Learn Arabic as it is really spoken. Listen to and read Egyptian Colloquial Arabic.

Hesham tells us about his birthday outing with some friends… and a few animals.

امبارح اصحابى احتفلوا بعيد ميلادى، مع ان عيد ميلادى مش ميعاده امبارح ولا حتى الشهر ده. “بس وقت عيد ميلادى كنا كلنا فى امتحانات،” فا ماحتفلوش بيه لاننا كنا مشغولين. انا اتفاجأت لما وجدت اصحابى بيقولولى هنخرج كلنا مع بعض. و هيبقى يوم مميز، لانه عاده بنتفق على الخروج من قبلها بفتره. قالولى فى الطريق انهم هيحتفلوا بعيد ميلادى. رحنا دريم بارك مدينة ملاهى و ركبنا الالعاب كلها كلها. و بعدها ركبت حصان و ركبت جمل. و اتصورت مع احلى حيوان انا بحبه، النعامه. كنت عايز اركبها كمان بس قالولى ان ده مستحيل طبعاً. الحصان كان بنت اسمها بشرى، اسم غريب لحصان بس حلو. بعدها رحنا مطعم و كلنا. انا كلت فراخ بالبابريكا و اصحابى كلوا فراخ مقرمشه و همبرجر. و بعدها جابولى التورته اللى كانت حلوه جداً طبعاً. و اتصورنا كتير و انبسطنا. و فى المطعم دخنا شيشه و شربت شاى مظبوط. اعتقد ان اصحابك دول احلى نعمه انت ممكن تحصل عليها فى حياتك. واحد من اصحابى اسمه احمد، سورى الجنسيه هو. و برغم اللى بيحصل فى بلده و الدمار و الحرب ساعد فى انه يعمللى عيد ميلاد و يبسطنى. امبارح كان يوم مميز و هفضل دايماً فاكره. و هنفضل نضحك دايماً لما نفتكره.

Yesterday my friends celebrated my birthday, although it wasn’t my birthday yesterday or even this month. But at the time of my birthday, we were in exams, so we didn’t celebrate it because we were all busy. I was surprised when I found my friends telling me that we were all going out together. And it was going to be a special day because we usually arrange these things a bit ahead of time. They told me on the way that they are celebrating my birthday. We went to Dream Park and we rode all the rides. Then I rode a horse and rode a camel. And then I took a photo with my favorite animal, the ostrich. I wanted to ride it too, but they told me that was impossible of course. The horse was a female called “Bushra,” a weird name for a horse but cute. After that, we went to a restaurant and ate. I ate chicken paprika and my friends ate crispy chicken and hamburgers. Then they got me a cake, which was so good, of course. We took a lot of pictures and we had fun. We smoked hookah and I drank sweet tea. I believe that your friends are the best blessing you can ever get in your life. One of my friends, whose name’s Ahmed, is Syrian, and despite what is happening in his country and destruction and the war, he helped to make me a birthday party and make me happy. Yesterday was a special day and I will always remember it. And we will all laugh when we remember it.


    1. You’re welcome, Shannon! To answer your question, this is the first person future (“I will…”) of the verb فِضِل fiDil (يفضل yifDal). It can be used before other verbs (bare imperfect or active participle) to mean ‘continue/keep __ing’. Here, we wouldn’t say “I will keep remembering it” in English, but the continuance of the verb is emphasized. It is used again in the following (final) sentence.

      Here’s the page from the book Egyptian Arabic Diaries where the same text occurs. You can see that a word-by-word translation is given in the right column, and a note explains فضل after the text.

      1. Aahhh! Makes perfect sense! Thank you so much for clarifying! OMG, I love how everything is broken down in this sample page, I’m going to have to get a copy of this book as soon as I get the chance! Thank you so much!

  1. Dear Hesham, Thank you so much for sharing this. Very useful. I am struggling a lot with the translation the sentence: `I believe that your friends are the best blessing you can ever get in your life`. Are there multiple ways of saying `I believe that` for example? What is عليها referring at? I mean, the suffix ها-?

    1. Hello @Frederik It’s nice to see you on the Egyptian Arabic forums.
      To answer your question about saying ” I believe that ”

      ممكن تقول

      أظن and أعتقد are commonly used.

      As to the ها in عليها
      It refers back to the noun نعمه, which is feminine.

      If it’ muscline , you would say ” عليه ”

      I hope that helps 🙂

      1. Dear @bishoy. Thank you so much for the answer. Very useful. Besides, I have bought `Egyptian Voices` over the weekend and LOVE it. The level is slightly above mine, but that`s the challenge! Thanks again!

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