Photo of Shira



PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

عاشق أل روح
Ashek el Rouh

(Lover of the Soul)



This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the Egyptian song "Ashek el Rouh", which was popularized by Mohamed Abdel Wahab. Also included is a transliteration of the Arabic lyrics into the Roman alphabet so you can sing along if you like. Another way to spell the song title is "3aashek el Roh".

  • Ashek el Rouh (Lover of the Soul), 1949
  • Song Title in Arabic: عاشق أل روح
  • In the Motion Picture Ghazl Al-Banat
  • Album: Aghany Film Ghazl El Banat
  • Lyricist: Hussein al-Sayed
  • Composer: Mohamed Abdel Wahab
  • Original Artist: Mohamed Abdel Wahab

Song lyrics are provided for educational purposes. If you like the song, please purchase either the album or a download from an authorized source.

About this Song

It is common in the Middle East for popular songs to be released in more than one language. Record companies do business in more than one country, and when they achieve a hit song in one place, they work with lyricists and artists to create versions in other languages to release elsewhere.

This song, composed by Mohamed Abdel Wahab, appeared in the 1949 movie Ghazl Al-Banat. In 1961, the Greek artists Stelios Kazantzidis and Marinella released a duet that uses the same melody, with Greek lyrics by Kazantzidis. The Greek song's title was "Mesa Sto Erimo Spitaki".

About Mohamed Abdel Wahab

ABOUT THE PHOTO: This photo shows Mohamed Abdel Wahab in a scene from his movie Ghazal al-Banat, which is the movie that features this song.

Mohamed Abdel Wahab was a prolific Egyptian composer of the 20th century. He was born in 1902 in the Bab El-Shaariyah neighborhood of Cairo, Egypt, where a statue now stands to honor him. He became known as the "Musician of the Generations" because his career spanned over half a century, creating new hit songs for each successive generation to enjoy.

Abdel Wahab was one of the innovators who created the big-orchestra sound of classical Egyptian music of the 20th century. He was a pioneer of Egyptian cinema, featured in Al Warda Al Baida (The White Rose), which was the second Egyptian movie musical ever made (the first was Ounchoudat al-Fouad).

Abdel Wahab was the first to compose for the "Oriental orchestra" that consisted of instruments from both Europe and the Middle East. In 1954 he introduced the European waltz rhythm into his composition "Al Gondol", and in 1957 he introduced a rock & roll rhythm into the song "Ya Albi Ya Khali" that he composed for Abdel Halim Hafez.

Abdel Wahab was a mentor to Abdel Halim Hafez, and composed many of his hit songs. He also composed ten songs for Oum Kalthoum, including "Enta Omri". In 1976, he composed for Nagwa Fouad the first mejance, "Amar 14".

Some of his personal belongings are housed in a museum at the Music Institute in Cairo.



See the Movie Scene With This Song

You can listen to the song and watch the movie scene it appears in at




Numbers in parentheses refer to footnotes that appear at the bottom of the translation.

Arabic Lyrics


English Translation

ليه ليه ليه lih lih lih Why? Why? Why?
ليه ياعين ليلي طال ya ein layali tal Oh my eye! Why are my nights too long?
ليه ليه ليه ليه، ياعيني دمعي سال lih lih lih layha, ya eini damei sa'al Why, why, why are my tears flowing? Oh my eye!
ياعيوني حبايبي ليه هجروني ya eini habibi lih hjruny My beloved, why did you abandon me? Oh my eye!
ليه يناموا وانت تصحي ياعيوني.. ليه ليه! lih yanamuu wa'ant tashi ya eini lih lih? Why can they sleep while you can't? Oh my eye! Why? Why?
ياليل عيني اشتكيت ـ من طول سهادي ياليل yalil eini aishtakiat min tul sihadi yalil Oh night! I complained about sleeplessness and the cup in my hand is filled with tears. Oh night!
وكام من فجر صحيته wakam min fajr sihiatih How many dawns woke me up?
وصحاني على عهودي wasahaniin ealaa euhudiin And woke me up to repeat my oaths?
وحتى العين في غفلتها wahataa el ein fi ghaflatiha And even my eye quit sleeping,
بتصحى دموعها في خدودي bitashaa dumueuha fi khududi its tears awaken on my cheek to
تسبح في الفضا شاغل tusabih fi alfada shaghl plead to the person who preoccupies my mind,
شغلني عن حطب عودي shaghalni ean hatb eudiin the one who takes me away from [playing a sad song] on my broken oud. (1)
وهبت وجودي علشانه wa habat wajudi eilshanih And I gave up my existence to her,
وعمري ماعشت لوجودي wa omriun maeishat liwujudi and I have never lived for myself.
ضحيت هنايا فداه dahit hunaya faddah I sacrificed my happiness for her,
وحاعيش على ذكراه wa haeish ealaa dhikrah and I will remember her my entire life
هايم على دنياه زي الضحى والليل haym ealaa dunyah zy aldha wa leil I'm a visitor to her world, like morning and night
وكل ده وانت مش داري ـ ياناسيني وانا جنبك wa kulu dh wa'ant mish dary ya nasyny wa'iinaa jnbk And everything has happened while you're forgetting about me and I am next to you.
حاولت كتير ابوح واشكي واقرب شكوتي منك hawalat katir abwah washki wa'aqrab shakuti mink I have tried so much to get closer and make you hear my complaint,
ولقيتك في السما عالي ـ وانا في الارض مش طايلك wa laqaytuk fi al samaa eali wa'iinaa fi al'ard msh tayilik but you're high up in the sky, and I am on the ground. I couldn't reach you.
حضنت الشكوى في قلبي ـ وفطمت الروح على بابك hadanat al shakwaa fi qalbiin wa fatamat al-rouh ealaa babik So I embraced my complaint, and taught my soul to be patient, and to live on hope.
عشقت الحب في معبد بنيته بروحي وكياني eshaqat al habu fi maebad banyatuh bi rouhi wa kiani I practiced my love for you in a temple, I built it between my soul and my being.
وخليت الامل راهب مالوش عندي امل تاني wa khlit al'amal rahib malush eindi amal tany And its monk was nothing but a hope which is hopeless.
أنور شمعتي لغيري ونارها كاويه أحضاني 'anwar shumeatay lighayri wanaraha kawih 'ahdani I lit the candle for someone else, and her fire burns my ribs,
وابيع روحي فدا روحي وانا راضي بحرماني wabye rouhi fada rouhi wa'iinaa rady bihurmani and I'm selling my soul as a ransom for my soul, and I'm willing to give up on it.
وعشق الروح مالوش اخر ـ لكن عشق الجسد فاني wa eashaq al rouh malwsh akhar lakken eashq al jasd fa'iiniy For the love of the soul is infinite, but the love of the flesh is mortal.
عشق الجسد فاني eashq al jasd fa'iiniy The love of the flesh is mortal.
  1. An oud is a musical instrument. The photo to the right shows a row of ouds for sale in a shop in Cairo, on Mohamed Ali Street.



Translations of
Mohammed Abdel Wahab's Songs on this Site

Translations on this web site for songs performed by Mohamed Abdel Wahab include:




About the Translator

This translation was posted by "Candy khan" as a comment to the youtube clip for the movie scene.



Copyright Notice

This entire web site is copyrighted. All rights reserved.

All articles, images, forms, scripts, directories, and product reviews on this web site are the property of Shira unless a different author/artist is identified. Material from this web site may not be posted on any other web site unless permission is first obtained from Shira.

Academic papers for school purposes may use information from this site only if the paper properly identifies the original article on using appropriate citations (footnotes, end notes, etc.) and bibliography. Consult your instructor for instructions on how to do this.

If you wish to translate articles from into a language other than English, Shira will be happy to post your translation here on along with a note identifying you as the translator. This could include your photo and biography if you want it to. Contact Shira for more information. You may not post translations of Shira's articles on anybody else's web site, not even your own.

If you are a teacher, performer, or student of Middle Eastern dance, you may link directly to any page on this web site from either your blog or your own web site without first obtaining Shira's permission. Click here for link buttons and other information on how to link.



Explore more belly dance info:

Top >
Belly Dancing >
Middle Eastern Culture >
Index to Middle Eastern Music Section


Share this page!

On Facebook


 Top > Belly Dancing > Middle Eastern Culture > Index to Middle Eastern Music Section

| Contact Shira | Links | Search this Site |