Arabic Word Artworks

Posted on: Saturday, February 25th, 2017 2 comments

Arabic "cat" pictogram

Today I came across a very interesting art project by Mahmoud Tammam. He transforms Arabic words into artworks that depict the meaning of the words. This is the type of mnemonic that I employ in The Magic Key To The Arabic Alphabet to make learning the script easier and more … Continue reading

“Turn Your Wounds Into Wisdom” in Arabic – 3 Tattoo Designs

Posted on: Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 4 comments

“Turn your wounds into wisdom” is a quote that seems to be attributed to US talk show host Oprah Winfrey (e.g. by BrainyQuote). While I haven’t been able to find the context in which Winfrey uttered these words, I would assume that one should learn from one’s personal setbacks in … Continue reading

What does the Al in Arabic names mean?

Posted on: Sunday, July 28th, 2013 3 comments

abdelaziz-al-saud

Even if you don’t know much Arabic you have probably noticed that a lot of Arabic names contain the words “Al”. Even a lot of non-Arab Muslims have these two letters in their name. So what does this word mean that is seeminlgy in every Arab name? Al as definite … Continue reading

Arab Singers: The Top 10 of All Time

Posted on: Friday, June 21st, 2013 26 comments

Arab singer Assala

The Arab world is culturally diverse and artistically rich. It has been well known over the course of time for its good and varied music. Arabic music can range from classical concerts with a single song taking up one hour to modern pop songs. The following is a list of … Continue reading

No Regrets, I don’t regret anything: Arabic translations

Posted on: Wednesday, June 19th, 2013 3 comments

regret

Today Selina requested in the comments that I translate “I don’t regret anything” into Arabic for a tattoo. Relatedly, there is also a design for “no regrets” in Arabic here. There are two translations that I would consider for this. No Regrets First, one could simply say: لا ندم (la … Continue reading

Writing Arabic Vertically

Posted on: Monday, June 3rd, 2013 3 comments

Another way to write Arabic vertically with words underneath each other

Arabic is a cursive script, which means that most letters are connected, similar to handwritten English. This makes it somewhat awkward to write Arabic vertically. It’s actually pretty rare to see vertical Arabic writing, except for the occasional billboard, shop sign or in crossword puzzles. Writing Arabic vertically, with disconnected … Continue reading

Tafaddal – Arab politeness

Posted on: Sunday, May 26th, 2013 7 comments

Arab inviting visitors

The Arabic word تفضّل tafaDDal is a commonly-used and highly-versatile expression. Depending on context, it: 1. Expresses an invitation to do something: تفضل اجلس واشرب شاي tafaDDal idjlis wa shrab shay – please, sit down and drink some tea. تفضل إلى الدكان tafaDDal ila d-dukkaan – please, take a look … Continue reading

Appreciate Life in Arabic

Posted on: Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 43 comments

Another person with the wrong translation of this phrase

I have seen my fair share of bad Arabic tattoo translations. But, in recent weeks one of them has especially caught my eye. The Arabic phrase انا معفن ana mu3affan is purported to mean “I appreciate life” whereas it actually means “I am rotten” or “I am putrid”. The trouble … Continue reading

Arabic Question Words

Posted on: Sunday, May 19th, 2013 15 comments

Just like in English, there are many different ways to ask questions in Arabic. But, fortunately all types of questions can be asked using just a few different questions words. In this article you will learn all common Arabic question words and how to use them. First, here is an … Continue reading

Arabic Class – for and against

Posted on: Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 2 comments

Arabic class

One question I get asked frequently is about the optimal way to learn Arabic. Some people insist that you can’t really become fluent in the language if you don’t attend classes at some university or institute, while others say they don’t need any formal instruction at all.   The initial … Continue reading

Arabic Tattoos Still Popular Among Celebrities

Posted on: Sunday, May 12th, 2013 28 comments

Zoe Kravitz's Arabic tattoo

Back in 2009 I posted about celebrities such as Rihanna and Angelina Jolie getting Arabic tattoos. While it’s still rare enough to be seen as exotic, the trend has continued since then. Let’s take a look at some of the newcomers to the Arabic tattoo scene: Zayn Malik Zayn Malik … Continue reading

Relaunch of Arabic Genie

Posted on: Friday, May 10th, 2013 2 comments

old design

If you’re a regular reader here you might have noticed that there have been some changes recently here at Arabic Genie. And indeed, the website now has a completely new design. Apart from overhauling the visuals completely, I hope that the re-organization of the website has made it easier for … Continue reading

Love Yourself First

Posted on: Sunday, March 24th, 2013 2 comments

Arabic calligraphic design for Love Yourself First

I have seen a lot of interest recently in the tattoo phrase “Love Yourself First” in Arabic. Below is just one possible calligraphic rendition of the phrase:

Amazing Arabic Calligraphy

Posted on: Monday, December 3rd, 2012 7 comments

Arabic Horse Calligraphy

With all the reports of conflict and violence in the Middle East, I thought it would be nice to present a positive side of the Arab world. In particular, I have long been fascinated by Arabic calligraphy, an art form that has been around for centuries and is still alive … Continue reading

Sanaa, Yemen 2005

Posted on: Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 3 comments

Sanaa, Yemen

Street scene from Sanaa, Yemen, taken in 2005.

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