Egyptian Arabic Song: Ashrab Shai (Hamada Helal)

Hamada Helal’s catchy Ashrab Shai became a hit in early 2019, now with over 60 million views on YouTube alone.

Have fun singing along while learning the lyrics. Below, you can see the Arabic script with tashkeel. Click on any line to expand it to reveal the English translation and language notes.

Thank you to Bishoy for helping with the tashkeel, translations, and notes.

My mom came and woke me up in the morning while I was asleep in bed.

صحَّى to wake up
و انا when I
She tells me it’s time for work. “Come on, get up! Don’t be late!”

مِعاد appointed time, time (for)
قام to get up
بلاش (+ noun, verbal noun, or bare imperfect verb): No __ing!; Stop __ing!
I told her, “Okay, I’m up! But I’m groggy. How can I wake up?”

مِسقَّط sluggish, sleepy, groggy, lazy
فاق to wake up fully, return to a usual state of consciousness, overcome grogginess
She asked me, “What do you want to drink?” I told her, “I’ll have tea.”

The bare imperfect (verb without بِـ bi-) is used in offers. Think of it as the word عايِز (want) being dropped from the beginning of the sentence: تِشْرب ايْه؟ = عايِز تِشْرب ايْه؟
The bare imperfect is used again in the response: اشْرب (I’ll drink) = عايِز اشْرب (I want to drink)
What do you want to drink? I’ll have tea.

x4
I quickly left home for work to catch the bus.

نِزِل to descend, go down; here it’s used to mean ‘leave the house’ as most people live in apartments, so going out means going downstairs.
لِحِق to catch, make it on time
I got on, and it was so hot, and my brain started acting funny.

طِلِع to ascend; get on/in (a vehicle)
رِكِب also means get on/in, and also ride; here the ـُه (it) refers to the bus
فى عِزّ in the peak of (for example: فى عِزّ الشِّتا in the dead of winter; فى عِزّ اللّيْل in the middle of the night)
حرّ heat
دِماغ brain
تهْييس getting high (usually from drugs, but here from heat sickness)
I was pissed off because of the traffic congestion and I got heat stroke.

دمّ blood
اِتْعكّر be disturbed, agitated
كُتْر large amount
زحْمه crowdedness (here: traffic congestion)
الشّمْس كلِتْلُه دِماغُه (lit. the sun ate away his brain) to get sun stroke
I headed to the office and quickly called out to the gofer.

قام (besides meaning to get up, it means to set out, start to do something)
طالِع is the active participle of طِلِع to ascend, go upstairs
ندهْ to call
ساعى is someone who runs errands, does miscellaneous tasks (and in the expression ساعى بريد it’s the mail carrier)
What do you want to drink? I’ll have tea.

x4

I finished work and said to my friend, “Let’s go to a coffee house.”

قهْوَه (or قهْوَه بلدى) is a traditional Egyptian coffee house where mostly men hang out, drink tea, and may smoke shisha, read the newspaper, play backgammon or cards, etc.

Confusion, mistreatment, exhaustion in the heat (direct sun); my head was exploding.

بهْدِل to confuse, dishevel
اِتْبهْدِل to be confused, stressed out from being overwhelmed (for example: انا اتْبهْدِلْت النّهارْده فى الشُّغْل I was overwhelmed at work today.)
مرْمط be hard on, treat badly
نفوخ crown of the head (but idiomatically just ‘head’)
فجْوَه hole; the idiom here (lit. my head made a hole) means I had a splitting headache. (This is new slang and may not be understood by older Egyptians.)

I sat down and told him what had been happening to me ever since I got up. حكَى علَى to tell about اللى that which حصل to happen ـلى to me مِن ساعِة ما ever since, from the time that
Then he told me, “Same here. And I wish you hadn’t told me.”

زاى like, as
زيّك like you
ياريْت (optionally + pronoun suffix)
ما not (without the ـش suffix on the verb after the expression ياريْت)
So, he bummed his friend out by telling him about his awful day since his friend can relate.
What do you want to drink? I’ll have tea.

x4
I visited my fiancee who was giving me a hard time.

عنْد at (someone’s house)
خطيبه fiancee
طافِح الطّين معَ to be exhausted by, be getting a hard time from

But we are very close to get married, only 6 years left!

هانِت means you are very close to doing something. So, let’s say your daughter is feeling bad about her next exams; you can encourage her with “هانِت!” (You’re almost there!)
فاضِل remaining
The sentence means “Just six more years until I get married!” It’s sarcastic. He doesn’t have enough money to get married and he is making fun of that! Six years is a long time.

And uncle Hajj, her father, came and said to me, “What’s your plan?”

طريق way, path, so literally: How is your path [to getting married]?
I told him, “Before I speak, I want to drink tea!”

قبْل ما before __ing
اِتْكلِّم to speak
What do you want to drink? I’ll have tea.

x4
I went home because I couldn’t take any more and wanted to sleep.

قادِر can
مِش قادِر can’t
Here, he just says “because I can’t”, but it’s an expression to imply that you can’t take it anymore
نِفْسُه + bare imperfect verb = want to, desire to

Since early morning, I’ve been truly exhausted. 

مِن صباحية ربِّنا early in the morning

My mom came and asked me what happened, why and how.

سأل to ask
ـنى me
ليْه why
اِزّاى how

I told her, “Mom, before I say even half a word, I want to drink …”

نُصّ half
كلْمه word

What do you want to drink? I’ll have tea.

x8 (And in your head for the rest of the day: ad infinitum! You’re welcome!)

If you like this song, check out Hamada Helal’s Facebook page.

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