Sakhr AX-500
This page was last modified 23:11, 13 April 2019 by Rderooy. Based on work by Mars2000you and Gdx and others.




Sakhr Computers was a Kuwaiti company (Al Alamiah co.) that was selling MSX computers imported from Japan in all of the Arab world. These MSX were localized and rebranded for some Arabic markets.

The AX-500 is the Yamaha YIS-805/256 localised by Al Alamiah. The RS-232C interface, the RF output and the expansion bus have been removed. This machine has a separate Arabic QWERTY keyboard.

Brand Sakhr (Manufacturer: Yamaha)
Type AX-500
Year 1988
Region Middle East
Original price
RAM 256kB in slot 3-2
VRAM 128kB
Media MSX cartridges, DD floppy disks
Video Yamaha V9938
Audio PSG (YM2149 integrated in MSX-Engine S1985)
Chipset Yamaha S1985
Extras Arabic BASIC, 2 720kB 3,5" floppy disk drives, Firmware (Word Processor Arabic/English, Sakhr Files, The Painter, Calendar)


This machine comes with a new version of Arabic firmware, present on all Sakhr/Al Alamiah computers. Note: it indicates version 2.01, but by comparison with other Sakhr MSX2 computers, it should probably be version 2.04.

The firmware can be skipped by pressing CTRL key while booting and until you come on the MSX-BASIC screen. By doing that, the machine will be in International mode, the Arabic characters will not be available and also you get only one drive (the A: drive).

However, from MSX-BASIC, you can fully enable the Arabic mode with CALL ARABIC, _ARABIC, CALL ARABON or _ARABON. It is also possible to keep the Arabic BASIC active without the other Arabic features by entering first CALL ARABIC or _ARABIC, then CALL ARABOFF or _ARABOFF.

This firmware adds Arabic characters, new MSX-BASIC commands (see Arabic BASIC) and 4 applications. You can choose them in the menu with the keys 1 to 4.

By comparison with version 2.03, the Sakhr BASIC has been replaced by Sakhr Files, an Arabic/English utility that requires a formatted disk in drive A. Other options are Word Processor with choice between English or Arabic Word Processor, the Arabic version of The Painter, a graphic tool in screen 5 (the original version can be found in the Yamaha YIS-805) and the Calendar.

If you press key 5 when you are in the menu, you will go to MSX-BASIC. Going back to the menu is possible with CALL MENU or _MENU. From MSX-BASIC, the Word Processor can be launched with CALL SWP or _SWP, Sakhr Files with CALL SFILES or _SFILES, The Painter with CALL PAINT or _PAINT, the Calendar with CALL CALENDAR or _CALENDAR.

If you are in International mode, only CALL SWP or _SWP can be used, you will directly go to the English Word Processor. It's not recommended to use the other commands without first enabling the Arabic mode.



Sakhr AX-500
Sakhr AX-500 back
Sakhr AX-500 front (closeup)


Word Processor

Arabic firmware English/Arabic Word Processor
Arabic firmware Arabic Word Processor
Arabic firmware English Word Processor

Sakhr Files

Arabic firmware Sakhr Files
Arabic firmware Sakhr Files General menu
Arabic firmware Sakhr Files Arabic menu
Arabic firmware Sakhr Files Arabic directory
Arabic firmware Sakhr Files English menu
Arabic firmware Sakhr Files English directory

The Painter

Arabic firmware The Painter (Arabic version)
Arabic firmware The Painter (Arabic version)


Arabic firmware Arabic Calendar
Arabic firmware English Calendar


The AX-500 is a MSX2 with a Z80A from Sharp (LH0080A) and an MSX-Engine S1985 from Yamaha.

Slot Map

Slot Slot
0-0 0‑1 0-2 0-3 Slot 1 Slot 2 3-0 3-1 3-2 3-3
Page C000h~FFFFh Cartridge
Slot 1
Slot 2
Page 8000h~BFFFh Arabic
Page 4000h~7FFFh Main-ROM Disk ROM
Page 0000h~3FFFh Sub-ROM