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Omar Khorshid: Rhythms from the Orient

If you dig “east meets west” style exotica ala Ananda Shankar then prepare to have your mind blown, cause Egyptian guitarist Omar Khorshid is one of the giants! A swirling blend of snakey rhythms played with Moog, organ, belly dance percussion, and of course Omar’s driving electric guitar in the foreground. Check out the track “Ah Ya Zen” for a good taste. It is interesting to note that this track is a vamp on a traditional folk song. Most of the tracks on this record are.

While it seems he is fairly well known by fans of exotica and Middle Eastern pop music (a couple of his lp’s have made it to CD), facts about him are scant (in English, anyway) on the net. He apparently acted in and did music for film, yet I’ve been unable to find any soundtracks credited to him. Also, all discographies I’ve found seem to be incomplete. He has at least 8 lp’s that I know of from the mid to late 70’s. Some on the Greek label Voice of Lebanon, and some on EMI. A few of which I’ll be adding to the site shortly…


  • Song called “Ah Ya Zen” looks like a ripoff from turkish classical “muhabbet bagina” composed by Sadettin Kaynak. You can listen to a version sung by Semiramis Pekkan at http://www.semiramispekkan.net/ararimsorarim.html

  • I don’t remember seeing Omar Khorshid in movies. His recorded music, most noteable his tribute to Oum Khalsoum, is my favorite CLASSICAL Middle Eastern music. I guess I’ve always been partical to the sound of the electric guitar. And he was (he’s dead over 20 years) the greatest in his genre.

  • sounds like “When The Saints Go Marching In”

  • que dieu et son ame

  • Cooool! Thanks!

  • Regarding the idea of “Ah Ya Zen” being a rip-off of “Muhabbet Bagina”, it is just as likely that it’s the other way around. Many middle-eastern musicians and groups have covers of “Ah Ya Zen” (spellings might be different, as “Ah Ya Zein”).

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