Yemeni Proverbs for All Occasions [Archives:2001/25/Culture]

June 18 2001

Saad Shareef Taher
Iraqi English Teacher
Yemeni proverbs, as it is clear, are the vital face of the Yemeni culture because they are the spoken tongue of its daily public activities. They are the mirror that reflects simple people’s thinking and by which daily life, habits and communication are truly outlined. They are the live records of politics, agriculture work and wisdom throughout history. One can grasp minute details of simple Yemeni society and have an actual picture of whatever is in their mind. From the large number I’ve chosen some glittering stars.
1) Akhir il madafin ajwas

Meaning: At the bottom of buried cellar of seeds are rocks.
Comment: Yemeni villagers are used to save seeds of wheat in underground rooms. Bags of seeds are put on rocks to prevent humidity. So, after using those seeds rocks appear.
Situation: A person behaves well and finally turns bad.
2) Akhir il lail tateek al dawahi

Meaning: Troubles come to you at the end of the night.
Situation: Responding to anyone who orders you to do something late at night.
3) Mahhad Yiadi al assada

Meaning: None can stand against the porridge (assid) maker.
Situation: Urging others to unite and warning them not to stand against powerful people.

4) Ya ragisa bil ghudrah mahhad yagolish ya seen

Meaning: You who dance in darkness, none will say to you “ya seen”, for no one will see you.
Comment: “Ya Seen” is a Sura in the Holy Quran said to protect gifted people from evil eyes. So any girl who dances in darkness is not seen by anyone who will say “Ya Seen” to bless her.
Situation: When someone does something without being praised by others.
5) Lau habibek asal khalli minnu wasal

Meaning: If your lover were honey, spare some of him for the future.
Comment: Don’t exploit your good friend completely.
Situation: When a person exploits his relatives and friends’ efforts or money to a great extent.