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The Beauty and Mystery of Allah Allah Ya Baba: A Song About Black Eyes and Beautiful Cheeks

Allah Allah Ya Baba: The Story Behind a Popular Tunisian Song


If you have ever listened to Arabic music or watched belly dance videos, you might have heard a catchy song that goes "Allah Allah Ya Baba". This song is called "Sidi Mansour", and it is one of the most famous folkloric songs from Tunisia. But what does it mean? Who is Sidi Mansour? And how did this song become so popular around the world?

What does "Allah Allah Ya Baba" mean?

The phrase "Allah Allah Ya Baba" literally means "God God Oh Papa". However, it is not a religious expression. Rather, it is a way of expressing admiration, joy, or surprise. It is similar to saying "Wow Wow Oh Daddy" in English. In this context, "Baba" does not refer to one's father, but to a respected elder or a beloved person.

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Who is Sidi Mansour?

Sidi Mansour is the name of a Tunisian Sufi saint who lived before the 15th century. His full name was Mansour Ghulam, and he was born in the city of Sfax. He was known for his piety, wisdom, and miracles. He is buried in a mausoleum in Sfax, which is also named after him. Many Tunisians visit his tomb to seek his blessings and intercession.

History of the Song

Origins and Variants

The song "Sidi Mansour" is based on a traditional Tunisian folk tune that has been sung for centuries. There are many variants of the song with similar lyrics that praise Sidi Mansour and ask for his help. The song is usually performed in weddings and festivals as a way of celebrating and invoking good luck.

Saber Rebaï's Version

The song was made famous in 2000 when the Tunisian singer Saber Rebaï released his version of "Sidi Mansour". He added new lyrics that describe his love for a woman with black eyes and beautiful cheeks. He also used modern pop music elements to make the song more appealing to a wider audience. His version became a hit in Tunisia and across the Arab world.

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Other Versions and Samplings

Since then, "Sidi Mansour" has been subject to many covers in Arabic and other languages, such as Turkish, Persian, French, Spanish, and English. Some of the most notable ones are: - "Ya Baba" by the Turkish singer Ziynet Sali, which was released in 2015 and became a popular dance song in Turkey and Europe. - "Allah Allah Ya Baba" by the Iranian singer Saeed Shayesteh, which was released in 2016 and mixed Persian and Arabic lyrics. - "Allah Allah Ya Baba" by the French rapper Lartiste, which was released in 2017 and featured the Moroccan singer Awa Imani. - "Ya Baba" by the Spanish singer Maki, which was released in 2018 and featured the Moroccan singer Mimi. - "Allah Allah Ya Baba" by the British singer RAYE, which was released in 2019 and sampled Saber Rebaï's version. The song has also been used in several movies and TV shows, such as The Dictator (2012), The Wedding Party (2016), and Elite (2018).

Cultural Impact of the Song

Influence on Other Songs

"Sidi Mansour" has inspired many other songs that use similar melodies or lyrics. For example, the Egyptian singer Amr Diab released a song called "Ya Habibi La" in 2004, which borrowed the chorus of "Sidi Mansour". The Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram released a song called "Ya Tabtab Wa Dallaa" in 2006, which also used the same chorus. The Algerian singer Cheb Khaled released a song called "C'est La Vie" in 2012, which incorporated some elements of "Sidi Mansour".

Popularity in Dance and Music Videos

"Sidi Mansour" is also a popular song for belly dance performances and music videos. Many dancers have choreographed routines to the song, showcasing their skills and creativity. Some of the most famous dancers who have performed to "Sidi Mansour" are: - Sadie Marquardt, an American dancer who performed to Saber Rebaï's version in 2007. - Didem Kınalı, a Turkish dancer who performed to Ziynet Sali's version in 2015. - Dina Talaat, an Egyptian dancer who performed to Saeed Shayesteh's version in 2016. - Yana Tsehotskaya, a Ukrainian dancer who performed to Lartiste's version in 2017. - Meher Malik, an Indian dancer who performed to RAYE's version in 2019. The song has also been featured in many music videos by various artists, such as Saber Rebaï, Ziynet Sali, Lartiste, Maki, and RAYE.

Symbolism and Meaning for Tunisians

For many Tunisians, "Sidi Mansour" is more than just a song. It is a symbol of their culture, identity, and history. The song represents their love for their country, their respect for their traditions, and their pride for their achievements. The song also reflects their diversity, openness, and creativity. The song has been used as a source of inspiration, motivation, and solidarity for Tunisians during various events, such as: - The Jasmine Revolution of 2011, which was a series of protests that led to the overthrow of the authoritarian regime of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. - The Nobel Peace Prize of 2015, which was awarded to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet for their efforts to build a pluralistic democracy after the revolution. - The FIFA World Cup of 2018, which was the fifth time that Tunisia qualified for the tournament and the first time that they won a match since 1978.


Summary of Main Points

In conclusion, "Sidi Mansour" is a popular Tunisian folkloric song that has a rich history and a wide influence. The song is based on a traditional tune that praises a Sufi saint named Sidi Mansour. The song was made famous by Saber Rebaï in 2000, and since then it has been covered by many artists in different languages. The song has also been used in various dance and music videos. The song has a cultural impact on Tunisians and others who appreciate its meaning and symbolism.


Here are some frequently asked questions about "Sidi Mansour":


What is the genre of "Sidi Mansour"?"Sidi Mansour" is a folkloric song that belongs to the genre of malouf, which is a type of classical Arabic music that originated in Andalusia and spread to North Africa.

What instruments are used in "Sidi Mansour"?The original version of "Sidi Mansour" uses traditional instruments such as the oud (a lute-like string instrument), the nay (a flute-like wind instrument), the darbuka (a goblet-shaped drum), and the qanun (a zither-like string instrument). The modern versions of "Sidi Mansour" use additional instruments such as the guitar, the keyboard, the violin, and the saxophone.

What are some other famous Tunisian songs?Some other famous Tunisian songs are: - "Ya Rayah" by Dahmane El Harrachi, which is a song about migration and nostalgia. - "Ya Msafer Wahdak" by Mohamed Abdel Wahab, which is a song about travel and adventure. - "Ya Lili" by Balti and Hamouda, which is a rap song about childhood and innocence. - "Helwa Ya Baladi" by Dalida, which is a song about homeland and patriotism. - "Ya Tir El Ali" by Lotfi Bouchnak, which is a song about love and longing.

How can I learn to dance to "Sidi Mansour"?You can learn to dance to "Sidi Mansour" by watching online tutorials or joining a belly dance class. Some of the basic moves that you can practice are: - The hip drop, which involves lifting one hip and dropping it sharply while keeping the knees bent. - The hip circle, which involves moving the hips in a circular motion while keeping the upper body still. - The shimmy, which involves shaking the hips or shoulders rapidly while keeping them relaxed. - The camel walk, which involves stepping forward with one foot and rolling the hips forward and back.

Where can I listen to "Sidi Mansour"?You can listen to "Sidi Mansour" on various platforms such as YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, and SoundCloud. You can also find the lyrics and translations of the song on websites such as LyricsTranslate and Genius.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article about "Sidi Mansour". If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them below. Thank you for your attention and have a nice day!

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