Abaya -- A long overcoat often worn over the gambaz; protects from the sand.
-- Classic collection of one thousand and one stories that includes “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” and “Sinbad the Sailor”.
Arabic -- This is usually a reference to language, but is sometimes used to refer to anything that is of the Arab, or Middle Eastern, people; their culture and history.
Baklava -- A flaky pastry.
Bazaar -- An open air market for buying and selling goods (see “souk”).
Bedouins -- Nomadic Arabs.
Dromedary -- The one-humped domesticated camel widely used as work animal in the Middle East; also called the Arab Camel.
Fellahin (or Fellaheen) -- Peasant farmers who live along the Nile River.
Fez -- Head piece that looks like a red flower pot turned upside down; also referred to as a tarboush.
Galabeya -- Long cotton gowns.
Gambaz -- Cotton clothing that is like a robe, reaching from the neck to the ankles.
Geddoh - Grandfather.
Great Pyramids of Giza -- Three pyramids that were built to be tombs for three pharaohs.
Great Sphinx -- The famous statue that features a lion’s body and a human’s head.
Habibi -- An affectionate term shared between adults and children that means “My love”.
Harem -- Part of the tent where the women (men can have up to 4 wives according to the Koran) and children live; separate from the man’s area.
Hieroglyphics -- Egyptian writings and paintings that offer a glimpse of ancient history.
Imam -- Priest who is also the teacher of children; explains the Koran.
Intifada -- The name for Palestinian uprisings against the Israelis.
Islam -- Religion founded by Muhammad (approximately 600 B.C.) and practiced by Muslims around the world.
Judaism -- The official name for the Jewish, or Hebrew, religion; it is a belief in the God who revealed himself to Abraham, Moses, and other Hebrew prophets.
Kaffiyeh -- Head piece of cloth that hangs down to the shoulders and is held in place by two strands of cord; protects head from sand and sun.
Khamsin - Windstorms that take place in Egypt in the spring.
Khan al-Khalili Bazaar -- One of the biggest marketplaces in Cairo.
King Tutankhamon (also called King Tut) -- A famous Egyptian king who ruled for a short time.
Konafa -- Dessert with butter-coated shredded wheat and nuts, covered in a rose water syrup.
Koran -- The holy bible of Muslims, it is the collected sayings of Muhammad. (also spelled Qur’an.)
Colonel T.E. Lawrence -- British soldier who helped Arabs rebel against Turkish rule and gain independence; made famous in the film “Lawrence of Arabia”.
Mahalabya -- A pudding made from rice, milk, and sugar.
Mecca -- The Saudi Arabian city that is the birthplace of Muhammad; Muslims are supposed to make the journey to Mecca at least once in their lifetime.
Medina -- A holy city in Saudi Arabia.
Mosque -- Muslim place of worship.
Muhammad -- Prophet who created Islam; died during the 7
Muslim -- A believer in Islam.
OPEC- Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Palestine -- The land now known as Israel; it has been ruled by Hebrews, Egyptians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, and Turks.
Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) -- Led by Yasser Arafat, this is the governing organization of Palestinians living within Israel.
Papyrus -- A type of paper made from the stems of a tall plant that grew along the Nile.
Pharoah -- A king in ancient Egypt.
Philistines -- 14
century invaders of what is now known as Israel; the word evolved into Palestinian.
Ramadan -- Holy holiday that involves fasting (Muslims cannot eat or drink between sunrise and sunset).
Sheikhdoms -- Governance by royal families; usually financed by oil.
Shi’a Muslim -- (Shi’ite) The more conservative branch of Islam; they feel that only Ali’s male descendants should lead the Islamic community (religious and political leaders).
Souk -- A local marketplace.
Sunni Muslims -- The orthodox branch of Islam; they feel that the first 4 caliphs were the rightful successors to Muhammad.
Valley of the Kings -- desert location where many Egyptian kings are buried.
Zionist -- An international movement for the establishment of a Jewish homeland.