Another summer means another Amr Diab anthem.
Like clockwork, the Egyptian pop king returned this month with the slick pop gem of Ya Baledna Ya Helwa.
The reaction is as expected from Diab’s devoted fan base, with the accompanying music video amassing over 27 million YouTube views in the space of two weeks.
While the track itself is firmly rooted in Diab's comfort zone of hooky Egyptian pop mixed with lashings of Mediterranean and Latin inspired guitars, Ya Baledna Ya Helwa stands out for being a yearning tribute to the singer's homeland.
Translating to "O’ Our Country, You Beauty", the song celebrates Egypt's social and geographical diversity.
In addition to paying tribute to the city dwellers of Cairo, Diab also gives a nod to the Southern Egyptian city of Aswan and its vibrant Nubian community.
He goes on to praise Al Sharq, with its "generous and honourable people", and the "energy" of Port Said and Ismailia.
The celebratory lyrics come with a heartwarming video shot in all the cities and regions that the song mentions. If you are still considering taking an Egyptian holiday once it’s safe to do so, one look at this video should seal the deal.
Written by composers Aziz Al Shafei and Tamer Hussein, the track was written in quick time, with a brief to spread smiles among Egyptians.
"We worked on it for about two or three weeks," Al Shafei told the online program ET Bel Arabi. "Diab told us he wanted a song that was about Egypt, but it had to be commercial and catch the heart of people, especially now that we live in the age of the coronavirus."
Diab's latest success is another milestone in a career spanning nearly 40 years. In addition to the over 50 million albums he's sold, Diab has achieved the rare feat of eclipsing the Arab music scene to become a global star.
This was demonstrated in lights, so to speak, when Diab became the first Arabic music artist to be beamed on a Times Square advert in New York City last December.
"Music is a language that speaks emotions and not only words," he said on the occasion. "I am blessed to have touched people around the world with my music."
Diab’s global appeal is also demonstrated in increasingly expansive world tours that take in cities not just home to large Arab diaspora communities. Some new stops in recent years include the Romanian and Czech capitals, Bucharest and Prague.
Diab last performed in the UAE in January, with 10,000 people congregating at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre for a sold-out concert.
It was one of the last major gigs to be held in the country before large concerts were halted as a safety measure against the spread of the coronavirus.