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16 Iconic Egyptian Sayings Creatively Illustrated By Artist Ali Alaa

These old Egyptians sayings explained through Ali Alaa's illustrations got a round of applause from us and our tetas.

Explaining our favourite Egyptian sayings to the average Jo is not the easiest thing to do - because really, only the average Mo gets them - but 18-year-old artist Ali Alaa managed to do just that, through art. In sixteen incredible illustrations, done through pencil work, and few Photoshop edits, the young artist managed to finally put an end to all the question marks we gave our tetas when we were little kids. After all, how the fuck do you te2leb el 2edra 3la fommaha, tetla3 el bent l'ommaha? In Alaa's mind, it looks a little something like this: 

“I’ve always had a passion for art, but I felt like my talent could go a lot further than rookie doodles,” Alaa says, and goes on to explain that he studies mass communication in hopes of getting into the advertisement business to pursue his art. "I officially started my artistic journey two years ago – I would read books online and follow art galleries over the country to explore how experienced artists pinpoint their vision, and that's where I found the approach of 'Egyptianising' my art to make it relatable and extremely creative," he tells us.

And what's more Egyptian than sayings we've heard our entire lives, and have come to use on a daily basis? What's even better are illustrations that show us how the Egyptian imagination is a weird, weird place. 

"Ma3andaksh ree7et el damm"

"You don't even smell of blood."
(You're a cold-blooded, cold-hearted creature.)

 

"El 7ettan Leeha Weddan"

"The walls have ears."

 

"Bashemm 3ala dahr 2eedi"
"I am sniffing on the back of my hand."
(How would I know?)

 

"Eli te7sebo Moussa yetla3 Fer3oon"
"Whoever you'd think is Moses, is indeed a Pharaoh."
(Whoever you'd think is good, is indeed evil.)

 

"Bagry 3ala 3eyaly ya Beeh"

"I'm running on my kids, sir."
(I am running around to make a living for my kids.)

 

"Sha77at w beyt2ammar"
"He's poor and toasting."
(Beyt2ammar can mean toasting, or having your nose up in the air. The saying is something akin to beggars can't be choosers or he's in no position to be making these demands.)

 

"El 3agala men el sheitan"
"A bicycle is from Satan."
(3aggala can also mean haste, so: haste makes waste.)

 

"Wednak menein ya Go7a"
"Where are your ears from, Gohha?"
(Long story short: why are you complicating your explanations?)

 

"El 3een fala2et el 7agar"
"An eye broke stone."
(Super evil eye.)

 

"Fel wesh meraya w fel 2affa sellaya"
"A mirror to the face, but a fishbone to your back."
(A friend to your face, but a stabber behind your back.)

 

"El 2erd fe 3ein 2ommo ghazal"
"A monkey is as beautiful as a gazelle in its mother's eyes."
(Love is blind.)

 

"Hatakol sawab3ak waraha"
"You'll eat your fingers after it."
(Finger lickin' good.)

 

"Lesanak 7ossanak. En sonto saanak wen khonto khanak"
"Your tongue is your horse – if you protect it, it'll protect you; if you betray it, it'll betray you."
(Think before you speak.)

 

"Weshaha f'el 2ard"
"Her face is on the ground."
(She's embarassed/ashamed.)

 

"Enta hatetressem 3aleena walla eih?"
Featuring artist Ali Alaa Himself
"Are you going to draw on us?"
(Are you scheming us?)

 

A book with Ali's artwork is expected to be out soon. Meanwhile, check his Facebook page here and stalk him if you're too poor to buy real life books. 


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