Sunday, May 29, 2016

Is this the most famous Zajal verse?

Artwork by Tarek Chemaly
I will be the firs to admit I am not a conoisseur in Zajal - the slang Arabic Lebanese poetry - but then again, some things trenscend genres and make it straight into the Lebanese collective memory. I think specifically of this verse attributed to Zein Cheabi Abou Ali:
روحي ورحك يا روحي روحين بروح ان راحت روحك يا روحي روحي بتروح
Roughly translated (and sadly it takes out all the charm):
My soul and your soul, oh my soul, are two souls in one soul, if your soul goes, my soul goes as well!