The following is a post by Michelle, a former employee and Instructor at Belly Motions, Inc., a World Dance Studio located in South Miami, Florida.  For more information visit

As a dedicated student of Middle Eastern dance, I’ve grown to love Middle Eastern music very much. As an Instructor, I’m always on the look out for new music and new inspiration. I’ve come to learn that just as modern day music has its set of classic songs you “must know”, Middle Eastern music does as well!

Here’s a list of classic songs that should be on every Belly Dancer’s iPod:

The legendary Oum Kalthoum!

1.“Inta Omri” by Oum Kalthoum – Translation: “You are my life.”  This is is one of Oum Kalthoum’s most famous pieces. If you don’t know about Oum Kalthoum, read Alexandra’s latest blog, she has wonderful information on this “Diva of Middle Eastern music”.

2.“Ana Fi Intizarak” by Oum Kalthoum – Translation: “I am waiting for you.”  This piece is yet another example of the power behind Oum Kalthoum’s voice and lyrics. The song tells of how she has waited for her love and he never returns to her. She sings of how she wishes she never fell in love because the void in her heart will never again be filled. …I’m sure some of us can identify with that story!

Abdel Halim Hafez

3.“Nebtedi” by Abdel Halim Hafez – Translation: “Where do we begin our story?” In this piece, the singer talks of the love he shares with someone. How would they tell their story if they were ever asked? He talks about how they lived, their ups and downs, and how they never let it stop them from living forever as lovers.  In the case the last several songs haven’t already given it away, Arabic musicians are BIG on love songs!

4. “Habibi Ya Eini” by Maya Yazbeck – Translation: “Light of my eyes” or “Oh, my eyes.” In this piece the vocalist sings of a love that she has missed and that keeps her awake at night dreaming of the next time she’ll see her love. This song is quite popular and has been re-made many times. The most popular of these remixes is Nourhanne’s version.

5. “Ya Msafer Wahdak” by Mohamed Abdel Wahab – Translations: “Oh lonely traveler.” This is one of my favorites! This song speaks of someone who is waiting for their lover who is traveling and how they hope the distance won’t change their heart. This song has been re-made many times in instrumental versions for Belly Dance, but the original is absolutely spell-binding. I especially love the Spanish-sounding castanets!

Mohamed Abdel Wahab

And there ya have, it 5 songs every Belly Dancer show know!

Are you familiar with any of them? Maybe you’ve heard of a few but had no idea what they were about. Whatever the case may be, you now have five essential songs to add to your playlist!