Reem Al-Faqir to Asharq Al-Awsat: We aim to introduce popular Saudi Games to the Asian Olympic Games

The head of the Saudi committee has revealed that 460 matches have been counted … “The month of Ramadan” during which these “games” flourish.

Reem Al-Faqir, head of the Saudi Committee for Popular Games, revealed that the committee seeks to organize the inherited Saudi popular games, improve its position and include some of them in the Asian Games as part of penalties efforts made by them to introduce the Saudi cultural heritage in sports.

In an exclusive interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Al-Faqeer confirmed that there are more than “460” popular games initially limited by specialists to the level of the Kingdom. .

And she thought that the month of Ramadan is one of the months in which popular games are active as it is always one of the favorite months to play.

The Corona period was also an active period in the revival of popular games at the level of the Kingdom, noting that the nature of man to return to his past is rooted, and this is what the chances of success are. of the organization in the revival and promotion popular. games are high, emphasizing that there are powerful movements to start organizing competitions in them. .

In the course of this dialogue, Al-Faqir spoke on many issues related to popular games:

> First, do we want to shed light on the committee, its work and interests?

The Saudi Committee for Popular Games is a committee chaired by the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee, formed by a decision of the Minister of Sport.

Among his work and tasks is to activate and strengthen the role of sport in all popular games in the Kingdom and to introduce and revive it as a sporting practice to appear to the community as one of the important sports around a integral part of the combined sport that reflects the culture of Saudi society and the depth of its heritage and its distribution in the Arab world and worldwide as a heritage that represents our present and our past.

Reem El Fakir (Middle East)

> What role can the committee play in reviving some of the games that have disappeared, especially with the new generation becoming more associated with electronic games?

Here comes the main role of the committee, which is to introduce and limit popular games, revive the lost, organize competitions, link it to the interests of the younger generations, and do it in a modern way and to show with the new generation. a deep legacy.

During the past period, the committee has been working closely on the preparation of a list of the importance of games, especially those that have a historical depth linked in the region to be a game of historical heritage, and these games have a technical list showing the most important controls and basic criteria to play the game.

> What is the basis on which the committee relies to classify popular games as Saudi or exotic?

– The committee works hard on a thorough research in each game, and the interrelationship of the characteristics of the place from which it started the game in terms of the use of tools or in terms of the names included in the game , as well as the verbal content of the use of vocabulary that has a historical dimension in the place or part of the heritage of the place.

* During the month of Ramadan, many games and activities are held. Is this holy month the most suitable month to play these games?

– Yes, the blessed month of Ramadan, in which the practices of popular games are active, whether now or in the past.

> In especially the eastern region and in the Arab Gulf states there is the Gergean event.Is this event considered a popular game, or is its course different, even if it is linked to folklore?

Gergean is a folklore that is closer to the description of it to express joy, and given the children who practice it, it is usually a folk tradition that is close to the performance of games.

> What are the programs that can be implemented to achieve the goals of establishing this committee?

– One of the main goals of the committee is to organize professional training, form teams and train them to become professional teams, whether in popular competitive or exhibition games. After that, those teams will be in the front rows participating in the local, Arab and international popular competitions, God willing.

> How many Saudi popular sports are there as an initial restriction for them?

Popular games in the Kingdom are difficult to summarize accurately, but they are played in all regions, and since they are popular, they differ in their words and dialects, but united in their tools as games, and according to what is so monitored so far, about 275 popular games and their different names have amounted to more than 460 popular games.

> How can we communicate with the authorities that organize competitions in these games, especially since they are concentrated in towns and neighborhoods in certain areas?

There are several entities in the Kingdom that have a database of those who are interested in sport in general and those who are interested in the cultural and heritage aspect in particular, for example the branches of the Ministry of Sport in the regions, and the Association Unit in the Ministry of Culture, where it is the responsible and supervisory authority for associations interested in heritage and culture in the regions of the Kingdom. And by some federations affiliated to the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee, such as the Saudi Sports for All Federation, the Sports Culture Federation, the Saudi Schools Sports Federation and the Saudi University Sports Federation.

> This committee includes names known in the sports community through the membership of the Soccer Association and the presidency of the clubs, how were the members of the committee chosen, and what is the role assigned to each member?

The committee is represented by eight members chosen because they are amateurs, researchers or practitioners of popular games, and for their interest, participation and the establishment of many businesses and activities in their areas.

> Can we look at popular Saudi games that are recognized on the continent and join the activities of the Asian Games, for example?

If God wills, soon the Saudi community will see tournaments for the most important popular games and their entry, if God wills, into the Asian Games, and that is one of the main goals of the committee.

> Do you think some of the Saudi popular games have returned to prosperity during the difficult period that the world went through as a result of the “Corona virus”, as there were mandatory quarantine periods to combat this pandemic?

– Yes, the pandemic, we can say that it made the wheel of time go back, as everyone returned to old games and played it as a way of entertainment, and many popular games were activated during the pandemic period.

> What is the importance of popular games in the community today, and did you get the expected interaction to revive some of these games?

Man, by nature, likes to go back to the past, because he carries in his memory a beautiful past in all its components of different arts, and he is constantly looking for his past, and that is actually what happened to us. was very happy with the return of popular games, especially from interested parties, researchers and practitioners of popular games.Several parties contacted us who want to participate and activate And to play a role in the work within the committee’s team, and told us them that the launch is near, if God wills, and there will be a big role for everyone in activating the activities and programs of the committee.

> Is there cooperation with the popular festivals held in some regions of the Kingdom, and the Janadriyah festival is perhaps the largest of these, and what kind of cooperation can take place and achieve common benefit?

– Yes, we are currently working on establishing mechanisms of collaboration and partnerships, but at that time we will be talking about the type of collaboration.

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