Tattoos have been around for a long time in the Middle East and North Africa as ornamentation reflecting social status as well as for ritualistic purposes; ancient warriors would get them to make themselves appear more powerful and attractive.

The trend remains as popular as ever as more and more people get inked to broadcast their individuality, to confess their love, or to simply beautify their bodies. We spoke to a local tattoo artist to get the scope on what’s hot and what’s not.

OUT: The eyes

A few years ago this trend really took off. No, I’m not talking about tattooing your actual eye, I’m talking about the (mainly) women who would get a tat of a well-drawn and heavily lined eye on their upper back. Apparently, that is so 2014.

IN: Arabic script

With Selena Gomez and Rhianna as ambassadors of this trend, the favoring of Arabic script tattoos has really been picking up steam. Just make sure to avoid any tattoo artists who are grammatically impaired. As everyone knows, Arabic is a tricky language and you don’t want to accidentally add a kasra where a fatha should be; it could totally change the meaning!

IN: Speak to the Hamsa

Also called The Hand of Fatima, the Hamsa tattoo is a natural extension of the delicately jeweled necklaces that are so of the moment right now.

OUT: Name tattoos

This trend has been on the out for a long time name, no surprise considering how commitment-phobic our tech-obsessed culture has become.

OUT: Motivational life mantras

Isn’t it enough that we have to be inundated with inspirational quotes on Instagram all day long, do we really need to be reminded to “live our life to the fullest” by your bicep or thigh tattoo? This trend is out too.

IN-ish One word tats are still kinda cool

While the motivational sentences are out, the one-word short emphatic sentence (minus the period) is in. Having a simple word like ‘dream’ or ‘live’ is still trendy in 2016.

OUT: Angel Wings are no longer fly

Maybe it was because of the success of Natalie Portman’s Black Swan, but angel wing tattoos were really popular the past few years. In 2016, the wings have been clipped.

Of course, it is important to remember that when deciding on the kind of tattoo you want, you pick something that is meaningful to you—steer clear of trends unless you are okay with making a visit to the laser removal clinic.

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