Arabic Language Blog

Nassam Alayna el Hawa Posted by on Jan 28, 2013 in Arabic Language, Culture

Marhaba (مرحبا)! In a previous post, I introduced you all to one my favorite Arab artists Fairouz (فيروز). Given the fact that I know many of you enjoy listening to her songs and are captured by the beauty and depth of the lyrics and music, I have decided to post a video of one my favorite Fairouz songs. I have also added the lyrics in Arabic so that you can follow with the song and the English translation. This song is titled ‘Nassam Alayna el Hawa,’ (نسم علينا الهوا) and is written, composed and produced by the Rahbani Brothers (الأَخَوين الرَّحباني). It is a song that many immigrants around the world enjoy and identify with. I am no exception and I feel that most of you wherever you are from also, are most likely able to share and understand my feelings. It is no secret then when Fairouz used to sing this particular tune in her world tours, Lebanese immigrants eager to see their homeland that was being torn apart by a violent civil war between 1975 and 1990, shed tears of sorrow and longing all through its telling lyrics. “Take me home”, cries the longing soul, dreaming of a faraway homeland and a lost love.

نسَّم علينا الهوا

(In Arabic the term ‘hawa’ can mean both breezing air and/or love. This song sometimes plays on the duality of this term)

نسم علينا الهوا من مفرق الوادي

The air breezed upon us, from the road of the valley

يا هوا دخل الهوا خدني على بلادي

Oh breeze, for love’s sake, Take me home (particularly homeland)

يا هوا يا هوا يللي طاير بالهوا

Oh love, oh love, that is flying in the breeze

في منتورة طاقة و صورة خدني لعندن يا هوا

There’s a mantoura (type of flower mantour), a small window and a picture (presumably of someone special) Take me to them, oh breeze

فزعانة يا قلبي أكبر بهالغربة ما تعرفني بلادي

I’m scared oh my heart, to grow up in this estrangement, and my home wouldn’t recognize me

خدني خدني خدني على بلادي

Take me, take me, Take me home

شو بنا شو بنا يا حبيبي شو بنا؟

What’s with us? what’s with us?, Oh my darling, what’s with us?

كنت و كنا تضلو عنا و افترقنا شو بنا

We were and you used to stay with us, And now we’ve separated, what’s with us?

و بعدا الشمس بتبكي عالباب و ما تحكي يحكي هوا بلادي

And the sun is still crying, on the door and doesn’t talk, and the love/air of home is saying

خدني خدني خدني على بلادي

Take me, take me, Take me home

If you have heard this song before, I hope you have enjoyed it again. If this is your first time listening to this song, I hope you liked it and felt the breeze of nostalgia (حنين) that comes with this song. When I listen to this song, I feel as if the distance between where I am currently residing and my home country has just gotten smaller.

I have promised you all that I will be writing a post introducing you to the Rahbani Brothers and another introducing Fairouz’s musical genius son, Ziad.

Stay tuned for these posts very soon!

Have a great day!

نهاركم سعيد

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About the Author: jesa

Salam everyone! Born as an American to two originally Arab parents, I have been raised and have spent most of my life in Beirut, Lebanon. I have lived my good times and my bad times in Beirut. I was but a young child when I had to learn to share my toys and food with others as we hid from bombs and fighting during the Lebanese Civil War. I feel my connection to Arabic as both a language and culture is severing and so it is with you, my readers and fellow Arabic lovers, and through you that I wish to reestablish this connection by creating one for you.


  1. Daniel:

    Thanks a lot for this page!

    • jesa:

      @Daniel You’re most welcome, Daniel!

  2. junior:

    I love this post and I love this song. I am originally arab grandparents and I love this culture. I am an actor and I have a play that talks about arab women and it is written with the ispiration of this fairouz song. I sing this song in the play… it is beautiful… The play is Tabule. My name is junior lopes from brazil.

    • jesa:

      @junior Great to hear that, Junior! Good luck with your play. nice to meet you. take care and salam 🙂