Haifa Wehbe Expresses Admiration for Hassan Nasrallah

This video is of Haifa Wehbe هيفاء وهبي being interviewed and asked about who she looks up to. Her answer is the leader of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah حسن نصر الله. I don't think I would describe him the way she did, but to each his (or in this case her) own. This dialogue is in Levantine and more specifically Lebanese Arabic. With the transcript you should be able to follow along without having exposure to this dialect because almost all of the words are found in MSA فصحى but they are said with a Lebanese accent. The spiral and the chairs coming toward each other at the beginning is kind of strange. Not sure what that's about. :)

سؤال تاني. سمي شخص بيدق قلبك إله بس إتشوفيه بس مش كحبيب و لا من افراد أسرتك

Another question. Name a person for whom your heart beats when you see him, but not as a lover and not among the members of your family.

Comments: تاني doesn't always mean "second". This could have been the 4th question.

بيدق قلبي بس شوفه بس مش كحبيب؟

My heart beats when I see him but not as a lover?

اه, بصراحة... و يمكن الحرب خلتني كمان أكثر أتأكد من هالشي. سيد حسن نصر الله. حكمته العالية جداً. روقيه بالتعامل مع كل الأوضاع إللي كانت مدمية و إللي بعدها. أكثر شغلة إللي تعجبني فيه, هالكاريزما بحواره, هالطريقة القوية إللي بتقنعني, مقنع جداً و حكيم. حكمته كتير... و طبعاً هو رجل يحتذى فيه يعني و ينضرب فيه المثل.

Ah, frankly... and maybe the war also has made me more sure of this. Mr. Hasan Nasrallah. His very high wisdom. His dignified way of dealing with all the situations that were bloody, etc. The thing that I like most about him, this charisma in his dialogue, this strong way that convinces me. He's very convincing and wise. His wisdom is very... and of course he is a model man and one the proverbs speak of.

  • دق - to beat or knock
  • صراحة - frankly
  • خلتني - made me or let me. خليني روح means "let me go"
  • شغلة - thing. Just like the word حاجة in Egyptian.
  • مقنع - convincing
  • حكيم - wise. Also means "doctor" in Levantine, but doesn't mean that here.
  • رجل يحتذى فيه - an exemplary man, a good example of a man, role model
  • ينضرب فيه المثل - "the proverb is hit in him" literally. It means basically that he is a guy like in the proverb. Maybe she has a specific proverb in mind but I don't know what it is.


Fairouz al Zayani Reads Al Jazeera Headlines

This clip is from November 7, 2009 and is of the Al Jazeera anchor (مذيعة) Fairouz al Zayani (فيروز الزياني ) reading the headline news. I've written out the transcript in Arabic and the translation into English. After the transcript there is a vocab list of some of the important words in the passage. I recommend listening to the passage once or twice and then going through it with the transcript making sure to note the words that are new to you. This is the main way that I learn and continue to study Arabic, having an audio source along with the transcript and just going over it until I know everything in the passage.

اهلا بكم. قالت جماعة الحوثي إنها سدت هجوم سعودي بري في جبل دخان و مناطق حدودية أخرى و اسرت عدداً من الجنون السعوديين. و كان الحوثيون قد اكّدوا تواصل الغارة الجوية السعودية على قرى يمنية حدودية. و قال مصدر رسمي سعودي إن بلاده شنت غارات جوية مكثّفة على اماكن وجود من وصفهم بمتسللين من جماعة الحوثي في مناطق داخل الاراضي السعودية

Hello and welcome. The Houthi band said that it blocked a Saudi land attack in Jebel Dukhan (Smoke Mountain) and other border areas and that they took a number of the Saudi soldiers prisoner. The Houthis confirmed that the Saudi air raids on Yemeni border villages are continuing. And an official Saudi source said that his country launched concentrated air strikes on the locations of who he described as Houthi infiltrators in areas inside Saudi lands.

قالت المعارضة اللبنانية بعد إجتماع لها في وقت متأخّر الليلة الماضية إنها اتفقت على المضي في تشكيل حكومة وحدة وطنية في البلاد وفق قواعد تم الإتفاق عليها مع رئيس الحكومة المكلف سعد الحريري. و ضم الإجتماع رئيس مجلس النواب نبيه بري و رئيس التكتل الإصلاح و التغيير ميشال عون و الامين العام لحزب الله حسن نصر الله و رئيس تيار المردة سليمان فراجية

The Lebanese opposition, after a meeting it had late last night, said that it has agreed on the execution of forming a national unity government in the country according to rules that were agreed upon with the acting president of the government Saad al Hariri. Head of the congress Nabih Berri, head of the Restoration and Change Party Michel Aoun, the secretary general of Hezbollah Hasan Nasrallah, and the head of the Marada movement Suleiman Franjieh joined the meeting.

يعقد البرلمان العراقي اليوم جلسة أخرى لبحث قانون الإنخابات المثير للجدل و من أهم المشاكل التي تعرقل إقرار قانون الإنتخابات, كيفية إجراء الإنتخابات في مدينة كركوك وسط صراع عربي كردي تركماني

Today the Iraqi Parliament is holding another meeting to discuss the controversial election law. Among the most important problems that is impeding ratification of the election law is how to carry out elections in the city of Kirkuk amidst Arabic, Kurdish, and Turkman conflict.

هذا و قد اعلن في بغداد اليوم عن تحالف الوحدة الوطنية لخوض الإنخابات البرلمانية المقبلة و ضمن التحالف الجديد عدد من التجمعات و الحركات و الشخصيات منها تجمع الوحدة الوطنية

In addition to this, an national unity alliance to hold the future parliamentary elections was announced in Baghdad today and within this new alliance are a number of groups, movements, and personalities, among them the national unity group.

قال الرئسي الروسي ديمتري مدفيديف إنه لا يمكن إستبعاد إمكانية فرض عقوبات شديد على إيران إذا لم يحدث تقدم في المفاوضات حول ملفها النووي. من ناحية أخرى قال رئيس لجنة الشؤون الخارجية في البرلمان الإيراني علاء الدين بروجردي إن إيران ترفض إرسال اليورانيوم المخصب الذي تملكه إلى الخارج لزيادة تخصيبه مقابل حصولها على وقود لمفاعل الابحاث النووي في طهران

The Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that he can't rule out the possibility of imposing severe sanctions on Iran if no progress takes place in the negotiations about its Nuclear program (file). On the other side of the issue, the president of the committee of matters of the exterior in the Iranian Parliament Aladdin Brojardi said that Iran refuses to send its enriched uranium outside the country in order to enrich it further in exchange for receiving fuel for the nuclear research reactor in Tehran.

عقد الرئيس الامريكي باراك اوباما إجتماعاً مع مدير مكتب التحقيقات الفيدرالي لبحث حادثة إطلاق النار داخل قاعدة فورت هود في ولاية تاكساس. و عقب حادث فورت هود بساعات قتل امريكياً و جرح 6 آخرون في إطلاق نار وسط مدينة اورلاندو بولاية فلوردا

The American president Barak Obama held a meeting with the head of the federal investigations office to discuss the shooting incident inside the Ft. Hood base in Texas. Hours after the occurrence at Ft. Hood 1 American was killed and 6 were injured in a shooting in downtown Orlando Florida.

إلى اللقاء

Until we meet again.


  • سد - to block, repel (as in an attack). The noun means "dam", so you can see the kind of meanings this root has.
  • بري - the adjective for "ground" as in هجوم بري "ground attack"
  • شن - to launch an attack
  • غارة جوية - air raid
  • متسللين - infiltrators
  • وصف - to describe something
  • مكثف - concentrated or dense
  • مضي - to go ahead with, to execute, to implement
  • مكلّف - to be charged with something. الطالب المكلّف بإغلاق الباب (the student who's job it is or who is charged with closing the door). Notice the shadda. Without it the word means expensive مُكلِف
  • عقب or على أعقاب - After, on the heels of. Don't confuse with عقوبات which means sanctions
  • تخصيب - literally means "to make fertile" but in the case of uranium it means "to enrich"
  • مفاعل نووي - nuclear reactor


Assi El Helani: Lebnani w/ Lyrics

The song لبناني (Lebanese) by عاصي الحلاني (Asi El Hillani) was released after the 2008 election in Lebanon and was an immediate hit. It's a nationalistic song about Lebanese heritage and how people from Lebanon should be proud to be Lebanese. To me Asi Al Hellani sounds a lot like فارس كرم (Fares Karam). They both sing in really deep voices and have the same kind of accent, but I like Fares Karam so it's not a bad thing. Here is the song along with the lyrics and translation. I'm sure you'll enjoy it... unless maybe you're Syrian. Just kidding. :P

غطي الشمس بفي جبينك
Cover the sun (light) with the shade of your brow
بيحقلك وطنك دينك
Your country and your religion are your rights
لو هالدني سألت مينك؟
قلن انك لبناني

If this world asked, "Who are you?" Tell them that you're Lebanese

بطل السلم و بطل الحرب
Hero of peace and hero of war
همزة وصل الشرق الغرب
The connector between the east and the west
تتظل تحب و تنحب
To continue loving and being loved
بيكفي انك لبناني
It's enough that you're Lebanese

لبناني و مطرح ما تروح
Lebanese and everywhere you go
حامل وطنك قلب و روح
You carry your country with your heart
and soul
و منك عطر المجد يفوح
And from you the perfume of glory wafts
عطر التراب اللبناني
The perfume of the Lebanese soil

لبناني و كلما بتطل
Lebanese and whenever you appear
بتوزع حبك عالكل
You spread your love to everyone
و الإيدين عليك تدل
And your two hands point out
و تعرف انك لبناني
And know that you are Lebanese

لبناني و اسمك مكتوب
Lebanese and your name is written
ع حد السيف المسحوب
On the blade of the unsheathed sword
لون حروفه حبر قلوب
The color of its letters is the ink of hearts
كلمة وحدة لبناني
One word, Lebanese

لبناني و تسلم هالإيد
Lebanese and bless your hands
اللي بتعرف تعطي و تزيد
That know how to give and exceed
و تخلق بعد الأزمة عيد
And create a holiday after the crisis
و عيد المجد اللبناني
The holiday of the Lebanese glory

غطي الشمس بفي جبينك
Cover the sun (light) with the shade of your brow
بيحقلك وطنك دينك
Your country and your religion are your r
لو هالدنيي سألت مينك؟
قلن انك لبناني

If this world asked, "Who are you?" Tell them that you're Lebanese


Hi in Arabic

As in any language, in Arabic there are many different ways to greet someone. A lot more time is spent on greetings in Arabic than is spent in English. I knew some Arabs just learning English and they were amazed at how quickly we greet each other and then move on. They thought it was kind of rude and thoughtless to give such a small amount of time to greetings. To me the length of Arabic greetings seems strange, but I accept the fact that we both have different cultures and place importance on different things.

1. السلام عليكم (assalaamu 'aleykum)
This literally means "peace be upon you". It is probably the most formal greeting in Arabic. The response is و عليكم السلام (wa 'aleykum assalaam). You hear this a lot more often during Ramadan because everyone feels more religious during that month. Also, after saying السلام عليكم you can add و رحمة الله و بركاته (wa rahmat allahi wa barakaatu). This means "and the mercy of God and his blessings", saying may those be upon you as well. This last part was very hard for me to say when I was starting Arabic.

2. اهلاً و سهلاً (ahlan wa sahlan)
This is translated as "hello and welcome". It's less formal than "peace be upon you" and used in less formal situations. You can respond to this greeting with اهلَين (ahlain) which means "two ahlans". However, that response is really only used in the Levantine region (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine).

3. مرحباً (marhaban)
This is the closest thing to "hi" that they have in Arabic. With this you can reply with مرحبتين (marhabtain) "two marhabans". People will understand everywhere, but it's only used commonly in the Levant.

4. صباح الخير (sabaah alkhair)
We translate this as "good morning". If you want to take it literally then it means "morning of the good". The response is صباح النور (sabah annour) which means "morning of the light". It doesn't make a lot of sense if you take it literally like that, so it's always just translated as "good morning".

5. مساء الخير (masaa alkhair)
Means "good evening". Like with "good morning", the response is مساء النور (masaa annour), "evening of the light".

6. تحية لك (tahia leka)
This actually means "greetings to you". It's not very common to greet someone with this just as it wouldn't be common to say "greetings to you" in English.