Campbell professor writes book on Arab Proverbs

November 17, 2009 | Leave a Comment


According to an Arab proverb, to understand a people, you should acquaint yourself with their proverbs. With Campbell adjunct instructor, Stephen McGrane's new book, 'Trust in God but Tie Your Camel and Other Arab Proverbs', this could not be easier in the case of the Arab people.

The book contains over 400 Arab proverbs on every subject from love and family to religion and business such as, "Raising children is like chewing on a stone" and "Don't buy a fish in the water." Readers will notice that many Arab proverbs have very similar Western equivalents, reflecting our shared values. For example, the Arab proverb "Today's egg is better than tomorrow's chicken," has the same meaning as the Western proverb "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." Another example is the Arab saying "One hand does not clap" is similar to our saying "It takes two to tango." Readers will also recognize many proverbs from the Bible. These proverbs originated from the Arab culture.

The book is the result of ten years of collecting proverbs by McGrane during his time working and traveling in the Middle East. It is sure to entertain readers while giving a new perspective into the Arab culture and the Arabs' outlook on life.

McGrane is a business instructor at Campbell University's extended campus in Camp Lejeune. He is also the author of "Sit Crooked but Speak Straight: Doing business on the Arabian Peninsula." He is currently writing a book on the history of the Arab League. "Trust in God but Tie Your Camel" is published by Llumina Press and is available from,, and

Courtesy of Llumina Press