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12 Ways to Say Good Morning in Arabic

Growing up in a primarily Arabic-speaking household, I always struggled to fully grasp the many complexities of the Arabic language.

As a rich language that was developed through a predominantly oral and poetic tradition that flourished in the Arabian Peninsula, the Arabic language, and its different dialects, is very expressive with multiple words to describe emotions and feelings. This perplexed me when I was younger, but now as an adult, I love being able to express myself in so many ways.


One of my favourite aspects of the language is the varying ways you can say “Good Morning”. The first time I went to Egypt, I noticed that the morning greeting I would receive was different from anything I had heard anywhere else in the region, as their dialect is quite unique.


Many of the Arab-speaking countries all have different Arabic dialects and, as a result, their own form of verbal greetings, each being beautiful and expressive in its own way.


In this article, we’ll be diving into traditional Arabic greetings and the many ways to say “Good Morning”, from the more common and generic greetings to the dramatic & flowery expressions that are common in Arab culture.


Sabah El Kheir

“Sabah El Kheir” is the most common way to say good morning in Arabic. It literally translates to “morning of goodness” or “good morning” and is used in formal and informal situations alike.


It’s a traditional Arabic greeting and is widely used in almost all Arab countries and among Arabic speakers around the world. Native speakers of Arabic use “Sabah El Kheir” to greet each other in the morning, and it is considered a polite and respectful way to start the day.


Sabah El Noor

“Sabah El Noor” is a literal translation of “morning of light” and is usually said in response to “Sabah El Kheir”. It translates into wishing someone a bright morning, a positive start to the day. It can be used in both formal and informal occasions, especially among close friends or family members.


Yaseed Sabahkom

“Yaseed Sabahkom” is a common greeting that can be used in both formal and informal settings. It translates to “May your morning be happier” or “Have a happy morning”.


It’s another regional favourite that showcases the trademark warmth and generosity that characterises everyday interactions in the Arab world. The typical response to “Yaseed Sabahkom” is “Wa Sabahkom”, which translates to “and your morning”, reflecting the same wishes back to the greeter.


Sabaho

“Sabaho” is an informal greeting and is a shortened version of “Sabah El Kheir” or “Sabah El Noor”. The literal meaning of “Sabaho” is “Morning” and can be used the same way that an English speaker would use the more colloquial “Morning” greeting. In an Arabic-speaking country, “Sabaho” would be used in a casual way amongst friends and family.


Naharak Saa’id

“Naharak Saa’id” is another way to say “Good Morning” in Arabic, and it translates to “Your day is happy”. It is commonly used in the Middle East, and it is a great way to wish someone a good day ahead. It can be used in formal and informal situations, and it is a polite way to start a conversation.


Sah El Noum

“Sah El Noum” is an informal greeting similar to “Wakey Wakey”. It is a cheeky way to greet someone who is tired or sleepy, or who has arrived late to a morning meeting or event. It’s best to use this term with your inner circle or close friends and family.


Sabah El-Yasmine

“Sabah El-Yasmine” is a classic morning salutation in the Levant Region. The colloquial greeting’s literal meaning is “A morning of Jasmine”, referring to the Jasmine flower, which is commonly found in many of the Levant countries. This unique greeting is usually used to express kindness and tenderness. It is an informal greeting typically used with loved ones or a romantic partner.


Sabah El-Ward

Similar to “Sabah El-Yasmine”, another common greeting is “Sabah El-Ward”, which means “A morning of flowers”. The sentiment is the same as “Sabah El-Yasmine”


Sabah El-Ful

“Sabah El-Ful” is an Egyptian Arabic greeting with a similar sentiment to “Sabah El-Yasmine”. El-Ful refers to Arabian Jasmine, a flower commonly found in Egypt. Sometimes Egyptians combine “Sabah El-Ful” and “Sabah El-Yasmine” to “Sabah El-Ful wa El-Yasmine”, which literally translates to “A morning of Arabian Jasmine & Jasmine” in English.


Sabah El-Ishta

I’m sure by now you’re noticing a pattern when it comes to the different greetings. “Sabah El-Ishta” echoes the same sentiment of “Sabah El Ful” and “Sabah El-Yasmine”. “Sabah El Ishta” is another Egyptian Arabic morning salutation. Ishta is creamy cheese used in Egyptian desserts, such as qatayef. This common greeting is referencing the sweetness of Ishta, thereby wishing people a sweet day.


“Sabah El” phrases are common in the Arabic language, and a lot of the different Arab-speaking countries play around with them and change the last term to something that is prominent in that country. In some countries, you might hear a group of people joking around with expressions like “Sabah El Falafel” or “Sabah El Mutabal”, poking fun at the common good morning greeting.


Ahlan Wa Sahlan

Ahlan Wa Sahlan is a general greeting that can also be used in the morning but can also be used at different times of the day. It translates to “Welcome” and can be used as an informal or formal greeting. It is commonly used to greet visitors in Arabic-speaking countries to make people feel welcome. It is a common greeting used to show hospitality in Arab culture as it is derived from a longer expression, “halalta ahlan wa nazalta sahlan”, which means “You have come to a people who are like family and to a place that is smooth/easy”.


As-Salam Alaikum

Many people might have heard this term as it is more commonly used than most other Arabic expressions, and that is “As-Salam Alaikum”. “As-Salam Alaikum” is a traditional Arabic greeting that can be used at any time of the day, including in the morning. It translates to “peace be upon you”, and it is a common greeting among Arabic speakers.


 

As you might have noticed, the variety of greetings is endless across these different phrases. There’s a greeting for every mood and every occasion.


Take your pick and impress your Arabic-speaking friends with your favourite “Good Morning” phrase the next time you see them, and wait with bated breath to see what they’ll come back with.


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