Arab mothers are in a league of their own, there's no denying that. From their unique punishment methods, to the infinite little quirks that just can't be explained, Arab moms can usually be spotted from miles away.
The rite of passage to Arab motherhood requires dealing with things in a unique manner. They often use remedies and methods that may sound ridiculous, odd or simply annoying, but they actually do work -most of the time anyway.
Here are 7 life hacks Arab moms rely on:
1. Get rid of pesky flies with 'bann'
This one's a classic. Every time the family is having a mashawi barbecue party and flies gather around the food, our moms bring out a small coffee cup filled with bann (ground coffee powder), with a lit charcoal on top of it. The strong smell of burning coffee will keep the flies at bay.
2. Air fresheners got nothing on good old bakhour
If you think bakhour (incense) is only used to frighten away bad spirits, think again! Our Arab mom's use it to scare off any stench left in the house after a mean session of cooking, frying especially ... and it totally works!
Air fresheners be damned!
3. Everything can be upcycled ... you just have to think hard enough
We really don't give our moms enough credit for their upclycling efforts. Our moms have taught us to consider alternative uses before throwing anything away. Empty biscuit boxes become sewing kits, Nutella jars are perfect for spices, and of course, worn-out shirts are for mopping.
Plus, under no circumstances can leftover food be thrown out. Arab moms freeze everything, from cooked lasagna to fried chicken strips...
Now that's going green!
4. Nothing cures insomnia like 'yansoon'
When it comes to health, Arab mothers and grandmothers have passed down some brilliant natural remedies generation after generation, and the power of yansoon (anise tea) is a case in point.
As soon as you tell your mom that you are struggling to sleep, she will probably rush to fix you a cup of yansoon, which often works like magic. It is also our moms' go-to cure for cramps.
Known as anise in English, the flowering plant was first cultivated in Egypt and the Levant. It was later brought to Europe for its medicinal value.
5. Say goodbye to dandruff with that half-lemon piece in the fridge
There is no shortage of natural remedies in the Arab mom beauty department. If you're struggling with dandruff, then your mom will most likely suggest that you squeeze lemon juice on your hair. Why? Because a lemon's acidity will help balance the pH of your scalp, ridding you of those pesky flakes in no time!
6. 'Maramiyeh' for your sore throat ... and everything else
When it comes to Arab moms' favorite tea, it's probably a tie between yansoon and maramiyeh (sage tea). Sage, a herb native to the Mediterranean, helps heal sore throats, calm frazzled nerves, relieve aching gums, among many other uses that our Arab moms swear by and experts agree with.
7. Wake someone up by inducing a minor panic attack
"Yalla wake up!! It's 7 a.m.," your mom yells, making you jump out of the bed in panic ... only to realize that it's still 6:15, but you're already too awake to go back and get five more minutes of sleep.
Another foolproof method Arab moms use to wake us up is vacuum-cleaning at 7 a.m. ... during the weekend.