Mohammed Abdel Wahab

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For the Egyptian footballer, see Mohamed Abdelwahab. For the Arab theologian, see Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab. For the contemporary Egyptian composer, see Mohamed Abdelwahab Abdelfattah.
Mohammed Abdel Wahab
Abdel wahab.jpg
Mohammed Abdel Wahab with a cümbüş mandolin
Background information
Native name محمد عبد الوهاب
Born (1902-03-13)March 13, 1902
Cairo, Khedivate of Egypt (now Egypt)
Origin  Egypt
Died May 4, 1991(1991-05-04) (aged 89)
Cairo, Egypt
Years active 1917–1991
Labels EMI Arabia

Mohammed Abdel Wahab (Arabic: محمد عبد الوهاب‎), also transliterated Mohammed Abd el-Wahaab (March 13, 1902 – May 4, 1991)[1] was a prominent 20th-century Arab Egyptian singer and composer. He composed "Ya Beladi" (also known as "Libya, Libya, Libya") the National anthem of Libya used by the Kingdom of Libya from 1951 to 1969 and again by the post-Gaddafi transitional government in 2011.[2] He also composed the national anthem of Tunisia, "Humat al-Hima" as well as the United Arab Emirates national anthem "Ishy Bilady" and many Egyptian nationalist songs.


Born in Bab El-Shaariyah area of Cairo, Egypt (where his statue stands), Abdel Wahab played oud before the Prince of Poets, Ahmed Shawqi. Abdel Wahab acted in several movies. Mohammed Abdel Wahab was a very close friend to singer Abdel Halim Hafez.

Contribution to Arab music[edit]

Egyptian singer & composer Mohammed Abdel Wahab Statue at Bab El-Sharyia square, Cairo

Despite the fact that Abdel Wahab composed many songs and musical pieces of classical Arab music, he was always criticized for his orientation to Western music. In fact, he introduced Western rhythms to Arab songs in a way appropriate to the known forms of Arab songs. For example, in 1941, he introduced a waltz rhythm in his song "Al Gondol," and, in 1957, he introduced a rock and roll rhythm in Abdel Halim Hafez's song "Ya Albi Ya Khali".

Abdel Wahab played oud before the prominent Arab poet, Ahmed Shawqi, and acted in several movies. He composed ten songs for Umm Kulthum (أم كلثوم). He was the first Egyptian singer to move from silent-era acting to singing.[3]


  1. ^ Egyptian State Information Service. (1991-05-04). Retrieved on 2012-03-13.
  2. ^ About Libya: Libyan National Anthem, National Transitional Council of Libya, retrieved August 23, 2011 
  3. ^ Best Arabic Music. Best Arabic Music. Retrieved on 2012-03-13.

External links[edit]

Selected Mohammed Abdel Wahab compositions from YouTube Web site: