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The language[edit]

Arabic is language that is widely used in the Middle East. It is named after the Arabs, people who reside in the Arabian Peninsula. It is also the language of the Quran which is the Islamic Holy Book. Arabs who have undergone formal education are usually able to understand both Classical Arabic and spoken Arabic. Dialects differ from one Arab country to the other, and they are sometimes mutually unintelligible to one another. The initial focus of this page is on the Egyptian dialect.


These are the terms and phrases used in Arabic to talk about struggle and distress.

There are a few letters in Arabic that are often substituted with numeric symbols since they have no direct pronunciation in English.

- The first one is the letter ع, which is the throaty sound you make when a doctor attempts a tonsil check with a wooden stick in your throat, this letter is symbolised by the number 3.

- The second letter is أ, which is like a short 'A' sound like the beginning of the word 'Astrounaut', this is translated to two 'A's.

- The third letter is غ, which is the gargling sound you make when using mouthwash. It is represented by the number '3' with an apostrophe: 3'.

Generic Mental Health Vocabulary[edit]

Caption text
Term/Phrase Meaning (in English) Part of the body affected (if applicable) Sound Recording Example use in a sentence
(Wagaa3) Pain Anywhere (Ana mawgoo3/Ana mawgoo3a) I am in pain - masculine & feminine.
(Nafseya) Psyche/Soul Heart (Nafseyety ta3bana) My soul is tired.
(Kaaba) A depressive state Anywhere (Hases be kaaba) I feel a sense of depression.
(Khoof) Fear Anywhere (Ana khayef/Ana khayfa) I am scared. - masculine & feminine.
(Daght) Pressure and Stress Brain and heart (Ana madghoot/Ana madghoota) I am under pressure/under a lot of stress. - masculine & feminine