Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cooking Rice can Take some Time

Cooking rice seems to be an art form in the Arab world.  Rice is eaten everyday, it's cooked with care and attention and enjoyed in a way we can only aim for in the west.

Which might explain why many Arabs take rice with them when they go on holiday. If you've flown out of the Middle East on a Middle Eastern carrier to a long-haul destination when you waitin for your luggage at baggage arrivals, you'll come across endless rice sacks being extracted from the aircraft hold.

Years ago I remember trying to explain to an English woman how rice was cooked in my husband's family house.  We were being listened to by a Gulf Arab and after a while he could contain himself no longer.  He had to disagree with me, long and loud and was completely passionate about how to cook rice, in a manner which was different from mine.

I also remember a trip to Pakistan where the air hostesses couldn't give away the food because there was no rice in the main course.

The Recipe for Rice:
To make rice like an Arab you'll need to follow the directions below:

1. Put the water for the rice on to boil and switch on the ring so it warms up
2. Measure out the rice you will need into a large saucepan and add cold water
3. Agitate the rice with your hand(s) to release the carbohydrates, when the water becomes cloudy drain off the water.  Do this as many times as it takes for the starch to disappear, usually it will take about three washes to remove the clouds of carbohydrates
4. Once the water runs clear add the boiling water to the rice and put the rice on the ring to boil
5. Boil the rice until it is almost soft, but has a slightly hard bit in the middle. Remove the rice from the ring and put in a sieve. Wash the rice with cold water to stop it cooking

6. Dry the saucepan and add butter, ghee or margarine to the bottom of the pan and put on the ring to warm

7. When the fat is melted, put the rice in the pan and warm on a low heat for an hour or so

8. Once the rice is cooked the pan can be taken from the heat and then turned upside down. You’ll find your rice will come out together, a bit like a sponge cake. On the top of the rice you’ll have a crispy, fatty circle of rice called the telfa [tel-fah] a Persian word which children (and adults) fight over.

When melting the fat, fry a couple of chopped onions until brown and leave them in the saucepan. Add the rice on top and cook for an hour

Once the rice is in the pan, add 5 cardamoms, saffron water (saffron infused in hot water for half an hour) and three sticks of cinnamon. Cook for an hour and eat.

Eating Rice and Bread at the Same Time
I once read a book by Anthony Bourdain, an American who appeared to have no cultural understanding of what happened outside America.  He opened a restaurant in Japan and got really mad with the Japanese chefs because they would continually serve rice and potatoes together. I remember reading it and thinking, well they do that here in the Middle East too. 

I contemplated his thoughts one day during a meal where in front of me were four carbohydrates; rice, potatoes, bread and spaghetti. All four were being served at the same time, at the same meal. In the Middle East it is the eater, not the chef, who decides which and how many carbohydrates they want to eat with their meat.

Other Types of Rice
Various meat dishes have specific rice dishes to go with them. Fish is always eaten with rice which has dill mixed through it. Another classic way to cook rice is to add lentils.  Whilst a classic dish for Ramadan is kushery [cush-er-ree] a mixture of rice, pasta and lentils.

Rice Pudding
In the Gulf the rice for rice pudding is ground until it becomes a rough flour texture. This is then cooked with milk, saffron and cinnamon, put into individual bowls, chilled and served cold.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

He did What?

Donkeys are still used for transportation in the GCC and most days I'll pass one or two on my way to work. Here's one who isn't going very far:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Brown Outs

I met a woman last who'd travelled from Dubai to Bahrain.

Whilst she'd been at Dubai airport waiting to check in all the lights had gone out and were out for 10 minutes.

She wandered over to the security guard to ask what was happening and was greeted with the question,
"Yes, it's a bit worrying isn't it?"

Image taken from : blogger: coolsciencenews

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Changes: Some Positive, Some Negative

I feel quite positive about many of the changes which are occuring in the Gulf right now.

Image taken from:  

Having said that, as westerners we often expect change to happen fast, although that's something that's open to interpretation. Women were banned from voting in Switzerland until 1971 (and in the area of, 'Appenzell Inner Rhoden' until 1991), whilst the last witch trial was held in England in 1944. Helen Duncan was convicted and served nine months in jail.

But I digress. If we accept changes occur in the Middle East at a Middle Eastern pace, because it is the Middle East, then things are moving very quickly indeed.

Two years ago Saudi newspapers were noticable empty of women; not a single woman would be pictured, ever. It was as if only one sex existed. Last week I counted 10 photos of women in the Friday newspaper, with one of those photos covering half a page, in full colour, with the woman's arms and head hair on display. In local terms that is F1 speed.

Some Positive
So, why all the positivity? Last week it was announced

Kuwaiti women would no longer need a Mahram {see wgaw blog archive: divorce}, which leaves just Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan {see wgaw blog archive: rape} the only places in the world in which a woman is legally not allowed to leave the house without a male escort.

Mixed education can now take place, up to the age of 9, in private schools in Saudi Arabia. See this article

Some Negative
However, on the negative side, the Sudanese fundie group, 'al shabab' [al sha-bab] (the boys) announced this week in addition to women being banned from wearing trousers, they could no longer wear bras. It seems they check if a bra is being worn by forcing the women to shake her breasts.

I shouldn't joke, in general sarcasm is not used or understood in the Gulf, but what article of clothing is next I wonder?

Image taken from:

Saturday, October 24, 2009

You know You've Lived in the Middle East for too Long when….

This has definately been done before, but it arrived in my email today and I thought I'd post it anyway:

You enjoy camping in the sand

You are not surprised to see a goat in the passenger seat

You serve coffee in a thimble

You expect confirmation on your airline reservation to be “inshallah”

You think everyone’s first name is “Al”

You need a sweater when it’s 80 degrees Fahrenheit

Your idea of housework is leaving a note for the houseboy

You understand “no problem” means follow up

You think skis were developed for use on sand dunes

You believe speed limits are only advisory

You expect to see tractors driving at 40 kmp on a super highway

You expect police to drive BMW’s

You know whether you are within missile range of Iraq

You think black is appropriate day wear

You think it’s normal to play golf on the sand and putt on the brown

You refuse to go swimming in the Gulf unless the water is in the mid 90’s F

You wear a jacket inside and take it off when you go outside

You think shopping malls are covered souqs

You expect your office to call you at home on Fridays

You can judge a perfect “10” by the ankle

You think carpets belong on the wall

You know which end of the sharwma to unwrap first

You think the further you inch into the middle of the intersection the faster the light will turn green

You believe that the definition of “nanosecond’ is the time interval between the time the light turns green 
and the time that the guy behind you begins to blow his horn

You believe it’s normal to buy a car without first taking it for a test drive

You give directions by landmarks instead of road names

You think all gas stations are made of marble

You can receive every television station except the local station

You get used to using the cold water tap to get hot water during the summer

You think being liberated means sitting in the family section

You think a red light means run it

You can’t buy anything without asking for a discount

You have more carpets than floor space

You expect all stores to stay open till midnight

You understand that “wadi bashing” isn’t a criminal act

You make left turns from the far right lane

You think Pepsi begins with a “B”

You send friends a map instead of your address

You think Kleenex belongs on the dinner table

You think the biggest event of the year is the camel races

You think water only comes in bottles

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

'Coz Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend

When Arab women marry they will always receive a shabka [shab-ca] or a set of jewellery (ring, earrings, a bracelet and a necklace, recently expanded to a tiara) from their husband-to-be, or their husband-to-be family.

Arab women usually wear sets of jewellery in everyday situations, but what makes the shabka different from other jewellery sets is the addition of the bracelet.

Traditionally Arab brides go shopping in the gold suq with their mothers and sisters or friends and choose the shabka themselves; it has to be something they like. The husband will then visit the shop at a later date and pay for it.

Image: shabka holder at a wedding. unfortunately i was too slow with the camera and the bride had put on the shabka before I could take a photo of it :-(

In the Arab world jewellery is not just about being decorated, it's also a way of saving. Jewellery given to a woman becomes hers absolutely and as a consequence women can act as the families' bankers. Women are given jewellery as children and will continue to collect throughout their life, with many women receiving jewellery (on the whole wedding presents consist of jewellery to the bride, rather than the Western tradition of household items) when they marry.

Women in the Gulf have traditionally bought and sold: as new fashions arrive the jewellery tends to go back to the goldsmith to be melted down and reworked, making old pieces quite rare.

Why 22 Carat?
Gold in the Gulf is always 21 or 22 carat which gives it the deep dark mustard yellow colour. The 9 carat jewellery found in England is described by jewellers here as being, “Not really gold at all, is it?”

When I first arrived in the Gulf and visited the gold suq I thought the gold shab-ka sets must be fakes, they were just so big and there were so many of them.  I could not believe all that gold was for real.

I found out many years later one of the reasons for the jewellery being so big and so pure was simple.  Originally the wearer would be sitting in a dark tent and small jewellery just wouldn't reflect any light, whilst the 22 carat purity would mean the colour of the reflected light was soft and orange, not hard and yellow.

Monday, October 19, 2009

We're Going to the Party, and We're, Going to get Mar-a-a-reed

So you want to organise a wedding in the Gulf?  It's easy, just follow this handy hints guide and you'll be fine:

As a general rule the bride will invite her entire family, their friends, their friends, her work colleages, her school friends and everyone else she and her family have ever known. A small wedding is considered to be about 300 female guests; weddings are a time for celebration and everyone comes for the event.

Two events will take place; one for the male guests (sit, drink tea, chat, eat buffet at about 8pm) and another for the female guests (dance, music, laugh, eat buffet at about 11:30pm, chat, dance some more). Guests are not expected to bring presents.  In Arab hospitality terms, 'he who throws a party pays for everything'.  And in this case, it's the groom.

Strange but true; when a woman is invited to a wedding her name will not be on the wedding invitation.  Wedding invitiations should be written in Arabic, in a manner similar to the following:
"To the Woman who is not Immoral and who is Married to Mr. (insert husband's name)"

What to Wear

Thankfully bling x2 and as much of it as you've got. If you’re invited to an Arabic wedding never worry you’ll be wearing too much jewellery.  I believe the phrase, "too much jewellery" is an oxymoron when talking about Arab weddings. Arab weddings are the time and the place to bring out all your jewellery and wear it all at the same time.  Forget the phrase, 'Less is More'.  Here, 'More is More'.

I used to go to weddings wearing what would be considered polite in European jewellery terms and always felt under-dressed. Arab weddings are about exhuberance and wearing all your diamonds, watches, bracelets and earrings.  Together.

Dresses should be long, to the floor and very smart. Mostly plain colours are worn, very few girls will choose to wear patterns, but the dress will be ornamented with sparkly stuff and plenty of it.

The closest relatives of the bride will usually decide upon a theme and all the girls will buy their dresses to match-in with the theme, often shopping together.  As a result, Saudi Arabia must have the best choice of party frocks in the world; Damman has an entire district turned over to wedding dress shops. ~Fab-a-roony~

The bride usually wears a long, complicated white gown with lots of sparkles and detailing.  Trains are anything upto 20 feet long.  However, red is often worn as this is the traditional colour to get married in.

The Hall
As a general overview you’ll see endless round dining tables, surrounding a central dance floor. At the head of the dance floor you’ll see a stage containing a love seat for the bride and groom. To the side of the stage you’ll see the wedding cake, a place for the Qur'an and another space for the dowry jewellery or Shbaka [shab-ka] {see wgaw future blog archive: shabka}.

Before you reach the hall though you'll need to hand over your wedding invitation, a lady will be seated and checking you've been invited.  Once your invitation has been checked you'll be allowed to enter between the heavy curtains which cover the entrance hall.  From there you can start taking off outside clothes and prepare for the wedding hall and the reception committe.  

Image: having been allowed entrance between the heavy curtains, I'm in a corridor walking towards the wedding hall

The Reception Committee
The first thing you'll see when entering the wedding hall will be a reception committee. The groom’s nearest relatives will be on one side and will form a line and the bride’s nearest relatives will be on the other side forming a similar line. Both sides will face each other and a gap is left in the middle, wide enough to allow guests to greet the relatives on both sides as they arrive.

The first person at the head of one line will be the bride’s mother and on the other, the groom’s mother. You are expected to congratulate and kiss all the reception committee by working your way down one side to the end and then start on the other side. Each person will be kissed and you'll have to work out how many kisses to give and on which side of her face.  It's usually three kisses, but there are no rules for which side to start kissing, or how many kisses to give on each side, or even if it's two, three or four kisses.

Tables for Guests
There are two types of guest tables at Arabic weddings and both are an art form in themselves.

Nibbles will be put on the tables for guests

and a three course buffet will be served at around 11pm

Chocolates are a must and each table will have several plates of chocolates (designer preferably)

In addition, when the bridge and groom appear, boxes of chocolates will be handed out to each guest

Centre Stage
When the bride and groom arrive at the reception at around 10:30 in the evening they will walk through the hall towards a centre stage at the head of room.  On either side of the centre stage the closest relatives will sit on large, winged armchairs.  The stage will look something like this:

or this,

or this,

or this,

The Cake
Cakes need to be big to allow each guest to eat a piece.  There's no real fashion or style rules, it's up to the bride to choose what she wants, although most cakes are similar in style and highlight aspects of the centre stage (see above)

All Arabic weddings have music and it's got to be loud, very loud {see wgaw blog archive: rachid al majid and amer diab }

Twenty years ago or so a traditional band would sit in two rows along the edge of the dance floor, in front of the bridal stage and play music all night long. They would bring women dancers with them and these women would lead the guests dancing.  Not so any longer.

Now the band or DJ is hidden away behind a set of curtains (men were playing the musical instruments or CDs) and played anonymously. To say I was disappointed was an understatement. I asked for the reason why they were hidden - I thought there might be some plausible explanation and I missing the point somewhere.  It turned out the reason for hiding the men is so they can't see the girls at the wedding party and make eye contact with them, I guess also so the women can remove their hijabs and relax. Female DJs make so much more sense in this situation.

At the last wedding I attended the guests had got the idea of dealing with an invisible DJ and would cheer, clap and generally whistle when they liked the music he played.  There was also the opportunity to go behind the screen and request specific records.

Photography & Videos
As in the west the bride and groom will hire a photographer and a video camera operator. In the GCC the camera operators will always be female and usually Phillipino.

Again, as in the west, the photographers will take enormous quantities of photos and then present the couple with an album of their wedding photos. The photos taken will be similar to the ones taken in the west for weddings; bride and groom, bride with her family, groom with his family, etc., etc.

In addition to the bride and grooms photos, a recent trend has started to happen at weddings; digital photo studios are now appearing in one corner of the wedding hall and guests can have thier photos taken whilst in their finery.

Various local ladies I know won’t have their photographs taken at weddings any longer and cover up or put on a hijab {see wgaw blog archive: hijab} whenever a photographer or video camerawoman comes near. 

They don’t want any possibility of their hair being seen by a man who might look at the wedding photographs once they are being handed around to the relatives. This also applies to the recent phenominom of not dancing at a wedding party – the women don't wish to be seen by men who might look at the wedding videos at a later date.  ~I usually feel a bit of a 'chump' at this point, having had the most clothes on all night, I suddenly have the least clothes on and with a man present, too boot~

Personal Recollections
I took an English girlfriend to a family wedding and she was taking photos of the women dancing on the stage (she’s a belly dancer). One of the women dancing came over to her, turned into a ball of anger and spat out at us that she shouldn't be taking photographs of the women on stage. Later that same evening when my friend was belly dancing for the bride and groom, this lady was at the front video taping her.

A friend was telling me she was really happy to be going to India to visit her grandmother. One of the reasons she was so happy was because she would now be able to show her grandmother her sister’s wedding photos.

I asked why she hadn’t sent them to her grandmother through the post.  She answered,
“Because my sister’s husband says if the envelope is opened whilst it’s being transported to my grandmother’s, the person who looks at the photographs might be a man and will see my wife’s face.  And he doesn’t want that to happen.”

What's Next?
On Wednesday I'll post on the jewellery worn at weddings

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Always & Forever

For me the gap between Arab and non-Arab cultures is the most obvious when it comes to the process of getting married. Oh and when you die {see wgaw blog archive on: mourning}.

Everything which could possibly be different is, and it's so different you sometimes wonder if you're actually talking about the same thing.  Infact there's so much to explain it's not all going to fit in one blog post, so this week there'll be three posts all talking about marriage.  Then next week we'll do the divorce post.

The entire strategy of marriage in the Gulf seems to come from a different place and was explained to me thus;
“Traditional Arabs believe marriage should foster love rather than be as a result of love. The main aim in the pre-nuptual negotiations are financial security and status within the community.”

That makes sense, it truely does. It's not that long ago we were doing the same thing in the West.

But what doesn't make sense to me is the separation of the sexes during times of extreme joy (weddings) and extreme distress (funerals) by the way who on earth put the 'fun' part in the word funeral? And this seperation at such emotional times is probably the only thing, after all these years in the Gulf, that still seems truely strange.  Please send the arguements, maybe something will finally resonate with me?

I remember attending a wedding where I became so sad for the bride and the bride's father I started to cry; he couldn’t see his daughter looking so radiant and she couldn't be with her father at probably the most important event of her life.

At the time I was still mourning the death of my own father and remember thinking what a lost opportunity it was.  I also remember thinking I was acting totally out of the cultural norms.  It's unusual for a father to attend the wedding of his own daughter and not very many woman would expect their father to be there.

However, that does seem to be changing and the last couple of weddings I atteneded various male relatives attended the female party for about half an hour.  And at a couple the boys/men were dancing with the girls.  Fun times.

Wedding celebrations take place for real marriages, but not for hourly, daily or weekly marriages {see wgaw archive on: muta & misyar} and can last up to a week. In my experience I’ve found them exhausting; happy events, but exhausting.

Once the henna party has been held {see wgaw archive on: henna} all thoughts move onto the wedding night itself.

These days wedding parties are usually held in hotels although they are also held in tents {see wgaw archive on: death in a tent}, with tradition dictating the groom pays.  He either takes money from his savings or he takes out a loan from the bank. Because weddings have become so expensive a couple of solutions have been introduced recently; mass/group weddings and donations from the government (especially in the UAE) to help cover the costs.

Weddings take place throughout the year but there are two months for Sunnis (Ramadan and Muharram) and three months for Shi'ites (Ramadan, Muharram, Saffar) when tradition dictates no one marries {see wgaw archive on: 5 pillars of Islam}.  That means for these months we're all attending a lot of weddings; I've got four and my boss has six.

Wedding ceremonies can take place on any day of the week, but always take place in the evening. This gives the bride all day to get ready and she is then able to appear at the wedding reception, looking absolutely gorgeous, on the arms of her husband at around 11pm.

What's Next?
On Monday the blog post will explain what occurs at female-only wedding receptions.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

How to Read & Write Arabic: Kaaf

This week's letter Kaaf is an easy letter to say; it sounds like the 'k' in the English word, 'likewise', but not like the K in the word, 'kite'.

Kaaf is a connector and consequently there are four different ways of writing the letter. With this particular letter there is quite a variation in the shapes, so take a careful look at the letters shown below. However, in all forms, all parts of this letter must be written above the line. 

Don’t forget to add the 'backwards 2' shape (which looks like something called a 'hamza' a consonant which sounds like a glottal stop and which has no representative sound in English) in the independent and final forms:





You’ll find examples of each of the four shapes in the photographs below:

You'll recognise the first one, from all the advertising: ko (kaaf, waw/ooh) ka (kaaf, alif) ko (kaaf, waw/ooh) la

The first one is easy, but the second and third are a little more difficult to spot

Notice the hamza at the end of the writing in the Hidd Power Station photograph above. Although Hamzas are not letters in the Arabic alphabet, they are used to indicate the letter changes sound. Park that information, we'll come back to it in a later blog.

Look for the hamza, if this mark is missing a kaaf isn't a kaaf when its in a final and independent form.
FYI: fish market is 'Suq al Simick' in Arabic:

Again, don't forget the hamza

Hide & Seek
Now see if you can find some kaafs in the photos below:

Until the next time, and the letter laam, ma-sa-la-ma

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Choosing a Name for your Baby Boy

Today's posting is a list of the meaning of Muslim boy's names.

Arabic names appear to be quite complicated, although they aren't really {see wgaw archive: understanding people's names}.  Most given names have meanings {see wgaw archives: girls names A-L and girls names M-Z} whilst Allah or God has 99 names {see wgaw archives: 99 names of God }

Names and all possible spellings are posted, then the direct translation in English.


Aadil;  Just

Aamir;  Populous, full, prosperous

Aarif;  Acquainted, knowledgeable

Aasim/ Asim;  Protector

Aban;  Old Arabic name

Abbas;  Description of a lion

Abbud/ Abbudin;  Worshippers

Abid/ Abidin;  Worshipper, adorer

Abu al Khayr;  One who does good

Abu Bakr;  One of the Prophets companions

Adan;  Garden of Eden

Adel/ Adil;  Just

Adham;  Black or dark

Adib;  Cultured, well mannered one

Adli;  Judicial, juridical

Adnan/ Adnan;  Old Arabic name

Afif/ Afeef;  Chaste, modest

Afuww;  Pardoner, Forgiver

Ahad;  the One

Ahmed;  Commendable, Praiseworthy

Ajib;  Wonderful

Akhir;  Existence is without an end

Akif;  Focused

Akil/ Akeel/ Aqeel; Intelligent, thoughtful, one who uses reason

Akram;  Most generous

Al Abbas;  Description of a lion

Al Bara;  Wholesome with innocence

Al Hakam;  Arbitrator, judge

Al Harith;  The plowman

Al Safi;  Clear, pure, fine

Al Tayyib;  The good one

Al Tijani; Crowning

Al Tufail/ Al Tufayl;  old Arabic name

Ala/ Alaa;  Nobility, excellence


Aleem;  All knowing, knowledgeable

Alhasan/ Alhusain/ Alhusayn;  Handsome, good

Ali;  The highest, greatest, excellent, noble.  Name of the Prophets son-in-law and the fourth Caliph

Alim;  Wise or learned

Almahdi;  Guided to the right path

Altaf;  Kindness

Altair;  The flying eagle; a star in Lyra

Amid;  General

Amin/ Ameen; Faithful, trustworthy

Amir/ Ameer;  Ruler, prince, leader

Amjad;  More glorious

Ammar/ Ammar;  Builder, constructor

Amro;  Old Arabic name

Anas;  Very sociable; name of one of the Prophets companions

Anis/ Anees; Close friend

Antarah;  Heroic

Anwar;  Radiant, full of light

Aqueel/ Aqil; Old Arabic name

Arfan;  Gratitude

Arif;  Acquainted, knowledgeable

Arsh;  Dominion, Crown

Asad;  Happy, fortunate, lucky

Asad/ Assad;  Lion

Asadel;  Most prosperous one

Ashraf;  Most honorable

Asif;  Forgiveness

Asim/ Assim;  Protector, defender

Aswad; Black

Ata al Rahman;  Gift of the Beneficent

Ata Allah;  Gift of God

Athir;  Favored, preferred

Atif/ Atif;  Compassionate, sympathetic

Awad;  Reward, compensation

Awf;  A plant with a nice smell

Aws;  To give

Awwab;  Returning to Allah

Awwal;  First

Ayham;  Brave

Ayman;  Lucky

Ayser;  Easy in dealing, wealthy

Ayyub/ Ayoob;  A Prophets name - Job in the Bible

Aza;  Comfort

Azab;  Traveling, wandering

Azeem/ Azim;  Defender, refers to one of Gods 99 qualities

Azhar;  Shining, luminous

Aziz;  Powerful, Strong

Azzam/ Azzam;  Determined, resolved


Baaqi;  Everlasting

Basim/ Baasim;  Smiling

Baasit;  Expander

Baatin;  Hidden

Badi;  Marvelous Incomparable

Badr/ Bader;  Full moon

Badri;  One who took part in the battle of Badr

Baha/ Baha;  Beautiful, magnificent

Bahij;  Cheerful

Bahir;  Dazzling, brilliant

Bahiy Udeen;  The magnificent of the Faith

Baith;  Reserrector

Bakr/ Baker [bar-ker];  Old Arabic name

Bakri;  One who starts work early

Baligh;  Eloquent

Bandar;  Seaport, district capital

Barakah;  Blessing

Bari/ Baari;  Creator

Barir;  Faithful

Barr;  Source of All Goodness, Righteous

Baseer;  The All Seeing

Bashir/ Bashshar;  Bringer of glad tidings

Basil/ Basel;  Brave

Basim/ Bassam;  Smiling

Bayhas;  Name of the lion

Bilal;  name of the Prophet’s Muezzin

Bishr;  Joy

Boulos;  Arabic form of ‘Paul’

Budail/ Budayl;  Name of a companion of the Prophet

Burhan;  Proof

Bushr;  Joy, happiness

Butrus;  Arabic form of ‘Peter’


Daarr;  Distressed

Dabir;  Secretary

Dani;  Near, close

Darwish/ Dervish

Daud/ Dawud/ Dawoud/ Dawoo;  Beloved, a Prophets name - David

Dhakir;  Someone who remembers God frequently

Dhakiy/ Dhakwan;  Intelligent, bright

Dhul Fiqar;  Name of the Prophets sword

Dirar;  Old Arabic name

Diya;  Brightness, light






Faakhir;  Proud, Excellent

Faarooq; He who distinguishes truth from falsehood

Fadi/ Faadi/ Fadee;  Redeemer

Fadil/ Fadl;  Generous, honorable, superior

Fahd/Fahad;  Leopard, lynx

Fahmi;  Understanding

Faisal/ Faysal;  Decisive

Faiz/ Fayez; Winner

Fakhir;  Proud, excellent

Fakhri/ Fakhry; Honorary

Fakih;  Legal expert; one who recites the Quran

Falah/ Falih; Success

Faraj/ Farraj;  Relief, freedom from grief

Farhan;  Happy

Farid/ Fareed;  Unique, rare

Fariq/ Fareeq;  Lieutenant General

Faris/ Faaris [far-ris];  Horseman, Knight

Faruq/ Farooq;  one who distinguishes truth from falsehood

Fateen;  Clever, Smart

Fath/ Fathi/ Fathey;  Victorious one, Conqueror

Fattaah; Judge

Fawwaz [faa-waz];  Most successful

Fawzan; Victorious

Fawzi/ Fauzi/ Fouwzi;  Successful

Fayyad;  Overflowing, generous

Ferran;  Baker

Fida/ Fidaa;  Redemption, sacrifice

Fikri;  Thought, ideas

Firas;  Perspicacity

Fouad/ Fuad;  Heart

Fudail;  Excellent in character


Gamal/ Gamali;  Camel

Ghaffaar/ Ghafoor;  Great Forgiver

Ghaith/ Ghayth;  Rain

Ghali;  Valuable, beloved, expensive

Ghalib;  Victor

Ghanim;  Successful

Ghaniyy;  Self Sufficient

Ghassan;  Ardor, vigor (of youth)

Ghawth/ Ghiyath;  One who helps

Ghazi/ Gazi;  Conqueror

Ghazwan;  One on expedition, conquer


Hadi/ Haadi/ Haady;  Guide

Haamid;  Praising God, happy, delighted, content


Haarith;  an old Arabic name - Plowman

Haaroon;  A Prophets name

Haashim;  Generous, an old Arabic name

Haatim;  Judge

Habbab;  Affable, lovable

Habib;  Beloved

Hadad/ Haddad;  Syrian god of fertility, Smith

Hadi;  Guiding to the right (truth)

Hafiz/ Hafeez;  Preserver, protector

Hakam;  Judge

Hakeem/ Hakim;  Wise, ruler, governor

Haleem;  Forbearing

Halim;  Mild, gentle, patient

Hamad/ Hamed/ Hamid;  short form of Mohammed

Hamal;  Lamb

Hamas;  Enthusiastic

Hamdan;  The praised one; variation of the name Muhammad

Hamdi;  Praise

Hameed;  Praiseworthy

Hamim;  Intimate, close friend

Hamzah;  Lion

Hana;  Arabic form of ‘John’

Hanai;  Happiness

Hanbal;  Purity

Hani;  Happy, delighted, joyful

Hanif;  True believer

Hannad;  Old Arabic name

Haqq;  Truth

Haris;  Guardian, protector

Harith;  Ploughman, cultivator

Haroun/ Harun;  Lofty or exalted

Haseeb;  Reckoner

Hashim;  Broker, destroyer of evil

Hassan/ Hassaan; Beautiful, handsome

Hatim;  Judge

Haydar;  Lion

Haytham;  Young hawk

Hayy;  Alive

Hayyan;  Old Arabic name

Hazim;  Resolute

Hilal/ Hilel;  The new moon

Hilmi;  Gentle, calm

Hisham;  Generosity

Hud/ Houd;  A Prophets name

Hudad;  Name of a pre-Islamic Arabic king

Hudhafah;  Old Arabic name

Humam;  Brave, noble, generous

Husain/ Hussein;  Doer of good deeds;

Husam/ Husaam;  Sword

Huthayfa;  Old Arabic name


Ibrahim/ Ibraheem/ Ebrahim;  Father of a multitude; a Prophets name - Abraham

Ibras;  Lamp, light

Id/ Eid;  Feast, festival

Idris/ Idrees;  A Prophets name

Ihsan/ Ihsaan;  Kindness, beneficence; highest level of Iman

Ihtisham;  Modesty, decency

Ikrimah;  Old Arabic name

Ilias;  A Prophets name - Elijah

Imad/ Imaad/ Emad;  Support, pillar

Imam;  Leader of prayer

Imran/ Imran;  Long-lived

Imtiyaz;  Mark of distinction or excellence

Inam;  Act of benefaction, bestowal

Iqbal/ Iqbaal;  Prosperity, good fortune

Irfan/ Erfaan; Thankfulness

Isa/ Esa/ Eisa; Arabic form of ‘Jesus'

Isam/ Issam/ Essam; Safeguard

Ishaq;  A Prophets name - Isaac

Ismail/ Ismaael/ Esmail;  A Prophets name - Ishmael

Iyad/ Eyad;  Pigeon

Iyas/ Eyas;  Consoling

Izz al Din/ Izz Udeen;  Might of the faith


Jaabir;  Consoler, Comforter

Jaafar;  Rivulet

Jaam;  Gatherer

Jabalah;  Mountain, hill

Jabbar/ Jabr/ Jaber;  Mighty, brave

Jabber/ Jabir;  Compeller

Jad/ Jaad;  Allah Gift of God

Jafar/ Jaffar/ Jafer;  Rivulet, little creek

Jal;  Resolution, firm will

Jalal;  Glory

Jalil/ Jaleel;  Great, revered

Jamal/ Jameel/ Jamil;  Beauty

Jarir/ Jareer;  Name of a famous Arab poet

Jasim/ Jassim;  Great, big, huge

Jaul;  Choice

Jaun;  Kind of plant

Jawad;  Openhanded, generous

Jawdah;  Heavy rain, benevolent deed

Jawhar;  Jewel, essence

Jibran;  Old Arabic name

Jibril;  Archangel Gabriel

Jihad/ Jehad/ Jehaad;  Struggle, holy war

Jubair/ Jubayr;  Old Arabic name

Jul;  Resolution, firm will

Jumah/ Jumuah;  One who is born on a Friday

Junaid/ Junayd;  Young fighter

Juwain/ Juwayn;  Sibling


Kabeer;  Most Great

Kadar/ Kedar/ Kedaar;  Powerful

Kadeen/ Kadin;  Friend, companion, confidant

Kadeer/ Kadir;  Green, freshness and innocence

Kahil;  Friend, lover

Kaliq;  Creative,

Kamal/ Kamil/ Kameel;  Beauty, perfection

Kardal;  Mustard seed

Kareem/ Karam;  Generous, noble, friendly

Karif/ Kareef;  One who is born in autumn

Kaseem/ Kasim;  Divided

Kasib/ Kaseeb;  Fertile

Kateb/ Katib;  Writer, scribe

Kazim Well tempered, cool, patient

Khaafid;  Abaser

Khaaliq;  Creator

Khabeer/ Khabir;  Aware

Khair al Din/ Khair Udeen;  Goodness of the faith

Khairi/ Khairy/ Khayri;  Charitable, beneficent

Khalaf;  Descendent, successor

Khaldun/ Khaldoon;  Old Arabic name

Khalid/ Khaled/ Kalid; Eternal

Khalifah;  Caliph

Khalil/ Khaleel/ Kalil;  Good friend

Khalis;  Pure, clear

Khamis;  Born on a Thursday

Khatib;  Religious Minister

Khoury;  Priest

Khulus;  Clearness, purity

Khuzaimah;  old Arabic name



Labib/ Labeeb;  Sensible, intelligent

Lablab;  Ivy

Latif/ Lateef;  Gentle, pleasant, friendly

Layth;  Lion

Luay/ Loay;  Shield

Lubaid/ Lubayd;  Old Arabic name

Luqman;  A Prophets name

Lutfi/ Lotfi;  Kind, gentle


Maahir/ Mahir;  Skilled

Maani;  Withholder

Maawiya/ Muawiyah;  A young dog or fox

Maazin/Mazin/ Mazen;  old Arabic name

Mad;  Old Arabic name

Madani;  Urban, civilized, modern

Mahbub;  Beloved, dear

Mahdi/ Mahdy;  Guided to the right path

Mahfuz;  Safe, protected by God

Mahjub;  Concealed, veiled

Mahmud/ Mahmoud/ Mahmood;  The praised one

Mahrus;  Protected by God

Maimun/ Maymun;  Lucky

Majeed/ Majid/ Majd;  Glorious

Makin;  Strong, firm, well-founded

Malik/ Maliq;  King

Mamdouh/ Mamduh;  Praised, glorified

Mamun/ Mamnoon;  Trustworthy, trusted

Man/ Maan/ Main;  Benefit

Mandhur;  Vowed, consecrated to God

Mansour/ Mansoor/ Mansur;  Divinely aided, victorious

Marghub;  Desirable, coveted

Marid/ Mareed; Rebellious

Maruf/ Maroof;  Well known, good

Marzuq;  Blessed by God, fortunate

Mashhur/ Mashor;  Famous

Masoud/ Masud/ Masood;  Fortunate, happy, lucky

Masrur;  Happy, joyful

Masun;  Well protected, sheltered

Mateen;  One with Power

Maysarah;  Of comfort, ease

Mazhar;  Appearance

Mazin;  Old Arabic name

Mihran;  One of the Prophet’s compainons

Mihyar;  Name of a famous poet

Mikail;  Name of an Angel (Michael)

Miqdad;  Name of a Sahabi

Misbah/ Misbaah/ Misbeh;  Lamp

Mishal/ Meshal/ Mashal;  Torch, light

Miyaz;  Distinguished, preferred


Muadh/ Muaath;  Protected

Muakhkhir;  Delayer

Muayyad/ Muayid;  Supported by God

Mubarak/ Mobarak/ Mubarek;  Happy, blessed

Mubdi;  Creator

Mubin;  Clear, evident

Mudar;  An Arabian tribe

Muddaththir/ Munthdur;  Covered

Mueed;  Reproducer

Mufid/ Mufeed;  Useful, helpful

Muflih;  Successful

Mughni;  Enriches

Muhab/ Mohab/ Muhaab/ Mohaab;  Dignified

Muhaimin;  Protector

Muhair/ Muhayr/ Muhayer;  Skilled

Muhammad/ Mohammed/ Mohamed/ Muhamed;  Praised, praiseworthy; the name of the Prophet

Muhanna;  Happy, delighted

Muhannad/ Muhanned;  Sword

Muhib/ Muhibb;  Noble, respected, loving

Muhsee/ Mohsee;  Counter, Reckoner

Muhsin/ Moosin;  Beneficent, charitable

Muhtadi/ Muhtady;  Rightly guided

Muhyi;  Giver of Life

Muhyi al Din;  Reviver of the faith

Muin;  Supporter, helper

Muiz;  Honour

Muizz;  Comforter

Mujab;  Prayers were answered

Mujahid/ Mujaahid;  Fighter

Mujeeb;  Responsive

Mukarram;  Honored

Mukhlis;  Faithful, sincere

Mukhtar/ Mukhtaar;  Chosen

Mulhim/ Mulham;  Inspiring

Mumin;  Believer, Guardian of Faith

Mummar;  Given or granted long life

Mumtaz;  Excellent

Munahid;  Strong

Mundhir;  Warner, cautioner

Munib;  Repentant

Munif;  Exalted, excellent

Munir/ Muneer;  Brilliant, shining

Munis;  Pleasant companion

Munjid;  Helper

Munsif;  Just, right

Muntasir;  Victorious

Munthir;  Cautioner

Muqaddim;  Expediter, Promoter

Muqeet;  Guardian, sustainer

Muqsit;  Just in judgment

Muqtadir;  Powerful, dominant

Murad/ Morad;  Wanted, desired

Murshid;  Guide

Murtada/ Murtadi;  Satisfied, contented, pleased

Musa/ Moosa;  A Prophet's name - Moses in English

Musab;  Old Arabic name

Musad/ Musaad;  Unfettered camel;  favored by fortune, lucky

Musaid;  Helper, supporter

Musawwir;  Fashioner

Mushtaq;  Longing, yearning

Muslih;  Conciliator, reformer

Muslim/ Moslim;  Submitting oneself to God

Mustafa;  Chosen; one of the Prophet's names

Mutaa/ Muta;  Obeyed

Mutaali;  Most Exalted

Mutakabbir;  Majestic

Mutasim;  Adhering to the faith in God

Mutawalli;  Entrusted

Mutazz/ Motaz;  Proud, honorable

Muthanna;  Old Arabic name

Muthil;  Dishonored, Humiliate

Muti/ Mutee;  Obedient

Muwaffaq;  Successful

Muyassar;  Fortunate, facilitated

Muzaffar;  Victorious

Muzzammil;  One who is wrapped up


Naail;  Acquirer, Earner

Naajy;  Safe

Naasih;  Advisor

Naathim;  Arranger, Adjuster

Nabighah;  Intelligent

Nabih;  Smart

Nabil/ Nabeel/ Nabeeh/ Nabhan;  Noble


Nadhir;  Warner

Nadim/ Nadeem;  Friendly, entertaining

Nadir/ Naadir;  Dear, rare, precious

Nafi;  Useful, Propitious

Nahid;  Generosity

Nail/ Naeem;  Acquirer, tranquility

Naji/ Naje;  Safe, survivor

Najib/ Najeeb;  Of noble descent

Najid;  Lion, brave

Najjar;  Carpenter

Najm al Din;  Star of the faith

Naman;  Old Arabic name,  name of the first Roman to embrace Islam

Namir/ Nameer;  Good, pure, dear

Nashah/ Nashat;  Growing up, youth

Nashwan;  Exultant, elated

Nasib;  Noble, relative

Nasih;  Advisor, counselor

Nasim/ Naseem;  Fresh air

Nasir;  Protector, helper, supporter

Nasr/ Nasser/ Nasri;  Victory

Nasuh;  Sincere, faithful

Natheer/ Nathir;  Warner

Nawaf/ Nawwaf;  High, lofty

Nawfal;  Generous

Nayif/ Naif;  Excellent; surplus, abundance

Nazih/ Nazeeh;  Pure, chaste

Nazim/ Nazeem;  Arranger, adjuster

Nidal/ Nedal;  Struggle

Nijad;  Tall, dominant

Nimr/ Numair;  Tiger

Nizar;  Old Arabic name

Noor/ Nuh/ Nooh;  Light, the one who guides

Noori/ Nuri;  Shining, brightness

Nuaim/ Nuaym;  Name of several of the Prophet's companions

Nuhaid/ Nuhayd;  Big

Numan;  Blood, red, Old Arabic name

Nusrah/ Nusrat;  Help, support


Omar;  Long life, first son

Omran;  Solid structure, most praised; variation of the name Muhammad

Ossama/ Osama/ Usama/ Usamah;  A lion


Qaabid;  Constrictor, Withholder

Qaadir;  Able, Capable

Qahhaar;  Subdue, Dominant

Qasim/ Qaasim;  Divider, distributor

Qatadah;  A hardwood tree

Qawiyy/ Qays/ Qawyis;  Strong, oasis, firm

Qayyoom;  Self-Subsisting

Qudamah;  Courageous

Quddoos;  Holy

Qusay;  Old Arabic name

Qutaybah; Qutaibah;  Irritable, impatient

Qutb;  Leader



Raafi/ Rafe;  Exalter, Elevator

Raakin;  Respectful

Raamiz/ Ramez;  Symbol

Raatib;  Arranger

Rabah;  Winner

Rabi/ Rabee;  Spring, breeze

Radi;  Satisfied, content

Radwan/ Ridhwan/ Ridwan;  Satisfaction; name of the keeper of the gates of Heaven

Raed;  Leader, kind friend

Rafi/ Rafee;  Exalting

Rafid;  Support

Rafiq/ Rafeeq;  Kind, friend

Raghib/ Ragheb;  Desirous, willing

Raghid;  Pleasant

Raheem/ Rahim;  Merciful,

Rahmaan;  Compassionate, Beneficent

Raid;  Leader

Raif/ Rauf/ Raouf;  gentle, Compassionate

Rais;  Captain

Raja/ Rajah;  Hope

Rajab;  7th month of the calendar

Raji;  Hoping, full of hope

Rajih;  Upper hand, more acceptable

Rakin;  Respectful, firm, confident

Ramadan;  9th month of the calendar

Rami/ Ramee;  Marksman

Ramih;  Brightest star in the constelation Bootes

Ramiz;  Honored, respected

Ramzi/ Ramze;  Symbolic

Rani;  To gaze


Raqeeb;  Watcher

Rashad;  maturity, wisdom

Rashid/ Rasheed;  Having the true Faith

Rasil;  Messenger

Rasin;  Composed

Rasmi;  Formal, official

Rasul/ Rasool;  Messenger

Ratib;  Regular, arranger

Rayyan/ Royyan;  One of the gates of paradise

Razin;  Composed, subtle

Razzaaq/ Razak/ Razaq;  Sustainer, Provider

Reda/ Rida/ Ridha;  Contentment, satisfaction

Rihab;  Vastness

Riyad/ Riyadh/ Rhyadh;  Gardens

Rizq;  Subsistence, blessing of God

Ruhi;  Spiritual

Rushd/ Rushdi;  Maturity, wisdom

Ruwaid/ Ruwayd; Walking gently


Saabir;  Patient

Saad;  Good luck

Saadah;  Happiness

Saahir;  Wakeful

Saajid;  One who worships God

Saalih/ Saaleh; Good, Righteous

Saariyah;  Clouds at night

Sab;  Lion

Sabih/ Sabeeh;  Beautiful, pleasant, fond

Sabir/ Sabeer/ Saboor/ Sabri;  Patient, persevering

Sad;  Good luck

Sadad/ Sadid;  Right thing to do, lucky hand

Sadiq; Sincere, truthful

Saeed/ Said/ Sadun;  Happy

Safi;  Pure, clear

Safiy;  Best friend

Safuh;  Forgiving

Safwah/ Safwat;  The best, the chosen

Safwan;  Rock, solid, pure

Sahib;  Companion

Sahir;  Wakeful

Sahl/ Sahal;  Easy to deal with

Saib;  Appropriate, correct

Said;  Happy

Saif/ Sayf/ Seif;  Sword

Sajjad/ Sajid/ Sajiid;  One who worships a lot

Sakhr;  Rock

Salaam;  Source of Peace

Salah/ Saleh/ Salih;  Good, right; a Prophet's name

Salim/ Saleem;  Safe, healthy, whole,

Salman;  Healthy, safe, wholesome

Samad;  Eternal, independent

Samee;  All hearing

Sami;  High, lofty, elevated

Samih/ Sameh;  Forgiver

Samir/ Sameer;  Entertaining companion

Samman;  Grocer

Saqr;  Falcon

Sariyah;  Clouds at night

Sati;  Shining, bright

Saud/ Suud/ Suoud;  Fortunate

Sayyid/ Sayed;  Master

Shaady/ Shadi;  Singer, enchanter

Shaban;  8th month of the Arabic calendar

Shadin;  Young deer

Shafi/ Shaafi/ Shafee;  Mediator

Shafiq/ Shafeeq;  Kind, compassionate, tender

Shaheed/ Shahid;  Witness

Shahin;  Hawk

Shahir;  Well-known, famous

Shakib;  Present, gift, reward

Shakir;  Thankful

Shakoor;  Grateful, appreciative

Shamal;  Wind from the north

Shamil/ Shamel;  All, comprehensive

Shamim;  Fragrant

Shams al Din;  Sun of the faith

Sharif/ Shareef/ Sharaf;  Honest, noble, distinguished

Shawqi;  Affectionate

Shihab;  Flame, blaze Star of the Faith

Shihad;  Honey

Shuaib/ Shuayb;  A Prophet's name

Shukri;  Thankfulness

Shumayl;  Complete

Siddiq;  Truthful, upright

Sinan/ Senan; Spearhead

Siraj/ Siraaj/ Suraj;  Lighted torch

Sofian;  Devoted

Subhi/ Subhy;  Early morning

Sufyan;  Old Arabic name

Suhaib/ Suhayb;  Red hair or complexion

Suhail/ Suhayl;  Gentle, the name of a star

Suhaim/ Suhaym;  Arrow

Sulaiman/ Sulayman;  A Prophet's name - Solomon in English

Sultan/ Sultan;  King

Sumrah;  Brownness

Suraqah;  Name of a companion of the Prophet


Tahir/ Taheer;  Pure, clean, chaste, modest

Tahsin;  Beautification

Taim;  Allah Servant of God

Taj;  Crown

Talal;  Nice, admirable

Talha;  Type of tree

Talib;  Seeker of truth

Tamam;  Generous

Tamim;  Strong, complete

Tamir/ Taamir;  Rich; owns palm trees

Tammam;  Perfection, strength

Taqiy;  Devout, God fearing

Tarfah;  Type of tree

Tarif/ Tareef;  Rare, uncommon

Tariq;  Name of a star

Taslim;  Submission

Tawfiq/ Towfeeq;  Success, reconciliation

Tawhid/ Tawwaab;  Believing in one God

Taymullah;  Servant of God

Taysir/ Tayseer;  Facilitation

Tayyib;  Good or delicate

Thabit/ Thaabit;  Firm

Thamer/ Thamir;  Fruitful, productive

Thaqib;  Shooting star

Thawab;  Reward

Thawban;  Name of a companion of the Prophet


Ubayy;  Old Arabic name, one with high self-esteem

Udail/ Udayl;  Old Arabic name

Uday;  One who runs fast

Umar/ Omar;  Name of the second Caliph

Umarah;  Old Arabic name

Umayr/ Umair;  Old Arabic name

Umayyah; Arab tribe

Uqbah;  The end of everything

Urwah;  Support, handle

Usaim/ Usaym;  lion cub

Utbah;  old Arabic name

Utha; l Name of a mountain

Uthman;  Name of the third Caliph


Waahid;  Unique

Waail/ Wail/ Wael [wah-eel];  Coming back for Shelter

Waajid;  Perceiver, finder, rich

Waarith;  Inheritor, heir

Waddah;  Bright, brilliant

Wadi/ Wadee;  Calm, peaceful

Wadid;  Favorable, devoted, fond

Wafiq/ Wafeeq;  Successful

Wahab/ Wahhaab;  Giving

Wahid;  Singular, exclusive

Wajdi;  Of strong emotion,

Wajid/ Wajed;  Smooth land

Wajih/ Waji/ Wajeeh;  Noble, notable, distinguished

Wakeel;  Trustee

Wakil/ Wakel;  Lawyer

Walee;  Governor

Walid/ Waleed;  Newborn male child

Walif;  Befriending

Waliy;  Supporter of the faith

Waqar;  Dignity, sobriety

Waqqas;  old Arabic name

Wasi;  Knowledgeable

Wasif;  Describer

Wasil;  Considerate, inseparable friend

Wasim/ Waseem;  Graceful, good looking

Wazir/ Wazeer;  Minister


Yahya/ Yehya/ Yahyaa;  A Prophets name (John)

Yaman;  Good tidings, proper name

Yaqoob/ Yaqub;  A Prophets name (Jacob)

Yasin/ Yaseen/ Yaaseen;  One of Prophet Muhammad’s names

Yasir/ Yasser;  Wealth, comfort, ease

Yazan;  Old Arabic name

Yazid/ Yazeed;  Increase, grow, enhance

Younis/ Yoonus;  A Prophets name (Jonah in the Bible)

Yousif/ Yusef/ Yusuf;  increase in power; a Prophets name - Joseph

Yushua;  God saves

Yusri;  Wealthy


Zaahid;  Abstemious, Ascetic

Zafar/ Zafir;  Victory

Zahid; Self denying, ascetic

Zahir/ Zaahir;  Bright, shining, flowery

Zaid/ Zayd;  Increase, growth, abundance

Zaim;  Brigadier General

Zain/ Zayn;  Beauty

Zakariyya/ Zakariya;  A Prophets name

Zaki/ Zaky;  Pure

Zakwan;  Intuitive

Zarif;  Nice, graceful, humorous

Ziad/ Ziyad/ Zeeyad;  abundance

Zubair/ Zubayr;  Strong, powerful, smart

Zuhair/ Zuhayr;  Bright, having flowers

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Shake your Tail Feathers

Really this has to be just about the funniest thing I've ever seen.

First the parrot dances to an Egyptian song and then it dances to the Blues Brothers.  Is this a cross-cultural bird I wonder?  Not sure which is the original YouTube video, or which one you'll prefer, but get ready to belly laugh ... really, really laugh