Bayt Al Fann is an online platform dedicated to “building understanding between cultures and creating a sustainable world while amplifying Islamic art heritage and culture and preserving it for future generations”. The projet was launched in November 2021 and I’m an avid follower of their posts and admire the positive impact they’re making on social media.

One of their most recent posts discussed the levels of friendship in the Arabic language, which are twelve in total. It’s no secret that the Arabic language is one of the richest & most expressive languages in the world, and this is one tiny example of that:

Looking at these levels of friendship, I was familiar with 9 of them but didn’t know the distinction between each. In Lebanon, “Sadeeq” and “Sahib” are used interchangeably while “Rafeeq” refers usually to someone you share political views with, and “Zameel” is what you call ur work colleagues. I’ve never heard anyone use the other terms listed below though.

1/ (صديق) – a true friend; someone who doesn’t befriend you for an ulterior motive. The word “Sadeeq” is commonly translated as truth, so honesty and loyalty is at the core of this friendship
2/ (أنيس) – someone with whom you’re really comfortable and familiar with.
3/ (زميل) – someone you have a nodding acquaintance with.
4/ (جليس) – someone you’re comfortable sitting with for a period of time.
5/ (سمير) – you have good conversation with them.
6/ (صاحب) – someone who’s concerned for your well-being.
7/ (رفيق) – someone you can depend upon.
8/ (خليل) – an intimate friend; someone whose presence makes you happy.
9/ (نجي) – a confidant; someone you trust deeply.
10/ (نديم) – a drinking companion (just tea) that you might call when you’re free.
11/ (صفي) – your best friend; someone you’ve chosen over other friends.
12/ (قرين) – someone who’s inseparable from you; you know how they think (and vice versa).

You can check the full post [here].