There are countless words to describe the Arabic language, and romantic is certainly one of them. After all, there exists at least eleven synonyms to the word ‘love’, each poignantly ascribed to a different stage, phase, and intensity .
Expressions of love have been inked deep into the language for as far back as the 7th Century. Our favourite might be ‘ghazal’, a form of amatory poem that’s ambigious in its nature, yet inherently dedicated to articulating unconditional love and separation.
Arabic literary figures have never shied away from recounting romantic tales, just take 13th century Hadith Bayad wa Riyad, Antarah ibn Shaddad Al-Absi’s poems about Abla, or the famed story of Qays and Leyla. Their influence around the world never stopped growing, birthing some of the revered Persian poets like Rumi and Saadi Shirazi who, some would argue, are behind the world’s most romantic poems.
To this day, Arabic poetic tradition continues, making its way to even the most contemporary pop songs. But it’s the Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani’s verses being sung by the likes Mohammed Abdel Wahab, Abdel Halim Hafez and Kadim Al-Sahir that stopped us in our tracks.
In search of celebrating our storied tradition as valentine’s day approaches, we rounded up some of our favourite songs—and arguably the region’s most romantic tracks.