Immigrant = طَارِئٌ

The word for “immigrant” in Arabic is طَارِئٌ (taari’). It comes from the root verb طَرَأَ عَلَى , which means to come to someone (from some distant place). Note that its prepositional phrase complement, which we translate using to, is in Arabic with the preposition عَلَى , which is often used to connote that something has befallen someone unexpectedly or suddenly, which is how, before modern communication, immigration would have been experienced by the host peoples. It should be contrasted with the word جَالٍ , which means emigrant. This comes from the verb جَلاَ عَن, meaning to emigrate from (some place). The plurals of the two nouns discussed here are طَارِئَةٌ and جَالِيَةٌ , meaning respectively immigrants and emigrants.