WATCH: Dama - A traditional Qatari board game

WATCH: Dama - A traditional Qatari board game

QL Videos
By QL Videos

Dama—a relative of checkers—belongs to the draughts family of strategy board games. Although of disputed origin, this game has been played in the region since ancient times, and holds a special place in the local culture and history.

In Qatar’s case one would not really call dama a parlour game, as it was often played on the shores of the sea by weathered fishermen on a piece of cloth, rather than a luxurious board of marble.

They carried it in their pockets, and pulled it out when there was time for leisure. It was played with friends in front of homes or at the shops that were at the center of old Qatari neighbourhoods.

Some experts claim that the game originated in ancient Egypt, though this is not confirmed. As mentioned, dama has many variants and relatives; from Russia and the Philippines to Brazil, draughts are played a traditional pastime. 

In Qatar, dama has seen a revival over the past few years, with national tournaments being held. It has even been integrated into the National Sports Day activities. 

The Dama Council, headed by Mohamed Saeed al Sulaiti, was set up in 2009 as part of the initiative to reestablish the game’s memory and practice in the society.

The aim of the council is to teach Qatari youngsters a game that was played by their forefathers for generations, and to pass it on in their own right.

PC: Meshari Karkari

By perdian• 17 Apr 2017 16:06
perdian

Wow, nice info! i did not know Qatar has a similar game to us Filipinos!

http://en.wikipilipinas.org/index.php/Dama

By hamzah1234• 17 Apr 2017 11:12
hamzah1234

I didn't know this is a Qatari game. We used to play it before after praying in the Mosque, Thank you for the information.

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