Free Fire makes Algerian family feel right at home together despite being stranded in different countries

  • The Hanachis explain how the popular mobile game helped the family stay connected despite being apart in Norway and Algeria due to COVID-19 flight restrictions.
  • Husband Fakhraddine, his wife Latifa Achouri and children Yousef, Adem and Lina have been playing the game since 2017

Dubai: An Algerian family, who were forced to live apart in two different countries due to COVID-19 restrictions, have spoken on the positive impact Free Fire      has had on their family during the pandemic and how the popular mobile game has helped create a stronger bond between them and their young children.

Like millions of people around the world, Fakhraddine Hanachi, his wife Latifa Achouri and their children Yousef, Adem and Lina have had to deal with the challenges of living during these unprecedented times. 

This was even more complex when Fakhraddine and the children travelled to their home city – Algiers in Algeria in February 2020 for a short holiday to meet their relatives. The trip had initially meant to last for only 3 weeks but turned out to be a 19-month separation due to flights being suspended from Algeria. 

With Latifa more than 2,500km away at their family home in Norway, they had to do without the physical support and comfort of a wife and mother, who has always been by their sides every day in Oslo. 

Despite living in two different continents, the Hanachis regularly spent time as a family and their bond was strengthened by playing Free Fire together on their smartphones. It’s an interest they have shared since XXX. 

Fakhraddine said: “I travel abroad regularly and it was tough being away from my children as I missed them a lot. They are big fans of Free Fire and I saw how much joy they were having, so I decided to play the game after they asked me. After trying it out, I can say it was one of the best decisions as I became closer to my children. Not only was it good for brain stimulation as you had to solve problems and improve your memory, I was also spending more valuable time with them than before, which they appreciated.

“My wife also got involved after I told her about Free Fire and now she enjoys playing the game with the children regularly.”

 He added: “Playing together has brought plenty of laughter and fun at home, but we never thought a game like Free Fire would have such a positive impact on a family, especially after spending so much time away when in separate countries.

“That experience made a huge difference to us and our wellbeing and although we were not all in the same house, we felt closer as a family thanks to playing Free Fire.”

Latifa added: “The family now plays Free Fire regularly and Fakhraddine already sees the benefits of the mobile game.

“Free Fire is a challenging game that requires a good mindset, so it’s great that my children engage their brains and sharpen their focus and attention. These are key attributes that will help them going forward,” he explained.

Although Free Fire is now a key part of their lives, Fakhraddine and Latifa have made it clear to their children that they must not compromise on their education.

Latifa said: “We understand the importance of education and as parents, we want them all to strive for their bright futures. Therefore, we set out rules where they must first complete their homework before even playing Free Fire. This has become a routine for them and they are conscious that their studies are critical to succeed in life.” 

Fakhraddine believes gaming will go from strength to strength even when life does go back to the ‘normal’ prior to COVID-19.

“One of the positives that we can take from COVID-19 is that many people have been able to spend quality time with their family and it’s no different for us,” he explained. “With the game constantly improving and smartphones becoming more accessible and powerful, I can only see more people playing Free Fire.”

Having encouraged their family and friends to play the game, Fakhraddine hopes other families in the Middle East and North Africa region can give Free Fire a go and see why it’s highly rated.

He said: “Since playing Free Fire, we have met a lot of new people and even got back in touch with some of our friends whom we had lost contact with, so there have been a lot of advantages. We also have a shared passion for Free Fire that we can all relate to as a family. It opens a new experience where you often talk to each other while helping others beat their opponents.”

About Garena Free Fire:

Garena is a leading global online games developer and publisher. Free Fire, its self-developed mobile battle royale title, was the most downloaded mobile game in the world in 2019 and 2020, according to App Annie.

Garena is run by passionate gamers and has a unique understanding of what gamers want. It exclusively licenses and publishes hit titles from global partners – such as Arena of Valor, Call of Duty: Mobile, and League of Legends – in selected markets globally. Garena champions social and entertainment experiences through games, enabling its communities to engage and interact. Garena is also a leading esports organiser and hosts some of the world’s biggest esports events.

Garena is a part of Sea Limited (NYSE:SE), a leading global consumer internet company. In addition to Garena, Sea’s other core businesses include its e-commerce arm, Shopee, and digital financial services arm, SeaMoney. Sea’s mission is to better the lives of consumers and small businesses with technology.