Residence: Dubai, UAE
Date of Performance/Collection: April 21, 2017
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Arabic
لما بيكبر ابنك ، خاويه
Transliteration: Lema beeyekbar ibnak, khaweeh.
Translation: When your son grows up, treat him as if he is your brother.
Background information: This is a well-known Arabic proverb.
Context: The informant told me this proverb in a Skype video call conversation about folklore.
Thoughts: The bond between brothers is a strong one, one reason being that they are typically close in age. Brotherhood is something that is revered in the Middle East, so it makes sense that when a father’s son grows up, the most respect the father can show his son, who is now a grown man, is treating him like a brother. It is interesting to see just how valued the concept of brotherhood, even if not blood-related, is in the Middle East.