Nothing is so Arab as a nice cup of steaming thick ahweh accompanied with a game of tawleh.

Tawleh, also known as backgammon, has been around for millenia, with the earliest known evidence dating it back to 3000 BC in Iran.

(A Swedish backgammon set, circa 1620's)

Currently played all over the world, tawleh is known by many names, such as tavla (Turkish), tavli (Greek), jeux de tables (French), nard (Persian), shuanglu (Chinese), and ban-sugoroku (Japanese).

Even more interestingly, the playing pieces are known as checkers, draughts, stones, men, counters, pawns, discs, pips, chips, or nips. So if you hear someone yelling "move your nips!", automatically assume they're playing tawleh.

So next time you feel like playing, don't resort to a computer simulation to satisfy your needs. Instead, head on over to T-Marbouta and enjoy a relaxed afternoon of coffee, friends, and games. You'll make your ancestors proud.

The Age Old Game of Tawleh

(Photo via @layal00)


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