Arab Pop Culture Influence: From Music To Film

    Arab pop culture has been making waves globally for many years, from the catchy beats of Arabic music to the captivating storylines of Arabic cinema. It’s true that it can’t compete with American or Koren pop culture, but the momentum is there and there are numerous artists to support the phenomenon. It’s especially appreciated that Arab pop culture has been able to break through language and cultural barriers, to mark its impact seen in various forms of entertainment all over the world.

    In today’s article, we’re exploring some of the most notorious Arab artists that support the pop culture movement, as well as the creations that enjoy international recognition. So, without further ado, let’s get you started on a guide to Arab pop culture. 

    The Music Industry

    One of the most significant contributions of Arab pop culture comes from the music industry. Arabic music is known for its rich melodies and rhythms and the use of traditional instruments such as the oud, qanun, and tabla. In recent years, Arab pop music has undergone a transformative process as it got blended with elements of electronic, hip-hop, and R&B. This unique fusion allowed Arabic music to reach new audiences and enjoy more popularity outside the Middle East.

    One of the most successful Arab pop artists of all time is Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram. Her music has been widely popular in the Middle East and has gained a following worldwide. She reached the peak of her popularity through collaboration with international artists such as Ricky Martin and Cheb Khaled. Other popular Arab pop artists include Amr Diab and Tamer Hosny from Egypt, as well as Assi El Helani from Lebanon.

    Since the borders between various arts are quite permissive, in many instances, Arab pop music has also had an impact on the film industry. Quite a few Arabic films turned to pop songs to build their soundtracks, and this has led to a win-win situation.  One example is the Egyptian film “El-Haram el-Rabe” (“The Rabe Shrine”), which featured the hit song “Ya Salam” by Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram.

    The Movie Industry

    Since we’ve mentioned the perfect blend between Arabic pop culture and the movie industry in the previous paragraph, it’s the perfect moment to take a close look at some of the films that became popular worldwide.

    Arab cinema is also being noticed globally in recent years, with many films gaining recognition at international film festivals. One such film is “Capernaum”, directed by Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki. The film tells the story of a young boy growing up in extreme poverty on the outskirts of Beirut. The project won numerous awards, the most prestigious being the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

    The groundbreaking 2012 movie “Wadjda,” directed by Saudi Arabian filmmaker Haifaa Al-Mansour, tells the story of a young girl who dreams of owning a bicycle, even though this is seen as socially unacceptable in Saudi Arabia. Not only was it the first feature film to be shot entirely in Saudi Arabia, but it was also the first movie to be directed by a Saudi Arabian woman. The film earned rave reviews and was nominated for numerous awards, including a BAFTA for Best Foreign Language Film.

    It is an impressive feat that progress is being made on such sensitive topics in the Arab world, in spite of the local culture often placing restrictions on women and certain industries, such as gambling. This is the very aim of, which is dedicated to providing people in the region with the opportunity to enjoy online casinos and sports betting.

    Fashion is Never Far Behind

    Arab pop culture has also had an impact on the fashion industry. Traditional Arabic clothing, such as the abaya and hijab, has become increasingly popular in the West, with many designers incorporating these elements into their collections. Arab fashion designers have also gained recognition globally, with names such as Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad becoming household names in the fashion industry.

    Why Exclude Food?

    In addition to music, film, and fashion, Arab pop culture has also had an impact on the world of cuisine. Arabic cuisine, known for its rich flavors and use of spices, has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many restaurants serving Arabic dishes. The popularity of Arabic cuisine has also led to an increased demand for Arabic ingredients such as za’atar, sumac, and tahini.

    Final Thoughts

    Arab pop culture has also helped to break down stereotypes and promote cultural understanding. Arab artists and filmmakers have been able to showcase the beauty and diversity of Arab culture, challenging negative stereotypes and promoting a more nuanced understanding of the Arab world. This is especially important in a world where negative stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims are all too common.

    Arts in one place.

    All of our content is free, if you would like to subscribe to our newsletter or even make a small donation, click the button below.

    People are Reading