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Tuesday / September 19.
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The best 14 Middle Eastern musicians?

By Lara Sameh

I’m Egyptian but I like Lebanese music .  In spite of all the hardships that burden the Middle East,  the whole area is engaged in an ongoing musical exchange and there are too many unique musical instruments to name with sounds unfamiliar to the West.

Below is my pick of the 14 best  Middle Eastern musicians and singers. . Some are also composers and lyricists.I’m Egyptian but I like Lebanese music. This list is both a spotlight on what is trending and a guide to what unites us from Morocco to Iraq.

  1. Iraq: Kathem El Saher “ The Caeser “

El Saher is an Iraqi singer, composer and songwriter who is one of the most successful singers in the history of the Arab world. He often sings with classical Arabic dialect or his Iraqi dialect. His songs are mostly romantic and include famous poems of “ Nizar Qabani “ a very famous poet in the Arab world.

  1. Eqypt: Amr Diab  

Diab is an Egyptian multi-award-winning pop singer-songwriter, regarded as the best selling Middle Eastern artist of all time.

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I’m not going to talk much about him because his songs says enough about him . He is the greatest of all !

  1. Lebanon: Heba Tawaji  

Tawaji is a lebanese singer.  She participated in the fourth season of France’s version of The Voice.  She also sings in Arabic, English and French.  it was announced that Tawaji will join the cast of Notre Dame de Paris as Esmeralda in the revival of the musical.The following song is one of my all time favourites.

  1. Saudi Arabia: Abdelrhman Mohamed  

Abdelrhman Mohamed is a Saudi singer and composer.  He publishes his works on Youtube and because of this incredible talent and unique voice he became very popular with the youth all over the Arab world. This following song is a poem written by “ Alyazeed ebn moaawia “ who was the second caliph of the umayyah caliphate .

  1. Mauritania: Noura Mint Seymali

Seymali is a Mauritanian singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist.  She began her career as a singer at the age of 13.  and later in life she and her husband formed their first band in 2004 .The band continues to play at music festivals around the world . The best thing about her music is that saharan flavour and the rich cultural experience you get from just one of her videos.

  1. Tunisia: Ghalia Benali

Benali is a Tunisian singer, songwriter, writer and graphic designer. Her music has been noted for its attribution to multiple genres and defining contemporary Arabic music . Benali’s southern Tunisian upbringing and fascination with Middle Eastern and Arab legendary artists is palpable in her music style. Her voice has been dubbed as multicultural and polymorphic.

  1. Egypt: Sherine Abdel Wahab

Sherine is one of the most lovable female singers in Egypt. She started singing at a young age at the Egyptian opera house and is now a  judge of the Middle Eastern version of The Voice and due to her cheerful and spontaneous character and sweet voice has become very popular around the Arab world.  She sings with great passion and feeling.


  1. Sudan: Alsarah & The Nubatones

The very successful Sudanese band consists of two sisters,  Sarah and  Nahed, who in their youth fled Sudan with their family during the 1989 coup to the United States.  However, they never forgot their heritage and their culture. You can see how they embrace their Unique culture in every song while mixing it with modern music    

  1. Iraq/Saudi: Majid al-Muhandis

One of my favourite khaleeji music figures  with a sensational voice is an Iraqi/Saudi singer who has earned the title of “ the Engineer of the Arabic song”  – al muhandis means engineer in Arabic –  and “Voice of Diamond” .

  1. Palestine: Mohammed Assaf

Assaf is a Palestinian pop singer and  winner of the second season of Arab Idol. He grew up in the Khan Younis refugee camp and never had musical training but his natural talent and voice made him one of most popular singers across the Middle East as well as the sweetheart of Palestine.

  1. Algeria: Cheb Khaled

An Algerian rai singer Khaled is the most internationally famous Algerian singer in the Arab world and across many continents. His popularity has earned him the unofficial title “King of Raï” and his hit song “Didi” is well-known throughout Arabic-speaking countries and on several other continents, including Europe, where it entered top charts in France, Belgium and Spain, as well as  India and Pakistan.

  1. United Arab Emirates: Hussain Al Jassmi

Al Jassmi is a singer from United Arab Emirates.  In 2008, Al Jassmi received the Murex d’Or award, under the category of “best Arabic male singer. “  He is known for his warm voice and love of Egypt. Several songs tributed to Egypt including the  following song which became a hit when it was released in 2014 .

  1. Syria: Assala Nasri

Damascus born, Nasri currently lives in Egypt and is among the best singers in the Middle East. Ever since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, Assala Nasri claimed her support for the Syrian rebels and her commitment against Bachar El Assad, and is considered a voice for  humanitarian concerns.  

14. Egypt: Mohamed Mounir ( The king )

Mournier is an Egyptian Nubian top star who incorporates various genres into his music, including classical Arabic Music, Nubian music, blues, jazz and reggae. Mounir’s tours are often held in Austria, Germany and Switzerland where he has a large fan base.

  1. Egypt : Angham

My absolute favorite , Angham is an Egyptian singer , record producer and actress. She is the most successful vocal female artist in Egypt starting from the 1980s till nowadays .Angham was named the best selling female pop artist in Middle East for the year 2003. She is well known for her vocal range , splendid voice and melismatic style.

So there you have it: the best of the Middle East, and the  diversity in the middle eastern music styles, where you can find an Emirati that sings in Egyptian dialect or a Lebanese that sings in Khaleeji dialect.

Music is the singular are where diversity is respected and makes us proud,  united at the core .


Written by

Lara Semah is a 20 year-old student and Muslim feminist who lives in Cairo, Egypt, the land of the pyramids and the Nile. She may be reached at larasameh312@gmail.com

Latest comment

  • What about Saad Lamjarred, he’s from Morocco, with that hit song ” LM3ALLEM”

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