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Love Words

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

Do you know how many ways to say “love”?

In Arabic,

over fifty.

Each word reflects a different intimacy with love

Romantic love, Passionate love, Mad love, Tender love

Hubb, Ishq, Shaghaf, Hanaan


This feeling is not one dimensional

It’s not just the “I love you” we say at goodbye

Love is layered

Because it has phases

Various stages


My languages are expansive

It’s the “amorrrrr” Lala says when she starts a sentence

It’s the “sadke jawa” your Khala declares when you bring her a cup of chai

Words that pack a punch

Boundless love


Yallah, habibti

Build your vocabulary

Reflect

What love, specifically, do you feel?

Remember the tale of Laila and Majnoon


What makes love pure?

Attributed to complete innocence

When we begin to give up what’s most precious to us

Mi vida, corazón de melón, hayati, qalbi, meri jaan

Nothing material, love transcends externalities


The longing that makes me write a song

Passion that brings out another sense of fashion

Madness without anger

Only makes you softer

Do you know many ways to say “love”?



Image taken from Lower Wacker Drive in Chicago on May 13, 2020.

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