A Home In Arabic Culture

It's not enough to know how to say house in Arabic, as a house is also a home. Check out the particularities of an Arab house.

A house is only a building, but a home is where your heart is, and this is very true in the case of Arabs, since they are all about family. Since family is the most important aspect of Arab culture, of course they would do anything to accommodate its multiple members. Before we present a list of Arabic words related to houses, let’s look at what an Arab home is all about.

The Arab culture of extended families calls for large houses, and affluent families usually own detached villas. With up to three generations to accommodate, groups of two or more villas are common. Although there are socio-culture differences in each region, the architecture of Arab houses retains a common architectural vocabulary, which expresses an outstanding response to both the climate of its specific region, as well as the common religious needs.

Structure of a home in Middle East



Many houses are built in the majlis (salon, guest room) style, with an area opening immediately from the front door where the men meet visitors and sit with them. Arab hospitality is well-known, so you will find it common for a family to have a room in the house that is used only for honored guests (the majlis) and a common living room. In some Middle Eastern countries culture such as the Arab-Gulf states, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey, particular emphasis is placed on privacy through the segregation of male and female spaces. This is why you might find that the space designated for women will have a separate entrance.

The kitchen and dining area are very big in order to accommodate the big family. You might also see that the architecture might be built in a way so that it keeps away the smells of cooking, as Arabs believe that the house should always have a pleasant odor in case of guests (they might even burn some bakhour or oud incense).


But how is it on the outside?


Another essential feature of the Arab house is the courtyard, specifically in hot arid regions. The courtyard is used not only to achieve privacy, which is a necessity in Arab society, but also to enhance the thermal comfort inside a house. The courtyard is effective to generate air movement. In hot, dry zones, the air of the courtyard, which is heated by the sun during the day, rises and is replaced by the cool night air coming from above. The accumulated cool air in the courtyard seeps into the surrounding rooms and cools them. During the day, the courtyard is shaded by its four walls, and this helps the air heat slowly. A home garage or covered carport for the vehicle is vital. With temperatures rising in the summer, a car left outside quickly becomes unbearably hot and the bodywork deteriorates if exposed to the sun for too long.

EnglishTransliterationArabic
Window in ArabicShubbakشباك
Door in ArabicBabباب
Kitchen in ArabicMatbakhمطبخ
Bathroom in ArabicHammamحمام
Room in ArabicGorfaغرفة
Living room in ArabicGorfet ma’eshaغرفة معيشة
Table in ArabicTawilaطاولة
Sofa in ArabicArekaأريكة
Roof in ArabicSatehسطح
Mirror in ArabicMir’ah مرآة
Floor in ArabicArdyehأرضية
Ceiling in ArabicSaqefسقف
Television in ArabicTilfazتلفاز
Lamp in ArabicMisbahمصباح
Garage in ArabicKarageكراج
Terrace in ArabicShurfahشرفة
Wall in ArabicHa’etحائط
Curtain in ArabicSta’erستائر
House in ArabicManzelمنزل
Bell in ArabicJarasجرس
Doorknob in ArabicMeqbadh al babمقبض الباب
Lock in ArabicQeflقفل
Doorway in ArabicMadkhalمدخل
Stair in ArabicDarajدَرَج
Funnel in ArabicMedkhanahمدخنة
Garden in ArabicHadeeqahحديقة
Mailbox in ArabicSondooq al bareedصندوق البريد
Balcony in ArabicShurfahشرفة
Bench in ArabicMeqa’dمِقعَد
Key in ArabicMeftahمفتاح
Fence in ArabicSeyajسياج
Sitting room in ArabicGhorfat al joloosغرفة الجلوس
Chimney in ArabicMawqedموقد
Library in ArabicMaktabahمكتبة
Bedroom in ArabicGhorfat annwmغرفة النوم
Pillow in ArabicWisadahوسادة
Bed in ArabicSareerسرير
Blanket in ArabicGheta’غطاء
Mattress in ArabicFerashفِراش
Closet in ArabicKhezanahخزانة
Shelf in ArabicRafرَف
Alarm clock in ArabicSa’at monabbehساعة منبه
Sink in ArabicMeghsalahمغسلة
Bathtub in ArabicMeghtasمغطس
Chair in ArabicKursiiكرسي

In conclusion…


Whether for business or pleasure, meeting people from the Arab world is an enriching experience. Knowing more about cultural values and how to behave in a foreign land is helpful and reassuring; not only do you realize the differences between their culture and your own, but you also understand the similarities and appreciate how much people of different nations have in common. If you wish to learn more about Arab culture or the Arabic language in general, download our Arabic learning app.