“Habibi - My Love, My Good Friend. Thanks to music, TV series, films, and popular culture, the word Habibi is known throughout the world. But when everyone uses a word like that without knowing its actual meaning, it slowly loses its significance....“

Isra Abdou

Teacher, Artist &Activist
@ischraa

“When someone discovers that I speak Arabic and then they do a silly imitation in an inappropriate tone – “Shu, Yalla, Habibi” (What’s up, my Habibi) or something like that – I often have to ask myself: do you actually know what (or who) your Habibi even is? Habibi is a word that has accompanied me since my early childhood. My siblings and me were always the ‘Habayeb’ (the plural of Habibi) of my parents. And it’s still normal for them to call me ‘Habibti’ (the female version) instead of my real name (Isra). The word awakens in me a sense of familiarity, a strong bond. Habibi reminds me of my parents, relatives, and best friends. When you’re my Habib(t)i, then you know how much I love you. How important you are to me. How much our friendship means, and how much I respect you. And the next time your friend, family member, or loved one calls you Habibi (or Habibti), maybe you’ll realize how important you are to them.“

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