7 Foreign Productions That Featured Arabic Songs In Their Soundtrack

1 year ago By Marwan Omar


Arabic heritage has always inspired foreign cultures with its originality and works of art. The past decade witnessed a significant leap in the standards of our musical hits as well, and this evolution repeatedly triggered foreign filmmakers to adopt Arabic songs in their projects. These are seven foreign productions that integrated our renowned songs:


1- The Dictator

Sacha Baron Cohen has always been known for his bizarre yet hilarious comedies, topped with 2012’s The Dictator. Going along with the film’s Middle Eastern tone, the filmmakers sought a couple of Arabic hits for the movie to summon some Middle Eastern vibes, which resulted in the presence of Cheb Khaled’s “Wahrane Wahrane” and Amr Diab’s “Habibi Wala Ala Balo”.


2- Volver

Despite its very Latin atmosphere, Volver had room for an instrumental snippet that you’ll instantly identify as Hussein El Jasmi’s breakthrough hit “Bawada3ak”. 


3- Just Like A Woman

2012 was a good year for Amr Diab songs: his contribution in The Dictator was shortly followed by another featuring in the drama Just Like A Woman. This time, his vocals stole the show with his iconic performance in “Tamaly Ma3ak”.


4- A Hologram For The King

Set entirely in Saudi Arabia, A Hologram For The King is centered on exhibiting the ideological, cultural and geographical differences between life in the Arabic Gulf and the United States. Hence, it made sense to utilize local music, which was done through featuring Rashid El Majid’s two renowned songs “El Qalb Lak” and “Ya Za El Shabab” in the film’s soundtrack.


5- Malcolm In The Middle

Before making it big starring in Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston’s first steps towards fame were through the successful series Malcolm In The Middle, that aired in the early 2000s. Back then, Amr Diab’s “Noor El-Ein” was still pretty fresh, especially after it escorted him to the 1998 World Music Awards, which got the song featured on the show to kick off one of its episodes.     


6- The Lovers On The Bridge

What better way to treat yourself than watching a romantic French flick that embraces the refined tunes of Fairuz? The 1991 film The Lovers On The Bridge attained a breathtaking meld with its integration of Fairuz’s “Jayebli Salam” and “Ya Saken Elali” and its subtle accordion melodies.


7- The Dancer Upstairs

Remember our childhood affection for Amr Diab’s “Awedooni” and its famous hand dance? Well, turns out that its impact was a global one, landing it in Javier Bardem’s The Dancer Upstairs back in 2002. 


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