أول القصيدة كفر
Awwel al-qasida kofr
Translation: The first line of the poem is apostasy.
Meaning: This is one of a genre of proverbs that encourages you to trust in your first impression. If someone starts talking and the first words out of their mouth are stupid, then it’s safer to stop listening. A similar saying is “el ketab yeban men enwanu,” or “you can judge a book by its title.” Both proverbs are still in use, and both advise you not to waste your time digging under the surface. In English, they are akin to “If it walks like a duck and swims like a duck, then it is a duck.”
Source: Egyptian Proverbs, (Al-Ahram Center for Translation and Publishing, 1986) by Ahmed Taymour Pasha
Translated by: Nabil Shawkat