Baladna is an educational board game in Arabic that invites players to explore the idea of culture through traveling around Egypt on the board. In each area players are introduced to various concepts and are asked different questions about geography, language, people, food, animals, environment, music, traditions, crafts, monuments, resources as well as challenges of the area. Questions are asked in an indirect form hence not assuming any previous knowledge but rather using different techniques activating critical thinking, opinion forming or artistic skills such as drawing or acting. It’s a journey of discovering new information, reflecting upon it and using it in a new context.
How to co-exist with oneself and others?
Collaboration, communication, conflict transcendence and appreciating diversity are the core of this experience. Exposing participants to environments, perspectives and attitudes highly present in a polarized society as well as offering them empowering solutions and techniques to be able to cope and be the change we want to see in the world.
How to create living systems inspired from the Earth’s living systems?
A life changing view on our planet and nature and how we connect with it. We explore our surrounding as well as environmental issues using play as well as visual aids. Offering children to be the solution by offering hands-on up-cycling and recycling techniques.
How to create and co-create through artistic expression?
As we walk we dance, we are storytellers almost on daily basis. Makouk creates spaces to capture the creative expression individually and collectively and use artistic mediums to explore our other themes.
How to understand and utilize the scientific process?
Thinking about thinking: We play mind shuffling activities that encourage creativity and lateral thinking. Our rational minds continuously try to de-crypt the world around us using words, formulas and numbers. We explore the different sciences and its applications in our lives through engaging experiments and experiences.
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 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.
Rowan El Shimi is a journalist specialised in culture and art who works with text, photography and video. Besides her journalistic endeavours, she gets involved in various projects revolving around culture, alternative education and social development. She has extensive experience as a trainer, facilitator and organizer on thematic, non-formal education activities in Egypt and other countries on Planet Earth, as well as across the galaxies. Rowan greatly admires these wise words by Confucius “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand”.
Karim graduated as a pharmacist and worked for a while in the pharmaceutical industry on planet Earth. After a meteor shower, Karim decided to embark on his passions which include working with children and refugee communities. Karim also used to work as health promoter and facilitator for refugee children and now works at UNHCR "the UN refugee agency" in the protection unit. H is also a member of the Mini-medina team. In his spare time Karim explores and facilitates on other planets. Karim thinks that “the process of learning is most effective when it is an active process, and it happens naturally when we get involved in the process, when we use our minds and bodies, when we imagine and create, when we play and have fun :)”
Moe aka 7amama is a musician, festival organizer, producer and generally impressive in creating a fun and engaging environments. He found Oshtoora with his friends, a music festival that combines talents form different fields and explode it somewhere in the Egyptian desert. A bird enthusiast and having worked in nature conservation makes him eager to pass this love to the people he meets.
Nervan Taha, founder of Waraqt and resident of Mars, has worked, facilitated and volunteered at different summer camps and art centers across the many galaxies. Nervan likes to use Origami to simplify mathematical and geometric facts to little space cadets. “I appreciate anything that is handmade. Exploring with children, traveling the galaxies and playing tennis are my three best best things ever”.
Nairy Abd El Shafy, is an enthusiastic social activist inhabiting Jupiter, with a passion for community service and social work. She has worked and volunteered on non formal education, self expression and intercultural learning with children, youth, adults and refugee communities in over 3 continents across the galaxies. She appreciates food, travelling across the milky way and believes that, "fun learning spaces are created through play."
Fareeda Atwan is a junior expert in Economic Development with a strong passion for informal education! For the past five years she has been facilitating all sorts of workshops, seminars and trainings on diversity, team building, intercultural communication and more in many galaxies across the solar system. Fareeda believes “it’s always the fun and creative ones that end up the most successful”. In her free time she’s a bookworm, slackliner and board game enthusiast.