Ahla wo Sahla

post 22/365


Greeting is an act of communication in which human beings intentionally make their presence known to each other, to show attention to, and to suggest a type of relationship, usually cordial, formal or informal, between individuals or groups of people coming in contact with each other.I love a good greeting. Receiving a simple greeting can always bring about a smile on one’s face. A greeting, in a way, confirms your existence in the universe. Hello is a word that is bursting with heart-warming positive emotions. However, in our normal lives, we unfortunately take greetings for granted. Hello is a greeting that we use so many times throughout the day that it loses any real meaning and just becomes an empty gesture – merely words to say to one another.

We have a beautiful greeting in Arabic, that we often use when greeting friends or people in general into our home, ahla wo sahla (the Lebanese version of ahlan wa sahlan). It comes from an old saying that shows Arab hospitality to strangers. Ahlan means family, as in you have come to stay with family and sahlan means a flat land or plain where grass/food is abundant and to be shared with visitors.

When one acquaints with someone and says “Ahla wa Sahla,” it is in essence opening up the door of becoming part of ones family. It’s a heartfelt wish that may all who enter as guests leave as friends. That’s the Lebanese way of greeting. If you come to our door, then you are welcomed like family. It’s the essence of a cordial welcoming society’s philosophy in life, “May our home be warm and our friends many”.

I like a simple word with a simple start, especially when it comes from the heart. What a beautiful way to show love and spread the law of love. What it means to me is this:

In my life,

You are welcome.

Similar to a friend,

Similar to a kin,

You are welcome.

I would have your back.

I would welcome you in my home.

I would treat you like a friend,

Even more like family.

No matter who you are

And by time you left,

You’d think

“Life’s worth living!”

And my door

Is always open,

Ahla wo Sahla.

Because no greeting in the world fills my heart with such joy as those words “ahla wo sahla” I #livelovelebanon and I will #fighton

Please watch this video, we even have a song about ahla wo sahla: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IS-6QpiqJGU

the picture is taken from the poster of the british arab center

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