Working as a facilitator and educator, Ali Azmy rarely faced difficulties in accessing educational resources online. That is… if he searched in English. When it came to Arabic though, the scarcity of resources available for non-formal education was blatant. This issue of accessibility therefore became the driving force behind Ali’s work. By co-founding Makouk, the young man decided to bring the fun of games back into people’s lives -regardless of their background or means- with a sidenote of education and personal growth. “Everyone can play! There is that belief that play is unserious, or a waste of time. Modern culture has deprived the idea of games from their social, development and cultural value. But it can bring so much to individuals”

Using games to help people question their environment, self-express and “tickle their brain” through Makouk was an evidence for Ali, who had never been one for the academia. After a series of unsuccessful experiences at school and university, the young Egyptian turned to volunteering and community work, where he “learned so much more than on university benches.” 

“For me, education is a conflated term. Education can happen anywhere, with any tool. From the moment people engage in a fun, enjoyable human moment, they create experiences that teach them something.” Galvanised by this idea, Ali has strived to bring non formal education to the broadest number of people. “Our goal as a company is not to grow or make profits, but to be sustainable and reach as many communities as we can.” With accessibility as its spearhead, Makouk has been developing creative commons products, available to all online. They regularly donate games to community centres and have launched a crowd-sourced database of non-formal education resources ( All in Arabic, and free to access for any educator, facilitator, teacher or home school parents!

 All-Around Culture Programme
All-Around Culture (AAC) is a four-year collaborative and interconnected programme aimed at fostering a vital cultural ecosystem as an enabling environment for social and economic inclusion of youth in seven countries across the Arab region. The programme is co-funded by the EU under the “International Partnerships” domain, Programme to Support Youth and Culture in the Southern Neighbourhood.

Cultural Alliances
Cultural Alliances is one of ACC’s five components, implemented by the regional non-profit organisation Culture Resource. Started in January 2021, Cultural Alliances aims to strengthen the cultural ecosystem of the Arab region and to facilitate and increase access to culture within their contexts. The project does so by supporting up to 12 cultural alliances consisting of 36 cultural entities seeking to strengthen their adaptive capacities and to engage in collaborative alliances as well as wider partnerships on the local, national and regional levels.

World Youth Skills Day (2021)

On the occasion of the World Youth Skills Day, the EU Neighbours South team launched a new campaign highlighting young entrepreneurs who received support from the European Union in the Southern neighbourhood. 👉 Discover the inspiring stories of young Mediterranean changemakers and beneficiaries of EU support. The project chose to collaborate also with 8 EU Goodwill Ambassadors from the #InTheirEyes competition and ...
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