the Girl from Sevilla (Bint El Shalabiya)

Today I’m going to share an Arabic song with you; Bint El Shalabiya. It means:  the Girl from Sevilla (a city in the south of Spain where in medieval times Christians, Jews and Muslims lived in peace together).

Now let’s listen it from unquestionably  the best one; Fairuz:

The song also known by the name of Al bint al Chalabiye. In this case it means the beautiful girl. Chalabi refers to beautiful in Arabic language. However, I still want to use the first one, because this song smells more Sevilla. As you know Sevilla and Cordoba are two daughters of Andalusia. And Andalusia is the mother of marvellous music of the world.

I recommend you to listen this song also from the band; Arabandi:

Arabandi’s instruments have a tone which reminds the East and dessert. This music band was created in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1999. I find them very successful. As their album name says ‘East Meets East’, yes their music composes a new Eastern pleasure from Eastern.

And finally, let’s try the Arabic music band of Turkey; Nidal:

I think Nidal is obviously one of the most important band which introduces Arabic music to people of Turkey. Although in Turkey, good music listeners had been familiar to Arabic music because of Fairuz and Omm Khultum, Nidal has been the first domestic group which gained the appreciate of people.


10 Responses to the Girl from Sevilla (Bint El Shalabiya)

  1. Suze says:

    That’s very interesting.I spent autumn in Andalusia (Spain) and visited a few sfamous places that document the history of christian Spain freeing itself from the Muslims. They didn’t change the buildings much so nowadays the Alahambra still shows all the Arabic words on the walls of the building. Can’t wait to share the pictures with you and hear your thoughts on them


    • With pleasure. Spain and especially Andalusia is my favorite place i want to visit. Not only architecture, also its music interests me very much… And ok. Lets see your travel. The make me jealous of you:)


    • Shihana says:

      Shalbiya isnt an arabic word its a ottmani (turkish) word arab used it and still some people use it due to the ottman influence sorry for my bad english


      • Kim Do Han says:

        I haven’t heard anything about that it is an Ottomani word. I have read many Ottomani text, but that word doesn’t look like to be an Ottomani or Turkish word. Do you have any source?


      • Lebanese says:

        Actually that is not true. The word Chalab is an Arabic word. It is the word for Seville Spain a location of the Andalusian Empire. Chalabi means man from Seville Spain, Chalabiya, means female from Seville Spain. The Andalusian empire predates the Ottoman empire. The Ottoman’s adopted the word Chalabiya as “girl that wonders”, from the Arabic word for Chalab (Seville) Andalusia, because a lot of Levantine Arab-Mediterranean people, and North Africans wandered to Andalusia, specifically Seville (as our early pre-Islamic ancestors did as well).

        So the Arabic usage of the word predates the Ottoman use of the word. This is basic etymology.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lebanese says:

        Also Silves Portugal was part of the Andalusian empire and was called Shalb/Chalab as well. After 713, when the Moors entered Iberia, Silves became part of the Umayyad Emirate of Córdoba under the Arabic name of Shilb (شلب). In the 10th century it was one of the most important towns of western Al-Andalus. Southern Europe had been largely colonized and settled by our earlier ancestors from Phoenicia and Mesopotamians. #SemiticPeople

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lebanese says:

        All the etymology indicates is that the Ottoman’s viewed Andalusians as “wanderers”. Just like the wandering Phoenicians.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Laura says:

      As a Spaniard, I take exception to the idea that we ‘got free from the muslims’. For nearly a thousand years Spain was one nation with three religions. There was nothing remotely related to ‘freedom’ about pro-european, fundamentalist christians chucking out huge portion of our own population, nor about subreptitiously allowing them to return years later with the understanding that choosing their country would mean giving up their faith forever. This also meant losing customs and livelihoods until then heavily associated with Islam and Judaism, with the subsequent economic and cultural ruin that expansion to the Americans could only cover for so long. Centuries later, Spain is still reeling from this ‘freedom’, both in economic terms and in terms of identity.


  2. Thank you for all your informative comments.


  3. Cemal Bey says:

    Shalabi comes from Ottoman Turkish: çelebi
    This refers to someone who is refined and has good etiquette, like a gentleman.

    Seville in Arabic is: Ishbiliyya

    I don’t think Fairuz is referring to a girl from Spain in her song.

    Levantine families with Turkish roots are familiar with the word shalabi or çelebi.
    Most Arabs of Syria, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon do not have Turkish roots, so they don’t know this word.


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