Arabic proverbs

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He who doesn't know the falcon roasts it.

Proverbs from all Arabic speaking parts of the world.

Quotes[edit]

  • Any wise enemy is better than an ignorant friend.
    • "So let us begin anew--remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate. 

Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us. 

Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms--and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations. 

Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths and encourage the arts and commerce. 

Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah--to "undo the heavy burdens . . . (and) let the oppressed go free." 

And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved. .""

  • The food of the lion (causes) indigestion to the wolf.
  • The remedy may be worse than the disease.
    • English equivalent: The remedy is often worse than the disease; Burn not your house to rid it of the mouse.
    • "Action taken to put something right is often more unpleasant or damaging than the original problem."
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 232. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Atmaram Sadashiv, G. Jayakar (1900). Omani proverbs (Reimpresa ed.). Oleander Press. p. 69. ISBN 0906672120. 
  • He with no ears gets the earrings !
  • When suitors came asking for her hand, she played hard-to-get, when they all left her, she regretted it.
  • حبل الكذب قصير
    • Translation: The rope of lying is short.
    • English equivalent: A lie has short legs.
    • "And, after all, what is a lie? 'Tis but
      The truth in masquerade."
    • Lord Byron, Don Juan (1818-24), Canto XI, Stanza 37
    • Katibah, Habib Ibrahim (1940). The new spirit in Arab lands. Published privately by the author. p. 121. 
  • الوقت كالسيف إن لم تقطعه قطعك
    • Translation: Time is like a sword; if you don't cut it it'll cut you.
    • "Age imprints more wrinkles in the mind than it does on the face."
    • Michel de Montaigne, Essays (1595)
    • Manṣūr, ʻAbd al-Fattāḥ (1987). Mudhakkirāt kāìn maḥmūm. 

Bedouin Proverbs[edit]

  • الطول طول نخله والعقل عقل سخله*
    • Translation: [He has] The length of a palm tree but the brain of a goat.
    • فوزية, دريع، (2008). الرجل الحيوان. منشورات الجمل،. 
  • إلى كثروا الرعيان ضاعت الغنم
    • If the herders are a lot the sheep will get lost.
    • English equivalent: Too many cooks spoiled the broth.
    • "There may not be that natural connection and unity so essential to any production of merit."
    • Porter, William Henry (1845). Proverbs: Arranged in Alphabetical Order .... Munroe and Company. p. 173. 
  • لا تقول بـُر ليـن توكيــه
    • Translation: Don't say its wheat until you harvest it
    • English equivalent: Sell not the bear's skin before you have caught him.
    • Meaning: "Do not plan too far ahead and do not be too optimistic. One cannot be sure of the success of a job until it is completed. Unforeseen unfavourable developments can never be excluded."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). "X". European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. 217. ISBN 1-875943-44-7.