الفلوس زى العصافير تروح و تيجى
El felus zayy el asafir, teruh we tigi
Translation: Money is like birds; it comes and goes.
Meaning: Don’t worry when you lose money, or get envious when someone else gets it. Wealth can be gained and lost at short notice. This saying is not very much in use, but deserves a revival. Its imagery is livelier than the common “easy come, easy go,” and the idea of money flying away like birds, only to come back – though no consolation for people in dire straits – is cheerful. Use it to comfort friends who are short of funds, or to warn big spenders to take it easy before all the birds disappear.
Source: Egyptian Proverbs, (Al-Ahram Center for Translation and Publishing, 1986) by Ahmed Taymour Pasha
Translated by: Nabil Shawkat