Libya (1969-2011)

 

The title of this anthem, “Allahu Akbar”, is also the Muslim call to prayer and a statement of faith. Originally, the text and the melody were written as a battle song of the Egyptian Army during the Suez War in 1956. When Muammar Qadafi transformed Libya into a republic in 1969, he adopted this Egyptian marching song as the Libyan national anthem, as part of his ultimate goal of unity of all Arab nations. When Qadafi broke off the relations with Egypt after Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel in 1979, the anthem was retained, but the Egyptian origin of the song was no longer mentioned by the Libyan authorities.

During the 2011 Libyan civil war, the former anthem of the monarchy, not used since Qadafi deposed the monarchy, was used by the rebels against Qadafi’s government and presented as the Libyan national anthem in the areas that they control. Upon the effective loss of power of the Qadafi regime, his anthem was no longer used.

Special thanks to: Josh Lim for providing the Arabic text lyrics, Jo Hyo-roe for the sheet music, and Jan Scotland for providing some of the information.