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My All Time Favourite International Songs (10): “Desert Rose” by Sting & Cheb Mami (English/Arabic)

Desert Rose is very beautiful song for me. I just can’t stop listening to this song. The song is unique, because it is English and Arabic mix.

Desert Rose is a single by Sting from his album Brand New Day (1999). The song peaked at #3 in Switzerland, #4 Italy, #15 in the UK Sinles Chart and #17 in the US Billboard Hot 100.

The song is noted for Sting’s duet performance with Algerian rai singer Cheb Mami, creating a distinct world music feel to the song. It also has a popular music video featuring Sting taking a trip through the Mojave Desert in a Jaguar S-Type and then going to a nightclub in las Vegas, Nevada to perform the song with Cheb Mami.

The lyrics of the song are inspired by the Frank Herbert novel, Dune, of which Sting is a fan. Sting also played the villainous Feyd Rautha in the 1984 film adaptation. Both the book and the song feature the Arabic language, as well as imagery involving moisture and desert plantlife.

My All Time Favourite International Songs (9): Kalimat (Words) by Majida el Roumi (Arabic)

Majida el Roumi (Arabic: ماجدة الرومي‎) is one of the most famous Arabic singers of the modern day. She was born in Kfarshima, Lebanon, on December 13, 1956. Her song Kalimat (words) is her trademark song. This song is sung so elegently and the meaning of the lyrics is also so romantic. Kalimat is written by the legendary Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani. Kalimat, which was reelased in 1991 was her first pan-Arab hit.


ماجدة الرومي – كلمات (Majida el-Roumi – Words)
يُسمعني.. حـينَ يراقصُني
Yosmi3oni 7ina yoraqisoni
He tells me,When he dances with me

كلماتٍ ليست كالكلمات
Kalimatin laisat kal-kalimat
Words that aren’t like words

يأخذني من تحـتِ ذراعي
Ya2khothoni min ta7ti thira3i
He takes me underneath my arm

يزرعني في إحدى الغيمات
Yazra3oni fi a7dal ghaimat
And plants me in a cloud

والمطـرُ الأسـودُ في عيني
Wal-matarol aswado fi 3aini
And the black rain in my eye

يتساقـطُ زخاتٍ.. زخات
Yatasaqato zakhatin zakhat
Pours down… pours

يحملـني معـهُ.. يحملـني
Ya7miloni ma3aho ya7miloni
He carries me with him… he carries me

لمسـاءٍ ورديِ الشُـرفـات
Li masa2in wardi shorofat
To a night on a rose-filled terrace

وأنا.. كالطفلـةِ في يـدهِ
Wa ana kal-tiflati fi yadihi
And I am like a child in his hand

كالريشةِ تحملها النسمـات
Kal-rishati ta7milohal nasamat
Like a feather carried on the breeze

يهديني شمسـاً.. يهـديني صيفاً
Yohdini shamsan ..yohdini saifan
He gives me a sun… he gives me a summer

وقطيـعَ سنونوَّات
Wa qate3a snownowat
and a flock of swallows

يخـبرني.. أني تحفتـهُ
Yokhbironi anni to7fatoho
He tells me… that I am his masterpiece

وأساوي آلافَ النجمات
Wa osawi alafa najmat
And I am equal to thousands of stars

Ùˆ بأنـي كنـزٌ… وبأني
Wa bi anni kanzon wa bi anni
And that I am a treasure… and that I am

أجملُ ما شاهدَ من لوحات
Ajmalo ma shahada min law7at
More beautiful than any painting he’d ever seen

كلمات كلمات كلمات
Kalimat kalimat kalimat
Words words words

يروي أشيـاءَ تدوخـني
Yarwi ashya2a todawikhoni
He tells me things that make me giddy

تنسيني المرقصَ والخطوات
Tonseni al-marqasa wal-khatawat
That make me forget the dance hall and the steps

كلماتٍ تقلـبُ تاريخي
Kalimatin taqlibo tarekhi
Words that upturn my history

تجعلني امرأةً في لحظـات
Taj3aloni imra2atan fi la7athat
That make me a woman in seconds

يبني لي قصـراً من وهـمٍ
Yabnili qasran min wahmin
He’s builds me a castle of illusion

لا أسكنُ فيهِ سوى لحظات
La askono fihi siwa la7athat
I don’t live in it except for a few moments

وأعودُ.. أعودُ لطـاولـتي
Wa a3oudo li tawilati
And I return, I return to my table

لا شيءَ معي.. إلا كلماتْ
La shai2a ma3i illa kalimat
With nothing with me… except words

كلماتٍ ليست كالكلمات
Kalimatin laisat kal-kalimat
Words that aren’t like words