اتدخل بجنازة و لا تدخل بجوازة
Transliteration: Atdkhal bejnazeh wa la tadakhal bejwazeh.
Translation: Better to be involved in arranging a funeral, than arranging a marriage.
Background information: Well-known Syrian proverb.
Context: The informant told me about this proverb in a Skype video call conversation about folklore.
Thoughts: The idea here is that, when one arranges a marriage and it goes south, they are typically blamed for the couple’s woes, since it all started with the person arranging them to be together. The future of a marriage is not concrete – there is still room for it to go south and for the arranger to be blamed. The future of a funeral, however, is more concrete – there is no future. The person is dead, and you know they are dead, so there is no further business to be done and nothing to be blamed for. This is an interesting way to see both situations.