Arabic Desserts: Umm Ali, Egyptian bread pudding

Arabic Desserts: Umm Ali, Egyptian bread pudding

A different kind of bread pudding Anybody visiting an Arab country and having been invited to an Arab family or to an Arabic buffet will probably have come across Umm Ali. Umm Ali (translated: Mother of Ali) is an Egyptian bread pudding, not to be mixed up with...

Some more useful phrases in Arabic

Some more useful phrases in Arabic

'Here you are ' and 'please' in Arabic min faDlak (please) and tafaDDal (Here you are.) These two words are absolutely essential when it comes to being polite in the Arabic language, You will hear min faDlak when someone asks for something or when ordering food in a...

Lesser known facts from the Arab world

Lesser known facts from the Arab world

Did you know …? al-madeena is the standard word for ‘city’. In the Maghreb, i.e. in the countries to the West of Egypt, the word madeena is often used for the old part of town.  On the island of Malta there is a city still called Mdina, which gives you an idea of the...

The five ‘boat’ letters in the Arabic alphabet

The five ‘boat’ letters in the Arabic alphabet

The three letters below all look a little bit like a boat: ب ت ث baa' taa’ thaa’ As you can see, the three letters are identical in their ‘body’ (= the boat). The difference arises from the dots below and above the boat. Let’s focus on baa' to show how this letter is...

Frankincense in the Arab world

Frankincense in the Arab world

Frankincense has been sought after since ancient times Frankincense has been sought after since ancient times and there are many historical accounts that refer to it. The most famous one is the Bible passage which notes that frankincense was one of the three gifts by...

Arabian Pottery in Gulf countries

Arabian Pottery in Gulf countries

Potters of Bahla in Oman  In Oman, anybody born in Bahla* used to enter the world of  the ancient art of vessel making. Even today you can find the spin of the potter's wheel on any day of the week – except Friday. It is said that the potters of Bahla are born with...

Arab cuisine

Arab cuisine

Lebanese dishes When it comes to food there is a great diversity in the Arab World. Lebanon‘s food, for example, is extremely varied because the Levant has such wealth of choice from agriculture, horticulture and fisheries.This explains why Lebanese restaurants are to...

Arab World – Deserts and Sea

Arab World – Deserts and Sea

Arab world - famous for its deserts The Arab world is, of course, famous for its deserts. Think of the Syrian Desert, the Western Desert in Egypt and Libya, the Iraqi desert between Jordan and Baghdad, the Empty Quarter of the Arabian Peninsula. The Empty Quarter is...

Making appointments in Arab countries

Making appointments in Arab countries

Private appointments Making private appointments, for example agreeing when to meet for a meal in a restaurant, is not always that easy mainly because Arabs have a flexible attitude to time in such situations. You will find that friends and acquaintances are not very...

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