Shams Saghira 1

October 27, 2007


Abu Fahd was returning home, walking in slow, slightly dizzy steps down the narrow, twisting corridors, lit by yellow lamps spaced in wide intervals. He soon got fed up with the all-encompassing silence which engulfed him, so he began to sing in a light, sing-song voice.

“Miskiin, wa haali Adam.”

The night was rapidly approaching its mid-point. Abu Fahd‘s happiness was on the rise, having drunk three glasses of Arak, and the second had sent him into intoxication.

“Miskiin, wa haali Adam.”

He fancied his crude voice filled to the brim with first-rate sweetness, and he said to himself in a loud voice, “I am a singer!” He began…

Vocabulary and Translation Notes



متعرجة Twisting

متناثرة Scattered

مترنما Sing-song, melodious

غبطة Joy, glee, happiness

مفعم Overflowing, filled to the brim

فائقة First-rate, top-quality

مطرب Singer, crooner, performer

Translation Notes

  • المهيمن – Literally “supervising, protecting, the master” One of the 99 names of Allah.
  • – خيل اليه This is Passive Voice in Arabic
  • Many of the adjectives in this paragraph beginning “muta-” are not actually found in Hans Wehr, but have meanings that can be extrapolated by their roots, which are present.
  • مسكين وحالي عدم I chose not to translate the name of the song he sings. If I were to translate it, it would be along the lines of “Poor Thing, Ain’t Got No Love” or something similar.

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