He learned it when he was in elementary school in Jerusalem. “You hear it all the time,” he remarked, and stressed that it was common to hear when you put off work because this proverb is used to tell somebody to not procrastinate.
Original Script: بالنهار تركت بيتها، وبالليل حرقت زيتها
Transliteration: Bil nhar tarkat bait-ha, ou bil lail har’at zeit-ha
Literal Translation: During the day, she left her house, and during night burnt her oil
Smooth Translation: During the day she left her house, and during the night she burnt her oil
I remember first hearing this proverb from him when I was in middle school. Unsurprisingly enough, I had procrastinated, and I was finishing my work at night with my desk light on. As soon as I processed the Arabic, I realized it as a remark of my subpar time management. It was also fitting because I was also having to work under artificial light because I did not take advantage of the natural daylight. This proverb shows a cultural aversion towards poor time management (if there is work to do, one should do it in the day, and then rest at night).