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Hob/Love in the Arabic Language
By: Yara Jouzy/Arab America Contributing Writer
Arabs are passionate, affectionate and extremely loving people. They can tell someone they love him or her without actually saying the words, “I love you.” Such a powerful language brings out the passion in those who use these words. This Valentine’s Day, express your love to your partner, family, and friends with any of these Arabic phrases to make them feel admired and loved.
1. Habibi or Habibti
Habibi (to a male) and Habibti (to a female) means “my love” or in Arabic. It is the most common expression of love in the Arabic language said to friends, children, and even strangers. Mama and baba always use this at the end of each sentence. Whether it’s being said to their kids or each other, the word habibi(ti) is always heard.
2. Hayati, ya hayati
Hayati means “my life” in Arabic, which is what most couples say to each other to express just how far their love for each other reaches. The word can be found most often in Arabic songs about love and spoken in the Lebanese dialect.
Finding your soul mate is a magical experience. It’s the person you truly believe you belong with and that person is your rohi, which translates to “my soulmate”
Arabs are the only people who will ever understand this eini. The word is directly translated to “my eye” and although it might not sound romantic, it really means a lot to your loved ones. Eyes are considered precious and beautiful in the Arab world, which means your lover is, too. As Amr Diab once famously wrote “habibi, ya nour el ein” he was saying “you’re the light of my eye.”
Without a heart, you cannot live or love. In Arabic, albi means “my heart” and it is the epitome of love. Most people use albi to refer to their families or loved ones.
Ameli, meaning “my hope” is used to describe a significant other in your life that gives you strength. Feeling hope from the people you love, you’re surrounded by or you’re supported by is extremely important in relationships.
Because one way to say “my life” is not enough, Arabs also use the word omri, which also directly translates to “my life,” but also “my darling.”
8. Ma Atyaback or Ma Atyabeck
Getting called cute is fun, but getting asked how cute you make all the difference. Arabs ask this rhetorical question all the time. Parents, siblings, cousins, significant others or even your teta asks you this every time she sees you. Ma atyaback (male) or ma atyabeck (female) is something everyone has heard.
9. Bahlam feek or bahlam feeki
When you’re in love, it’s common to say things like you’re dreaming of your significant other. Bahlam feek (to male) or bahlam feeki (to female) is translated to I’m dreaming of you or you’re in my dreams.
You know you love someone when you miss him or her terribly. Wahashtini translates to “I miss you” and is a common phrase in the Egyptian dialect to express feelings for another person.
11. Ya Amar
Comparing someone to the moon is one of the most romantic ways of expressing love in Arabic. It’s the bright light shining on a dark night.
‘Ya amar” means “the moon” and it is a beautiful way to express love.
12. Ana Bahebak or Ana Bahebik
Last but not least are ana bahibik (for male) or ana bahibik (for female), which mean “I love you.” This is the first way that most people learn how to express their love which can be articulated in so many ways, whether it’s metaphorical or rhetorical; it all brings us back to the same meaning of love on Thanksgiving and always.