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.


Unknown said...

Excellent :) just one pointer though regarding "ينضرب فيه المثل"; it's actually an idiomatic expression that literally means that he is fit to be in a proverb/parable. That his greatness qualifies him for it or that proverbs *could* be written about/of him. Or "mathal" could be "example" meaning that he is a figure that can/should be followed as an example (similar to the role model remark preceding it)...

You've got the sense of it right though (hope I haven't made this more confusing :))

Anyways... Keep doing what you're doing :)

Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog for a couple of months and I have a question.

Unless I missed it, can you make a post with a list of books that are in Arabic that you have/are reading?

I don't mean just reference books but more like children's books or simple novels.


The Arabic Student said...

Jason, I haven't read a lot of books in Arabic. I think I got halfway through Harry Potter, and one of my teachers had some old novels that weren't overly complex and I read a bit from a few of them. Some of the titles were في بيتنا رجل , الطريق المسدود , and بنت السلطان . Also I bought A Picture of Dorian Gray that has Arabic on one page and English on the other and I got about halfway through that too. I have trouble sticking with a book because things always come up that keep me away from reading for a while and I forget what the book was about and don't feel like rereading parts.

HouariB said...

Other subject
did you ever listen this song ?

The Arabic Student said...

Houari, that's really cool. An Arabic western song lol. I learned a new word from it too. I had never heard مغنى before.

HouariB said...

another thing too
this is a comedy from Algeria called "nass mlah city" ("the city of good guys"). They made a lot of fun cover xfiles etc.. This one is called
Bachir & the 7 sisters (the bachelor :)) )

Tell me. Do you understand

Ania said...

wow I'm so happy that I chose your video on youtube! You’re fantastic! :P I mean your Arabic seems so good! and I have a few questions :)
Do you think that a person from Poland (me of course :P) would someday speak Arabic like you? because I'm afraid that I won't ever see difference between some letters, and that I won't ever spell ع or خ right. I want to learn diligently, but is it possible to pronounce correctly with Slavic jaw?

I found a strange opinion about this language:
„I think one of the biggest misconceptions about Arabic is that it is a difficult language to learn. Really, once you get into it enough, everything seems to follow a pattern. Semitic languages are amazing that way.” Is that true? ;>
I'm sorry for my English... Polish is much easier :D
thank you in advance ;]

The Arabic Student said...

Ania, I don't think that being an English speaker makes Arabic easier or than being a Polish speaker makes it harder. It's all about the work you put in. Anyone who is exposed to any language for a long period of time will pick up that language. As the letters that sound similar, when I started out our teacher had us listen to a recording of someone saying ه and ح many times one after the other and no one could tell the difference between them. However, over time I started to notice the difference. I knew when they were saying هرب and حرب. It just took time.

Noticing the difference between letters and being able to pronounce them are 2 different things though. There are Chinese people who can tell the difference between 'l' and 'r', but they can't make their mouth produce the sound. The same is true for some Arabs who know 'p' and 'b' sound different but can't pronounce the letter 'p'. Some people have an accent in their foreign language even if they live in the country that speaks that language for decades. I think it's just random whether a person will lose their accent or keep it. Either way, you don't have to be able to speak without an accent in order to be fluent in a language. As long as people can understand you then you are fine. And that is something that I think anyone can achieve.

As for Arabic being an easy language once you spend some time with it, I don't know. After spending a lot of time with Arabic I see that it's much more than just one language. Even MSA is more than 1 language in my opinion. The language spoken on the news and the language in the Koran and poetry are so very different. The grammar on the news is simple and regular. The grammar in the Koran and in poetry seems to be completely random at times. Not to mention the words used, many of which are very old and never appear anywhere else. If a person wanted to master MSA and all the Arabic dialects I'm beginning to think that it would take a lifetime.

Now if you want to just choose one part of Arabic and become a master at it then it is much easier. If you choose to become fluent in Egyptian for instance, that is as difficult as learning any 1 language.

I hope that lengthy answer helped you out a bit.

The Arabic Student said...

Houari, I can say that I understand roughly 30% of the words they are saying, but it isn't enough for much of it to make any sense.

I think I could learn this dialect if I watched a lot of TV, but even then I don't know because they sometimes just speak in French. This is really the first time I've listened to Algerian aside from a few songs. I would guess that most Arabs who aren't from the western Arab world would have trouble understanding Algerian dialect. Is that true?

Ania said...

oh! I was in Egypt and I remember that they were saying "Boland!" ;] long answer is good for me, because I want to learn English too! (I wouldn't understand it without a dictionary...) thanks a lot!

HouariB said...


Look at this video , Egyptians singing along with souad massi. I think they have no problem with algerian accent :)

HouariB said...

did you know that is an "arabic" city in USA,_Iowa

HouariB said...

I forgot the link for the song

HouariB said...

You can work on this video :)

Anonymous said...


Taby said...

May I ask why the word is "kahabiib" instead of just "habiib"? I have never heard this term (though I am just a beginner) - is it used in MSA or is it a colloquial construction?

The Arabic Student said...

The 'k' before habib means 'as'. كصديق means "as a friend".

The Arabic Student said...

I forgot to answer the rest of the question. It's used in MSA too.

Taby said...

Ahh I see.. Shukran for the quick response :)