Halima

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Arabic حليمة
Meaning: “patient.”
(huh-LEE-muh)

The name is derived from the Arabic, حليم (haliem) meaning, “patient.”

The name was borne by a 6th-century Ghassian princess, (the Ghassians were a group of Hellenized Arabs).

As of 2010, Halima was the 455th most popular female name in France.

As West African form is Halimat.

Masculine form is Halim.

Shaima

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Arabic
Meaning: “beeswax.”
(shah-EE-mah)

The name is derived from the Arabic,  شمع (shem), meaning, “beeswax.”

As of 2010, Shaïma was the 472nd most popular female name in France.

Ibtissam

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Arabic  إبتسام
Meaning: “smile.”

The name comes directly from the Arabic meaning, “to smile.”

As of 2010, its variant form of Ibtissem was the 479th most popular female name in France.

It is also sometimes transliterated as Ibtisam.

Rahma

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Arabic
Meaning: “mercy.”

The name is derived from the Arabic word for “mercy.”

As of 2010, Rahma was the 492nd most popular female name in France.

The name is borne by Jordanian princess Rahma bint El Hassan (b.1969)

Samia

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Arabic سامية
Meaning: “elevated; high; lofty.”
(sah-MEE-ah)

Actress and comedienne, Kathy Najimy bestowed this Arabic beauty upon her daughter (named in honour of Kathy’s Lebanese-born mother). Samia is a feminine form of Sami, and is used throughout the Islamic world, though Samia itself is used equally among Arabic-speaking Muslims, Christians and Jews.

As of 2009, Samia was the 392nd most popular female name in France. Her variant spellings of Samiya just entered the U.S. top 1000, coming in as the 959th most popular female name in the United States (2011), while Samiyah ranked in slightly higher, being the 793rd most popular female name.

An Eastern European and Central Asian form is Samija.

Maimouna

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Arabic ميمونه میمونه
Meaning: “auspicious.”
(may-MOO-nah)

 

The name is derived from the Arabic ميمون, (meymewn) meaning, “auspicious.”

This was the name of one of the wives of the Prophet Mohammed. Maimouna bint al-Harith (594-674).

Maimouna appears under several different transliterations. In the Maghreb, it is often transliterated to Maïmouna (the French spelling).

As of 2009, Maïmouna was the 404th most popular female name in France.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Mejmuna Меймуна (Albanian/Bosnian/Bulgarian/Central Asian)
  • Meymune (Azeri/Kurdish/Turkish)
It is also sometimes transliterated as Maymouna, Meymouna or Maimuna.

Walid

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Arabic
Meaning: “newborn.”
(WAH-leed)

The name is derived the Arabic ولد (walada), “to give birth.”

It is primarily used in honour of Al-Walid I (668 – 715) and Ummayid Caliph who had ruled in the early 700s. He is known for instituting Arabic as the official language across the Islamic World and his conquer of Spain.

As of 2009, Walid was the 163rd most popular male name in France.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Velid (Albanian/Azeri/Bosnian/Bulgarian/Central Asian/Turkish)

Naim

The name could be from the Hebrew נעים‎ meaning, (pleasant) or the Arabic نعیم‎ (tranquil).

As of 2009, Naïm (Maghrebin orthograph) was the 182nd most popular male name in France.

A feminine form is Naima.

Sami

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Arabic سامي
Meaning: “high; elevated; supreme.”
(SAH-mee)

The name is derived from the Arabic meaning, “high; elevated; supreme.”

However, it could also be a Finnish short form of Samuel. In Finland, it has often been used as an independent given name and in recent years is most likely used in reference to the language and ethnic group which is found in Finland, Norway and Russia, perhaps among people of Sami heritage. Sami is also the name of a lake in Finland.

As of 2009, Sami was the 183rd most popular male name in France while in 2010 he came in as the 193rd most popular male name in the Netherlands.

A feminine form of the Arabic is Samia.

Karim

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Arabic  كريم Карим
Meaning: “noble; generous.”
(KAH-REEM)

The name comes directly from the Arabic word for, “noble; generous.” In Islam, Karim is one of the 99 designations of Allah and is used to describe the Qu’ran (Al-Qur’an Al-Karim), literally meaning “the Noble Qu’ran.”

The name is used throughout the Islamic world, but is also used among Middle Eastern Christians.

The name has been occasionally used in Latin America, in Brazil, it seems to be a Portugized spelling for the Scandinavian female name Karin, but in this case it is pronounced (kah-REEN).

The name has numerous famous bearers.

As of 2009, Karim was the 260th most popular male name in France.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Kerim (Azeri/Turkish)
It is sometimes transliterated as Kareem. Feminine forms are Karima, Kerime (Turkish) or Kareema.