Iraqi/Gulf Arabic: راعي الفزعات ولى منّه ظهر


راعي الفارعات و لا من ضهر
This is a sentence taken from a song of praise about Saddam Hussein. What does لا من ضهر mean?
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  • Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    This song is not Iraqi Arabic, it seems to be Saudi, probably Najdi Arabic. I also don't think that it's specifically about Saddam but someone seems to have put some pictures of Saddam to go with the song.

    By the way, it's راعي الفزعات ولا من ظهر. I'm not sure whether ظهر here means 'back' or 'appear' but I'm guessing the second one because it seems to make more sense to me in this context.

    Maybe you should change the title to Saudi Arabic so that someone more well versed in the dialect can answer.

    Wadi Hanifa

    Senior Member
    This is generic bedouin/khaliji Arabic, not specifically "Saudi". And there are Iraqi bedouin tribes that compose poetry in the same dialect and other Iraqi tribes that use vocabulary and expressions from that dialect in their own poetry, so it's certainly possible that it's "Iraqi." I have seen a recording of an Iraqi bedouin poet praising Saddam using similar language.

    For the meter to work it should be راعي الفزعات لا منّه ظهر

    راعي الفزعات: would be equivalent to saying صاحب الفزعات in FusHa.
    الفزعات: plural of فزعة which means coming to someone's aid or defense.
    لا منّه: should more properly be spelled لى منّه. Without going into etymology, it means "when."
    ظهر: means to appear or to come out.

    So it means "he who is known for giving aid/defense whenever he appears".
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