بصلة المحب خروف
Basalet al mohebb kharouf
Translation: An onion shared in love is (as satisfying) as a (cooked) sheep.
Meaning: Hospitality is about friendship, not the quality of the food the host is offering. In Egypt, onions were a major part of the daily diet of a worker, and a working lunch was often a loaf of bread and an onion. So, this parable is drawn from a scene that must have been repeated every day. Workers gathering under a tree for lunch, sharing bread, onions, and if available, some cheese.
Source: ُEgyptian proverbs, (Al-Ahram Center For Translation and Publishing, 1986) by Ahmed Taymour Pasha,
Translated by: Nabil Shawka