Aleph is the first letter of the Semitic abjads, including Phoenician ʾālep, Hebrew ʾālef א, Aramaic ʾālap, Syriac ʾālap̄ ܐ, Arabic alif ا. It appears as South Arabian, Ge'ez ʾälef አ; these letters are believed to have derived from an Egyptian hieroglyph depicting an ox's head. The Phoenician variant gave rise to the Greek alpha, being re-interpreted to express not the glottal consonant but the accompanying vowel, hence the Latin A and Cyrillic А. In phonetics, aleph represented the onset of a vowel at the glottis. In Semitic languages, this functions as a weak consonant allowing roots with only two true consonants to be conjugated in the manner of a standard three consonant Semitic root. In most Hebrew dialects as well as Syriac, the glottal onset represented by aleph is an absence of a true consonant although a glottal stop, a true consonant occurs as an allophone. In Arabic, the alif has the glottal stop pronunciation. In text with diacritical marks, the pronunciation as a glottal stop is indicated by a special marking, hamza in Arabic and mappiq in Tiberian Hebrew.

The aleph was used to indicate an initial unstressed vowel before certain consonant clusters, without functioning as a consonant itself, the prosthetic aleph. In Semitic languages, aleph could sometimes function as a mater lectionis indicating the presence of a vowel elsewhere; the period at which use as a mater lectionis began is the subject of some controversy, though it had become well established by the late stage of Old Aramaic. Aleph is transliterated as U+02BE ʾ, based on the Greek spiritus lenis ʼ, for example, in the transliteration of the letter name itself, ʾāleph; the name aleph is derived from the West Semitic word for "ox", the shape of the letter derives from a Proto-Sinaitic glyph that may have been based on an Egyptian hieroglyph, which depicts an ox's head. In Modern Standard Arabic, the word أليف /ʔaliːf/ means'tamed' or'familiar', derived from the root |ʔ-l-f|, from which the verb ألِف /ʔalifa/ means'to be acquainted with. In modern Hebrew, the same root |ʔ-l-p| gives me’ulaf, the passive participle of the verb le’alef, meaning'trained' or'tamed'.

The Egyptian "vulture" hieroglyph, by convention pronounced ) is referred to as aleph, on grounds that it has traditionally been taken to represent a glottal stop, although some recent suggestions tend towards an alveolar approximant sound instead. Despite the name it does not correspond to an Aleph in cognate Semitic words, where instead the single "reed" hieroglyph is found instead; the phoneme is transliterated by a symbol composed of two half-rings, in Unicode encoded at U+A722 Ꜣ LATIN CAPITAL LETTER EGYPTOLOGICAL ALEF and U+A723 ꜣ LATIN SMALL LETTER EGYPTOLOGICAL ALEF. A fallback representation is the Middle English character ȝ Yogh; the Aramaic reflex of the letter is conventionally represented with the Hebrew א in typography for convenience, but the actual graphic form varied over the long history and wide geographic extent of the language. Maraqten identifies three different aleph traditions in East Arabian coins: a lapidary Aramaic form that realizes it as a combination of a V-shape and a straight stroke attached to the apex, much like a Latin K.

It is written as א and spelled as אָלֶף. In Modern Israeli Hebrew, the letter either indicates a hiatus, it is sometimes silent. The pronunciation varies in different Jewish ethnic divisions. In gematria, aleph represents the number 1, when used at the beginning of Hebrew years, it means 1000. Aleph, along with resh, he and heth, can not receive a dagesh. In Modern Hebrew, the frequency of the usage of alef, out of all the letters, is 4.94%. Aleph is sometimes used as a mater lectionis to denote a vowel /a/; that use is more common in words of Aramaic and Arabic origin, in foreign names, some other borrowed words. Aleph is the subject of a midrash. In this folktale, aleph is rewarded by being allowed to start the Ten Commandments. In the Sefer Yetzirah, the letter aleph is king over breath, formed air in the universe, temperate in the year

Marianne du Toit

Marianne du Toit is a South African adventurer and photographer, notable for her epic journey on horseback and foot from Argentina to New York over a period of 21 months. After graduating from Stellenbosch University in 1992 with a BA degree in political science and psychology, she spent three years exploring and cycling through Europe before settling in Dublin, where she lives. Inspired by the Swiss adventurer Aimé Félix Tschiffely, who from 1925 to 1928 traveled from Buenos Aires to Washington DC with two Criollo horses, Marianne resolved to follow in his footsteps, she decided to use the journey to promote and raise money in support of therapeutic riding facilities in Ireland.“I remember, since I was about 17 I would always read these articles about independent daring women who had done these amazing journeys. There was always something deep down driving me to these adventurous things. I just loved the adrenaline and the excitement.” She spoke no Spanish and knew little about horses and horse riding, but set off in May 2002 from Ireland for South America where her two Criollo’s, Mise and Tusa, were acquired.

Their names mean Me and You in the Irish language. Six months into her journey, Tusa had to be put down. Marianne considered admitting defeat. Marianne's adventures are related in her book Crying with Cockroaches. Supporting the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Marianne rescues stray dogs from Dublin streets; the foie gras industry, factory farming, testing on animals, the fur trade and use of animals in the circus are some of the issues she chooses to highlight. ABC News Person of the Week Crying with Cockroaches: Argentina to New York with Two Horses - Marianne du Toit ISBN 978-0-9553714-0-0 ISBN 0955371406

Galip Hassan Kuscuoglu

Galip Hasan Kuşçuoğlu, the sheikh of Galibi Order. Kuşçuoğlu was born on March 1919 in Çorum, Turkey, he is related to the famous Sage of Fatih Sultan Mehmet era, namely Ali Kuşçu, a descendant of Caliph Omar. Galip Kuşçuoğlu has kinship relation to the Islamic prophet Muhammad through his maternal kinship relation to Caliph Ali, he has two sisters of. He spent his adolescence in Çorum and Samsun, he was apprenticed to a carpenter after he dropped out of school at the second grade of secondary school. He married the only daughter of Çorumlu Hacı Mustafa Anac, a sheikh, he migrated to Ankara in 1948. He gained an expertise in carpentry, earned his life by working as a famous craftsman and tradesman in this area, he is a founding member of the Ankara Carpenters Association and Ankara Carpentry Complex. Sheikh Galib Kuşçuoğlu is the successor of Sheikh Hacı Mustafa Yardımedici who is, in turn, the successor of Seyyid Ali Sezai Kurtaran, the active leader of civil resistance against the French occupation forces and Armenian military forces in Maraş during the Turkish War of Independence.

The meeting of Galip Kuşçuoğlu with his Sheikh Hacı Mustafa Yardımedici is interesting. As Mr. Kuşçuoğlu narrates, this meeting occurred after a period of yearning and waiting for his unknown spiritual guide. Kuşçuoğlu who had made various stresses about the necessity of being contemporaneous says that thoughts like, he believes in the dialogue between different beliefs. Kuşçuoğlu died on 14 December 2013, in Antalya. Interfaith dialogue Divine call Galibi Order