Video Transcription: “The Bomb”

A transcription of the short Egyptian film el Qonbela, with bombs, street theatre and pickles.


  1. This is just all kinds of awesome, both the clip and your painstaking translation.

    Couple of questions/comments
    1) khalli – is that used here in the sense of leaving rather than fermenting? eg. khaliha 3la gamb – leave it on the side
    2) Aho/ahey/ahom – Can also mean like, “there it is / there they are”, as in the football chant “Ahom ahom ahom, el masryeen ahom”, ie “Here come the Egyptians!!”

    1. 1-I was confused at first by the khali point too, but I asked a native speaker and he gave me the explanation I used here. The difference is that there’s two ‘l’s instead of one in this word; it’s a different root, and therefore, meaning – خلل versus خلى

      2-And yes, it’s like, ‘here/there they are!’ I think that’s what I was struggling to express here.

      1. The verb ‘to let, allow, keep’ خلّى يخّي also has a shadda. I’m pretty sure the guy says, بيخللوا bi-y-xallilu which does mean ‘they are pickling’

        Oh and the guy says الف سلام عليك not سلامة so it means 1000 as-salamu 3alēkums

        It’s not عندما ايه it’s اناما ايه I told you, it’s used a lot!

        It’s برقبتها literally ‘on her neck’ You’re correct, it’s used in comparisons to means something like ‘far superior’

        This film really makes me homesick. I lived just up the street from there on Nehro Street, across from Merryland. This is at the north end of it. My father in law had a clinic in the building behind the onlookers.

        1. Your انا ما ايه point makes a lot of sense, and I do hear that all the time! I was confused because I thought it sounded like انما as in the very Fusha word. الف سلام instead of سلامة also makes more sense in terms of meaning. I’ll edit the post to reflect this. Thanks very much!

  2. Oh, and ايام العز means something like ‘the glory days’ or ‘the good old days’ or “the days of his prime’ here either referring to the glory days of Egypt or the days when Salamony was in his prime.

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