"Albak Abyad" – You have a white heart

“Albak Abyad” an egyptian expression that indicates a person with a good heart. It is literal translation to English is “You have a white heart” as opposed to being a bad person with a black heart.

The expression is widely spread in our culture where I have always subconciously translated it to English thinking that people would understand it, and now writing this, I checked with my office-mates if they have heard such expression in English. They said no.

I don’t know why, but visualising a white heart in my mind makes me think of a crystalised cold one, and I don’t know why this visualisation just comes to my mind when I think of it in English, it comes to me as a contrary of a red heart. A red heart of fire that indicates a warm person.

Maybe the difference in perception between English and Arabic has to do with our culture. In Arabic we tend more to see things in white and black, good and evil, without any shades or other tastes.

For me, and in terms of human beings, I only see white hearts. It is one of the few cases of human features that I don’t really see a spectrum. I don’t even see alternative. It is all white, no black at all. Inside each body of us lies a beautiful white heart (in terms of goodness).

People may say that I am the one with the white heart – thinking this way – implying a sense of naivety in me. And it may be right, as having my perception of my own self mirrored on the hearts of other people, but I don’t think that it is true.

It is just our mistrust and fear that blind us of seeing the whitness of other’s hearts. It can be a relative matter. People who endured some hardship at the hands of others might not have the luxury of seeing the whiteness in those others hearts. Some people in the other hand, and because of their own pain, inflict some hardship on other people, and thus, they find it hard to see their own white heart.

I realize that there are tormented souls, and I realized that not all of us have the ability to forgive and feel peaceful inside, but when everything set aside, I know the our hearts shine in whitness, a pure whitness of light that connect us to each other.

Have a good day…


  1. Very interesting… and well said, Observer! I did ask too, and they would say “a heart of gold” or “Black heart”… But no white like you said…I would look at white as a way of describing purity, and that bitterness and heart feelings are the stains of that white heart!!!I do believe that, if we give ourselves the chance to forgive and give a second chance, people would remember to look close to the goodness inside, and work hard to show it… I have seen how forgiveness could change people’s lives… all we need to do, is stop for a minute, and try to control our feeling of resentment… and think that maybe that person who hurt us, were hurt too… and his hurt blinded him from realizing the truth… so why not stop that from spreading the heart feelings… and just forgive…


  2. observer…do you play videogames? if you do, I suggest playing a game called “kingdom hearts”. I am sure you’ll enjoy it“life” beat me to saying what i wanted to say. that the fact that all of us originally have white hearts, but it gets tarnsihed and becomes black by our hatred and bitterness. So in the end, you will have grey, black and white hearts. 😉


  3. 🙂 HamzaWhy not think that white gets stained.. and can be cleaned.. why to think that white will mix with black and become grey..But on a second thought.. is there really a person with an ALL white heart! Mosh 3arfeh.. I need to think about that..


  4. am trying to remember the idea of pure evil post … was it on ur blog or devil’s mind … cause i feel like saying the same thing … non of that lovey dovey the world is fluffy comment


  5. To answer your question about “english speaking people”If you come to the US don’t ever use the terms “white heart” and “black heart”, it’s not politically correct and you could be accused of being a racist. I don’t know what it’s like in europe but americans are pretty oversensitive about race and color (and also weight, that’s a different issue).Say “pure heart” instead!


  6. life, a heart of gold? I can see that you have one of those 🙂Very well said. Forgiveness is a gift. It helps the forgiving person even more than the one being forgived.Hamza, yes, I played it once, but only for a couple of hours. I loved the cartoonish style but I am not into Role playing game, so I didnt continue with it.I dont believe that hearts get tarnished. Maybe we force ourselves to think in a different way, where our resentment would cloud our heart vision, but if you remove those clouds, you’ll find a white white heart 🙂No_angel, I think it was here. When I wrote about Paulo’s book The devil and Miss Prym. I will try to go back and check it 🙂Asoom, thanks for the answer. Now that you pointed it out, I can see the hidden racial message 😛


  7. If i recall correctly, The Mayans used that term, just before they ripped their human sacrifices hearts, “white hearts are most fitting” they said, “especially when cooked properly”.


  8. I like hearts with patterns, of colors and textures, of trees and caves and volcanoes and corals. An ecosystem lives with the complete cycle of all things and so does the heart.If a heart becomes predominantly something, the ecosystem collapses


  9. Bakkhouz, :S! I prefer the Egyptian meaning. KJ, I see them only white. The white of light.Kristina, have to think about that, but I guess I prefer them white(light) that shine the darkness


  10. I think you’re on to something when you say Light – yes! But when I think black and white, I think of irreconciled opposites…Greetings from Kristina


  11. its a Pharaonic expression because they believed in,the old Egyptian Relgion says that heart is the center of thinking instead of brain so heart is contains all feelings


  12. “Albak Abiad ” ha a hidden second meaning “slightly simpleton”
    i.e.: good hearted to the point of naive (stupid)


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