MidEast Wisdom & Holiday Greetings

Dec 23, 2010 10:28am

Dear Friends and Readers,

As the Mideast Memo goes on holiday hiatus we wanted to share some favorite bits of wisdom from the countries and cultures we've encountered in another year of reporting on the region. Enjoy, and may the new year bring you a thousand and one blessings.

ARABIC

Keep the oil in its barrel until the price is right.

Do good and throw it in the sea (virtue is its own reward).

If you cannot be a lighthouse at least be a candle.

Every delay has its benefit.

Unload your own donkey.

ARMENIAN

People feel like people when they are together.

If you’re bald keep your hat on your head (know your shortcomings).

There is no wedding without tears, and no funeral without cheers.

Brains are better than wealth.

Ask God for help, but don’t put down the shovel.

HEBREW

If you don't aspire to great things, you won't attain small things.

A guest who comes empty handed doesn’t deserve a warm welcome.

Promise little and do much.

We should bolster the light rather than fight the darkness.

No proverb is untrue.

TURKISH

It is not a shame not to know, it is a shame not to ask.

One eats while another watches—that is how revolutions begin.

I'm a chief and you're a chief, who will milk the cow?

A man who seeks a perfect friend will remain friendless.

There lies a lion in every heart.

PERSIAN

Every man is the king of his own beard.

If you really have to sin, then choose a sin that you enjoy.

You can't escape death and guests.

Luck is infatuated with the efficient.

Go and wake up your luck.

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