Kelmti Horra

Kelmti Horra (Arabic: كلمتي حرة‎, "My Word is Free") is the debut studio album by Tunisian protest singer Emel Mathlouthi.[1] It was released on January 24, 2012. The title track was written by Tunisian writer Amine al-Ghozzi and became an important protest song in the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions.[2][3]

Kelmti Horra
Kelmti Horra Album.png
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 24, 2012 (2012-01-24)
LabelWorld Village

Track listingEdit

Original track listing
1."Houdou'on (The Calm)"Emel Mathlouthi5:31
2."Ma Ikit (Not Found)"Emel Mathlouthi3:57
3."Dhalem (Tyrant)"Emel Mathlouthi3:55
4."Stranger"Emel Mathlouthi4:12
5."Ya Tounes Ya Meskina (Poor Tunisia)"Emel Mathlouthi4:46
6."Ethnia Twila (The Road is Long)"Emel Mathlouthi8:23
7."Kelmti Horra (My Word is Free)"Amin al-Ghozzi6:29
8."Dfina (Burial)"Emel Mathlouthi6:22
9."Hinama (When)"Emel Mathlouthi5:28
10."Yezzi (Enough)"Emel Mathlouthi7:14


  • Emel Mathlouthi, guitar, lead vocals and backing vocals
  • Zied Zouari, violin
  • Séverine Morfin, viola
  • Valentin Ceccaldi, cello
  • Imed Alibi, djembe, shakers
  • Vanesa Garcia, bombo
  • Jonathan Giovannelli, balafon
  • Sana Sassi, backing vocals
  • Jelila Bouraoui, backing vocals
  • Christine Audat, backing vocals
  • Amine Metani, backing vocals
  • Ahmed Nouisser, backing vocals


The album was received positively. Neil Spencer of The Observer called Mathlouthi "a powerful new voice" and "a world diva with a difference", describing the album as twisting together "Arabic roots with western flavours" including rock and trip-hop.[4]

Music News describes Kelmti Horra as "a work of haunting and melodramatic beauty" with "an intoxicating and intriguing sound".[5] Mathlouthi was called the "Voice of Tunisian Revolution" after the release of the song.[6]


  1. ^ "Emel Mathlouthi | Festival International Nuits d'Afrique de Montréal". Archived from the original on 2017-08-30. Retrieved 2017-08-30.
  2. ^ Daniel Gumbiner (2012). Now That We Have Tasted Hope: Voices from the Arab Spring. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 22. ISBN 1614520208.
  3. ^ Caroline Kulsum and Noor Al Khatib (25 June 2011). "Minstrels of the Arab Revolution". Gulf News. Archived from the original on 9 November 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2012. Emel Mathlouthi, a Tunisian musician is yet another protester who asks for equality and tranquility in her native country: The morphine we've been injected with for 23 years is no longer enough to dull our pain. She had always said that one of the artists that she looked up to the most was Bob Dylan, she considered him to be her idol. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Spencer, Neil (February 18, 2012). "Emel Mathlouthi: Kelmti Horra – review". The Observer. Retrieved July 30, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Emel Mathlouthi". Music News. 18 March 2012. Retrieved September 23, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Emel Mathlouthi Is The 21st Century's Catalyst For Change". NPR. November 8, 2018.