Gulf Arab Culture:
Habibi what? (Super polite requests)

Arab waterfront architecture in Dubai, UAE Arab culture values politeness and saving face, and in this email we want to talk about a popular form of address that might be a bit unusual, especially if you're coming from a Western culture.

حبيبي
Habiibi - my beloved, my dear (masc.)
If you use this word it doesn't necessarily mean there's any special love involved. It can be just an endearing form of address.

يا حبيب الشعب
ya Habiib ish-sha^ab - the beloved of the people (the one people love/like) (ya is a particle that introduces whoever you're calling)

You can use this in situations where you want to show extra politeness so the person doesn't get offended. For example, you drive in to a shawarma (doner/gyros) fast-food joint and make your order. Many such places are quite hands-on with service, come to your car even if you are parked slightly far and bring your order rather quick, but let's say it looks like this guy is taking his time and you need him to get it done faster without being rude, so you stick your head out of the car and shout out loud:


يا حبيب الشعب ممكن أسرع شوي؟
ya Habiib ish-sha^ab mumkin asra^ shway? The beloved of the people, could you hurry up a little bit?

شعب
sha^ab - people, nation
ممكن
mumkin - possible
أسرع
asra^ - quicker, faster
شوي
shway - a little, a bit

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