Leilet Hob

Leilet Hob – The Oum Kalthoum Project

Title in Arabic:  ليلة حب
Translation in English: Night of Love

Year: 1973

Composer: Mohamed Abdel Wahab
Lyrics: Ahmad Shafiq Kamel

Although Oum Kalthoum and Mohamed Abdel Wahab were both active in the Egyptian music world at the same time, it took them a lot of time and external mediation to until they started working together in 1964. Leilet Hob is one of the ten songs that Mohamed Abdel Wahab wrote for Oum Kalthoum. He liked to mix modern ideas into his music, and Leilet Hob is a great example in my opinion… just listen to the psychedelic intro! 🙂

You can check out different versions of the lyrics translated here, here and here. It is a beautiful love song, but it is also a bit sad. The song talks about feelings towards a loved one who is absent. So the singer asks her lover why is he late to their meeting, and tells him that they should not postpone their happiness.

I have also heard the term “Leilet Hob” being associated with the radio concerts Oum Kalthoum would give on the first Thursday of each month, lasting from the 1930ies up to her death. However, I have not found any sources to back that claim… 

When we speak of dancers, for me, and probably many of you, Leilet Hob will always associate with Sohair Zaki. Sohair Zaki has been called the Oum Kalthoum of dance,  and she is often accredited for being the first dancer to use Oum Kalthoum songs. I’d take this fact with a grain of salt – it is very difficult to determine who was the first, but here are several clips of her dancing to Leilet Hob for you to enjoy:

And here are some more contemporary versions: one of my favourite dancers Aziza…

…Yvonne from US…

…and a very short peek of a group number…

And, Michelle Trentin, suggested by Luísa Ruas

Back to the main page of The Oum Kalthoum Project

Sources used:
- A Night of Love. LyricsTranslate.
- Leylet Hob (Night of Love) - Oum Kalthoum. Asra Bellydance.
- Mohamed Abdel Wahab. Nogomistars.
- Oum Kalthoum. Leilet Hobb.  AllTheLyrics.com.
- Soheir Zaki - one of the Egypt's dance icons of 1980Belly Dance Museum.
- Umm Kulthum. Wikipedia.