Omar Khorshid

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Omar Khorshid
Native name
عمر محمد عمر خورشيد
Birth nameOmar Mohamed Omar Khorshid
Born(1945-04-09)April 9, 1945
Cairo, Egypt
DiedMay 29, 1981(1981-05-29) (aged 36)
Giza, Egypt
GenresArabic music
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, accompanist, actor
InstrumentsGuitar, keyboard, vocals, violin
Years activec.Early 1960s–1981
LabelsVoice of Lebanon
Associated actsOum Kalthoum
Abdel Halim Hafez

Omar Khorshid (Arabic: عمر خورشيد‎; April 9, 1945 – May 29, 1981) was an Egyptian musician, composer, accompanist, and actor. Born in Cairo,[1] Khorshid was a well-known guitarist who accompanied many Arabic singers, including Farid Al Atrash, Umm Kulthum, Abdel Wahab, and Abdel Halim Hafez.[1][2]


As a child, Khorshid taught himself the violin, guitar and piano,[3] which eventually led him to a private music institute in downtown Cairo for further education. In 1966, Khorshid formed a band with friends called "Les Petits Chats" (The Small Cats), a band that played music influenced by Western sounds. The group played in small venues and eventually worked their way up in terms of fame.[1]

From 1973 to 1977, Khorshid moved to Lebanon and began recording albums under his own name for Lebanese record labels such as Voice of the Orient and Voice of Lebanon. Working with audio engineer Nabil Moumtaz at Polysound Studios in Beirut, Khorshid worked harder to progress his musical style. However, due to the Lebanese Civil War, Khorshid was forced to move elsewhere to continue his career. In 1977, Egyptian president Anwar Sadat invited Khorshid to perform in America at the White House for American president Jimmy Carter. Though many saw this performance as peaceful, conservatives in the Middle-East who saw the United States as Zionist viewed it as a betrayal.[3]

In 1978, Khorshid spent a year in Syria, acting in films and performing at various venues. In 1979, driven by a bigger desire for cinematic fulfillment, Khorshid returned to Egypt to pursue a film career.[1] He directed and acted in films and performed live until his death in 1981.

Personal life[edit]

Khorshid spoke fluent Arabic, French, and English.

He was married four times. At the age of 26, he married Amina El-Sobky; the marriage lasted from 1971 to 1972. The two divorced amicably.[4] His second marriage was to Mervat Amin, another year-long marriage that also ended in an amicable divorce. Soon afterwards, Khorshid met a businesswoman in Lebanon named Dina and they began a relationship; they were engaged by 1975 and married by early 1977. However, while they were still married, Khorshid met a woman named Maha Abu Ouf during a performance of hers. They grew attached to each other and, while still married to Dina, Khorshid married Abu Ouf in early 1981.[4]

Abu Ouf was pregnant when Khorshid was killed, though she suffered a miscarriage upon finding out about his death.[4]


On May 29, 1981, Khorshid was driving at a high speed on Al-Ahram Street in Giza, Egypt with his third wife, Dina, when Khorshid lost control of the vehicle and collided with a street lamp.[5] Though Dina suffered from critical injuries, she survived. Khorshid, upon collision, was ejected from his seat and suffered from blunt trauma to his skull, neck, and spine, killing him instantly.[5]


Khorshid's musicality in orchestra performances, original songs, and film scores was considered revolutionary at the time in the Middle East.[3] His extensive theoretical knowledge, fusion of Western sounds with Eastern sounds, and incorporation of different, more modern instruments (e.g. the electric guitar, electric keyboard, synthesizer) in Arabic music was previously unheard of. Khorshid's unique style sparked inspiration from many aspiring musicians not only in the Middle East, but in Europe and the Americas as well. His mixing of "modern" instruments with older Arabic tunes spawned a new, more modern sound of Arabic music that many use for belly-dancing today.[3]

The Freak of Araby, an album by Sir Richard Bishop released on May 26, 2009, includes covers of several songs written by Omar Khorshid.

Selected Discography[6][edit]

Belly Dance with Omar Khorshid [Voix d'Orient - GVDL 9]

Belly Dance with Omar Khorshid Vol. 2 [Voix d'Orient - GVDL 202]

Belly Dance with Omar Khorshid Vol. 3 [Voix d'Orient - GVDL 203]

Belly Dance from Lebanon [Voix d'Orient - GVDL 521]

Omar Khorshid: Tribute to Oum Kalsoum [Voix d'Orient - GVDL 223]

Omar Khorshid: Tribute to Farid El Atrache [Voix d'Orient - GVDL 248]

Rhythms from the Orient [Voice of Lebanon - VLMC 39]

Omar Khorshid with Love [Voice of Lebanon - VLMC 87]

Omar Khorshid with Love Vol. 2 [Voice of Lebanon - VLMC 88]

Guitar El Chark


  1. ^ a b c d "biography".
  2. ^ Maspero Zaman - ماسبيرو زمان (2016-07-15), سينما القاهرة: كواليس فيلم زمان يا حب .. فريد الأطرش - زبيدة ثروت - عاطف سالم, retrieved 2017-03-04
  3. ^ a b c d "Omar Khorshid". PopMatters.
  4. ^ a b c "romance".
  5. ^ a b "departure".
  6. ^ "discography".

External links[edit]