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The game of Al Suwair

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The game of Al Suwair

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Al Suwair is a traditional group game that is played by boys on moonlit nights, especially during the blessed month of Ramadan, when children can play


without fear.1 This game requires speed of movement, manoeuvring and running. It emphasises the importance of cooperation and organization. In addition, it fosters the skills of running and chasing. After setting the playing field, a rectangle of around 5-10 metres, the players divide themselves into two teams with the players on each team having similar strength and running speed. Each team chooses its leader. The members of each team stand in their designated positions. The members of the first team stand in the enclosed area "houl", and they agree on a plan to capture one of the members of the other team. The members of the second team agree on the places where they will hide. The team leader then calls out, Suwair...Suwair!2 The narrator points out that the group leader may call out, “Couk…Couk” as opposed to Suwair. He then quickly runs away, while the fastest players try to catch him or one of his team members. If one of them is caught, the teams switch positions. The narrator adds that this is one of the most beautiful traditional games that boys play in the month of Ramadan.3

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