Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,
Ramadan Kareem. It was around last year this time that I flew to NY to do the interview for Bridges TV. I had invented a game called Mecca to Medina which was featured at ISNA Chicago and the CEO of Bridges TV invited me to do a 30 minute show on the game (so I did). At the station, I got a chance to talk to the staff, check out the equipment, and got a pretty good idea of what was involved with putting a show together. So when I got back to Los Angeles, I made a phone call to Thinking Brother and pitch the idea of starting Ummah Films. Thinking Brother comes from a journalist background and had written screenplays and quickly fell in love with the idea behind Ummah Films. The rest is history.
As far as the Mecca to Medina game, the game has been selling really well Alhamdulillah. Amazing enough, I have many non-Muslim customers buying this Islamic game and it has been actually reviewed by the gaming community. Unlike other Islamic games, Mecca to Medina doesn't require previous Islamic knowledge to play it. It is more of a strategy game that has an Islamic theme to it, so it allows anyone to play it. About two years ago, a brother who was visiting one of my neighbors knocked on my door and asked if I had any board games. I told him I wasn't sure (since I didn't really play board games) and after doing some searching, I found a Monopoly board (which I wasn't even sure if it was mine since it looked brand new). He told me he wasn't interested and was hoping for something different. Right now, I had an idea to make a Muslim Board game, much different than any Islamic game out there. It took hundreds of hours of planning, designing, playtesting, and working with mechanics. Eventually the game, Mecca to Medina, was invented and the only thing left was to take it to random people and see what they think of it.
I had a bunch of people in their 20’s play the game first and they loved it. Soon I was trying to get as much random people as possible to try it : young kids, teenagers, adults, etc...I had a all-sister game, a game with just fathers, and all the feedback was REALLY positive. Actually, it came back too positive so I was worried thought that maybe people were just being nice to me. So I decided to take it to the Masjid where I had some brothers which I just met for the first time to play it. I didn't mention that I invented the game so they assumed it was something I bought. Anyways, the loved the game and two of them asked where I bought it from so they could buy it too. That was the spark! Soon after, the game was being mass produced in China. Alhamdulillah, nearly 1200 games have been sold since the game debut last April (amazing Alhamdulillah) and it has been featured in the media, on the radio, and in other publications magazine.
Mecca to Medina isn't your typical trivia pursuit question/answer Islamic game but rather it is very different than any Islamic game in the market. It game deals with collecting resources, trading, events, and of course negotiating. The game is very interactive and I think that one of the reasons that its such a hit. At the conferences, I found families and friends really getting into. At one conference, we ran out of tables in our booth so we had to make table out of boxes. At one point, we had around 20 people playing in different games at the same time, some people were even sitting on the floor. I would stand in front of my booth and when people would walk by, I would ask them “When was the last time you saw this many people playing an Islamic game?” They would usually respond with a smile and "Never". That would open the door for me to explain the details of the game. Alhamdulillah, in its first six months, the game became the #1 Muslim game on the market.
Anyways, here is a clip from the original interview on Bridges TV:
Can’t see the video? Try watching it on Youtube
For the one year anniversary, I want to give the Ummah Films crowd a special deal on the game. You can get Mecca to Medina, which currently retail for $25 on the website, for only $20 and you will also receive two free glow in the dark MUSLIM wristbands at no additional charge. The deal ends when Ramadan ends InshAllah. It will make a great eid gift and honesty, it’s really a fun game to play. You can read the reviews on www.muslimgames.com and all the major Islamic stores carry the game as well. Click on the link below to get the special price:MECCA TO MEDINA & TWO FREE MUSLIM WRISTBANDS FOR $20!
(Please note the deal ends when Ramadan ends and I’m giving the special price for the Ummah Films audience so the only way to get this offer is by clicking on the link above)