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Matloob Zaeem ('A Leader is Wanted')




This song describes the optimal characteristics for a future leader of Egypt. Controversially, the song ends with the following lines:
"Looks don’t matter, Age doesn’t matter, Faith doesn’t matter. The only requirement is to be human.
"In short, a male of the species [in Egyptian Arabic, ‘dakar’] is required”.
'Dakar' does not merely refer to any ordinary man but suggests a hyper masculinity -- 'a real man's man'.
Cairokee shot to fame during the 25 January uprising with their song ‘Sawt al-Hurriya’ ('Voice of Freedom').





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Standard YouTube licence




Date Created



Cairokee, “Matloob Zaeem ('A Leader is Wanted'),” Politics, Popular Culture and the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, accessed June 25, 2024,

Output Formats


Cairokee Band.jpg


Mohamed Naguib: “This is the 23rd of June, a day of loyalty to the Republic, when President Mohamed Naguib arrived.

Gamal Abdel Nasser: “A salute of the President of the Republic”

Anwar El-Sadat: “Fellow citizens, Anwar El-Sadat is speaking to you. The United Arab Republic has lost one of its dearest men, President Gamal Abdel Nasser.”

Hosni Mubarak: “The leader who was loved by millions, was martyred. The hero of war and peace, was martyred. The heroic, fighter and leader, Anwar El-Sadat”

Omar Suleyman: “President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down as President of the Republic. May God bless and aid us.”

“A leader is required
for a people that have always been great
for a people who were once active
but have since been insulted
from the big and the small
passive, divided
they get torn apart
so they would die or finish

A leader is required
For a people, who have been betrayed
by their leaders
who have been led astray and brainwashed
and those who paid attention
were blindfolded and tied up
and were sent to a prison
for a bunch of hungry dogs to attack them

But despite the oppression
They rose up and roared
And in two weeks
They shook the executioner’s forts
And brought the system down
On the heads of the corrupt

A leader is required
Who will protect rights
Who will be just towards people
Just like Al-Faruq [Islamic ruler Omar El-Khattab]
And who’ll be gentle to the poor
And harsh on the corrupt
He would crack their [the corrupt] heads
And hang them from a noose
Or hang them from a pole

A leader is required
Who won’t call the coward a sage
And who has good hearing
So he can listen to the beat of our hearts
And whose place is amongst us
Who would never live in palaces
Some of us are sadly living in graves
He’d drink and eat our food
And would live like one of us
He would listen, consult us
And take our opinion
In times of danger we would rally around him
And sacrifice our lives together

A leader is required
Who is responsible
Brave and bold
Not just a shiny nothing
Knows how to say no to injustice
Who would rather die
Than forgo a right

A leader is required
Whom we can hold accountable with the law
Or whom we can get rid of
If he one day betrays our trust
Looks don’t matter
Age doesn’t matter
Faith doesn’t matter
He simply has to be human

In short,
A 'real man' is required”