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انا و ليلى
Ana wa Leila

(Leila and Me)



This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the Iraqi song "Ana wa Leila", which was composed and performed by Kazem el-Saher. Also included is a transliteration of the Arabic lyrics into the Roman alphabet so you can sing along if you like.

  • Ana wa Leila (Leila and Me), 2000
  • Song Title in Arabic: انا و ليلى
  • Album: Ana wa Leila
  • Lyricist: Hussein Al Marwani
  • Composer: Kazem el-Saher
  • Original Artist: Kazem el-Saher

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 Kazem el-Saher

Kazem el-Saher is an Iraqi singer, composer, and songwriter, sometimes known by the nickname "The Caesar of Arabic music". Over the course of his career, he has achieved spectacular success throughout the Arabic-speaking world and beyond. His biggest hit has been Ana Wa Laila.

When el-Saher was growing up, he was influenced by hearing music on the radio by composers such as Mohamed Abdel Wahab. He started learning to play guitar as a child, then later switched to oud. At age 21, he enrolled in the prestigious Baghdad Institute of Music and studied there approximately 6 years.

El-Saher found it difficult to break into the music business because he wanted to perform his own compositions, whereas music producers were more interested in artists who would perform their material. He collaborated with a friend who happened to be a television director to create a music video featuring one of his own songs, "Ladghat El Hayya". It was broadcast on Iraqi television in 1987, immediately generating controversy due to the content of its lyrics. A year later he released another hit, "Obart Al Shat".

After moving to Lebanon in 1996, el-Saher teamed up with Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani, who served as his lyricist on more than 30 songs. By 1998, el-Saher had released 10 albums and elevated his reputation from "pop star" to "artist". He won a UNICEF award for his song "Tathakkar", which he was invited to perform for the U.S. Congress and the United Nations.

El-Saher began his career as a songwriter creating music for other Iraqi singers, but eventually moved on to become a recording artist in his own right. He relocated to Cairo, Egypt, and built a following as the voice of Iraqi exiles.

Kazem el Saher has often been compared to legendary Egyptian singer Abdel Halim Hafez because of his emotive singing style. Like Hafez, he has also been a heartthrob in the eyes of many young Arab women. Al-Saher has been at the forefront of a return to romantic classicism in Arabic music, steering clear of the pop sound that is so prevalent today. El-Saher is known for his perfectionism and attention to detail, and praised for his non-traditional use of long-forgotten maqamat (musical building blocks) in his compositions.

El-Saher has released over 20 albums, toured the world, and achieved international popularity.

Other ways to spell his name include "Kathem el-Saher", "Kadhum El Sahir", and "Kadim Al Sahir".




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

Arabic Lyrics


English Translation


Part 1

Part 1

Part 1

ماتت بمحراب عينيك ابتهالاتي Matat be mehrabi einaiki ibtihalati. My pleas died in the depths of your eyes,
واستسلمت لرياح اليأس راياتي Wa estaslamat le reyahi al yaas rayati. and my flags surrendered to the winds of despair.
جفلت على بابك الموصد أزمنتي Jafaat ala babiki el mawsood azminati. My days shriveled at your closed door.
ليلى Layla. Layla!
وما أثمرت شيئا نداءاتي Wa ma athmarat shayan nidaati? And what results did my cries get?
عامان ما رف لي لحن على وتر Aamani ma rafani lahnon ala watarin. For two years I couldn't make any music (1)
ولا استفاقت على نور سماواتي Wala istifaqat ala noorin samawati. and there is no light in my skies.
أعتق الحب في قلبي وأعصره..فارشف الهم Wa atiqol hob fi qalbi wa asooroho. Fa arshifol hama. I released the love in my heart and crushed it, then I drank grief
في مغبر كاساتي Fi moghbar kasati. from a dirty chalice.
ممزق أنا..لا جاه ولا ترف يغريك في Momazakoon ana. La jahoon wa la taarafoon yeghoriki feya. And I was torn apart. I had no prestige or luxury to tempt you with.
فخليني لآهاتي Fakhalini li ahati. So leave me with my pain.
لو تعصرين سنين العمر أكملها Law taasorina seneen al omr akmalaha. If you squeeze the years of my life,
لسال منها نزيف من جراحاتي La sala minha nazifoon min jirahati. the blood would flow from my wounds.
لو كنت ذا ترف ما كنت رافضة حبي Law konto zad tarafin ma konti rafidatan hobi. If I had been able to offer luxury, you would not have refused my love.
ولكن عسر الحال، فقر الحال، ضعف الحال مأساتي. Wa lakina osr al hal, fokor al hal, daaf al hali maasaai. But I am in distress, poor, and powerless.
عانيت..عانيت Aanaito, aanait. I suffered, I suffered.
لا حزن أبوح به..ولست تدرين..شيئا عن معاناتي. La hozno aboho bihi. Wa lasti tadrin shayaan an moanati. But I have not revealed my sorrow, and you don't know a thing about my suffering.
أمشي واضحك..ياليلى..مكابرة Amshi wa adhako, ya Layla, mokabaratan. I walk and smile, oh Layla, because I'm stubborn.
على اخبئ عن الناس احتضاراتي Alli okhabi an al nas ihtidarati. So I hide my agony from people.
لا الناس تعرف ..ما امري فتعذرني La al nas tirifo ma amri fa tazironi. If they knew what was wrong, they would try to console me,
ولا سبيل لديهم في مواساتي Wa la sabilal adayhim fi moasati. and I knew that they could not.
يرسو بجفني حرمان يمص دمي Yarsoo bi jafnaya hermanon yamooso dami. Deprivation rests upon my brow and sucks my blood,
ويستبيح اذا شاء ابتساماتي Wa yastabiho iza shaa abtisamati. and it takes away my smiles.
معذورة أنت ان اجهضت لي أملي Maazoraton anti in ajhaftili amali. You are forgiven for aborting my hopes. (2)
لا الذنب ذنبك بل كانت حماقاتي La al zanb zanboki, bal kanat hamakati. The fault is not yours; it was my foolishness.

Part 2

Part 2

Part 2

أضعت في عرض الصحراء قافلتي Adaato fi arad al sahraai qafilati. I lost my caravan in the desert,
و جئت أبحث في عينيك عن ذاتي. Wa jeito abhatho fee ainaiki aan zati. and I searched for myself in your eyes,
و جئت احضانك الخضراء منتشيا Wa jeito ahdanak al khadraa montashian. and I searched for happiness in your embrace.
كالطفل يحمل ..أحلامي البريئات Kal tifli yaahmilo ahlami al bariqati. Like a child, I formed my innocent dreams,
غرست كفك تجتثين اوردتي Gharasti kafaki taktathin awridati. and you planted your palms, and pulled apart my veins,
وتسحقين بلا رفق مسراتي Wa tashakina bila rifkin masarati. and you mercilessly suppressed my joy.
وا غربتاه Wa ghorbata, And I'm estranged from my home,
مضاع هاجرت مدني..عني Modaaon hajarat modoni aani. my lost cities (3) abandoned me,
وما أبحرت منها شراعاتي. Wa ma abhrat minha shiraati. and my sailboat couldn't sail away from her.
نفيت واستوطن الأغراب في بلدي Nofito wa astawtan al aghrabo fi baladi. I was exiled, and strangers settled in my country,
ودمروا كل أشيائي الحبيبات Wa damaro kolo ashyaa al habibatihi. and they destroyed everything I loved.
خانتك عيناك Khanatki ainaki. Your eyes betrayed you
في زيف وفي كذب Fi zaifin wa fi kazibin. with forgery and lying,
أم غرك البهرج الخداع Am gharak al bohrojo al khadaa. your confusion deceived you.
مولاتي Mawlati. My lady.

Part 3

Part 3

Part 3

فراشة جئت ألقي كحلا أجنحتي لديك Farashaton geito olki kohla ajnihati la adaiki. I came to you as a butterfly to place the colors of my wings within your hands.
فاحترقت ظلما جناحاتي Fahtarakat zolma janihati. Then injustice burned my wings.
أصيح والسيف مزروع بخاصرتي Asiho wa al saifo mazroon bi khasirati. I screamed while the sword was implanted in my chest,
والغدر حطم آمالي العريضات Wa al ghadro hatama amali al aridati. and the betrayal destroyed my high hopes.
وأنت ايضا الا تبت يداك Wa anti aydan ala tabat yadaki. And you too, I died in your hands.
الا تبت يداك Ala tabat yadaki. I died in your hands.
اذ آثرت قتلي واستعذبت أناتي Iza sarti qatlia wa astazabti anati. Because you preferred to murder me, and you loved the sound of my moans.
ملي بحذف اسمك الشفاف من لغاتي Mali bi hazf ismaki al shafaafi min loghati. And so I deleted your precious name from my vocabulary.
إذن ستمسي بلا ليلى... ليلى Izan satomsi bila Layla... Layla. Therefore, they will be without Layla, Layla.
إذن ستمسي بلا ليلى ..حكاياتي Izan satomsi bila Layla... hikayati. Therefore my stories will be told without Layla.
  1. Literally, "For two years I couldn't find any melodies on my strings [of my musical instrument]".
  2. In this imagery, his hopes are like a child, which she aborts.
  3. Here, the idea of cities or homeland are used as a metaphor for her.



Translations of
Kazem el-Saher's Songs On This Site

Translations on this web site of songs performed by Kazem el-Saher include:



About the Translation Source

This translation and transliteration of the song's lyrics are courtesy of



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