top of page

"The Kite's Daughter" ("Bint al-Hedaya")

Labiba Mazin tells an Egyptian folktale called "Bint al-Hedaya" , بنت الحداية (The Kite's Daughter). Labiba was a multi-talented folk artist from Luxor who danced, sang and told folk stories. Along with her sister Fahima, they taught their nieces the skills which lead to the group famously known as the "Banat Mazin".


This video was recorded by Giovanni Canova as part of his work "Folk Life of Upper Egypt" and is currently held by the Makan ECCA Cairo archives. (https://youtu.be/BmpbUiwsHrk)


Lyrics & Translation provided by:

Transcript and translations by Ammar (https://www.instagram.com/ammarsayedmorsy) Translation editing and caption files provided by Shining Peacekeeper.

Transliterations reflect the dialectical pronunciations as appear in the video.

Two options have been provided and are accessible under the captions option: ENGLISH ONLY [English-United States] and 3 in 1-- ARABIC/ENGLISH/TRANSLITERATION [English]


Some notes about the translation: المَجور (al-mador): a plant fiber woven container المكبة (al-makabah): a clay cooking pot الحداية (al-hedaya): a bird of myth and legend often depicted kidnapping people or stealing their possessions, most closely resembling the goshawk and sometimes translated as a crow, raven, kite or other hawk. صليتوا على النبي (Saletoh 3a nabih): "Let’s send peace and blessing upon the prophet." In the context of this video Labiba says this about three times, during moments of transition in the storyline. It was suggested by Ammar that this helps to bring people's attention back to the story and break up monotony. الحجاز (al-Hijaz): An area of Saudi Arabia, may or may not be depicted as a trip for Hajj. الفص (al-fous): The precious stone set into a ring, a magical item. (In this case I chose to adjust the translation to a jinn or genie but Ammar later clarified that it is the item itself speaking to the girl rather than a separate spirit inhabiting the object.) عمتي / عم (masc. -- 3am/ fem. -- 3amety): "Uncle/Aunt", a semi-casual way to address someone, in the context of the story the feminine form is used when the girl addresses her mother-in-law (with varying degrees of formality based on her mood) while the masculine form is used after the first servant returns to the palace and he is spoken to.

00:22

كانوا يحكوا على وشاحد مراته مش بتجيب عيال.

Kanu yahko 3ala waheed merato meesh bdeeb 3ayal.

They tell about a man whose wife was infertile.


00:28

وفايت واحد في الشارع قالها "أنا الطبيب اللي هدي لوحدة دوا تحبل".

Wfayat waheed fee shar3 galha “ana tabeeb elly hady lawahda dawa tahbal”.

Someone was passing by in the street and told her “I’m the doctor who will give you a medicine and you’ll get pregnant”.


00:34

قالت له "تعالى". نادهته قال لها "هديكي دوا".

Galetloh ta3ala. Nadahatoh galha "hadeeky dawa".

She told him “Come here”. She called him and he said “I’ll give you a medicine”.

00:40

"والدوا ده تحطيه في جوز فراخ تاكليه انتي. وجوزك تعملي له فروجة لوحده مافيهاش دوا."

Wedawa dah tehoteeh fidjoaz frakh wtakleeh anty. Wedjoazik ta3amaleeloh farodah lwahdo mafhash dawa."

“Put this medicine inside two chickens and you eat them. And cook a different chicken for your husband alone that contains no medicine.”

00:49

تحبلي علطول". قالت له "طيب".

Tahbaly 3ala toul. Galatloh tayeb.

“This way, you’ll get pregnant right away.” She said “OK”.


00:53

خدت الدوا منيه ونضفت الفراخ والفروجة,

Khadat edawa mneeh wanadafet ilfrakh wafaroodja,

She took the medicine from him and cleaned the chickens,

00:58

حطت في جوز الفراخ الدوا وطيبته, وحطته تحت المكبة.

Hatet ledjoz alfrakh edawa, watayabetoh wahatatoh tah almakaba.

she put the medicine inside the chickens, cooked and covered them with the makaba.



01:04

وطيبت الفروجة حطتها تحت المَجور.

Watayabet alfaroodja hatatha tahteh almador

She cooked the other chicken and covered it with the mador.


01:11

أول ماجه جوزها, قالت له خد اللي تحت الَمَجور, ماتقربش على اللي تحت المكبة.

Awal madjeh djozha galetloh khod illy taht almador, matgrabsh 3ala illy that almakabah

When her husband came home, she told him to eat the chicken that was covered with the makabah, and not touch the other one.


01:19

هو جوزها مع طمعه قال "تاكل فراخ لوحديها؟" راح بالع جوز الفراخ كَلُه.

Howa dozha ma3tama3oh gal “takol frakh lowahdeha?” rahbal3a douz alfrakh kaloh.

Her husband felt greedy and thought to himself “She’ll eat these two chickens all alone?”. So, he swallowed the two chickens instead of his separate one.



01:26

راح لمراته قالت له "كلت ايه؟" قال لها "كلت جوز الفراخ". قالت له "دلوقت تحبل".

Rahlamaratoh galetloh “kalte eh?” Galha “kal doz alfrakh”. Galatloh "delwak tahbal".

His wife asked him “Which did you eat?”. He told her “I ate the two chickens”. She told him “Now you’ll get pregnant”.


01:32

“عاد ايه نعملو دلوك احنا؟”

“3ad eh n3ameloh delwak ehna?”

“So, what are we going to do now!?”


01:35

شهر في شهر , بطنه بقيت قد كدا.

Shahr fshahr, batnoh baket qad keda.

Month after month, his belly grew this much!


01:39

جاه يولد قالت له "ماتولدش عندي, روح اولد في الجبل.

Da yuled galatloh “matawledsh 3ande, roh awlad fedabal.

When he was about to give birth, she told him “Don’t do it here, go to the mountains.



01:43

إن جبت واد هاته, جبت بت ارميها في الجبل. قال لها "حاضر".

Indjebt wad hatoh, djebt bit ermeha fedabal.” Galaha “hader”.

If it’s a boy, bring him home, and if it’s a girl, throw her there in the mountains.” He told her “Ok”.



01:50

راح ولد جابله بنية. شوحها.

Rah weled dabloh bnaya. Showaha.

When he gave birth, it was a girl, so he threw her away.



01:54

أول ما جا قالت له "جبت ايه؟". قال لها "جبت بت ورميتها زي ماقولتيلي".

Awal madjah gatloh “djebt eh?” Galha “djebt bit wara mat-ha zay magulteely”.

When he came back home his wife asked him “What was it?”. He told her “It was a girl and I did as you told me to do”.


02:01

قال لها "لكن جميلة جمال! ما أقدر أقولك". قالت "طب روح هاتها".

Galha “lakin djamila djamal! Magdar agulek.” Galat “tab roh hat-ha”.

But he told her “You know, she was very pretty, can’t even describe her”. She told him, “Fine, then go get her back”.


02:07

راح يجيبها مالقهاش. قال "خطفتها الحداية".

Rah idjiba malgahash. Galeh “khatafat-ha alhadeya”.

He went to bring her back but couldn’t find her. He said “The hawk has taken the girl”.



02:12

صليتوا على النبي.

Saletoh 3a nabih.

Let’s send peace and blessing upon the prophet.



02:15

أول ماراح لها وقال لها خطفتها الحداية, الحداية بقت تُخطف من ده وتدي البنية.

Awel marahlaha wgalaha khatafa alhedaya, elhedaya beget tokhtof mindeh wtady albanaya.

When the hawk took the girl, it kept taking things from people and bringing it to the girl.



02:21

.وتخطف من ده وتزغط في البنية لما البنية ايه؟ كبرت فوق النخلة

Wetokhtof mindeh wadzaget filbenaya lamal benaya eh? Kebret foggenakhla.

It kept taking food from people to give it to the girl. The girl grew up on the palm tree.


02:28

وبقت تُخطف لها دهب وتخطف لها خلق.

Wabeget tokhtoflaha dahab wtokhtoflaha khalag.

And the hawk continued to steal gold and clothes and bring them to the girl.



02:31

كبرت شويتين, ولد الملك, تحت النخلة فيه حوض بتاع مية, بيزقي حصانه.

Kibret shwayeteen, weldel malek, that nakhleh fi houd bte3a maya, byezgihssano.

The girl grew up a little more, the king’s son was passing by and stopped to give his horse water from a water source that was near the palm tree.



02:39

انها كبرت وزهزهت كبرت كدا.

Enaha kbret we zahzahat, kbret kideh.

The girl has grown up and bloomed!



02:42

بصت على ولد الملك, اتزاول الحصان من الدهب زغف الحوض .. في الميه.

Bassat 3ala weldel malik, edzawel elhossan min edahab zaghaf alhoud…filmaya.

She looked down to the king’s son, and the horse become distracted by the sheen of her gold that reflected in the water.



02:47

راح متزاول هو وولد الملك وبص لفوق والدِه اتشبَك معاها.

Rahmetzawel howa weweldel malek wa bas lefoug weldeh eshabak ma3aha