Alif la Kordhabey

“Write it Above Alif”

 Maryan Cali Muudey singing Alif la Khordhabey

Alif la Kordhabey

Poet: Saciid Saalax Axmed
Singer Name: Maryan Cali Muudey
Recorded: 1970s

“Alif la Kordhabay” is a Somali children’s alphabet song that explores different ways to spell Arabic vowels. Originally sung by Maryan Cali Muudey and accompanied by the Iftin Band, this song is upbeat and has a catchy melody that is great for teaching. Unlike other Somali songs such as lullabies or love songs, “Alif la Kordhabay” is an educational piece that builds reading, writing, and pronunciation skills in those beginning to read Arabic.

The chorus of the song describes the different vowels formed by modifications to alif. When the singer says, “Aa,” they are making the sound of the letter alif (ah). Then, when the singer sings, “Alif lagu reeb,” they are describing the visual modification of the letter alif to make it the longer (aah) sounding vowel. When they say, “Ii,” they are pronouncing the sound alif makes when the letter ya is added before alif (ee). Finally, when the singer says “Uu,” they are describing the sound that alif makes with the letter waw in front of it (oo).

Alif La Khordhabey performed by Maryan Cali Muudey

Alif La Khordhabey performed by Mushtaq Maslax