قالو لعنتر انت تضرب الف, قال اضرب الف وورايا الف
Qalu le Antar, “enta tedrab alf,” qal “adrab alf we alf waraya”
Translation: They told Antar to defeat a thousand men and he said he only could if there were a thousand with him.Meaning: This mostly obscure proverb debunks the legends of lone men defeating entire armies of opponents. The legendary horseman Antarah, when asked to march against 1,000 men demanded a backup army of an equal number. The gist is that you don’t ask people to work miracles, but offer them the means commensurate with the task.
Source: Egyptian Proverbs, (Al-Ahram Center for Translation and Publishing, 1986) by Ahmed Taymour Pasha,
Translated by: Nabil Shawkat