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Arabic Proverbs (Bilingual Proverbs) Paperback – 1 Jul 1998

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Hippocrene Books Inc.,U.S.; First Edition edition (1 July 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0781806313
  • ISBN-13: 978-0781806312
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 14 x 1.2 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,480,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


First published in Egypt in 1987, this collection contains 600 Arabic proverbs with translations and, where appropriate, explanations of the customs which gave rise to the proverb. Many show recognizable Biblical influence.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Lost in Proverb-Land 9 April 2002
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Given that intriguing expressions and turns of phrase often provide a unique glimpse into any culture, such a book as this one should not only provide insightful interpretations of any given proverb, but should also be well organized and indexed. Unfortunately, this book fails completely in these latter two respects. There is no index whatsoever, and the order in which the proverbs appear is neither linguistic nor thematic (I suspect that the entries were made in the order they were gathered during the compiler's research). That is such a loss! Still, I enjoyed reading the book cover to cover, savoring not only the original proverbs (which appear in Arabic script rather than in transliterated Roman letters), but also delving into the world opened up by the anecdotes that accompanied many of the entries, as well as the fairly literal translations made. One of my favorites (p. 94): Eish arraf al-hamir fi akl al-ganzabil "What do donkeys know of preserved ginger" (Do not cast pearls before swine). One should note that the proverbs are described as being "current in Egypt" (19th century c.e.?), and thus are not entirely representative of the Arab world in general.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Needs an Update 8 Feb. 2011
By Amy Stoller - Published on
Format: Paperback
Arabic has a particularly rich store of proverbs, and this is a well-laid-out introduction to some of them. However, the proverbs were collected in the 19th century and they have not been updated, so this book is more useful to people interested in literary Arabic than those who want to speak it. Also, the title is a bit misleading, since only Egyptian proverbs are included. the book is well organized, and I especially appreciated that it has the Arabic script as well as a transcription.

What is really remarkable is that this is the most updated and complete collection available. An updated and expanded version would be an essential purchase for any student of Arabic.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Salaam and 28 Jan. 2013
By MattDogg - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An open mind expands as you read this delightful book that lets you know that all Muslims are not bad people. The proverbs featured reflect the Arab culture and American values. All this on the premier website,, the One Stop Shop but now after reading this book you will never stop! The book is written by Sir Joseph, a true visionary with the wisdom to bring unity to the world peeps with a book on Arabic Proverbs. Now remember Allah and because we has got to share this world and the book Arabic Proverbs with Arabic writing to enchant and dazzle you is featured at competative prices with rush delivery available. Peace, love and thanx-MattDogg
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