'Beshara': Arabic word for good news, giving and receiving

The term brings good tidings but can also mean new beginnings

Beshara is the Arabic word for good news
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There is nothing like receiving good news.

The Arabic word for good news, beshara, combines many meanings associated with good tidings and new beginnings. It is also the name of The National’s latest newsletter, delivering good news from all around the world. You can sign up to it here.

Beshara has two definitions that are closely linked to each other. Those are either good news, or the start of something new and positive.

Beshara is formed from the three Arabic letters, bah, sheen and rah. From this combination of letters, with beshara as the root word, a variety of positive meanings and associations have developed; meanings change depending on the context of the subject and whether the word is used as a noun, verb or in a singular or plural from.

To start with, beshara is good or happy news that is delivered to a person who was otherwise unaware of this piece of information.

In its plural form bashaa'er, the word no longer references news being delivered but the beginnings or the symbol of something new and positive.

For example, the first fruits on a tree would be the bashaa'er of a good spring, the Sun starting to rise is the bashaa'er of a new dawn, thunder and lightning are the bashaa'er of rain, or even the drum roll or first notes of a piece of music is the bashaa'er of a song.

As a verb, beshara can also have several meanings.

In the past and present tense it can mean the act of giving good news to someone. In this instance, the person delivering the good news would be referred to as mubash'sher and the person receiving the good news as basheer.

Yubash'shir is another way to say beshara as a verb but in the present tense. It refers to a sign or indication that the subject in question has a fruitful future ahead of them. For example, if a singer displays significant talent while auditioning for a show, a judge would say that their voice yubash'shir, that he or she has a bright future in the music industry.

The same can be used in reference to any piece of content that displays talent from a person whether writing, public speaking or acting.

Also as a verb used in a different context, beshara means the act of pulling back and getting rid of a fruit’s skin to reveal the ripe edible portion. It can also mean to exfoliate dead skin or remove dirt from one's face to reveal the good part.

In fact, the word for skin in Arabic is bashara, which comes from beshara, as skin continuously sheds and renews. Also, beshara can refer to the most attractive or beautiful features on a person’s face.

Something that is streaming live in Arabic translates to mubaashar, which comes from the word baashara, it means an unplanned occurrence or incident that is happening in the present. The modern phrase for live streaming on television is also connected to the idea of delivering news.

Beshara is also a name with the same positive connotations. They include Bashar and Basheer for men and Boushra and Basheera for women.

Emirati singer Hussain Al Jassmi released the single Boshret Kheir in 2014, another variant of the word beshara, meaning good omen.

Scroll through the gallery below to see The National's pick of Arabic words of the week

Updated: February 17, 2023, 6:02 PM