The Meaning Behind Common Arabic Names Part 4
By: Lindsey Penn/Arab America Contributing Writer
In every culture, names have significance. Understanding these names can give a lot of insight into the culture, showing what is important to them in terms of qualities, history, and more. The Arab world is no different-each name that has a specific meaning. Here are a few common names and their meaning. For each of these names, there are multiple ways to spell it in English. This article is part 4 in a series.
Tariq (Arabic: طارق)
Tariq is a boy’s name that means “he who knocks at the door” in Arabic. It is also the Arabic name for the morning star. Some famous people named Tariq (or a variation) include: Tarek Hussein, a German singer with Palestinian and Lebanese heritage, Tarek Boukensa, an Algerian runner, and Tarek Thabet, a Tunisian soccer player.
Walid (Arabic: وليد)
Walid is a name for boys meaning “newborn”. It comes from the root that means “to give birth”. The name has been popular throughout history, especially after the Umayyad caliph named Walid conquered Spain for the Arabs.
A few other famous people with the name Walid are Waleed Ali, a Kuwaiti soccer player, Walid Hassan, an Iraqi comedian, and Walid Belguerfi, an Algerian soccer player.
Warda (Arabic: وردة)
Warda is a girl’s name that means “rose”. It can also be a surname, in which case it is still a popular name. Some famous people named Warda are Warda Al-Jazairia (a singer from Algeria) and Amr Warda (a soccer player from Egypt).
Yara (Arabic: يارا)
Yara is a name for girls that means “friend” or “helper”. It came from the Persian word “yar” with the same meaning. The name has spread in popularity around the world. A few people with the name Yara include Yara Naoum, an Egyptian actress, Yara Sallam, an Egyptian activist, and there is also a Lebanese singer who goes by the name Yara, although her given name is Carla Nazih al-Berkashi.
Yasin (Arabic: ياسين)
This name is for boys. Yasin has a different meaning than other Arabic names. It comes from the letters ya (ي) and sin (س). These two letters start the 36th chapter of the Qur’an.
A few famous people named Yasin are Yassine Chikhaoui, a soccer player from Tunisia, Yassine Boukhari, a soccer player from Algeria, and Yasin Ali Egal, another soccer player from Somalia.
Yasmin (Arabic: ياسمين)
Yasmin is a girl’s name that is the Arabic word for jasmine. Another version of the name is Yasmina, with the same meaning. The name has grown in popularity worldwide. A few famous people named Yasmin or Yasmina include Yasmin Abdulaziz, an actress from Egypt, and Yasmin Warsame, a Somali-Canadian model.
Yousef (Arabic: يوسف)
Yousef is a boy’s name. The English version of the name is Joseph. It is a name from the Old Testament. Famous people named Yousef or some variant of the name include Youssef Chahine, a film director from Egypt, Yousef Sheikh Al-Eshreh, a soccer player from Syria, and Yousef Erakat, a Youtuber from Palestine.
Zaid (Arabic: زيد)
Zaid is a boy’s name coming from the Arabic root zad (زاد), which means “to increase”. The Prophet Muhammad had a slave named Zayd, who he eventually adopted as his son.
As for famous people with the name, there are Zaid Abbas (a Jordanian basketball player), Zaid al-Harb (a Kuwaiti poet), and Zaid Ashkanani (a Kuwaiti racing driver).
Zain (Arabic: زين)
This name is a boy’s name meaning “beauty” or “grace” in Arabic. The girl’s name with the same meaning is Zaina. Zain can also be the last name. Two famous people named Zain are Zain Al Fandi, a Syrian soccer player, and Ahmed Al-Zain, another soccer player from Saudi Arabia.
Zainab (Arabic: زينب)
Zainab is a girl’s name. There are three possible meanings for the name; the name’s specific meaning is unclear. It could be from Zain (see meaning above), the name of a flowering tree, or a version of the name from a pre-Islamic queen, Zenobia. The Prophet Muhammad had two wives, a daughter, and a granddaughter named Zainab.
One famous person named Zainab is Zainab Fasiki, a comics artist, mechanical engineer, and activist from Morocco.
Zahra (Arabic: زهرة)
Zahra is a girl’s name meaning “blooming flower”. Some famous people with the name include Zahra Mansouri, a Moroccan poet, Zahra Lari, an Emirati figure skater, and Zahra Rahmat Allah, a Yemeni short story writer.
Here is a huge list of Arabic names.
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