1. Hob al-Watan, Love of the Nation (1931) Mohammed Abd al-Wahhab /Amin Ezzat al-Haggin
2. Ahhib ashufak kul yom (1928) I Long to See You Every Day Darwish al-Hariri /Hassan Anwar
3. Fi l-layl lamma khilli (1932) The Night was Still Mohammed Abd al-Wahhab /Ahmad Bek Shawqi
4. Mawwal Maskeen au Hali Adam (1931) I am Wretched Mohammed Abd Al-Wahhab /Ibrahim Abdullah
5. Operetta Majnun Layla (1939) Layla’s Majnun Mohammed Abd al-Wahhab/Ahmad Bek Shawqi
1. Ala ‘Ad al-Shouq (1955) As Deep as the Longing Kamal al-Tawil /Muhammed Ali Ahmad
2. Ya Hali (1963) O My Kin Abd al-Hamid al-Sayed /Walid Ja'far
3. Asmar Ya Asmarani (1958) My Dark Beloved Kamal al-Tawil / Ismail al-Habruk
4. Tekhunouh (1957) You Betray Him Baligh Hamdi/Ismail al-Habruk
5. Beyni wa Beynak Eh?(1956) What Is There Between Us? Kamal al-Tawil /Ma'mun al-Shinnawi
1. Hob al-Watan, Love of the Nation
My homeland’s love is my calling I would give it my all
Why did the nightingale sing and remind me of my dear homeland? Where I spent the most precious days of my youth, where my loves and my foes abide If any misfortune befell it, I would give my homeland my all
Egypt, it was your love that nourished me Running through my blood since my youth I love your Nile, your sky, you are my father, you are my mother And for you I would give my all
2. Ahhib ashufak kul yawm I Long to See You Every Day
I long to see you every day, only then can my heart rest Away from you, my heart broke in your absence, O how I suffer See how you have humbled me. Have pity on me, and my affection I saw your spirit in my dreams, how sweet it was My thoughts were lost in this beauty and my longing grew My soul, I’ve lost my mind over you I plead again, by whatever you hold dear, Stay true to me
3. Fi l-leil lamma khili The Night was Still
The night was still and empty, but for he who wept And the cries fell from the protesting caller onto the boughs of the great tree How does one tell them apart- the aggrieved and the false?
Quiet. And isolation. And darkness. And a night never-ending. As one star relents, another vows to stand firm. Such a blessing is sleep, dreamt of by he who can have none.
Dawn broke and spilled over the darkness of the sleepy plains Its light flashed fleetingly like the whites of kohl’d eyes And once again, the night strode in, majestic
Here, the cries are amongst the branches There, the tears are shed in the sleeping chambers
O night, you heard my lament. And you see how longing revisits me. And that every wound deepens with time O how many of us do yearn and suffer, in absence and distance.
4. Mawwal Maskin wa Hali AdamI am Wretched
I am wretched, wasting away after you deserted me
You, for whom I left my home and family… tell me about the roses of your cheeks Tell me how you are Reassure my heart, light of my eye, Be close to me and keep me on your mind
5. Majnun Layla Layla’s Majnun
Synopsis: Scene – a Bedouin encampment, Nejd Desert, Arabian Peninsula. Layla’s cousin, Qays comes round to borrow firewood. He reveals to the audience that this is an excuse; he is in love with Layla. Layla’s father calls Layla and tells her to gather firewood with the maid, Afra. When she returns, Layla and Majnun find themselves alone, and profess their love for one another (a tango). Her father returns, overhears, and tells Qays to leave. ‘Have you come for firewood, or to set the house on fire?’ he asks, furious. Qays leaves, and wanders forlornly in the desert (an aria).
Qays – Tarik Beshir
Layla – Yara Salahiddeen
Layla’s Father, Al Mahdi – Khaled Noori
Afra – Sophie Frankford
1. Ala ‘Ad al-Shouq As Deep as the Longing
As deep as the longing you see in my eyes, sallim*, beautiful one My eyes have searched for you many times, and I have hurt for so long I fear you will be swayed by the words of others, and leave me in bewilderment I describe heaven to other people, when I am in hell. You are dear to me, the light in my eyes. Take pity on me in this torment.
I am patient, and the days race by… and I forget myself. I accepted blame and gained nothing but sleeplessness and anguish. I’ve wasted my precious youth…But I found your name in love. And when I pictured my hopes … The loveliest image was yours
*sallim, meaning to greet, but also to surrender.
2. Ya Hali, O My Kin
O my kin, do not blame me anymore, enough reproach My heart is wounded. Take this letter to my pretty one Tell her of my state, perhaps she will reply I have not tasted sleep, nor the flavour of drink Since she left, my life is that of a stranger…
3. Asmar Ya AsmaraniMy Dark Beloved
My Dark Beloved
Who turned you against me? Though you humble me, you are still the one for me Why do you make my misery worse, is my youth so worthless? And why have you been gone so long? Tell me why you've forgotten me
They warned me that your love was bewildering And I replied: for you, anything So you confuse me and I spend long nights, restless But it would be enough for me to just cross your mind
And I'd be content with this deprivation and melancholy For that love that I once felt when I was with you
Brought me joy and made it impossible to forget you.
I am not complaining nor protesting, Just tell me my love…
4. Tekhounouh You betray him
You betrayed him, though he never betrayed you, nor complained about you
You gave him away, though he never gave you away, nor was led away from you My heart- why betray him?
5. Beini w Beinak Eh? What Is There Between Us?
What is there between us? If only you'd tell me Why are you on my mind? What is there between us?
O your eyes, O your form And your silence And your words They trouble me, then leave me with my doubts and illusions
Conceal your beauty and the warmth of your heart And keep your shadow far from me... lest I fall for you! You trouble me, then forget me and prolong this denial