The King’s new song: “Bab El-gamal” Posted by on Jan 4, 2021 in Arabic Language, Dialect, Egyptian Arabic, Language Immersion, Literature, songs, Vocabulary

Happy New year سنة جديدة وسعيدة عليكم 🙂 Just 2 days before 2020 ended, the Legendary Egyptian singer المغنّي الأسطورة المصري Mohamed Mounir محمد منير  (or The King المَلِكْ as he’s often called), released أطلق the first song  الأغنية الأولى from his new album “Bab El Gamal” باب الجمال. The song is full of مليئة بـ joy البهجة and positivity الإيجابية. So, you could use this song to start your Arabic learning journey for the year 2021.

Image by Ghaly Wedinly on


The song we’re studying today is bab el-gamal, which means: the door of beauty. It’s in Egyptian Arabic باللهجة المصرية


Let’s listen to the song (below).


*You could either follow the lyrics appearing on the clip or the Arabic lyrics I provide below (together with the English translation).


باب الجمال

The door of beauty


أول ما جت

When she first came


قفّلنا ترابيسو

We closed its bolts


والقلب مال

And the heart leaned



She mastered


جدًا – في ترقيصه

a lot – making it dance


قلبي اتهبل

My heart got crazy


دُقّوا الطُبَل

Beat the drums


غنوا بقا وهيصوا

Sing and get hyper


توب الفرح مظبوط عليها

The dress of joy (wedding dress) fits her perfectly


قبل ما تقيسو

Before she tries it on


 = = = = = = = 


وأدي اللي موش عاملينلو حساب

And this is that we didn’t prepare for it


العشق سكّرنا

Love got us drunk


وإحنا اللي قولنا الحب عذاب

And we were the one who said that love is misery


وبيبانه سكّرنا

And its doors, we closed


بنت اللذينَ

The cheeky/witty girl


قدرت علينا

She has a grip on us


سكنت في أفكارنا

She lived in our thoughts


 = = = = = = = 


وقف الزمان

Time stopped


أول ما بان

When it first appeared


الرّمش ده وهدّى

This eyelash, and landed off


والعقل طار

And the mind flew (is gone)


عشنا في حصار

We lived under a siege


لمّا الجميل عدّى

When the beautiful one passed by


تاه الكلام

Words are lost


والضمة قلبت فجأة عالشدة

And the “Dhamma” turned suddenly into a “shaddah”


وجابتنا لمس أكتاف خلاص

And she got us to shoulders touching1The use of “shoulder touching” here is a reference borrowed from Boxing. Shoulder touch or لمس أكتاف is a technique that shows one of the players has won, that’s it


خلصت آخر عدّة

The last count is done

 = = = = = = = 

Explanation of the underlined phrase:


1. ترابيسو/ ترابيسه

ترباس terbaas is the Egyptian word for “bolt” and tarabees ترابيس is its plural form.


2. اتفنّنت

يتفنّن ye-tfannin i.e. “to master” is derived from the noun fann فنّ, i.e. “art”.


3. اتهبل

The verb اتهبل (in the passive voice form) is derived from the noun هبل habal, i.e. “craziness”.


4. هيّصوا

This imperative verb is derived from the noun He:SA هيصة, i.e. “getting crazy/ hyper and having fun”. Y-hayyas يهيّص is to have fun/get hyper (3rd person – male).


5. عاملينلو/عاملينله حساب

The phrase translates literally to “we did maths for it”, but the intended meaning is “we anticipated it/ prepared for it”.


6. بنت الذين

The phrase translates literally to “the daughter of those”, but the intended meaning is as above “the cheeky, witty one”.

 = = = = = = = 

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About the Author: Hanan

Hi, this is Hanan :) I'm an Arabic linguist. I completed my PhD in Linguistics - 2018. My PhD thesis was entitled Code-switching as an evaluative strategy: identity construction among Arabic-English bilinguals. I'm also a qualified public service translator & interpreter.

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