Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Wisdom through words: some Emirati proverbs

Here is a selection of Emirati proverbs

* Doun Al Halwa maash, wa doun Al zawali farash: You don't need that particular sweet to live or enjoy life, and you don't need that particular carpet or rug to rest upon. Stated to remind someone about contentment and not seek that one particular object that could be hard to get.

* Man Amarak? Man Nahanee?: Who ordered you to do this? Who stopped me from doing this? Story behind this is that there was a man stationed at a cemetery's gate who would ask to be paid a few rupees each time someone brought over a body to be buried. Families of the deceased would be too upset to question him over the fee. Then one day, someone told the sheikh of the tribe about this man, and he was brought over to him. The sheikh asked him who had ordered him to be stationed there and take the money, and that is when he replied, "no one stopped me". The sheikh then ordered him to stop, and he did.

* Al Darahim Marahim: Money is like an ointment, takes pain and problems away. It is said that this proverb goes back to the fourth Caliphate, Ali ibn Abi Talib. (656 -661 CE)

* Al Duniya Jafela, had yarouh, had yadwi: A bedu proverb, where life is compared to a caravan, someone leaves in the afternoon, and someone comes at sunset. Also refers to birth and death in life's cycle.

* Dana Taleaa min Kharaba: a coastal proverb, where a beautiful pearl had emerged from a bad oyster. Said to when there is a beautiful woman with great manners and poise that came from a bad home with a bad reputation.

* Al Zain moutalaa al ghoul min al sarb: a proverb from the mountains, where a wiseman was able to get the snake out of its hole, and kill it. Applied to when someone with good manners and kindness was so good that was able to gain the trust of a snake or someone bad and reform or convince them.

* Courtesy Dr Rashid Al Mazrouei

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Ali Benflis, opposition leader and main rival to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika speaks to the press after casting his vote in the presidential elections at a polling station in Algiers on. Former prime minister Benflis ran against Bouteflika in 2004 but lost heavily, charging the vote was rigged 10 years ago and has said fraud will be his ‘main adversary’ during the election. Patrick Baz / AFP Photo

Best photography from around the world, April 17

The National View's photo editors pick the best images of the day from around the world.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

Video: Local reactions to a national fishing ban

A federal fishing ban has been imposed by the UAE federal government, but local authorities are taking diiferent approaches to implementing the ban. Two fishermen tell two very different sides of the story. Produced by Paul O'Driscoll

 Walter Zenga is one win away from claiming silverware for the first time in the UAE. Karim Jaafar / AFP

Walter Zenga seeks early retribution at Al Jazira in Arabian Gulf Cup final

A victory over Al Ahli in the Arabian Gulf Cup final will help prove the Italian has turned around the fortunes of the capital club.

 The new Bentley GT Speed convertible on display at a press event of the New York International Auto Show. Jason Szenes / EPA

In pictures: Hot cars at New York International Auto Show

With more than 1 million visitors annually, the New York International Auto Show is one of the most important shows for the US car industry. Here are some of the vehicles to be shown in this year’s edition.

 The cast of Fast & Furious 7, including Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel, centre, on set at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Fast & Furious 7 filming in full swing at Emirates Palace

Filming for Fast & Furious 7 has started and we have the first photos of the cast and crew on set at Emirates Palace hotel this morning. Visitors staying at Emirates Palace say they have been kept away from certain areas in the grounds.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National