Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Egypt – CXLVII. Proverbs (4 of 5)

Common expressions

1. The child of yesterday.

Used if an older person is talking to a much younger one. It can go something like that: “How could you know how Cairo looked like when King Fuad reigned? You’re the child of yesterday.” It’s equivalent here is: “When I was your age, I walked 6 miles to school, and…”

2. Where is your ear?

Applies if somebody doesn’t quickly get to the point, or doesn’t use efficient means to accomplish a given task. In such a case you’ll tell him: “Where is you ear?” You’ll then use your right hand to point to your left ear!

3. Ala tizi.

On my behind.

You’re telling that individual that you don’t give a hoot about her feelings or concerns. What you do is you slap your buttock vigorously with your hand and you say: “Ala Tizi.” It’s obviously a crude way of expressing your dissatisfaction with that person; and I rarely saw that expression (with the accompanying gesture) used.

4. Taret wallah ma taret bardou me’aza.

Whether it flew or not, it’s still a goat.

Used in the case of a person who is totally obdurate; even if proved wrong, you still can’t change his views. The (fictional) story behind the expression follows.

Two friends living in Halab (a part of Syria) were walking in the mountain. Now Halabis have strong personalities and can be very stubborn. And one of these two men was a totally intractable individual.

In the course of their walk, they saw far in the mountain what appeared as an animal. The first man said that it was an eagle; the second man (the stubborn one) declared that it was a goat.

They continued with their walk, and kept their eyes on this faraway shape. All of a sudden, it opened it wide wings, and flew.

First man: “You see, I told you it’s an eagle.”

Second man: “Whether, it flew or not, it’s still a goat!”

And this response, at least at the time, became a classic expression to describe an unmovable individual; nothing that you can say or do, or even when presented with incontrovertible facts, will change his opinion.

5. Kwayes ya gamm’a eleh gat menak, ma gattet che meni.

Good thing mosque it came from you, it didn’t come from me.

Used if you’re reluctant to take a course of action, yield anyway, but something (not of your own doing) happens at the last moment that allows you to get out of it. Example: You’re invited to a party, but you neither like the organizer, nor the crowd. The party get cancelled when the person throwing the party has emergency surgery. You’re saved without having to come across as antisocial. The (fictional) story behind the expression follows.

Hassanein was not a religious man. He never prayed, nor did he ever set foot in a mosque. That was totally unacceptable to his wife, Hanane, who feared that the wrath of God will strike their household.

His wife continually nagged him: “Hassanein, you never perform even one of the five daily prayers required from every good Muslim.” “Hassanein, you haven’t seen the inside of a mosque in years.” And on it went all the time.

Hassanein eventually surrendered to this constant harassment. One day he donned a nice galabiyah and told Hanane, “I am going to the mosque.”

But the mosque was closed! So he said, “good thing mosque it came from you, it didn’t come from me.”

Another classic expression that you used when an unexpected event save you from having to do something that you never wanted to do in the first place.

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