About Bil3afya بالعافية

Bil3afya can mean two different things. In the Khaliji dialect, it's an expression of gratitude and well wishes. In the Maghrebi dialect, it's an insult condemning the person you're addressing to the fires of hell.

While geography stands as the most obvious separation between the Arabian Peninsula and the Maghreb, skewed misconceptions of the other have made way for misunderstandings and stereotypes that have gone as far as shaping government policies. Bil3afya aims to serve as a bridge between these two regions without employing reductionism or dismissing very present nuances. We do not intend to speak as representatives of our respective regions, but as witnesses with very real experiences.

We have noticed that political and economic interests have grown between these nations. In the past few years, people from the Gulf have increasingly developed a touristic interest, in Morocco specifically. Through media and social networks, the Khalijis displayed their stereotypes towards the cultures and people of the Maghreb. In return, the Maghrebi nations often replied with the "civilizational rhetorics" describing Khalijis as opulent, backward, uneducated, and "Bedouins."

Thus, our blog will be social/cultural/political; we will discuss these cross stereotypes, point out the common grounds, and offer our own readings of the differences. The whole idea is to start a conversation and to expand it beyond stereotypes.

We'd like to give a big thank you to Mehreen Kasana for drawing our header. Thank you Mehreen!

Email: bil3afya@gmail.com | Twitter: @bil3afya

10 comments:

  1. Funny that Bil3afya in Egyptian dialect means a 3rd, totally different, thing: Hardly

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  2. In Morocco we wish "bessehha wa bil3afiya" which means in good health as well. I am Moroccan (born and raised) and I've never heard of this meaning: "to the fires of hell". Never.

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    1. I am Moroccan and I am familiar with aafya which means fire
      speaking dareja we say besseha del raha = بالصحه والراحة
      rather than bessehha wa bil3afya as its more standard arabic not moroccan dareja
      so maybe you come from a region in morocco where they don't use aafya as fire

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    2. well, maybe you come from a different region in morocco but I am pretty sure that afya means fire in moroccan dialects
      and true if you say besseha wa bilaffya any moroccan would understand affya in that context , however, its not used in 'dareja' and in morocco dialect its more used besseha wel rahaa= بالصحه والراحه
      leaving affya to mean fire only

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    3. I have been in several regions in Morocco. We don't wish bessehha werraha on occasions like eid for example. (we mostly say eid mubarak ou mas3ood) We say bessehha werraha it for new things. Secondly yes, el3afiya means fire but we do wish bessehha wel3afiyya which carries a "chedda" on the [y] switching therefore to Modern Standard Arabic. Our Moroccan darija is filled with Fus'ha terms and expressions.

      Thank you for your reply but my intention was only to tell you that you were probably equivocating.

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  3. Anonymous, the other meaning is the one meant in Gulf dialects. that's the idea: one word, different meanings

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    1. Hi Mona. Sorry, your reply didn't make any sense. Anonymous said that he/she's Moroccan but never heard of bel3afya with the 'go to hell' meaning. Like Anonymous, I'm also only familiar with the 'good health' meaning. Could you elaborate on the Maghrebi dialect's use of it?

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  4. i have a question about the drawing in the header. so the girl on the left is morrocon, what about the one on the right! i am not sure if it is a guy, or a girl wearing candora and ghitra!!

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    1. Zainab, the illustration was done by our friend Mehreen Kasana and along with the theme and authors of this blog, depicts two females in clothes traditionally associated with the Maghreb and the Gulf.

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  5. ic .. i got confused .. as the woman on right is wearing a kandoora that a man wears

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