Anthems in the Arab world: A hybrid national symbol

Elie Podeh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The national flag, anthem and emblem are the three symbols through which an independent country proclaims its identity and sovereignty. These symbols are universal signs of particularity. In spite of their symbolic significance, national anthems have not been the subject of widespread scholarship. This is particularly true with regard to the Arab world. The aim of this article is, therefore, threefold: first, to explore the historical, political and cultural sources of these anthems; second, to analyse the anthems' themes; and finally, to explore whether a commonality between the various Arab anthems can be found. The article advances three arguments: First, in contrast to the stability of anthems outside the Middle East, anthems in the Arab world underwent changes since independence, yet several countries retained their original anthems. The changes reflected the change of regime and/or historical narrative. Second, the consolidation of the territorial Arab state has also been reflected in the symbolic framework. And, finally, the Arab anthem is a hybrid symbol, amalgamating Western and Eastern cultural artefacts—Arab, Muslim or territorial.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1379-1394
Number of pages16
JournalNations and Nationalism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • Arab
  • Egypt
  • Islam
  • Middle East
  • nationhood/national identity
  • symbolism


Dive into the research topics of 'Anthems in the Arab world: A hybrid national symbol'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this