Kazim As-Sahir

Published 2021-04-06

Do you know who Kazim As-Sahir is? I did not before I started to study Arabic. Now, I listen to his songs every day.

There is a lot written about Kazim As-Sahir, since he is one of the most famous singers of the Arab world. Therefore, I will write about him more personally and from my perspective. Of course, we will learn Arabic as well.

Write Kazim As-Sahir in Arabic

We can start by writing Kazim As-Sahir in Arabic letters. First, we look at his first name. Click on the eye symbol to see the name letter by letter.

ﻛَﺎﻇِﻢ
kaaZim
Kazim

The name occurs with slightly different variants of English spelling: Kazim, Kadim and Kathem. This is because the Arabic letter Za is not available in English.

As-Sahir is not his real last name but an artist name. The name could be translated to "the night person". The Arabic word (saahir) can be both an adjective and a noun. It denotes someone who is awake at night, not by force but by will.

ﺳَﺎﻫِﺮ
saahir
night person, night reveler, nocturnal

The prefix (As) at the beginning of (As-Sahir) shows that it is in definite form. It is often written (Al-Sahir) or similar. It is true that (al) denotes definite form in Arabic. But the letter l in (al) is assimilated when it occurs before s and some other letters. The pronunciation is therefore (as) and not (al).

اَلسَّاهِر
as-saahir
the night person

Love me!

Among the first lyrics I read in Arabic was the lyrics to one of Kazim's songs: Love me without complexes.

Love me without complexes.3

The lyrics begin "Love me without complexes and lose yourself in the lines of my hand".

Get lost in the lines of my hand.3

Both ('aHibbii) and (Diid3ii) are imperatives to a woman. They mean "love me!" respectively "get lost!". You can learn more about the sentences by clicking on the eye symbol below.

The text is written by the poet Nizar Qabbani. The first time I read it, I was almost shocked, since I was used to the Swedish, more restrained, way of expressing yourself. I both felt embarrassed and enjoyed the grand symbols.

The impossible love

When I studied Arabic at university, Kazim's songs were among the lesson material. For example, The impossible love, which is also written by Nizar Qabbani.

the impossible love3

The song begins with "I love you very much".

I love you a lot.3

What particularly appealed to me were the words "between us are wind, cloud, lightning, thunder, snow and fire". Those words made me start reading Arabic poetry, and write poetry in Arabic myself.

between us are wind, cloud, lightning, thunder, snow and fire3

Concert with Kazim As-Sahir

A couple of years ago, I was at a Kazim As-Sahir concert in Stockholm. I bought a ticket a couple of hours after the tickets were released, which was lucky because I think they ran out the same day.

During the concert, the audience shouted ('abuu wisaaam) which means "Wisam's father". Kazim's oldest son is named Wisam. In the Arab world, it is common to address men ('abuu) followed by their oldest child's name.

Wisams' father

The most requested song seemed to be Do you have doubts? because the audience sang it between songs.

Do you have doubts?3

This is also a work by Qabbani, who has written many texts for Kazim As-Sahir. If you want to read more about Qabbani, I suggest you go to the page with all poems on this site.

More about Kazim As-Sahir

I have mentioned Qabbani a lot in this post, which is reasonable because these songs are very popular. My favorite of Kazim As-Sahir's songs, however, is one to which he himself wrote the lyrics: Let the anger out!. I plan to write a blog post about it soon.

If you read about Kazim As-Sahir on Wikipedia, you will find out that he plays guitar and oud. Oud is a string instrument with a round sound box, double strings and no frets. Since I play oud at an amateur level, there will definitely be one or two blog posts about it in the future.

ﻋُﻮﺩ
3uud
oud, stick

The Arabic word (oud) has several meanings. The most common meanings are the string instrument oud and stick.

That was all about Kazim As-Sahir for now. Which of his songs is your favorite? Is there any particular song you want me to write about? Feel free to comment.