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Libyan Proverbs
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The naked man in the caravan
            has peace of mind. He whose covering
belongs to others is uncovered.
    He who has luck will have the winds
                    blow him his firewood.
He whose trousers are made of dry grass should not warm himself at the fire.
He howled before going mad.
                He led the lion by the ear.
Like the sparrow, he wanted to imitate
                the pigeon's walk but lost his own.
Walk with sandals till you get good shoes.
                Where the turban moves, there moves
the territory. Men meet
    but mountains don't. Always taking out
                without giving back, even the mountains
    will be broken down. Penny piled on penny
will make a heap. Only the unlucky coin
            is left in the purse. As long as a human being lives
he will learn.
            Learn to shave by shaving orphans.
He who is to be hanged can insult the Pasha.
                In the house of a man who has been hanged
do not talk of rope.
The small donkey is the one everybody rides.
            Fish eats fish
                    and he who has no might dies.
                        My belly before my children.

Eliza Griswold  

Eliza Griswold, a fellow at the New America Foundation, is a poet, journalist, and author of The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches From the Fault Line Between Islam and Christianity (Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 2010).

Copyright © 2011 World Policy Institute
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Eliza Griswold. "Libyan Proverbs." World Policy Journal 28.4 (2011): 16-17. Project MUSE. Web. 26 Jan. 2013. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Griswold, E.(2011). Libyan Proverbs. World Policy Journal 28(4), 16-17. World Policy Institute. Retrieved January 26, 2013, from Project MUSE database.
Eliza Griswold. "Libyan Proverbs." World Policy Journal 28, no. 4 (2011): 16-17. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed January 26, 2013).
T1 - Libyan Proverbs
A1 - Eliza Griswold
JF - World Policy Journal
VL - 28
IS - 4
SP - 16
EP - 17
PY - 2011
PB - World Policy Institute
SN - 1936-0924
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/world_policy_journal/v028/28.4.griswold.html
N1 - Volume 28, Number 4, Winter 2011
ER -


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