One of the most fascinating ways to gain a better understanding of Arab culture is to look at their proverbs. Indeed, proverbs show the common philosophy shared among the people of all Arabic speaking countries.  However, though they may show the oneness among Arabs, they also show the uniqueness of the Arab people as well.

Arab proverbs contain the wisdom that has been gathered for thousands of years. Yet, it is still relatable and thus, passed on today and will likely continue for future generations to come. Here is just a tiny sampling of our favorites that we’d like to pass on to you today:

Arabic Proverbs about Life

  1. Get together like brothers, but work together like strangers.

This proverb means that, no matter who you work with you should always be professional.

  • Avoid things that will require an apology.

It’s better to be safe than sorry.

  • The wisest is the one who can forgive.

There’s no greater virtue than being able to easily forgive.

  • Wishing does not make a poor man rich.

You have to get off the sofa and put in the hard work it takes to make money.

  • Be wary around your enemy once and your friend a thousand times. A double crossing friend knows more about what harms you.

Quite the opposite of the oft quoted proverb of Sun Tzu: “Keep your friends close; keep your enemies closer.” However, both ring true.

  • Lack of intelligence is the greatest poverty.

                This pearl of wisdom goes hand-in-hand with another Arabic proverb: The love of money and    the love of learning rarely meet.

  • Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone.

People only like being around other people when they are happy, so always try to be positive.

  • We have one mouth and two ears for a reason – to listen more than we speak.  

Want to be a good conversationalist? Experts say the key is mentioned in the proverb above – listening more, speak less.

  • Do not drink poison to quench a thirst.

Do not try to solve a problem with something more drastic than needed.

  1. Garlic said to the onion, “You stink!”

This is the Arab version of “the pot calling the kettle black”.

Arabic Proverbs about Love

What’s life without a little love? With that in mind, here are four of our favorite Arab proverbs about love:

  1. When you love someone, you love the person as they are, and not as you’d like them to be.

You fell in love with that person for who they are, so why try to change them into something you want them to be?

  1. A day lasts until it’s chased away but love lasts until the grave.

True love has no bounds and lasts until the day you die.

  1. He who loves thinks that the others are blind; the others think that he is crazy.

And both are right!

  1. Visit rarely and you will be more loved.

Or, as they say in English: “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

~~~ Another Arab proverb we love is “Search knowledge though it is in China.” Well, we won’t make you go that far to learn more about Arabic and Arab culture. In fact, with the Kaleela Arabic Learning app, you don’t even have to leave your house. That’s right. You can learn Arabic from the comfort of your home when you want, as fast as you want. That’s the convenience of the Kaleela Arabic Learning app. Find out how you can start speaking Arabic today by visiting for more info.