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A Home In Arabic Culture

A Home In Arabic Culture

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-cultural 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.

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 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). Another essential feature of the Arab house is the courtyard, which represents the core of all Arab houses, 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 an effective device to generate air movement by convection. 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 and remain cool until late in the day. A garage or covered carport for the vehicle is vital. With temperatures rising to 50 degrees Celsius in the summer, a car left outside quickly becomes unbearably hot and the bodywork deteriorates if exposed to the sun for too long.

Now let’s have a look at some Arab words related to the home:


Window in Arabic / Shubbak/ شباك

Door in Arabic / Bab / باب

Kitchen in Arabic / Matbakh / مطبخ

Bathroom in Arabic / Hammam / حمام

Room in Arabic / Gorfa / غرفة

Living room in Arabic / Gorfet ma’esha / غرفة معيشة

Table in Arabic / Tawila / طاولة

Sofa in Arabic / Areka / أريكة

Roof in Arabic / Sateh / سطح

Mirror in Arabic / Mir’ah / مرآة

Floor in Arabic / Ardyeh / أرضية

Ceiling in Arabic / Saqef / سقف

Television in Arabic / Tilfaz / تلفاز

Lamp in Arabic / Misbah / مصباح

Garage in Arabic / Karage / كراج

Terrace / Shurfah / شرفة

Wall / Ha’et / حائط

Curtains / Sta’er / ستائر

House in Arabic / Manzel / منزل

Bell in Arabic / Jaras / جرس

Doorknob in Arabic / Meqbadh al bab / مقبض الباب

Lock in Arabic / Qefl / قفل

Doorway in Arabic / Madkhal / مدخل

Stair in Arabic / Daraj / دَرَج

Funnel in Arabic / Medkhanah /مدخنة

Garden in Arabic / Hadeeqah / حديقة

Mailbox in Arabic / Sondooq al bareed / صندوق البريد

Balcony in Arabic / Shurfah / شرفة

Bench in Arabic / Meqa’d / مِقعَد

Key in Arabic / Meftah / مفتاح

Fence in Arabic / Seyaj / سياج

Sitting room in Arabic / ghorfat al joloos / غرفة الجلوس

Chimney in Arabic / Mawqed / موقد

Library in Arabic / Maktabah / مكتبة

Bedroom in Arabic / Ghorfat annwm / غرفة النوم

Pillow in Arabic / Wisadah / وسادة

Bed in Arabic / Sareer / سرير

Blanket in Arabic / Gheta’ / غطاء

Mattress in Arabic / Ferash / فِراش

Closet in Arabic / Khezanah / خزانة

Shelf in Arabic / Raf /رَف

Alarm clock in Arabic / Sa’at monabbeh / ساعة منبه

Sink in Arabic / Meghsalah / مغسلة

Bathtub in Arabic / Meghtas / مغطس

Chair in Arabic / Kursii / كرسي


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 com