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

From the Site

Arab Song Translations

By Lennie Clark


From Lennie Clark's Web Site:

Gamil, Gamal
(Beautiful Dancer)


This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the classic song "Gamil, Gamal", which was sung by Farid al-Atrache. Also included is a transliteration of the Arabic lyrics into the Roman alphabet so you can sing along if you like.

Farid al-Atrache was a multi-talented entertainer of the 20th century. He was a virtuoso at playing the oud, a movie star, a singer, and a composer of music.

Al-Atrache was born in 1915 to parents Prince Fahad Al Atrache and Princess Alia of the Druze people. When he was 8 years old in 1923, his mother brought the family to Egypt to escape the violence of Lebanon, where people were fighting to end the French colonial occupation.

In Egypt, young Atrache became a naturalized Egyptian citizen. As a promising young musician, he was accepted into the conservatory. He became apprenticed to legendary composer Riad al-Sombati, who was known for creating several of Oum Kalthoum's hit songs. As he matured, he became a popular performer as a singer and oud player in Cairo's thriving nightclub scene, working first for Mary Mansour, and later for Badia Masabni. He was discovered by Medhat ‘Aassem who heard him sing in Badia Masabni's club, and recruited him to begin his radio career. Farid went on to enjoy a thriving career in Egyptian cinema, appearing as a leading man in over 30 movies, and composing music for more than 40.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: The photographer who took this photo was Van Leo (Levon Boyadjian), an Armenian-Egyptian known as the photographer to the stars because of his beautiful photos of the celebrities of his day.

Farid al-Atrache




Note from Lennie Clark: Linda has had this transliteration and translation for so long that she cannot remember who gave it to her....

Arabic Lyrics

English Translation

Gameel Gamal Beautiful dancer
Meloosh meesel Nothing looks like you
Walah fee'l kayal Not even in a dream
Sadah ilee aahl I believe those who said
Zay el Ghazel She is like a deer
Gameel Gamal Beautiful dancer
Meloosh meesel Nothing looks like you
Leh dunia gameela wa helwa Why is the world pretty and sweet?
W'enta maaya? When you are with me?
Leh Bitkally il ilb benashwa Why do you make the heart joyful?
Wansa Asaya? Forgetting my problems
Inselnee leh? Marafshe. You ask me why? I don't know.
We serey aay? Mefhemshe. What is the secret? I don't understand.
Atfee w'hanan min izzaman Generosity and protection from the lifetime.
Gameel Gamal Beautiful dancer
Meloosh meesel Nothing looks like you
Walah fee'l kayal Not even in a dream
Sadah ilee aahl I believe those who said
Zay el Ghazel She is like a deer
Leh lemma bashufak (be anayah)rouhee tiganee? Why does my heart sing when I see you in my eyes?
Witgahny il ahhlaam hawaleyah w'ttamennee And the dream sings around me and revives me.
Nazrit anneyk tishernay Your looks entice me
Weshow ilaek Hayarney Longing for you makes me choose
Leh kul el azhar bit hebek? Why do all the flowers love you?
Wa dtar wa nass? And the birds and the people
Alashaan arayalee fee elbek walah el ahhsas. Because of kindness in your heart or feelings



Where to Get Recordings of this Song

Legendary Songs of Passion CD Cover


Artist: Farid al-Atrache
CD Title: Legendary Songs of Passion and Musical Extacy of the Arabian Nights

Samya Best of Farid al-Atrash CD Cover


Artist: Hossam Ramzy
CD Title: Hossam Ramzy: The Best of Farid al Atrash

Art of Belly Dancing CD Cover


Artist: George Abdo
CD Title: The Art of Belly Dancing

Bellydance from Egypt


Artist: Bashir Abdel Al
CD Title: Bellydance from Egypt: Gamil Gamal



Translations of
Farid al-Atrache's Songs on This Site

Other translations of songs performed by Farid al-Atrache on this web site include:




About the Person Who Provided the Translation

Linda Grondahl's background is that of a devoted lover of Arabic music and dance. She danced with Amina and the Aswan Dancers for many years. She took Arabic percussion with Mary Ellen Donald, Su Su Pampanin, George Dubai, Vince Deldado, and Tony Lammam. She took Arabic singing from Nicole Ibrahim, Mimi Spencer, Georges Lammam. On the oud, she studied under Nazir Latouf, Mimi Spencer, Abdullah Kdough. She was a member of the Aswat Arab-American Choir under the direction of Elias Lammam. She is now a member of the El Ashaab dance troupe, and Tahneen, the all-girl, all-American Middle eastern music ensemble. They have played for Arab and American events, and for many years at the Rakassah festival.

"I just saved whatever I could get my hands on, for years", writes Linda, "and really don't know why. It was always so dificult to get music, so I just kept on saving."

Linda lives in San Francisco, California. Her favorite color is any shade of purple.


About the Source

This article originally appeared on Lennie Clark's web site, "Arabic Song Translations." Lennie created this web site in 2002 as a response to discussion on the Internet regarding incidents of dancers who performed inappropriate sensual dances to religious music. Lennie's web site resided on a free web hosting service known as Geocities.

When the planned October 2009 closure of the Geocities web hosting service was announced, Lennie and Shira agreed to move the contents of Lennie's site to To explore all the articles and song translations that once appeared on Lennie's Geocities site, visit Lennie's portal page here on

Lennie Clark



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