Sayings:

1. Arabic 2. Translation 3. English equivalent 4. Explanation

 

الشيفه شيفه والمعاني ضعيفه .1
2. All that glitters is not gold
3. Do not judge others by their appearances.

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الطول طول نخلة والعقل عقل صخله .1.
2. (S)he is as tall as a palm tree but has a mind like a goat.
4. (S)he is an attractive person, yet (s)he has no wit.

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الباب الي تجيك منه الريح سده واستريح .1
2. Rest by closing the door that brings you strong wind. 
4. It is better to avoid or refrain from taking any action or choice that might cause problems.

 

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Story:

A long, long time ago, there was a Bedouin girl who lived with her family and their goats at the foot of a mountain range. The girl was very beautiful and used to look after the sheep with her brothers and sisters. Once day as she sat alone with the flock a strange man cast a spell on her. That spell trapped her in a death-like sleep and indeed her family thought she was dead, so they buried her, forgetting to remove a ring from her finger.

The night of her burial the spell weaving man went to her grave and dug her up. He made the girl his wife and brought her to live high up in the mountains. She was kept their for many years, miserable and badly treated. Days passed, and the days slowly turned into months and years.

By chance it happened that the girl’s family owned a flock of sheep which wandered eastward climbing the same mountain. The girl knew about her family’s sheep, and she set upon a plan. She never ate all of her meals, but stuck some leftovers into the arm of her dishdasha and would then drop them in paths up the mountains leading her familiy’s sheep to the home of the magician where she was kept.

Eventually her plan worked, the flock followed the crumbs to her new home. As the sheep gathered around the girl eating the leftovers, she grabbed her mother’s favourite goat, took off the ring on her finger and slid it onto the sheep’s horn.

When the goat returned home and the girl’s mother started to feed it she spied her daughter’s ring. She turned to her son who was known to be brave and bold and told him of the ring and how it she had found it on the horn. The son exclaimed: “On the sheep’s horn!?” His mother affirmed “Yes on the goat’s horn”. The son pondered where the flock of sheep went to eat grass; the mother pointed to the eastern mountain.

The son followed, and followed, and followed the flock until he saw his sister walking with the flock of sheep and her sons and following her. The brother approached his sister, tears filled her eyes and she called: “Brother, by God he will kill you. He is keeping me here, help me”. Her brother said: “Don’t worry little sister, he won’t kill me. Just let me hide in the mandūs. Then I will catch him unaware”. He had climbed inside the mandūs she shut the lid tight.

The girl’s magician husband arrived wrinkling his nose and said: “Blah! I smell a human!”.His wife said: “But there aren’t any here in this part of the mountain. Maybe it is one of your victims whose blood stain the ground outside”. Relaxing the sorcerer lay on his back and grabbed one of his sons. Inside the mandūs the brother reached for his dagger then jumped out onto the magician. Holding his neck he asked his sister: “Will this kills him? Is there anywhere else I should cut?” She answered “No, he will bleed like you or I.” The brother slashed his dagger and cut off the magician’s head. The younger brother grabbed his sister by her hand and ran down the mountain to their home. She returned to her family and lived a long life until God took her soul.