November 2019

culture arab

It’s that time of the year again when wedding bells start ringing out all round the world. Well, that is, unless you live in the Arab world, where it’s that time of year when the zaghrootah (زغروتة) start trilling out throughout the region. “So, what is the zaghrootah?” you might ask.  Well it’s a kind of ululation  - a kind of a long, wavering, high-pitched shrill of...

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Learn Egyptian Arabic Words and Phrases

Egyptian Arabic, known by the locals as maSree (مصري), is the Arabic dialect spoken in Egypt with nearly 65 million native speakers of the language. Not only is it is largest of the spoken Arabic dialects, it is also probably the most well known dialect of all of the Arabic speaking countries because of the popularity of Egypt’s films, plays, music and television series throughout the...

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The Koofiyyih in Arab Culture

I’ll never forget the first time I saw someone wearing a Koofiyyih, the traditional Middle Eastern headdress fashioned from a square scarf.  It was a cold winter’s day in Amman, Jordan, and one my students was wearing this beautiful, traditional Palestinian black and white Koofiyyih around his neck. “Wow, that’s a beautiful scarf,” I said. “Where did you get it?” “Thanks, teacher. It’s a gift from...

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veryday-Arabic-for-Home

There are two kinds of people in this world – those who like to travel or go out often and those whom the Arabs call (بيتوتي) baytooti (a person who likes to stay at home). (Incidentally, in the Arabic language, as in English there is a difference between a منزل “manzil“ (house) and a بيت “bayt” (home). After all, a “manzil“ is just a “manzil”,...

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Arabic Vocabulary for Professions

I have worn many hats throughout my professional career. My very first job as a teenager was working as طاه – taahi (cook) at a famous fast food restaurant. Later, I was a مشغل الراديو - mushghil arraadyu (radio operator), حارس أمن - haaris ‘amn ( security guard),  علامة الرسام – ‘alaamat arrassaam (sign painter), and even worked for a while in بناء الطرق -...

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Arabic street food

Welcome back! That last article on Arab street foods made me so hungry that I had to go out and get something to eat. (I had a falaafil sandwich.) While I was out, however, I realized that there are so many more delicious Arab foods that you can eat, and too many to mention in just one article. So, without further ado, here’s a list of...

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Arabic street food

I love to travel and, to me, the best part of traveling is all the different foods to try. The Arab world does not disappoint when it comes to edible delights, and although home cooked meals are always the best way to go, sometimes the hunger hits you before you have a chance to get home. So what do you do? You grab something on...

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Arab-Sports-Vocabulary

No matter where you travel in the world, you’ll find people that love playing riyaaDa (sports), and this is also especially true of Arabs. Whether it’s individual sports like ملاكمة mulaakamah (boxing) or team sports like كرة القدم الامريكية kurat alqadam al’amreekiyah (rugby), you’re sure to find an Arab audience for it. Without a doubt, however, the most popular sport in the Arab world is كرة القدم kurat alqadam  In fact, it is the closest thing every country...

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Taking-the-Bus

One of the great advantages of living in the city is the variety of وسائل النقل العامة wasaa’il annaql al’aamah  (public transportation) that can shuttle you around that city. In most Arabic speaking countries, the cheapest form of transportation is usually the حافلة haafilah (bus). If you’re taking the Haafila from city to city, one of the benefits besides saving money is that you get to take in all the beautiful...

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