as other countries on planet Earth and on different planets. His work extends from designing learning environments to game design and facilitation across the universe. Ali is a co-founder of Makouk and the educational expert there. Ali believes that “those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.” Martin Luther King Jr
Raised as a perfectionist and an academic overachiever, with life lessons teaching another alternative; being lean and un-learning to embrace another worldview. Fatma studied Business Administration as well as got her MBA, then worked in Brand Management in Henkel and in pricing in Vodafone; handling two of the biggest brands in Egypt, Earth. Inspired by her own kids and frustrated by their disconnection from their surroundings and lack of products serving them, she co-founded WELADNA in 2012.
After four years, Fatma and her friends discovered that adults and other creatures across the galaxies also wanted to play. And so, they invited them in, and transformed into Makouk, explorers, fellow playmates and welcomers of the universe and beyond.
Fatma is a lover of cosmology, metaphysics, alternative medicine and diving into the deep sea.
Ayah is a game designer, a visual art student, and a former software engineer. She was homeschooled by her grandmother and she continued homeschooling herself so, she believes learning can happen anywhere and anyhow. She is an avid reader and a hardcore gamer and she thinks that games give us a lot of lives to live and experiences to learn from. Ayah enjoys traveling and swimming and she is interested in sociology, ecology, and history.
Sandra Edward plays different roles in the cultural scene, between Artistic and Educational initiatives. Her interest is reflected in forming and applying cooperative systems, which are at the same time effective and flexible. During the last years, Sandra has worked in different positions in the range of grants and institutional management with the Contemporary Image Collective – CIC, Anna Lindh Foundation and Al Mawred Al Thaqafy. She is currently working as programmes manager at Makouk.
Synergos selected Weladna as one of their pioneers for the AWSI program (Arab World Social Innovator), which they launched in 2008 until 2015. Through the AWSI program, Synergos helped program, support, launch or even collaborate with over 50 entrepreneurs in the MENA region who are pioneers of change in their communities and offer original approaches, methods, and solutions to address social and economic problems.
In 2013, Weladna became a fellow of Endeavor Egypt, an NGO aiming to support entrepreneurial businesses.
Weladna has been one of the first fellows to be selected by the Berlin based non-profit organization Enpact. Enpact has the aim of strengthening economic relations between young entrepreneurs from the startup scenes of the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.
Ali Azmy, was selected from the Makouk team as one of the five innovators from Egypt accepted into “The Game Changer Fellowship 2015” program by the UNDP that aims to promote and accelerate leadership and innovation in the use of games for social change. It is a one year programme in partnership with Engagement Lab at Emerson College in Boston USA.
The project was created in 2014 between Ashoka, the Esalen Institute, the Fetzer Institute and Synergos. The project seeks to support the inner well being of social change leaders,by deeply and meaningfully supporting social entrepreneurs, resulting in the enhancement of the lives of the people touched by the efforts of the changemakers “Well-being inspires Well-doing”.
The Women in Business programme, aims to strengthen the role of female entrepreneurs in the Egyptian economy. The EBRD along with the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) launched the programme to provide a comprehensive package of financial and technical support for Egyptian women who are either starting up or expanding their companies.
Makouk was selected to be among the “Pioneers of Egypt” program which supports social entrepreneurs, startup social entrepreneurs and youth volunteers through technical and financial support, mentorships and access to peer and regional networks. Thanks to this program we were able to kick-start our first years.
Misriyati, aims to promote peaceful living and tolerance in our community. Peace is a holistic concept, and cultural diversity and inclusion are part of the Misriyati mission. Misriyati is a friend to Makouk and a partner of our first creation of Baladna board game.
Oshtoora is a festival of arts and music. It is a collective experience and initiative. Makouk curated the happenings (activities) of the festival in 2016, and created a game that ran throughout the festival.
Makouk enjoy visiting the the AUC creative thinking lab, where we mentor students and also restructure demonstrations and games.
A friend of Makouk, with many collaborative projects. Amongst the diverse projects, Makouk worked on different themes with Megawra/Al Athar Lina such as creating workshops on documenting cultural heritage for Syrian refugee children and facilitating museum cultural activities for children.
Dayma is one of our main sources when it comes to biology or geology related content. We both share a passion for the environment so we’re currently working on an environmental education game!