العتب ع النظر
El-atab ala el-nazar
Translation: Blame my (poor) eyesight.
Meaning: This saying, still in use, is used as a form of apology. “I wasn’t ignoring you, I just didn’t see you.” Or, “sorry I didn’t recognise you at first, what’s wrong with my eyes?”
Source: Egyptian Proverbs, (Al-Ahram Center for Translation and Publishing, 1986) by Ahmed Taymour Pasha
Translated by: Nabil Shawkat