صام و فطر على بصله
Sam we feter ala basalah
Translation: He fasted and then broke his fast with an onion.
Meaning: This proverb is still used to describe someone who has worked hard, or deprived themselves from something for a long time, only to end up in a bad situation. This saying could be applied to a student who spends years studying to be a doctor but ends up driving a cab, or even a young woman who has turned down many suitors and then marries the wrong man.
Source: Egyptian Proverbs, (Al-Ahram Center for Translation and Publishing, 1986) by Ahmed Taymour Pasha
Translated by: Nabil Shawkat