Most are sites which have to deal with music and dance;
There are some news and information links at the end of the page

Art of Middle Eastern Dance by Shira
(over 50 Arabic song translations and transliterations---click on middle eastern culture)
(On the home page, click on "songs" to find a nice collection of song translations/transliterations. The Aswandancers are a San Francisco troupe who are dedicated to educating the public about Arabic culture. The impressive collection of songs was added to the website early summer, 2002.)

Abdel Halim Hafez
This very nice bio of Abdel Halim Hafez is found on the Egyptian State Information Service website.
Abdel Halim Hafez
Another bio of Abdel Halim Hafez, the great Egyptian singer and movie star, from a website about Egypt which is aimed at children.
(Thanks to Tahseen Alkoudsi of Cartouche, Inc. for the URLs of these sites.)

The Umm Koulthoum page of the Al Mashriq website

This section of the Al Mashriq website has a biography of Umm Koulthoum and the lyrics to her songs in Arabic script.

Go to Lyrics Page for translations (and transliterations) of eleven of Farid Atrache's songs from his movies, plus an interesting bio on the great Egyptian singer, oud player, and movie star.

Amr Diab
(contains translations and transliterations of many of his songs)

(contains translations and transliterations of many pop songs,and an unsual home page which pleads for understanding between people of different faiths)

Cafe Rai
The forum of this website is great source for lyrics and translations to rai music. The forum, as the editor wrote me, "is for ALL rai music fans." You can register and post a request yourself, or learn from the many posts already there. (Editor's note: any time that you sign up for anything on the internet, you run a risk of having your e-mail address used by unwanted spam sources.)

Mohammed Mounir the King
Everything you ever wanted to know about Mohammed Mounir including English translations to many of his older songs, which may or may not still be available.
Downloads of songs, Arabic pop top ten lists, links to singers' sites, other info.
("The quality music of the Arabs". No song lyrics, but great info!)

Morocco is a leading bellydancer who is well-known for her research on the dance and the culture of the Middle East, (as well as for her performances), and her site reflects this knowledge. There are intersting articles about her travels and experiences, and among other pages, a great list of recommended books.
This site contains an interesting article about what the life of a Muhammad Ali Street dancer in Cairo is like, interesting reviews of music, and much more. It is run by a UK dancer named Nikki Brown, who shares with her viewers her enthusiasm and knowledge of Middle Eastern dance and music and the culture from which they have sprung.

Hossam Ramzy
If you click on "articles", you'll find some fascinating bios of the great classic Egyptian dance stars, and some clearly written articles which many dancers need to read (in my opinion!) about Arabic music and the necessity of matching the moves to the rhythm of the music! But the whole site is interesting. What a varied and accomplished career Hossam Ramzy has had!

Mary Ellen Donald
Mary Ellen Donald is legendary in the field of American musicians who play middle eastern music. Articles, books, recordings, performance schedules, and much else are found on this website which Mary Ellen's son John has created for her many fans and admirers to use and enjoy. The site contains a memorial page to Mimi Spencer.

Jalilah's Magick
(This site has a section which features biographies of artists, a different one added each month; also reviews of Middle Eastern dance music and information on how to purchase it.)
This site has some of the older belly-dance recordings, and bios of artists, which are not always available elsewhere. Go to the "wilds sounds" page.

Yasmina's Joy of Bellydancing
The translations on this site are also found at Shira's site, but there are a lot of other reasons that Yasmina's site is fun to explore. History, links to interesting articles, books about dance and related subjects, drum rhythms, and articles describing what it's like to produce the belly dance cable TV show and dance events which Yasmina and her husband John collaborate on.

Eva Cernik
If you like to explore in depth the philosophy of the dance, and love to immerse yourself in experience of the culture that gave it birth, I suggest strongly that you read the home page and the articles page of Eva's site.

RAQS with Kashmir

An interesting and well-researched site which includes, among its wealth of information, a well-organized table on all the different types of Middle Eastern dance, and some song translations not found elsewhere. Its web-mistress is New Zealand dancer, Kashmir.

Born January 2003, this site aims eventually to give the viewer an extensive listing of individuals and groups of the United States and Canada who are involved Middle Eastern music or dance.


This site contains many articles on the anthropology of dance and music in middle eastern culture. Go to the home page and click on "ethnography", "enthology", and "library".

The Gilded Serpent
An on-line bellydance magazine which has some real jewels of articles, in among the gossipy chitchat about what's happening on the belly dance scene.

Middle East Dance List
If you are the type of person who would be interested in reading twenty to thirty e-mail "posts" a day, from people all over the world who are interested in Middle Eastern dance, send an e-mail to and have the word "subscribe" in the body of the e-mail. Some of the "posts" are not interesting at all, but many are from experts and well-known authorities in the field. (Editor's note: if these directions do not work, e-mail me and I will help you.)


(The following links are not musical,(although Al-Ahram and AlJadid do have some articles on music and culture) but in these times, understanding between cultures is so crucial, that I feel I must include them.)

AlJadid Magazine

If you are an intellectual type person who is interested in Arabic arts and culture, AlJadid may be just your cup of tea. There are book reviews, film reviews, and thoughtful articles on Arab politics and culture. AlJadid is published by an Arab-American professor who is on the faculty of Stanford University.

Al Ahram

This weekly Cairo newspaper, in publication for four decades, has an on-line English version that is very well-done. News, editorials, culture, and arts all are covered, in an intelligent and lively style.

(The official website of the Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee) This organization is recommended by the editor of Al Jadid magazine for its rational viewpoint. ADC does a lot of lobbying the U.S. government, trying to change the U.S. policy in the Middle East, and also helps fight against discrimination against Arabs in the United States.)


For some views of the invasion as seen from inside Iraq, via unofficial e-mails, click on "Iraq Diaries". Also found some fascinating stuff on "Action and Activism", and I'm sure there is much more to be found on this excellent site. There are also articles which tell what Arabic networks are showing their audiences.

Where is Raed? and Salam Pax

"Where is Raed" is a web-log purported to be from Baghdad. "Salam Pax" is the pen name of a reporter who also claims to write from Baghdad. Their anonymity allows them to write what they see from their own eyes. My favorite way to get these sites to come up is to go to Google and type in "Salam Pax". (Editor's note: some have pointed out that, due to the nature of e-mail, these sites could be coming from Kansas and we would never know. But why don't you read them yourself and decide?)
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