A thousand Splendid Suns Vocabulary
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A Thousand Splendid Suns Vocabulary
1. Harami‐ illegitimate, child born out of wedlock.
2. Kolba‐ a small shack.
3. Jinn‐ supernatural creatures in Arab mythology. They can be good, evil, or neutrally
4. Sufi‐ a Muslim mystic.
5. Dil‐ heart, love, passion
6. Didi‐ sister
7. Kinchini‐ derogatory word meaning prostitute.
8. Tandoor‐ a clay oven.
9. Arbab‐ boss, master, landlord; a Middle eastern title used by tribal leaders.
10. Kichiri‐ rice and lentils dish
11. Dishlemeh‐ a sweet candy made mostly of sugar
12. Mullah‐ Muslim man or woman educated in Islamic theology and sacred law.
13. Akhund‐ religious leader
14. Namaz‐ 5 daily prayers that are part of the 5 Pillars of Faith
15. Alef, beh, seh‐ letters in the Arabic alphabet
16. Bulbul bird‐ medium sized songbird
Tasbeh‐ type of Muslim rosary beads for saying prayers
Allah‐ name of God in Arabic
Sahib‐ master, holder, owner.
Tahamul‐ to endure, experience.
Arbab‐ tribal leader title
Hijab‐ Islamic headscarf
Mashallah‐ Islamic for “whatever God wills”
Minaret‐ a tall slender tower, typically part of a mosque, with a balcony from which a
muezzin calls Muslims to prayer.
Plane tree‐ a genus of trees that contains maples and sycamores
Quinces‐ a yellow fruit, similar in appearance to a pear.
Gari‐ horse drawn cart, wagon, or carriage
Chapan‐ type of coat worn over clothes during wintertime
Hookah‐ water pipe for smoking tobacco
Dokhtar jo‐ dear daughter or girl.
Bia‐ come here.
Matryoshka dolls‐ a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside the other.
Sabzi‐ herbs, or greens
Aush soup‐ beef noodle soup
No na fahmidi‐ you do not understand.
Khastegar‐ a man who is willing to marry a girl.
Farsi‐ a modern version of old Persian language that is spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and
Pashto‐ language spoken in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Moochi‐ shoe repairman
Agha‐ an honorific title used in some Muslim countries
Deh‐Mazang‐ a neighborhood in the city of Kabul
Azan‐ Muslim call to prayer
La illah u ilillah‐ there is no God but Allah
Burqa‐ an enveloping outer garment worn by some women in Islamic societies that
cover their bodies when in public
Wallah o billah‐ never a moments rest
Rupiah‐ form of currency where approximately 12,000 rupiah = 1 US dollar
Salaam khala jan‐ peace dear aunt
Hamshira‐ sister, just not in the biological sense
Sofrah‐ type of tablecloth
Daal‐ dish of lentils with spices
Aftawa‐ water pitcher
Nang and namoos‐ pride and honor or dignity
Logari‐ type of music in Afghanistan
Poostin‐ fur lined sheepskin coat
Ramadan‐ the 9
month of the Islamic calendar; Muslims worldwide observe this as a
month of fasting
Iftar‐ the evening meal when Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset.
Qurma‐ type of stew
Eid‐ul‐Fitr‐ Feast of breaking the fast; it is an important Muslim holiday at the end of
Eid Mubarak‐ traditional Muslim greeting usually reserved for Eid‐ul‐Fitr or Eid‐ul‐Adha.
Chaman‐ the capital of Qilla Abdullah district, Balochistan, Pakistan
Borani‐ Persian appetizer with yogurt
Aushak‐ pasta dumplings filled with scallions, with a meat sauce on top
Harmonium‐ A type of musical instrument with a bellows and reed organ
Tabla‐ a type of small drums
Namaz‐ ritualistic prayer in Islam
Hamam‐ Turkish version of the Roman bath
Inshallah‐ God willing, or if Allah wills.
Chup ko‐ shut up
Watan‐ homeland, country, or nation
Nepotism‐ the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or
friends, especially by giving them jobs.
Aristocracy‐ the highest class in certain societies, especially among those holding
hereditary titles or offices.
Jihad‐ Arabic word meaning struggle or resisting.
Inqilabi‐ Azerbaijani term meaning revolutionary
Coup‐ a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government.
Mujahideen‐ those who engage in struggle (Jihad)
Badmash‐ Hindi word that means naughty.
Aroos‐ Arabic word meaning bride.
Shokr e Khoda‐ praying to God for your good fortune.
Panjpar‐ card game similar to poker.
Pakol‐ an Afghan cap, a soft round top men’s hat, typically made of wool.
Fatiha‐ the first chapter of the Qur’an; funeral
Shaheed‐ a Muslim martyr
Pajalusta‐ Russian for you are welcome.
Koochi‐ Afghan Pashtun nomads of the Ghilzai tribal confederacy.
Badar‐ Arabic meaning full moon
Hazara‐ Persian speaking people who live in central Afghanistan.
Chutney‐ a type of Indian sauce.
KHAD‐ secret police of Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation.
Mantu‐ beef or lamb dumplings
Loya Jirga‐ “grand assembly”. It is used to choose a new head of state in case of
death, adopt a new Constitution, or to settle regional or national issues such as war.
Ustad Sarahang‐ Afghan musician.
Dogh‐ Afghan yogurt drink that is served cold.
Mastawa‐ a dish of rice, lentils, beef and yogurt.
Ho bacha‐ hey kid
Ustad Awal Mir‐ Afghan musician who sang patriotic Pashto songs.
Inshallah‐ God willing, or if Allah wills
Nau socha‐ good as new
Khodaya‐ oh God
Tumban‐ a long loose shirt that hangs below the knees
Alhamdulellah‐ all praise and thanks to God
Lorry‐ truck for transporting goods
Kenarab‐ a dirty nasty place
Ambagh‐fool, loser, shamed
Gap Bezan‐ talk
Wallah‐ I promise by God
Dehati‐ a rural person, a villager
Diwana‐ crazy or mad
Dokhtar e Jawan‐ young woman
Almari‐ a wardrobe or closet
Gul‐ flower, rose
Buzkashi‐ a central Asian sport where horse mounted players attempt to drag a
goat’s carcass toward a goal.
Khosh shodi‐ are you happy now
Bacha‐ baby boy
Espandi smoke‐ smoke from a dried herb used to keep one safe from evil.
Yaklenga‐ one foot, cripple
Chai‐ Indian tea of boiled tea leaves with milk, sugar, and cardamom
Halwa‐ a sweet Indian dish of carrots or semolina, boiled with milk, almonds,
sugar, butter, and cardamom
Shaitan‐ devil, Satan or evil spirit
Khar‐ donkey; can be used to describe someone who is dumb or an idiot
Visa‐ an endorsement on a passport indicating that the holder is allowed to
enter, leave, or stay for a certain amount of time in a country.
Biwa‐ a widow
Sawab‐ spiritual merit or reward that accrues from the performance of good
Taliban‐ an Islamic fundamentalist political movement in Afghanistan
Madrasas‐ educational institution, either religious or secular
Kafir‐ a person who is not a Muslim; an infidel
Watan‐ homeland, heimat, country, or nation
Mahram‐ unmarriageable kin with whom sexual intercourse would be considered
incestuous, a punishable taboo.
Rubab‐ a lute like musical instrument
Tambouras‐ a Greek traditional stringed instrument of Byzantine origins.
Surah of Ikhlas‐ chapter 112 of the Qur’an
Surah of fatiha‐ chapter 1 of the Qur’an
Raqats‐ movements and words followed by Muslims while offering prayers to
Deltoid‐ muscle that forms the round contour of the shoulder.
Jelabi‐ deep fried wheat batter in a circular or pretzel shape covered in sugar
Naswar‐ moist, powdered tobacco snuff consumed in Afghanistan
Deodars‐ Himalayan cedar trees
Jerry can‐ metal 5 gallon fuel can
Dysentery‐ inflammation of the intestines that causes bloody diarrhea, usually
caused by contaminated food or water.
Tuberculosis (TB)‐ a contagious bacterial infection that involves the lungs
Noqul candy‐ sugar coated almonds
Samovar house‐ tea house
Chapli kebab‐ a flat patty of beef or chicken, with onions and spices.
Pashtunwali‐ non‐written ethical code and traditional lifestyle of the Pashtun
Gaaz‐ nougat made with egg white, pistachio or almond kernels, sugar and corn
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