Nawal Al Zoghbi (Arabic نوال الزغبي, born 29 June 1972, Byblos, Lebanon) is a Lebanese singer. Performing in Arabic she has a solid fan base throughout the Arab world and extending into North America and Europe. Her musical career has spanned over 20 years. Zoghbi believes her success is due to the true emotion she delivers through her voice. She is quoted as saying "whether a voice is big or small, if it lacks emotion it will never succeed". Contents
Nawal George Al Zoghbi is a Lebanese singer. Born to a Maronite Catholic family in the coastal small town of Byblos,she holds Canadian citizenship.Al Zoghbi is the oldest born among three brothers and one sister. Al Zoghbi began singing at an early age, despite familial opposition to the lifestyle of a musician. Members of her family changed their minds when they realized she was serious in her ambitions. In 1988 she participated in the Lebanese talent show Studio El Fan.In 1990 she married Lebanese music manager Elie Deeb and went on to have three children with him. The couple legally separated in 2008, Al Zoghbi is currently waiting for the Maronite Catholic Church to recognize their divorce. Recording career
1992–95: Debut and initial success
Inspired by her appearance on Studio El Fan in 1988 (singing competition), Nawal became a professional singer in 1991. After a visit to her native city of Beirut, she released her debut album, "Wehyati Andak" in 1992.
With that success she released a string of hit albums such as "Ayza El Radd" and "Balaee Fi Zamany". The video, "Wala Behimini", from the album "Balaee Fi Zamany", secured her stardom with her image being broadcast on several billboards and in magazines such as the Arabic language's version of Elle. 1996–2002: Stardom and controversy
In 1996 Nawal released one of her most successful albums to date, named " Habeit Ya Leil". The album spawned three hit singles with "Habeit Ya Leil", "Noss El Alb", and "Ghareeb El Ray". In 1998, Nawal Al-Zoghbi released her album and single, "Mandam aleik". Nawal's next album Maloum was released in 1999. Her next two releases "El Layali" (2000) and "Tool Omri" (2001) were both launched within a year of each other, and provided Nawal with continued success, reclaiming her spot in Arabic pop. In 2002, she worked with controversial music video director Sherif Sabri to create a new image for her song "Elli Tmaneito".
Nawal was angry with Sherif, so she stopped dealing with him. Teasers were aired on Egyptian satellite channel, Dream TV. After the full broadcast, the album received lukewarm reviews. Al Zoghbi blames its failure on her decision to not promote the album. Nevertheless, the album of the same name spawned two successful singles, 'Elli Tmaneito' and 'Byilba'lak'. 2004–06
After a two-year break, her next album, " Eineik Kaddabeen", was released in the summer of 2004 at a lavish album-launch party in Cairo Inn. This album was accompanied by two singles: "Eineik Kaddabeen" and "Bi'einek". Immediately after promoting that album, Nawal then began work on "Yama Alou". She released the first single, "Rouhi Ya Rouhi", in August 2005. Her first live performance of "Rohi Ya Rohi" was at a concert she held at the Hammersmith Apollo, in London. The next single released from Yama Alou was "Shou Akhbarak" in February 2006.
As part of the promotion for her 11th album, "Yama Alou", her production company, Alam elPhan, began previewing short clips from some of the upcoming albums songs on a telephone line that listeners could call. Shortly after, an advertisement campaign was launched. It began with a television advert showing the camera moving from a woman's boots upwards, but stopping before her face was revealed, the screen went dark and the word soon appeared on the screen. A week or so later, the next advertisement followed a similar format to the previous one, however, in this new advert, the face of the woman was revealed and the figure was Nawal herself. After this, the next advert showed clips of Nawal from the album's promotional photo shoot while playing small clips of the songs "Yama Alou", "Aghla el Habbayib", "El Assi", "Habaytak" and "Shou Akhbarak".
The television campaign was accompanied by large billboards and posters of Nawal in Egypt and Lebanon. The music video for Yama Alou, began to air at the beginning of July 2006, roughly a week before the album's release date. The music video was aired on the Mazzika and Zoom music channels across the Middle East and the song was played exclusively on the Sawt el Ghad radio station in Lebanon as well as on Nagoum FM in Egypt. Yama Alou was intended to be released throughout the Middle East on 17 July 2006, however, due to the Israeli attacks on Lebanon, its release was postponed. It was then released on 26 July 2006 in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. In the following weeks, the album was made available in other countries around the Middle East and was finally released in Lebanon on 14 September 2006, once the war was over. 2007
On the 23rd of March 2007, it was announced that Nawal al Zoghbi would be producing her next album with the production company Rotana. Nawal officially joined Rotana at a press conference at the Movenpick in Beirut on the 28th of March, 2007. At a press conference held by LG Global at Dusit Dubai on 25 April 2007, it was announced that Nawal Al Zoghbi will be the face to advertise LG cellular phones which the company will put out in 2007–2008 in the Middle East. The conference was attended by a large crowd from various media, which exceeded a variety of over 100 means of information between written, visual and audible.
On Sunday, 20 May 2007, Al Zoughbi was a guest on Dubai TV's hit show Taratata along with four other singers. Nawal sang duets with the other four singers who will be making appearances on the show. Ibrahim El Hakami winner of of Super Star 4) and the Lebanese-Canadian singer Massari were among the four guests that appeared and sang with Nawal on Sunday. On Tuesday, 12 June 2007 Nawal released the music video of her song, "Aghla El Habayib" from her album "Yama Alou" which was a continuation to the song "Shou Akhbarak" from the same album. On 8 August 2007, Al Zoughbi returned to the Carthage Festival after an eight-year absence. 2008
In early January 2008, billboards appeared in cities across the Arabic world with the phrase 'Sawa Min Jadeed' (English: Back Together) and the letters NZ. This was a pre-release promo to advertise the reuniting of Rotana and Nawal and the release of her new album. On 10 January 2008, Rotana began airing TV adverts showing samples from the new album, entitled " Khalas Sameht". The first single from the album "Albi Is'alou" ("Ask My Heart") began airing on Arabic radio stations on 15 January 2008.
"Khalas Sameht" was released on 22 January 2008 in Nawal's native Lebanon. It was released internationally the next day. It reached # 1 on the charts the first day, and sold extremely well the first week. The first music video from the new album, titled Albi Esalou, was first shown on TV channels on 5 February 2008. The album was then officially launched at a press conference in Cairo, Egypt on 12 February 2008. "Leih Moushtalak" was the second music video for "Khalas Sameht". It was released on 25 July 2008. Later it debuted at number 2 on Rotana's PEPSI Top 20.
Nawal was part of the opening of Atlantis, the Palm in Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. She opened for Kylie Minogue and received a lot press coverage. 2009–2010
On 29 May 2009, Nawal released the single, "Mona Ainah", which is in the Khaliji dialect. It began airing on radio stations in the Middle East, and was performed first time on the programme Star Academy 6, on the same day. After much problems with Rotana not wanting to air it, "Mona Ainah" was then released by Melody in October 2009, as a music video directed by Yehya Saade. Al Zoghbi spent her own money to make the video.  Nawal left Rotana in October 2009, and signed on with Melody who will produce her next album, that was due out for release in the summer of 2010. However,due to people's preoccupation with the World Cup 2010 games, Al Zoghbi was one of the many singers in the Middle East who decided to postpone the release of their albums that summer until the end of Ramadan later in the year.Everyone thinks that She will compose an English song with American Spanish singer Enrique Iglesias in 2010 or 2011 which there will be few Arabic lyrics for her. Personal life
Nawal is the oldest of her three brothers and one sister. She got married in 1990 to Elie Deeb, a Lebanese music manager. She filed divorce in August 2008 and due to Lebanon's sectarian system, Al Zoghbi is still waiting appealing for the Maronite church a 2nd time to recognize and grant nullity of the marriage. They had three children: a daughter Tia (b. 1998), and twin sons Georgy and Joey (b. 2001). She released a song titled Tia in 1999, which was dedicated to her daughter and her birth. She runs a production company named after her daughter, Tia Productions. Deeb and Zoghbi legally separated in 2008, Al Zoghbi is currently waiting for the Maronite Catholic Church to recognize her divorce. In late 2009 Al Zoghbi was granted custody of her three children. Politics
Nawal has started her career by a patriotic song "Ya Watani ma nsina" dedicated to the Lebanese army. She has also released a song on her own dedicated to Palestine called "Ya Quds" ("O Jerusalem"). She participated in several political singles such as "Ya Omati", "Hikayt Watan", a song with Lebanese singers for the liberation of South Lebanon, and "La Ma Kholsit Le Hkayeh", following the death of Rafik Hariri. Discography
Wehyati Andak (1992)
Ayza El Radd (1994)
Balaee Fi Zamany (1995)
Jadid (Compilation album) (1996)
Habeit Ya Leil (1997)
Mandam Aleik (1998)
El Layali (2000)
Tool Omri (2001)
Elli Tmaneito (2002)
Eineik Kaddabeen (2004)
Yama Alou (2006)
Khalas Sameht (2008)
Ma3lafch leh (2011)
YearTitleAlbumLanguage/Dialect1994Ayza El RaddAyza El RaddEgyptian Arabic1995Balaee Fi ZamanyBalaee Fi ZamanyEgyptian Arabic1995Wala BiheminiBalaee Fi ZamanyEgyptian Arabic1996Meen Habibi AnaLebanese Arabic1997Habeit Ya LeilHabeit Ya LeilEgyptian Arabic1997Noss El AlbHabeit Ya LeilLebanese Arabic1997Gharib Al RaaiHabeit Ya LeilKhaleeji Arabic1998Mandam AleikMandam AleikLebanese Arabic1998Galbi DaqMandam AleikLebanese Arabic1998Ala BaliMandam AleikLebanese Arabic1999DalounaMaloumLebanese Arabic1999MaloumMaloumLebanese Arabic1999TiaMaloumLebanese Arabic2000El LayaliEl LayaliEgyptian Arabic2000Naseeni LeehEl LayaliEgyptian Arabic2001Tool OmriTool OmriEgyptian Arabic2001Haseb NafsakTool OmriLebanese Arabic2002Elli TmaneitoElli TmaneitoEgyptian Arabic2003BilbaklakElli TmaneitoLebanese Arabic2004BieinakEineik KaddabeenEgyptian Arabic2004Eineik KaddabeenEineik KaddabeenEgyptian Arabic2005Rouhi Ya RouhiYama AlouEgyptian Arabic2006Shou AkhbarakYama AlouLebanese Arabic2006Yama AlouYama AlouEgyptian Arabic2006AdiYama AlouKhaleeji Arabic2007Aghla el HabayibYama AlouLebanese Arabic2008Albi Isa'loKhalas SamehtLebanese Arabic2008Leih MoushtalakKhalas SamehtEgyptian Arabic2009Mona AinahMelody Hits Vol.6Khaleeji Arabic Awards
"Lions" Award for the best singer in Lebanon & Jordan
"Best Female Singer" in Lebanon
"Best Female Singer" in Arabic World
"Best Singer" in the UAE
"First Arabic Singer"
Best Female (Jordan)
Best Female (Lebanon)
Best Female (Egypt)
Artist of the Year
Best Lebanese Singer
Best Arabic Singer (Egypt)
Murex D'or Award: Best Female Lebanese Singer of the year
Arab Music Awards: Best Female Singer
Arab Music Awards: Overall Best Song
Best Arabic Singer (Egypt)
Best Album (Lebanon)
Best Lebanese Singer
Best Arabic Singer (Egypt)
Best Arabic Singer (T-A-C)
Album of The Year "Yama Alou" (T-A-C)
Song of the Year "Yama Alou" (T-A-C)
Clip of the Year "Yama Alou" (T-A-C)
Best Dancing Song of the Year "Yama Alou" (T-A-C)
Best Album "Yama Alou" (Lebanon Entertainment—LE)
Best Song "Yama Alou" (Lebanon Entertainment—LE)
Best Video "Yama Alou" (Lebanon Entertainment—LE)
Best Dance Song "Yama Alou" (Lebanon Entertainment—LE)
Entertainer Of The Week- 10 Times (Lebanon Entertainment—LE)
Entertainer Of The Year (Lebanon Entertainment—LE)
Best Fans for a singer (Lebanon Entertainment—LE)
Best Arabian Artist (Arabian Awards)
Best Arabic Singer (T-A-C)
Song of the Year "Aghla El Habayeb" (T-A-C)
Clip of the Year "Aghla El Habayeb" (T-A-C)
Best Dancing Song of the Year "Adi" (T-A-C)
Best Song "Aghla El Habayeb " (Lebanon Entertainment—LE)
Best Video "Aghla El Habayeb" (Lebanon Entertainment—LE)
Best Dance Song "Adi" (Lebanon Entertainment—LE)
Best Lebanese Song "Aghla El Habayeb (Lebanon Entertainment—LE)
Best Khaliji Song for 'Adi' (Lebanon Entertainment—LE)
Entertainer Of The Year (Lebanon Entertainment—LE)
Best Fans for a singer (Lebanon Entertainment—LE)
Best Fan Group (Lebanon Entertainment—LE)
Best Website (Lebanon Entertainment—LE)
Fashion Idol (Lebanon Entertainment—LE)
Best Concert "Cartage" (Lebanon Entertainment—LE)
Best Artist In A TV Show appearance for Kanat Khamas Noujoum
Kathem Al Saher (Arabic: كاظم الساهر; born September 12, 1957 in Mosul, Iraq), is an Iraqi singer, composer, and poet. He has been dubbed the "Emperor of Arab Music", "Elvis of the Middle East", "Robbie Williams of the Middle East", "Iraq’s Diplomatic Ambassador to the world", and "Iraq’s Ambassador for Peace".
Al Saher has established himself as one of the most successful singers in the history of the Arab World, having sold more than 30 million  albums since the start of his career. Ranging from big romantic ballads to more political work, from pop to Arab classical music.
Al Saher was born in Mosul in 1957 to a mother from Najaf and a father from Samarra. His father lived in Baghdad, but was a Samarra native from the tribe of Albu Daraj. He grew up and spent a large part of his life in Alhurrya city in Baghdad. He is the son of a palace worker and has nine siblings.
Apart from his mother, Al Saher's family were never supportive of his direction in becoming a musician. They had no faith in him that he would become successful, and instead wanted him to become a doctor or a lawyer. Saher's brother once took him to a local cafeteria, full of aspiring musicians who had no work and warned him that Al Saher would end up the same. He said that the only way to achieve success is if you respect your music and respect yourself. Kathem Al Saher has two sons, Wesam and Omar.
His interest in music grew as he listened to songs via the radio that offered him the chance to become familiar with the works of composers such as Mohammed Abdel Wahab. When he was ten, he began writing songs. After selling his bicycle, Al Saher purchased a guitar at the age of twelve, and began learning the arts of the guitar for about three months before writing a classical song. It was his first instrument. He later switched to the oud, a much more common (and complex) instrument, and was accepted into the Baghdad Music Academy at the age of twenty-one. Although keen to break through in the music business with his songs and voice, he found himself rebuffed by all the producers he approached, who would only let him sing their own material. Instead, he used the back door to gain entry to the industry.
1980–1999: Rise to fame
One of his first videos was made in collaboration with one of his friends that happened to be a television director. The song in question was " Ladghat El Hayya" (The Snake Bite), which was broadcast on Iraqi television in 1987, one year before the end of the Iran–Iraq War. The song was the source of a major controversy due to particular sensitivities that were common during that era. Iraqi television officials asked him to either change the lyrics or have it banned. His refusal to change the lyrics and its consequent ban only helped to increase the popularity of the song. He began giving concerts all over the Persian Gulf and recording his music with Kuwaiti labels.
A year later, he had a hit with "Obart Al Shat" (I crossed the river). Some of his professors at the Academy denounced it as sha'bi (pop) music, anathema to those who taught classical music. Al Saher had managed to circumvent the system and had become a star on his own terms—he even undertook his first U.S. tour in 1989. Having conquered pop, Al Saher turned around and established himself in the Arabic classical world with "La Ya Sadiki" (No, My Friend), a magnum opus that lasted almost an hour and found him using maqams (scales) that hadn't been used in Iraqi music in several decades, revitalizing a tradition.
In 1991 and due to the Persian Gulf War, Al Saher transferred his base of operations to Jordan where he lived with his family for a few years. He considers living in Jordan as an important period of his life and career success later on. Al Saher performed some of his most successful concerts which were held in Jerash and produced two successful albums Sameer Baghdadi Studios in Amman, Jordan. After that he moved to Lebanon, where he met and formed a songwriting partnership with Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani in 1996, who wrote lyrics to his music, before settling permanently in Cairo. Qabbani wrote the lyrics to more than 30 of Al Saher's songs. In addition to Qabbani’s poems, Al Saher sang both political and romantic songs for Iraq and Baghdad, highlighting the feelings of the citizens of Iraq as well as their tragedies.
Al Saher continued to release albums and tour, having become the biggest name in Middle Eastern music, one whose ballads grew bigger and more romantic, but who would write classically influenced works, even when they might hurt his popularity.
By 1998, he had ten albums under his belt and was lauded as an artist, not just a pop star. That prestige brought him wider fame and a growing international reputation that won him a UNICEF award for his song "Tathakkar", which he performed in the U.S. for Congress and the United Nations — one of the first real post-Gulf War cultural exchanges. The following year, he recorded a tribute to the Pope with the Italian Symphony Orchestra.
While still a fan of large orchestras, whose sweep helps define his music, he has remained open to technological innovation, even going so far as to allow a remix (by fusionists Transglobal Underground) of his song "La Titnahad", taken from his 2000 release El Hob El Moustahil (The Impossible Love), the first of his albums to be given an official American release. To coincide with it, he performed on the Mondo Melodia tour, which crossed the U.S.
In 2003 Al Saher colloborated with Lenny Kravitz and released an anti-war song at Rock The Vote, titled "We Want Peace", and shortly afterward released a song entitled "The War Is Over" (Entahat al harab) with Sarah Brightman. In 2004, Al Saher continued to work with various international artists including Grammy Award-winning producers KC Porter, Dawn Elder and Quincy Jones. His latest collaboration "Love & Compassion" (Hob Wa Haneen) was the title track for the Arab American National Museum Collector's edition honoring the artists that have made the most significant difference with international audiences. The track features Grammy winning singer/songwriter Paula Cole, Def Jam recording artist Karina Pasian, and Luis Conte, produced by Dawn Elder and KC Porter.
In 2004 he participated in the worldwide broadcast concert special "We are the Future" concert produced by Quincy Jones in association with producer Dawn Elder at the Roman Maximos Stadium in Rome for the benefit of the children of the world. In December 2004 he participated in the opening of the Gulf Football Championship (Khaleeji 17) in which he performed the return of Iraq Operette which was broadcast live on 10 satellite channels. Additionally, in 2004 he was the first Arab artist to participate in Unity, the official album of the 2004 Summer Olympics.
1999: He received the UNICEF award in England for the song "Tathakkar" 
2003: The "Murex d'Or Award" - Best male Arab singer 
2004: The "Audience Award" at the World Music Awards 2004 
Winner of the "Middle East and North Africa" category.
The Best Arab Male Singer in the world (2010)
Shajart Al-Zeitoon (The Olive Tree)
Ghazal (Gazelle) (1989) Music Box
Al-Aziz (The Beloved) (1990) Al-Nazaer
Hatha Allon (This Color) (1992) Stallions
Banat Alaebak (Your Tricks are Over) (1993)
La Ya Sadiki (No, My Friend) (1993) Music Box
Salamtek Min Al-Ah (1994) Rotana
Baad Al-Hob (After Love) (1995) Relax-In
Aghsili Bilbard (Wash [my heart] with Hail) (1996) Rotana
Fi Medreset Al-Hob (In the School of Love) (6/29/1996) Rotana
Ana Wa Laila (Me and Laila) (11/28/1998) Rotana
Habibeti Wa Al-Matar (My Lover and the Rain) (1/1/1999) Rotana
Abdallah Al Rowaished was born in 1961 in Kuwait. At a young age he discovered a love for music when he started to play the lute. In 1973, Rowaished established the Al Roba'y group with three friends. The group was widely popular among the Persian Gulf countries. However, the group disbanded in 1979, since then Rowaished has focused on his solo career.
Rowaished began his solo career in the early 1980's with the release of his first album entitled "Rihalti", which was released in 1983. Rowaished worked with many famous poets and composers such as Khaled El Sheikh. His first album achieved moderate success in the Persian Gulf region
Dabke (Arabic: دبكة; also transliterated dabka, and dabkeh) is the most popular Arab folk dance in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon,the Palestinian Territories, the north of Saudi Arabia, and Syria. A line dance, it is widely performed at weddings and joyous occasions. The leader of the dabke heads the line, alternating between facing the audience and the other dancers. Dabke in Arabic is literally " stamping of the feet." The leader, called raas ("head") or lawweeh ("waver"), is allowed to improvise on the type of dabke. The leader twirls a handkerchief or string of beads known as a masbha (similar to a rosary), while the rest of the dancers keep the rhythm. The dancers also use vocalizations to show energy and keep up the beat. The dabke leader is supposed to be like a tree, with arms in the air, a proud and upright trunk, and feet that stomp the ground in rhythm. At weddings, the singer begins with a mawwal. The raas or lawweeh takes the lead. Everyone does a basic 1-2-3 step before the song kicks in. At weddings, the dance is sometimes performed by a professional troupe dressed in costume.
The dabke was popularized in the 20th century by the Lebanese composers Assi and Mansour Rahbani and singers like Zaki Nassif, Fairuz, Wadih el Safi, and Nasri Shamseddine. Lebanon's most famous dabke troupes are "Firkat el Arz" and "Hayakel Baalback". Other troupes today include Ibdaa, Sareyyet Ramallah, and El-Funoun. The United States of America also has a few popular dabke troups, "Awiha Zaffe" in Ohio and "Zaffet Libnen" in San Diego. Contents
Men dancing dabke, 1880
There is not one story on the origin of dabke, and it is difficult to find accounts of its origin from reputable sources, though many stories have been told. One common story is told below:
The "dabkeh" originated in the Levant where houses were built from stone with a roof made of wood, straw and dirt. The dirt roof had to be compacted which required stomping the dirt hard in a uniform way to compact it evenly. This event of cooperation is called ta'awon and from here comes the word awneh, meaning "help." This developed into the song Ala Dal Ouna(على دلعونا), or roughly translated "Let's go and help". The dabke and the rhythmic songs go together in an attempt to keep the work fun and useful. Types
Female dabke dancers
Amongst Palestinians, two common types of dabke are the shamaliyya and sha'rawiyya - which have six measure phrases - and the karaadiyya which has square phrases (of four or eight measures). Another type is the dabke niswaniyyah, danced specifically by women. Each type of dabke dance has its own corresponding set of songs, the theme of which is often love.
There are six main types of dabke: Al-Shamaliyya(الشمالية): is probably the most famous type of dabke. It consists of a lawweeh(لويح) at the head of a group of men holding hands and formed in a semicircle. The lawweeh is expected to be particularly skilled in accuracy, ability to improvise, and quickness (generally light on his feet). Typically, the dabke begins with a musician playing a solo on the mijwiz or yarghoul of a Dal Ouna piece, often with two singers accompanying his music. The dancers develop a synchronized movement and step and when the singers finish their song, the lawweeh breaks from the semicircle to dance on his own. When the leader of the dabke sees that the men's steps are one, in sync, he instructs the dancers to slow down and begin a movement crossing their right foot in front of the opposite one (their left foot). The lawweeh continues to inform the dancers of their basic rhythms, and at this point other guests at the wedding or event occurring will join in the dabke line. This is the most popular and familiar form of dabke danced for happy family celebrations, such as weddings, circumcisions, the return of travelers, release of prisoners, and also for national holidays, in which dabke becomes a demonstration of national personality. Al-Sha’rawiyya(الشعراوية): is limited to men and is characterized by strong steps or stomps. The lawweeh is the most important element in this type of dabke. Al-Karaadiyya(الكرادية): is characterized by a lack of a lawweeh and slow movement with an azif(عازف) (flute player) in the middle of the circle.<refname="layla"> Al-Farah(الفره): is one of the most active types of dabke and therefore requires a high degree of physical fitness. Al-Ghazal(الغزل): is characterized by three strong stomps of the right foot, and is usually tiring for those dancing. Al-Sahja(السحجة): is a popular Palestinian dance which became significantly more popular in the time period before Al-Nakba, 1948, and became a part of the collective, popular Palestinian mind. Al-Sahja belongs mostly to northern and central Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and in the south has two kinds: As-Samir (السامر) and Al-Dahiyya (الدحية). As-Samir's form involves 2 rows of men on opposite walls, competing with folk poetry, sometimes improvised and even exchanging insults, competing in cleverness of retorts. Al-Dahiyya is a Bedouin version of the same kind in which there is a professional dancer, usually from a gypsy tribe, that dances between the two opposing walls of men who are competing for her attention, and at times give her money. Al-Sahja usually occurs the night before the wedding party of the groom (zafat al-'arees), with most of the men in the village participating, especially those who will be attending or are directly involved in the other wedding festivities.
The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Dance also mentions these additional kinds of line dances in its entry under "Middle East":
"The murdah was originally performed by women in the Gulf while the men of the community were away on extended fishing and pearling expeditions. It involves two lines of dancers who move toward each other with small steps and then retreat while singing rhymed couplets. These couplets were largely laments for absent loved ones. Although seafaring is no longer economically important in the region, women continue to perform this dance at social gatherings.
The ahwash (Fr., ahouache) performed by Berber tribes of the Moroccan High Atlas Mountains, includes one or several curved lines of men and one or several curved lines of women, the whole forming a circle or ellipse around male drummers (Jouad and Lortat-Jacob, 1978; Lortat-Jacob, 1980). One line recites a poem that the other line responds to with another poem; then all move to the beat of the drums. Customarily, the whole community participates. While performing, women dancers hold themselves very straight and move with staccato steps, holding onto the weaving rod of the house. Women as well as men compose the poetry that is recited. A similar dance reported for Morocco is the dukkala. In one variation a man and woman facing each other compete to see which one can dance the longest (Mercier, 1927)."
There are numerous kinds of songs that are sung during and specifically for dabke, by both men and women respectively, depending on the occasion, song, and audience. Some of the most popular of these songs, such as Dal Ouna(دلعونا), Al Jafra(الجفرا), Al Dahiyya(الدحية), and Zareef il-Tool(ظريف الطول), are actually entire genres in themselves, in the sense that lyrics can vary significantly in each performance but the basic rhythm of the music is consistent and recognizable. This variation can be seen in the hundreds of lyrical variations heard and recorded of these songs which regardless of specific lyrics, are recognized by their rhythm and at times, a single phrase, as in Ala Dal Ouna, Jafra, and others. For example, even though one might have heard Ala Dal Ouna sung previously telling a different story in this famous love song, people will still call another song ascribing to the same rhythm and theme as Dal Ouna. Instruments
1 popular instrument used is the lute. The word lute is an English word which comes from the Spanish laud, which came from the Arabic word for the instrument, al-ud (meaning the branch of a tree). The lute is shaped like a half pear with a short fretted neck. It has six courses of two strings and played with a plectrum, usually a trimmed eagle’s feather. This instrument creates a deep and mellow sound.
The mijwiz(مجوز) which literally means “double” in Arabic is a very popular instrument used in Lebanese music. It is a type of reed clarinet. It is played by breathing smoothly through a circular aperture at the end and by moving the fingers over the holes down the front of the tube in order to create the different notes. The minjjayrah is similar to the mijwiz, an open ended reed flute played in the same style..
The tablah is a small hand-drum also known as the durbakke. Most tablahs are beautifully decorated, some with wood, tile or bone inlay, etched metal, or paintings in designs typical of the Near East. One of the most commonly played of the percussion instruments; the tablah is a membranophone of goat or fish skin stretched over a vase-shaped drum with a wide neck. Usually made of earthenware or metal, it is placed either under the left arm or between the legs and struck in the middle for the strong beats and on the edge for the sharp in-between beats.
The daff, also known as the rikk, is a popular instrument corresponding to the tambourine. It consists of a round frame, covered on one side with goat or fish skin. Pairs of metal discs are set into the frame to produce the jingle when struck by the hand. The sounds of this percussion instrument set the rhythm of much Arab music, particularly in the performances of classical pieces.
The arghul, (يرغول) also known as the yarghoul, is an instrument commonly used in solos, often accompanied by singers, that begin dabke performances. Unlike the mijwiz, it only has finger holes in one of its pipes/reeds. (see Al-Shamaliyya, under Types). Performances and competitions
Competitions or shows may consist of different cultural dances and other dabke groups performing dabke. For example, the International Fiesta which is well known at the University at Buffalo consists of a series of clubs performing their cultural dances. This competition occurs every semester in the main stage theater of the UB Center for the Arts during the spring time, usually at the end of February or beginning of March. This allows the Organization of Arab Students to participate and show the cultural awareness of dabke. Many universities have an event called Arab Night or a similar title. When these shows occur, dabke is either performed on stage (inside or outside), in a hall on the floor, or outside on the floor.There are different steps that comprise the Debka dance: the belbel, the inzel, shemmel and taxi; a combination of each of these steps as well as the occasional jump and turn make the dance complete. In America, the tradition has not been lost and is held in the same places as it would in the original homeland and the dance music is also commonly played in America at Arab-community cultural centers and conventions such as the annual convention hosted by the American Federation of Ramallah Palestine. World records
In June 2009, a group in Canada set a new world record. Organized by Tollab, the Lebanese Student Federation in Montreal, with the participation of "La Troupe Folklorique Les Chevaliers du Liban," a human chain of 4,475 people danced the dabke for more than five minutes straight at Marcelin Wilson's Park, breaking the previous record of 2,743 set by a group of Arabs in Acre, Israel, who had broken an earlier record of 1,700 set in Toronto.