Libya (Arabic: ليبيا Lībyā, Berber: ⵍⵉⴱⵢⴰ Libya) is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west. With an area of almost 1.8 million square kilometres (700,000 sq mi), Libya is the 17th largest country in the worldDell Latitude E5420 Battery.
The largest city and capital, Tripoli, is home to 1.7 million of Libya's 6.4 million people. The three traditional parts of the country are Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. In 2009 Libya had the highest HDI in Africa and the fourth highest GDP (PPP) per capita in Africa, behind Seychelles, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. Libya has the 10th-largest proven oil reserves of any country in the world and the 17th-highest petroleum production. Dell Latitude E5520 Battery
A civil war in 2011 resulted in the ousting and death of the country's former leader, Muammar Gaddafi, and the collapse of his 34-year-old Jamahiriya state. As a result, Libya is currently undergoing political reconstruction, and is governed under an interim constitution drawn up by the National Transitional Council (NTC). Dell Latitude E6120 Battery Elections to a General National Congress were held on 7 July 2012, and the NTC handed power to the newly elected assembly on 8 August. The assembly has the responsibility of forming a constituent assembly to draft a permanent constitution for Libya, which will then be put to a referendum.
The name Libya (i/ˈlɪbiə/ or /ˈlɪbjə/; Arabic: ليبيا Līb(i)yā [ˈliːb(i)jaː] ( listen); Libyan Arabic) was introduced in 1934 for Italian Libya, after the historical name for Northwest Africa, from the ancient Greek Λιβύη (Libúē) Dell Latitude E6220 Battery.
Italian Libya united the provinces of Tripolitania, Cyrenaica (Barca) and Fezzan under the name, based on earlier use in 1903 by Italian geographer Federico Minutilli, and by the Italian government in its "Regio Decreto di Annessione" (Royal Decree of Annexation) of the Ottoman provinces of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica dating 5 November 1911Dell Latitude E6320 Battery.
Libya gained independence in 1951 as the United Libyan Kingdom (Arabic: المملكة الليبية المتحدة al-Mamlakah al-Lībiyyah al-Muttaḥidah, Italian: Regno Unito di Libia), changing its name to the Kingdom of Libya (Arabic: المملكة الليبية al-Mamlakah al-Lībiyyah, Italian: Regno di Libia) in 1963. Following a coup d'état led by Muammar Gaddafi in 1969, the name of the state was changed to the Libyan Arab RepublicDell Latitude E6420 Battery (Arabic: الجمهورية العربية الليبية al-Jumhūriyyah al-‘Arabiyyah al-Lībiyyah, Italian: Repubblica Araba Libica), with "Republic" translating Gaddafi's term "Jamahiriya".
From 1977 to 2011, Libya was known as the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya at the United Nations. The official name during this period was "Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya" from 1977 to 1986, and "Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya" (Arabic: الجماهيرية العربية الليبية الشعبية الاشتراكية العظمى al-Jamāhīriyyah al-‘Arabiyyah al-Lībiyyah ash-Sha‘biyyah al-Ishtirākiyyah al-‘Uẓmá listen (help·info)) from 1986 to 2011Dell Latitude E6520 Battery.
The National Transitional Council, established in 2011, referred to the state as simply "Libya", but there is some evidence that in the beginning they also used the term "Libyan Republic" (Arabic: الجمهورية الليبية al-Jumhūriyyah al-Lībiyyah). In late August 2011, Bosnia and Herzegovina used the term in its formal recognition of the NTC. Dell Latitude D420 Battery
As of September 2011, the United Nations recognized the change of name of the state from "Libyan Arab Jamahiriya" to "Libya", based on a request from the Permanent Mission of Libya citing the Libyan interim Constitutional Declaration of 3 August 2011. In November 2011, the ISO 3166-1 was altered to reflect the new country name "Libya" in English, "Libye (la)" in French.
HistoryDell Latitude D430 Battery
Main article: Prehistoric North Africa
Prehistoric Libyan rock paintings in Tadrart Acacus reveal a Sahara once lush in vegetation and wildlife.
Tens of thousands of years ago, the Sahara Desert, which now covers roughly 90% of Libya, was lush with green vegetation. It was home to lakes, forests, diverse wildlife and a temperate Mediterranean climate. Archaeological evidence indicates that the coastal plain of Ancient Libya was inhabited by Neolithic peoples from as early as 8000 BCDell Studio 1450 Battery. These peoples were perhaps drawn by the climate, which enabled their culture to grow; the Ancient Libyans were skilled in the domestication of cattle and the cultivation of crops.
Rock paintings and carvings at Wadi Mathendous and the mountainous region of Jebel Acacus are the best sources of information about prehistoric Libya, and the pastoralist culture that settled there. The paintings reveal that the Libyan Sahara contained rivers, grassy plateaus and an abundance of wildlife such as giraffes, elephants and crocodiles. Dell Studio 1457 Battery
Pockets of the Berber populations still remain in most of modern Libya. Dispersal in Africa from the Atlantic coast to the Siwa Oasis in Egypt seems to have followed, due to climatic changes which caused increasing desertification. It is thought that the indigenous Libyan civilization of the Garamantes, based in Germa, originated from this time, or may have done so even earlier when the Sahara was still greenDell Studio 1458 Battery. The Garamantes were a Saharan people of Berber origin who used an elaborate underground irrigation system, and founded a kingdom in the Fezzan area of modern-day Libya. They were probably present as tribal people in the Fezzan by 1000 BC, and were a local power in the Sahara between 500 BC and 500 AD. By the time of contact with the Phoenicians, the first of the Semitic civilizations to arrive in Libya from the East, the LebuDell Latitude D410 Battery, Garamantes, Bebers and other tribes that lived in the Sahara were already well established.
The onset of the 5.9 kiloyear event's intense aridification resulted in the "green Sahara" rapidly transforming into the Sahara Desert.
Phoenician and Greek Libya
Further information: Ancient Libya, Carthage, Phoenicians, and Ancient Greece
The temple of Zeus in the ancient Greek city of Cyrene. Libya has a number of World Heritage Sites from the ancient Greek eraDell Inspiron 9100 Battery.
The Phoenicians were the first to establish trading posts in Libya, when the merchants of Tyre (in present-day Lebanon) developed commercial relations with the Berber tribes and made treaties with them to ensure their cooperation in the exploitation of raw materials. By the 5th century BC, the greatest of the Phoenician colonies, Carthage, had extended its hegemony across much of North Africa, where a distinctive civilizationDell Inspiron 1320 Battery, known as Punic, came into being. Punic settlements on the Libyan coast included Oea (later Tripoli), Libdah (later Leptis Magna) and Sabratha. These cities were in an area that was later called Tripolis, or "Three Cities", from which Libya's modern capital Tripoli takes its name.
In 630 BC, the Ancient Greeks colonized Eastern Libya and founded the city of Cyrene. Within 200 years, four more important Greek cities were established in the area that became known as Cyrenaica: Barce (later Marj) Dell Inspiron 1470 Battery; Euhesperides (later Berenice, present-day Benghazi); Taucheira (later Arsinoe, present-day Taucheria); Balagrae (later Bayda and Beda Littoria under Italian occupation, present-day Bayda); and Apollonia (later Susa), the port of Cyrene. Together with Cyrene, they were known as the Pentapolis (Five Cities). Cyrene became one of the greatest intellectual and artistic centers of the Greek world, and was famous for its medical school, learned academies, and architectureDell Inspiron 1570 Battery. The Greeks of the Pentapolis resisted encroachments by the Ancient Egyptians from the East, as well as by the Carthaginians from the West, but in 525 BC the Persian army of Cambyses II overran Cyrenaica, which for the next two centuries remained under Persian or Egyptian rule. Alexander the Great was greeted by the Greeks when he entered Cyrenaica in 331 BCdell inspiron 500M battery, and Eastern Libya again fell under the control of the Greeks, this time as part of the Ptolemaic Kingdom. Later, a federation of the Pentapolis was formed that was customarily ruled by a king drawn from the Ptolemaic royal house.
Main articles: Africa province and Creta et Cyrenaica
Further information: Ancient Libya, North Africa during Antiquity, Praetorian prefecture of Italy, and Praetorian prefecture of the Eastdell inspiron 600M battery
The Arch of Septimius Severus at Leptis Magna. The patronage of Roman emperor Septimus Severus allowed the city to become one of the most prominent in Roman Africa.
After the fall of Carthage the Romans did not occupy immediately Tripolitania (the region around Tripoli), but left it under control of the kings of Numidia, until the coastal cities asked and obtained its protection. dell inspiron 630M battery Ptolemy Apion, the last Greek ruler, bequeathed Cyrenaica to Rome, which formally annexed the region in 74 BC and joined it to Crete as a Roman province. During the Roman civil wars Tripolitania (still not formally annexed) and Cyrenaica sustained Pompey and Marc Antony against respectively Caesar and Octavian. The Romans completed the conquest of the region under Augustus, occupying northern Fezzan ("Fasania") with Cornelius Balbus Minor. dell inspiron 640M battery As part of the Africa Nova province, Tripolitania was prosperous, and reached a golden age in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, when the city of Leptis Magna, home to the Severan dynasty, was at its height. On the other side, Cyrenaica's first Christian communities were established by the time of the Emperor Claudius but was heavily devastated during the Kitos War and almost depopulated of Greeks and Jews alike, and, although repopulated by Trajan with military colonies, from then started its decadence. dell inspiron 6000 battery
Regardless, for more than 400 years Tripolitania and Cyrenaica were part of a cosmopolitan state whose citizens shared a common language, legal system, and Roman identity. Roman ruins like those of Leptis Magna and Sabratha, extant in present-day Libya, attest to the vitality of the region, where populous cities and even smaller towns enjoyed the amenities of urban lifedell inspiron 6400 battery—the forum, markets, public entertainments, and baths—found in every corner of the Roman Empire. Merchants and artisans from many parts of the Roman world established themselves in North Africa, but the character of the cities of Tripolitania remained decidedly Punic and, in Cyrenaica, Greek. Tripolitania was a major exporter of olive oil, as well as a center for the trade of ivory and wild animals conveyed to the coast by the Garamantesdell inspiron 9200 battery, while Cyrenaica remained an important source of wines, drugs, and horses. The bulk of the population in the countryside consisted of Berber farmers, who in the west were thoroughly "romanized" in language and customs. Until the 10th century the African Romance remained in use in some Tripolitanian areas, mainly near the Tunisian border. dell inspiron 9300 battery
The decline of the Roman Empire saw the classical cities fall into ruin, a process hastened by the Vandals' destructive sweep though North Africa in the 5th century. The region's prosperity had shrunk under Vandal domination, and the old Roman political and social order, disrupted by the Vandals, could not be restored. In outlying areas neglected by the Vandalsdell inspiron 9400 battery, the inhabitants had sought the protection of tribal chieftains and, having grown accustomed to their autonomy, resisted re-assimilation into the imperial system.
When the Empire returned (now as East Romans) as part of Justinian's reconquests of the 6th century, efforts were made to strengthen the old cities, but it was only a last gasp before they collapsed into disusedell inspiron e1505 battery. Cyrenaica, which had remained an outpost of the Byzantine Empire during the Vandal period, also took on the characteristics of an armed camp. Unpopular Byzantine governors imposed burdensome taxation to meet military costs, while the towns and public services—including the water system—were left to decay. Byzantine rule in Africa did prolong the Roman ideal of imperial unity there for another century and a half howeverdell inspiron e1705 battery, and prevented the ascendancy of the Berber nomads in the coastal region. By the beginning of the 7th century, Byzantine control over the region was weak, Berber rebellions were becoming more frequent, and there was little to oppose Muslim invasion.
Main article: History of Islamic Tripolitania and Cyrenaica
The Atiq Mosque in Awjila is the oldest mosque in the Saharadell latitude d820 battery.
Tenuous Byzantine control over Libya was restricted to a few poorly defended coastal strongholds, and as such, the Arab horsemen who first crossed into the Pentapolis of Cyrenaica in September 642 AD encountered little resistance. Under the command of 'Amr ibn al-'As, the armies of Islam conquered Cyrenaica, and renamed the Pentapolis, Barqa. They took also Tripolidell latitude d830 battery, but after destroying the Roman walls of the city and getting a tribute they withdrew. In 647 an army of 40,000 Arabs, led by Abdullah ibn Saad, the foster-brother of Caliph Uthman, penetrated deep into Western Libya and took Tripoli from the Byzantines definitively. From Barqa, the Fezzan (Libya's Southern region) was conquered by Uqba ibn Nafi in 663 and Berber resistance was overcomeDell Latitude E5500 Battery. During the following centuries Libya came under the rule of several Islamic dynasties, under various levels of autonomy from Ummayad, Abbasid and Fatimid caliphates of the time. Arab rule was easily imposed in the coastal farming areas and on the towns, which prospered again under Arab patronage. Townsmen valued the security that permitted them to practice their commerce and trade in peaceDell Latitude E5400 Battery, while the Punicized farmers recognized their affinity with the Semitic Arabs to whom they looked to protect their lands. In Cyrenaica, Monophysite adherents of the Coptic Church had welcomed the Muslim Arabs as liberators from Byzantine oppression. The Berber tribes of the hinterland accepted Islam, however they resisted Arab political rule. DELL Latitude E5410 Battery
For the next several decades, Libya was under the purview of the Ummayad Caliph of Damascus until the Abbasids overthrew the Ummayads in 750, and Libya came under the rule of Baghdad. When Caliph Harun al-Rashid appointed Ibrahim ibn al-Aghlab as his governor of Ifriqiya in 800, Libya enjoyed considerable local autonomy under the Aghlabid dynastyDELL Latitude E5510 Battery. The Aghlabids were amongst the most attentive Islamic rulers of Libya; they brought about a measure of order to the region, and restored Roman irrigation systems, which brought prosperity to the area from the agricultural surplus. By the end of the 9th century, the Shiite Fatimids controlled Western Libya from their capital in Mahdia, before they ruled the entire region from their new capital of Cairo in 972 and appointed Bologhine ibn Ziri as governor. dell latitude e6400 battery During Fatimid rule, Tripoli thrived on the trade in slaves and gold brought from the Sudan and on the sale of wool, leather, and salt shipped from its docks to Italy in exchange for wood and iron goods. Ibn Ziri's Berber Zirid dynasty ultimately broke away from the Shiite Fatimids, and recognised the Sunni Abbasids of Baghdad as rightful Caliphs. In retaliationdell latitude e6500 battery, the Fatimids brought about the migration of thousands from two troublesome Arab Bedouin tribes, the Banu Sulaym and Banu Hilal to North Africa. This act drastically altered the fabric of the Libyan countryside, and cemented the cultural and linguistic Arabisation of the region. Ibn Khaldun noted that the lands ravaged by Banu Hilal invaders had become completely arid desertDELL Latitude E6510 Battery.
King Roger II of Sicily was the first Norman King to rule Tripoli when he captured it in 1146.
Zirid rule in Tripolitania was short-lived though, and already in 1001 the Berbers of the Banu Khazrun broke away. Tripolitania remained under their control until 1146, when the region was overtaken by the Normans of Sicily. It was not until 1159 that the Moroccan Almohad leader Abd al-Mu'min reconquered Tripoli from European rule. For the next 50 yearsDELL Precision M2400 Battery, Tripolitania was the scene of numerous battles between the Almohad rulers and insurgents of the Banu Ghaniya. Later, a general of the Almohads, Muhammad ibn Abu Hafs, ruled Libya from 1207 to 1221 before the later establishment of a Tunisian Hafsid dynasty independent from the Almohads. The Hafsids ruled Tripolitania for nearly 300 years, and established significant trade with the city-states of EuropeDELL Precision M4400 Battery. Hafsid rulers also encouraged art, literature, architecture and scholarship. Ahmad Zarruq was one of the most famous Islamic scholars to settle in Libya, and did so during this time. By the 16th century however, the Hafsids became increasingly caught up in the power struggle between Spain and the Ottoman Empire. After a successful invasion of Tripoli by Habsburg Spain in 1510, and its handover to the Knights of St. JohnDELL Precision M4500 Battery, the Ottoman admiral Sinan Pasha finally took control of Libya in 1551.
Main article: Ottoman Libya
The Siege of Tripoli in 1551 allowed the Ottomans to capture the city from the Knights of St. John.
After a successful invasion by the Habsburgs of Spain in the early 16th century, Charles V entrusted its defense to the Knights of St. John in Malta. Lured by the piracy that spread through the Maghreb coastlineDELL Precision M6400 Battery, adventurers such as Barbarossa and his successors consolidated Ottoman control in the central Maghreb. The Ottoman Turks conquered Tripoli in 1551 under the command of Sinan Pasha. In the next year his successor Turgut Reis was named the Bey of Tripoli and later Pasha of Tripoli in 1556. As Pasha, he adorned and built up Tripoli, making it one of the most impressive cities along the North African coast. DELL Precision M6500 Battery By 1565, administrative authority as regent in Tripoli was vested in a pasha appointed directly by the sultan in Constantinople. In the 1580s, the rulers of Fezzan gave their allegiance to the sultan, and although Ottoman authority was absent in Cyrenaica, a bey was stationed in Benghazi late in the next century to act as agent of the government in Tripoli. dell xps m1210 battery
In time, real power came to rest with the pasha’s corps of janissaries, a self-governing military guild, and in time the pasha’s role was reduced to that of ceremonial head of state. Mutinies and coups were frequent, and in 1611 the deys staged a coup against the pasha, and Dey Sulayman Safar was appointed as head of government. For the next hundred yearsdell xps m1330 battery, a series of deys effectively ruled Tripolitania, some for only a few weeks, and at various times the dey was also pasha-regent. The regency governed by the dey was autonomous in internal affairs and, although dependent on the sultan for fresh recruits to the corps of janissaries, his government was left to pursue a virtually independent foreign policy as well. The two most important Deys were Mehmed Saqizli (r. 1631–49) dell xps m1530 battery and Osman Saqizli (r. 1649–72), both also Pasha, who ruled effectively the region. The latter conquered also Cyrenaica.
Tripoli was the only city of size in Ottoman Libya (then known as Tripolitania Eyalet) at the end of the 17th century and had a population of about 30,000. The bulk of its residents were Moors, as city-dwelling Arabs were then knowndell xps m1710 battery. Several hundred Turks and renegades formed a governing elite, a large portion of which were kouloughlis (lit. sons of servants—offspring of Turkish soldiers and Arab women); they identified with local interests and were respected by locals. Jews and Moriscos were active as merchants and craftsmen and a small number of European traders also frequented the citydell xps m1730 battery. European slaves and large numbers of enslaved blacks transported from Sudan were also a feature of everyday life in Tripoli. In 1551, Turgut Reis enslaved almost the entire population of the Maltese island of Gozo, some 6,300 people, sending them to Libya. The most pronounced slavery activity involved the enslavement of black Africans who were brought via trans-Saharan trade routesDell Vostro 1710 Battery. Even though the slave trade was officially abolished in Tripoli in 1853, in practice it continued until the 1890s.
USS Enterprise of the Mediterranean Squadron capturing Tripolitan Corsair during the First Barbary War, 1801
Lacking direction from the Ottoman government, Tripoli lapsed into a period of military anarchy during which coup followed coup and few deys survived in office more than a year. One such coup was led by Turkish officer Ahmed Karamanli. Dell Vostro 1720 BatteryThe Karamanlis ruled from 1711 until 1835 mainly in Tripolitania, but had influence in Cyrenaica and Fezzan as well by the mid 18th century. Ahmed was a Janissary and popular cavalry officer. He murdered the Ottoman Dey of Tripolitania and seized the throne in 1711. After persuading Sultan Ahmed III to recognize him as governor, Ahmed established himself as pasha and made his post hereditarydell studio xps 1340 battery. Though Tripolitania continued to pay nominal tribute to the Ottoman padishah, it otherwise acted as an independent kingdom. Ahmed greatly expanded his city's economy, particularly through the employment of corsairs (pirates) on crucial Mediterranean shipping routes; nations that wished to protect their ships from the corsairs were forced to pay tribute to the pashadell studio xps 13 battery. Ahmad's successors proved to be less capable than himself, however, the region's delicate balance of power allowed the Karamanli to survive several dynastic crises without invasion. The Libyan Civil War of 1791–1795 occurred in those years. In 1793, Turkish officer Ali Benghul deposed Hamet Karamanli and briefly restored Tripolitania to Ottoman rule. However, Hamet's brother Yusuf (r. 1795–1832) reestablished Tripolitania's independencedell Studio XPS 16 battery.
In the early 19th century war broke out between the United States and Tripolitania, and a series of battles ensued in what came to be known as the Barbary Wars. By 1819, the various treaties of the Napoleonic Wars had forced the Barbary states to give up piracy almost entirely, and Tripolitania's economy began to crumbledell Studio XPS 1640 battery. As Yusuf weakened, factions sprung up around his three sons; though Yusuf abdicated in 1832 in favor of his son Ali II, civil war soon resulted. Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II sent in troops ostensibly to restore order, but instead deposed and exiled Ali II, marking the end of both the Karamanli dynasty and an independent Tripolitania. Anyway, order was not recovered easily, and the revolt of the Libyan under Abd-El-Gelil and Gûma ben Khalifa lasted until the death of the latter in 1858. dell Studio XPS 1645 battery
The second period of direct Ottoman rule saw administrative changes, and what seemed as greater order in the governance of the three provinces of Libya. It would not be long before the Scramble for Africa and European colonial interests set their eyes on the marginal Turkish provinces of Libya. Reunification came about through the unlikely route of an invasion (Italo-Turkish Wardell Studio XPS 1647 battery, 1911–1912) and occupation starting from 1911 when Italy simultaneously turned the three regions into colonies.
Main article: Italian Libya
Australian infantry at Tobruk during World War II. Beginning on 10 April 1941, the Siege of Tobruk lasted for 240 days.
From 1912 to 1927, the territory of Libya was known as Italian North Africa. From 1927 to 1934, the territory was split into two colonies, Italian Cyrenaica and Italian Tripolitania, run by Italian governors. Some 150,000 Italians settled in Libya, constituting roughly 20% of the total population. dell Studio 17 battery
Omar Mukhtar was the leader of Libyan resistance in Cyrenaica against the Italian colonization.
In 1934, Italy adopted the name "Libya" (used by the Greeks for all of North Africa, except Egypt) as the official name of the colony (made up of the three provinces of Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fezzan). Idris al-Mahdi as-Senussi (later King Idris I) dell Studio 1749 battery, Emir of Cyrenaica, led Libyan resistance to Italian occupation between the two world wars. Ilan Pappé estimates that between 1928 and 1932 the Italian military "killed half the Bedouin population (directly or through disease and starvation in camps)." Italian historian Emilio Gentile sets to about 50,000 the number of victims of the repressiondell Studio 1745 battery.
From 1943 to 1951, Tripolitania and Cyrenaica were under British administration, while the French controlled Fezzan. In 1944, Idris returned from exile in Cairo but declined to resume permanent residence in Cyrenaica until the removal of some aspects of foreign control in 1947. Under the terms of the 1947 peace treaty with the Allies, Italy relinquished all claims to Libya. dell Studio 1747 battery
King Idris I announced Libya's independence on 24 December 1951, and was King until the 1969 coup that overthrew his government.
On 21 November 1949, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution stating that Libya should become independent before 1 January 1952. Idris represented Libya in the subsequent UN negotiations. On 24 December 1951, Libya declared its independence as the United Kingdom of Libya, a constitutional and hereditary monarchy under King Idris, Libya's only monarchDell Inspiron 1440 Battery.
1951 also saw the enactment of the Libyan Constitution. The Libyan National Assembly drafted the Constitution and passed a resolution accepting it in a meeting held in the city of Benghazi on Sunday, 6th Muharram, Hegiras 1371: 7 October 1951. Mohamed Abulas’ad El-Alem, President of the National Assembly and the two Vice-Presidents of the National AssemblyDell Inspiron 1750 Battery, Omar Faiek Shennib and Abu Baker Ahmed Abu Baker executed and submitted the Constitution to King Idris following which it was published in the Official Gazette of Libya.
The enactment of the Libyan Constitution was significant in that it was the first piece of legislation to formally entrench the rights of Libyan citizens following the post-war creation of the Libyan nation stateDell Inspiron 14 Battery. Following on from the intense UN debates during which Idris had argued that the creation of a single Libyan state would be of benefit to the regions of Tripolitania, Fezzan, and Cyrenaica, the Libyan government was keen to formulate a constitution which contained many of the entrenched rights common to European and North American nation statesDell Inspiron 1464 Battery. Though, not creating a secular state - Article 5 proclaims Islam the religion of the State - the Libyan Constitution did formally set out rights such as equality before the law as well as equal civil and political rights, equal opportunities, and an equal responsibility for public duties and obligations, "without distinction of religion, belief, race, language, wealth, kinship or political or social opinions" (Article 11) Dell Inspiron 15 Battery.
The discovery of significant oil reserves in 1959 and the subsequent income from petroleum sales enabled one of the world's poorest nations to establish an extremely wealthy state. Although oil drastically improved the Libyan government's finances, resentment among some factions began to build over the increased concentration of the nation's wealth in the hands of King IdrisDell Inspiron 1564 Battery. This discontent mounted with the rise of Nasserism and Arab nationalism throughout North Africa and the Middle East, so while the continued presence of Americans, Italians and British in Libya aided in the increased levels of wealth and tourism following WWII, it was seen by some as a threat.
During this period, Britain was involved in extensive engineering projects in Libya and was also the country's biggest supplier of armsDell Inspiron 17 Battery. The United States also maintained the large Wheelus Air Base in Libya.
Arab Republic and Jamahiriya
Main article: History of Libya under Muammar Gaddafi
See also: Mukhabarat el-Jamahiriya
On 1 September 1969, a small group of military officers led by 27-year-old army officer Muammar Gaddafi staged a coup d'état against King Idris, launching the Libyan Revolution. Gaddafi was referred to as the "Brother Leader and Guide of the Revolution" in government statements and the official Libyan press. Dell Inspiron 1764 Battery
Muammar Gaddafi, former leader of Libya, in 2009.
On the birthday of Muhammad in 1973, Gaddafi delivered a "Five-Point Address". He announced the suspension of all existing laws and the implementation of Sharia. He said that the country would be purged of the "politically sick". A "people's militia" would "protect the revolution". There would be an administrative revolution, and a cultural revolution. Gaddafi set up an extensive surveillance systemDell Studio 1440 Battery. 10 to 20 percent of Libyans worked in surveillance for the Revolutionary committees, which monitored place in government, in factories, and in the education sector. Gaddafi executed dissidents publicly and the executions were often rebroadcast on state television channels. Gaddafi employed his network of diplomats and recruits to assassinate dozens of critical refugees around the world. Amnesty International listed at least 25 assassinations between 1980 and 1987Dell Studio 1535 Battery.
Flag of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (lasting from 1977 to 2011), the national anthem of which was "الله أكبر" (English: Allahu Akbar)
In 1977, Libya officially became the "Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya". Gaddafi officially passed power to the General People's Committees and henceforth claimed to be no more than a symbolic figurehead, but domestic and international critics claimed the reforms gave him virtually unlimited powerDell Studio 1536 Battery. Dissidents against the new system were not tolerated, with punitive actions including capital punishment authorized by Gaddafi himself. The new "jamahiriya" governance structure he established was officially referred to as a form of direct democracy, though the government refused to publish election results. Later that same year, Libya and Egypt fought a four-day border war that came to be known as the Libyan-Egyptian War, Dell Studio 1537 Batteryboth nations agreed to a ceasefire under the mediation of the Algerian president Houari Boumediène.
In February 1977, Libya started delivering military supplies to Goukouni Oueddei and the People's Armed Forces in Chad. The Chadian–Libyan conflict began in earnest when Libya's support of rebel forces in northern Chad escalated into an invasion. Hundreds of Libyans lost their lives in the war against Tanzania, when Gaddafi tried to save his friend Idi Amin. Gaddafi financed various other groups from anti-nuclear movements to Australian trade unionsDell Studio 1555 Battery.
From 1977 onward, per capita income in the country rose to more than US $11,000, the fifth-highest in Africa, while the Human Development Index became the highest in Africa and greater than that of Saudi Arabia. This was achieved without borrowing any foreign loans, keeping Libya debt-free. In addition, the country's literacy rate rose from 10% to 90%, life expectancy rose from 57 to 77 yearsDell Studio 1557 Battery, equal rights were established for women and black people,[dubious – discuss] employment opportunities were established for migrant workers, and welfare systems were introduced that allowed access to free education, free healthcare, and financial assistance for housing. The Great Manmade River was also built to allow free access to fresh water across large parts of the country. In addition, financial support was provided for university scholarships and employment programsDell Studio 1558 Battery.
Much of the country’s income from oil, which soared in the 1970s, was spent on arms purchases and on sponsoring dozens of paramilitaries and terrorist groups around the world. An airstrike failed to kill Gaddafi in 1986. Libya was finally put under United Nations sanctions after the bombing of a commercial flight killed hundreds of travellers. Dell Studio 1735 Battery
Gaddafi assumed the honorific title of "King of Kings of Africa" in 2008 as part of his campaign for a United States of Africa. By the early 2010s, in addition to attempting to assume a leadership role in the African Union, Libya was also viewed as having formed closer ties with Italy, one of its former colonial rulers, than any other country in the European Union. The eastern parts of the country have been "ruined" due to Gaddafi's economic theories, according to The EconomistDell Studio 1737 Battery.
After popular movements overturned the rulers of Tunisia and Egypt, its immediate neighbors to the west and east, Libya experienced a full-scale revolt beginning on 17 February 2011. By 20 February, the unrest had spread to Tripoli. In the early hours of 21 February 2011, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, oldest son of Muammar Gaddafi, spoke on Libyan television of his fears that the country would fragment and be replaced by "15 Islamic fundamentalist emirates" Dell Inspiron 1210 Batteryif the uprising engulfed the entire state. He admitted that "mistakes had been made" in quelling recent protests and announced plans for a constitutional convention, but warned that the country's economic wealth and recent prosperity was at risk and warned of "rivers of blood" if the protests continuedDell Inspiron Mini 12 Battery.
On 27 February 2011, the National Transitional Council was established under the stewardship of Mustafa Abdul Jalil, Gaddafi's former justice minister, to administer the areas of Libya under rebel control. This marked the first serious effort to organize the broad-based opposition to the Gaddafi regime. While the council was based in Benghazi, it claimed Tripoli as its capital. Dell Latitude E4300 BatteryHafiz Ghoga, a human rights lawyer, later assumed the role of spokesman for the council. On 10 March 2011, France became the first state to officially recognise the council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.
By early March 2011, some parts of Libya had tipped out of Gaddafi's control, coming under the control of a coalition of opposition forces, including soldiers who decided to support the rebels. Eastern Libya, centred on the port city of BenghaziDell Latitude E4310 Battery, was said to be firmly in the hands of the opposition, while Tripoli and its environs remained in dispute. Pro-Gaddafi forces were able to respond militarily to rebel pushes in Western Libya and launched a counterattack along the coast toward Benghazi, the de facto centre of the uprising. The town of Zawiya, 48 kilometres (30 mi) from Tripoli, was bombarded by air force planes and army tanks and seized by Jamahiriya troops, "exercising a level of brutality not yet seen in the conflict." Dell Vostro 1310 Battery
In several public appearances, Gaddafi threatened to destroy the protest movement, and Al Jazeera and other agencies reported his government was arming pro-Gaddafi militiamen to kill protesters and defectors against the regime in Tripoli. Organs of the United Nations, including United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations Human Rights CouncilDell Vostro 1320 Battery, condemned the crackdown as violating international law, with the latter body expelling Libya outright in an unprecedented action urged by Libya's own delegation to the UN. The United States imposed economic sanctions against Libya, followed shortly by Australia, Canada and the United Nations Security Council, which also voted to refer Gaddafi and other government officials to the International Criminal Court for investigationDell Vostro 1510 Battery.
On 17 March 2011 the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1973 with a 10–0 vote and five abstentions. The resolution sanctioned the establishment of a no-fly zone and the use of "all means necessary" to protect civilians within Libya.
Shortly afterwards, Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa stated that "Libya has decided an immediate ceasefire and an immediate halt to all military operations".Dell Vostro 1520 Battery
On 19 March, the first Allied act to secure the no-fly zone began when French military jets entered Libyan airspace on a reconnaissance mission heralding attacks on enemy targets. Allied military action to enforce the ceasefire commenced the same day when a French aircraft opened fire and destroyed a vehicle on the ground. French jets also destroyed five tanks belonging to the Gaddafi regime. Dell Vostro 2510 Battery The United States and United Kingdom launched attacks on over 20 "integrated air defense systems" using more than 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles during operations Odyssey Dawn and Ellamy.
On 27 June 2011, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Gaddafi, alleging that Gaddafi had been personally involved in planning and implementing "a policy of widespread and systematic attacks against civilians and demonstrators and dissidents".Dell Inspiron 1410 Battery
An effigy of Muammar Gaddafi hangs from a scaffold in Tripoli's Martyrs' Square, 29 August 2011
By 22 August 2011, rebel fighters had entered Tripoli and occupied Green Square, which they renamed Martyrs' Square in honour of those killed since 17 February 2011. Meanwhile, Gaddafi asserted that he was still in Libya and would not concede power to the rebels. Dell Vostro 1014 Battery
On 16 September 2011, the U.N. General Assembly approved a request from the National Transitional Council to accredit envoys of the country’s interim controlling body as Tripoli’s sole representatives at the UN, effectively recognising the National Transitional Council as the legitimate holder of that country’s UN seat. Dell Vostro 1015 Battery
The National Transitional Council had been plagued by internal divisions during its tenure as Libya's interim governing authority. It postponed the formation of a caretaker, or "interim" government on several occasions during the period prior to the death of Muammar Gaddafi in his hometown of Sirte on 20 October 2011Dell Vostro 1088 Battery. Mustafa Abdul Jalil led the National Transitional Council and was generally considered to be the principal leadership figure. Mahmoud Jibril served as the NTC's de facto head of government from 5 March 2011 through the end of the war, but he announced he would resign after Libya was declared to have been "liberated" from Gaddafi's ruleDell XPS M2010 Battery.
The "liberation" of Libya was celebrated on 23 October 2011, and Jibril announced that consultations were under way to form an interim government within one month, followed by elections for a constitutional assembly within eight months and parliamentary and presidential elections to be held within a year after that. He stepped down as expected the same day and was succeeded by Ali Tarhouni. At least 30,000 Libyans died in the civil war. Dell Inspiron 1520 Battery
On 7 July 2012, Libyans voted in their first parliamentary elections since the end of Gaddafi's rule. The election, in which more than 100 political parties registered, formed an interim 200-member national assembly. This will replace the unelected National Transitional Council, name a prime minister, and form a committee to draft a constitution. The vote was postponed several times to resolve logistical and technical problemsDell Inspiron 1521 Battery, and to give more time to register to vote, and to investigate candidates.
On 8 August 2012, the National Transitional Council officially handed power to the wholly elected General National Congress, which is tasked with the formation of an interim government and the drafting of a new Libyan Constitution to be approved in a general referendum.
On 25 August 2012, in what "appears to be the most blatant sectarian attack" since the end of the civil war, Dell Inspiron 1720 Battery unnamed organized assailants bulldozed a Sufi mosque with graves, in broad daylight in the center of the Libyan capital Tripoli. It was the second such razing of a Sufi site in two days.
On 7 October 2012, Libya's Prime Minister-elect Mustafa A.G. Abushagur stepped down after failing a second time to win parliamentary approval for a new cabinet. On 14 October 2012, the General National Congress elected former GNC member and human rights lawyer Ali Zeidan as prime minister-designate. Dell Inspiron 1721 BatteryZeidan will be sworn in after his cabinet has been approved by the GNC.
Main article: Geography of Libya
Libya extends over 1,759,540 square kilometres (679,362 sq mi), making it the 17th largest nation in the world by size. Libya is somewhat smaller than Indonesia in land area, and roughly the size of the US state of Alaska. It is bound to the north by the Mediterranean Sea, the west by Tunisia and Algeria, the southwest by Niger, the south by Chad and Sudan and to the east by Egypt. Libya lies between latitudes 19° and 34°N, and longitudes 9° and 26°EDell Vostro 1500 Battery.
At 1,770 kilometres (1,100 mi), Libya's coastline is the longest of any African country bordering the Mediterranean. The portion of the Mediterranean Sea north of Libya is often called the Libyan Sea. The climate is mostly dry and desertlike in nature. However, the northern regions enjoy a milder Mediterranean climate. Dell Vostro 1700 Battery
Natural hazards come in the form of hot, dry, dust-laden sirocco (known in Libya as the gibli). This is a southern wind blowing from one to four days in spring and autumn. There are also dust storms and sandstorms. Oases can also be found scattered throughout Libya, the most important of which are Ghadames and KufraDell Inspiron 1420 Battery.
The Libyan Desert, which covers much of Libya, is one of the most arid places on earth. In places, decades may pass without rain, and even in the highlands rainfall seldom happens, once every 5–10 years. At Uweinat, as of 2006 the last recorded rainfall was in September 1998. There is a large depression, the Qattara Depression, just to the south of the northernmost scarpDell Vostro 1400 Battery, with Siwa Oasis at its western extremity. The depression continues in a shallower form west, to the oases of Jaghbub and Jalu.
Libya is a predominantly desert country. Up to 90% of the land area is covered in desert.
Likewise, the temperature in the Libyan desert can be extreme; on 13 September 1922 the town of 'Aziziya, which is located southwest of Tripoli, recorded an air temperature of 57.8 °C (136.0 °F), considered to be a world record. Dell Latitude 2100 Battery In September 2012, however, the world record figure of 57.8°C was overturned by the World Meteorological Organization.
There are a few scattered uninhabited small oases, usually linked to the major depressions, where water can be found by digging to a few feet in depth. In the west there is a widely dispersed group of oases in unconnected shallow depressionsDell Latitude 2110 Battery, the Kufra group, consisting of Tazerbo, Rebianae and Kufra. Aside from the scarps, the general flatness is only interrupted by a series of plateaus and massifs near the centre of the Libyan Desert, around the convergence of the Egyptian-Sudanese-Libyan borders.
Slightly further to the south are the massifs of Arkenu, Uweinat and Kissu. These granite mountains are ancient, having formed long before the sandstones surrounding themDell Latitude D620 Battery. Arkenu and Western Uweinat are ring complexes very similar to those in the Aïr Mountains. Eastern Uweinat (the highest point in the Libyan Desert) is a raised sandstone plateau adjacent to the granite part further west. The plain to the north of Uweinat is dotted with eroded volcanic features. With the discovery of oil in the 1950s also came the discovery of a massive aquifer underneath much of the countryDell Latitude D630 Battery. The water in this aquifer pre-dates the last ice ages and the Sahara desert itself. The country is also home to the Arkenu craters, double impact craters found in the desert.
Government and politics
Main articles: Politics of Libya, National Transitional Council, and General National Congress
Further information: Libyan interim Constitutional Declaration
Map of the traditional regions of Libya
The National Transitional Council was a political body formed to represent Libya by anti-Gaddafi forces during the Libyan civil warDell Precision M2300 Battery. On 5 March 2011 the council declared itself to be the "sole representative of all Libya". By October 2011 it had become recognized by 100 countries, including France, Qatar, Italy, Germany, Canada, Russia and Turkey. It is also supported by several other Arab and European countries. On 16 September, the United Nations switched its official recognition to the NTCsony vgp-bps2 battery. The council formed an interim governing body, the Executive Board, on 23 March 2011 with Mahmoud Jibril as the Chairman. The United States switched official recognition from the Gaddafi government to the National Transitional Council on 15 July 2011. The United Kingdom followed suit on 27 July 2011, expelling all Libyan government diplomats from the country before accrediting a National Transitional Council envoy to the Libyan Embassy in London. sony vgp-bps3 battery
As the centre of the resistance against Gaddafi during the war, Benghazi, Libya's second largest city, served as the provisional seat for the NTC for the months following its creation. On 25 August 2011, Finance Minister Ali Tarhouni announced that the NTC would move to Tripoli, which it claimed as the de jure capital of Libya, effective immediately.sony vgp-bps4 battery However, as of early September 2011, many of the NTC's offices and ministers, including Chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil, remained in Benghazi due to the eastern city's more stable security situation and established infrastructure.
On 24 October, NTC Chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil announced that existing laws that contradicted the teachings of Islam would be nullified, stating that Sharia law would be the basis of legislation. Abdul Jalil outlined several changes to be made including the lifting of restrictions on the number of wives a man can takesony vgp-bps5 battery. On 1 November, the Libyan National Flag was raised above the court house in Benghazi, the court house being of symbolic importance as "the seat of the revolution."
On 7 July 2012, Libyans voted in their first parliamentary elections since the death of Gaddafi and the end of the civil war. The election, in which more than 100 political parties registered, formed an interim 200-member General National Congress. This will replace the unelected National Transitional Council, name a prime ministersony vgp-bps7 battery, and form a committee to draft a constitution. The vote was postponed several times to resolve logistical and technical problems, and to give more time to register to vote, and to investigate candidates. Early results of the vote showed the National Forces Alliance, led by former interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, as front runnersony vgp-bpl7 battery.
Main article: Foreign relations of Libya
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Libyan Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib conduct a press conference in Tripoli, Libya on 17 December 2011.
Amidst the Libyan civil war, at least 100 countries, as of 18 October 2011, as well as multiple supranational organisations and partially recognised states, had formally switched their diplomatic recognition to the National Transitional Councilsony vgp-bps8 battery.
Officials of the National Transitional Council had asked for foreign aid, including medical supplies, money, and weapons, and promised to pay off these debts to donor countries with oil deals and frozen assets belonging to Gaddafi and his confidantes after the civil war ended. They had also suggested that countries that were early to offer recognition and countries participating sony vgp-bps8a batteryin the international military intervention in Libya may receive more favorable oil contracts and trade deals.
Kingdom of Libya
King Idris with U.S. vice-president Richard Nixon (March 1957). Under Idris' rule, Libya sought cordial relations with the West – a prospect which has been renewed following the 17 February 2011 revolt.
Libya's foreign policies have fluctuated since 1951. As a Kingdom, Libya maintained a definitively pro-Western stancesony vgp-bps8b battery, and was recognized as belonging to the conservative traditionalist bloc in the League of Arab States (the present-day Arab League), of which it became a member in 1953. The government was also friendly towards Western countries such as the United Kingdom, United States, France, Ital
Although the government supported Arab causes, including the Moroccan and Algerian independence movements, it took little active part in the Arab-Israeli dispute or the tumultuous inter-Arab politics of the 1950s and early 1960s. The Kingdom was noted for its close association with the West, while it steered a conservative course at home. sony vgp-bps9 battery
Libya under Gaddafi
Main article: Foreign relations of Libya under Gaddafi
After the 1969 coup, Muammar Gaddafi closed American and British bases and partly nationalized foreign oil and commercial interests in Libya.
Gaddafi was known for backing a number of leaders viewed as anathema to Westernization and political liberalism, including Ugandan President Idi Amin, Central African Emperor Jean-Bedel Bokassa, Ethiopian strongman Haile Mariam Mengistu, Liberian President Charles Taylor, and Yugoslav President Slobodan Miloševićsony vgp-bps9/s battery.
Relations with the West were strained by a series of incidents for most of Gaddafi's rule, including the killing of London policewoman Yvonne Fletcher, the bombing of a West Berlin nightclub frequented by U.S. servicemen, and the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which led to UN sanctions in the 1990s, though by the late 2000s, the United States and other Western powers had normalised relations with Libya. sony vgp-bps9a/s battery
Gaddafi's decision to abandon the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction after the Iraq War saw Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein overthrown and put on trial led to Libya being hailed as a success for Western soft power initiatives in the War on Terror.
Main articles: Human rights in Libya and Mukhabarat el-Jamahiriya
According to the US Department of State’s annual human rights report for 2007, Libya’s authoritarian regime continued to have a poor record in the area of human rights. sony vgp-bps9/b battery Some of the numerous and serious abuses on the part of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya government included poor prison conditions, arbitrary arrest and prisoners held incommunicado, and political prisoners held for many years without charge or trial. The judiciary was controlled by the government, and there was no right to a fair public trial. Libyans under the Jamahiriya were lacking a clear and democratic method to change their governmentsony vgp-bps9a/b battery. Freedom of speech, press, assembly, association, and religion were restricted under the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya government. Independent human rights organisations were prohibited. Ethnic and tribal minorities suffered discrimination, and the state continued to restrict the labor rights of imported foreign workers.
In May 2010, Libya was elected by the UN General Assembly to a three-year term on the UN's Human Rights Council.sony vgp-bps9a batteryIt was subsequently suspended from the Human Rights Council in March 2011.
Libya's human rights record was put in the spotlight in February 2011, due to the Jamahiriya's response to pro-democracy protesters, when it killed hundreds of demonstrators.
In 2011, Freedom House rated both political rights and civil liberties in Libya as "7" (1 representing the most free and 7 the least free rating), and gave it the freedom rating of "Not Free".sony vgp-bps9b battery
Administrative divisions and cities
Main articles: Subdivisions of Libya and Districts of Libya
See also: List of cities in Libya
Map of Libya
Historically the area of Libya was considered three provinces (or states), Tripolitania in the northwest, Barka (Cyrenaica) in the east, and Fezzan in the southwest. It was the conquest by Italy in the Italo-Turkish War that united them in a single political unit. Under the Italians Libya, in 1934, was divided into four provinces and one territory (in the south): Tripoli, Misrata, Benghazi, Bayda, and the Territory of the Libyan Sahara. sony vgp-bpl9 battery
After independence, Libya was divided into three governorates (muhafazat)[dead link] and then in 1963 into ten governorates. The governorates were legally abolished in February 1975, and nine "control bureaus" were set up to deal directly with the nine areas, respectively: education, health, housing, social services, labor, agricultural services, communications, financial services, and economy, each under their own ministry. sony vgp-bps10 battery However, the courts and some other agencies continued to operate as if the governorate structure were still in place. In 1983 Libya was split into forty-six districts (baladiyat), then in 1987 into twenty-five. In 1995, Libya was divided into thirteen districts (shabiyah), in 1998 into twenty-six districts, and in 2001 into thirty-two districts. These were then further rearranged into twenty-two districts in 2007Sony VGP-BPS12 Battery:
Main article: Economy of Libya
Libya's economy relies heavily on oil. The ENI Oil Bouri DP4 in the Bouri Field is the biggest platform in the Mediterranean sea.
The Libyan economy depends primarily upon revenues from the oil sector, which constitute practically all export earnings and about one-quarter of gross domestic product (GDP). The discovery of the oil and natural gas reserves in the country in 1959 led to the transformation of Libya's economy from a poor country to (then) Africa's richestSony VGP-BPL12 Battery. The World Bank defines Libya as an 'Upper Middle Income Economy', along with only seven other African countries. In the early 1980s, Libya was one of the wealthiest countries in the world; its GDP per capita was higher than that of developed countries such as Italy, Singapore, South Korea, Spain and New Zealand. Sony VGP-BPS13 Battery
High oil revenues and a small population gave Libya one of the highest GDPs per capita in Africa and have allowed the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya state to provide an extensive level of social security, particularly in the fields of housing and education. Many problems still beset Libya's economy however; unemployment is the highest in the region at 21%, according to the latest census figures. Sony VGP-BPS13B/Q battery
Compared to its neighbors, Libya has enjoyed a low level of both absolute and relative poverty. In the first six years of the new millennium officials of the Jamahiriya era carried out economic reforms as part of a broader campaign to reintegrate Libya into the global capitalist economy. This effort picked up steam after UN sanctions were lifted in September 2003Sony VGP-BPS13/Q battery, and as Libya announced in December 2003 that it would abandon programs to build weapons of mass destruction.
Libya has begun some market-oriented reforms. Initial steps have included applying for membership of the World Trade Organization, reducing subsidies, and announcing plans for privatization. Authorities privatized more than 100 government owned companies after 2003 in industries including oil refiningSony VGP-BPS13A/B battery, tourism and real estate, of which 29 were 100% foreign owned. The non-oil manufacturing and construction sectors, which account for about 20% of GDP, have expanded from processing mostly agricultural products to include the production of petrochemicals, iron, steel and aluminumSony VGP-BPS13/S battery.
Pivot irrigation in Kufra, southeast Cyrenaica. Oil wealth has enabled Libya to pursue projects such as agriculture development and the Great Manmade River in the Sahara desert.
Climatic conditions and poor soils severely limit agricultural output, and Libya imports about 75% of its food. Water is also a problem, with some 28% of the population not having access to safe drinking water in 2000. Sony VGP-BPS13/B battery The Great Manmade River project is tapping into vast underground aquifers of fresh water discovered during the quest for oil, and is intended to improve the country's agricultural output.
Under former Jamahiriya prime ministers Shukri Ghanem and Baghdadi Mahmudi, Libya underwent a business boom, with initiatives to privatize many government-run industries. Many international oil companies returned to the country, including oil giants Shell and ExxonMobil. Sony VGP-BPS13B/S battery
Tourism was on the rise, bringing increased demand for hotel accommodation and for capacity at airports such as Tripoli International. A multi-million dollar renovation of Libyan airports was approved in 2006 by the government to help meet such demands. Previously, 130,000 people visited the country annually; the Jamahiriya government hoped to increase this figure to 10,000,000 touristsSony VGP-BPS13A battery. Libya had long been a notoriously difficult country for Western tourists to visit due to stringent visa requirements. Since the overthrow of Gaddafi's government, there has been revived hope that an open society will encourage the return of tourists. Prior to the uprising, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the second-eldest son of Muammar Gaddafi, was involved in a green development project called the Green Mountain Sustainable Development AreaSony VGP-BPS13A/S battery, which sought to bring tourism to Cyrene and to preserve Greek ruins in the area.
In August 2011, Ahmed Jehani, head of the Libyan Stabilisation Team appointed by the rebel National Transition Council, estimated it would take at least 10 years to rebuild Libya's infrastructure. He also noted that Libya's infrastructure was in a poor state, even before the 2011 civil war due to "utter neglect" by Gaddafi's administration.Sony VGP-BPS13S battery
Main article: Demographics of Libya
See also: Libyan people
A map indicating the ethnic composition of Libya
Fareed Zakaria said in 2011 that "[t]he unusual thing about Libya is that it's a very large country with a very small population, but the population is actually concentrated very narrowly along the coast." Population density is about 50 persons per km² (130/sq. mi.) in the two northern regions of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, but falls to less than one person per km² (2.6/sq. mi.) elsewhereSony VGP-BPS13A/Q battery. Ninety percent of the people live in less than 10% of the area, primarily along the coast. About 88% of the population is urban, mostly concentrated in the three largest cities, Tripoli, Benghazi and Misrata. Libya has a population of about 6.5 million, around half of whom are under the age of 15. In 1984 the population reached 3.6 million and was growing at about 4% a year, one of the highest rates in the world. The 1984 population total was an increase from the 1.54 million reported in 1964. Sony VGP-BPS13A/R battery
The people of Libya are predominantly of the nomadic Arab-Berber race;[? clarification needed] however, the long series of foreign invaders have had a profound and lasting influence on Libya's demographics – namely, by the Arabs and the Turks. Hence, Libyans are primarily Arab or a mixture of Arab and Berber ethnicities, or a mixture of Arab and Turkish ethnicities. Sony VGP-BPS13AB battery The Turkish minority are often called "Kouloughlis" and are concentrated in and around villages and towns. Other ethnic minorities include Libyan blacks, the Tuaregs, and the Tebou. Among foreign residents, the largest groups are citizens of other African nations – including North Africans (primarily Egyptians) – and Sub-Saharan Africans. In 2011, there were also an estimated 60,000 Bangladeshis, 30,000 Chinese and 30,000 Filipinos in Libya. Sony VGP-BPS13B battery Libya is home to a large illegal population which numbers more than one million, mostly Egyptians and Sub-Saharan Africans. Libya has a small Italian minority. Previously, there was a visible presence of Italian settlers, but many left after independence in 1947 and many more left in 1970 after the accession of Muammar Gaddafi. Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery
The main language spoken in Libya is Arabic (the Libyan dialect) by 95% of Libyans, and Modern Standard Arabic is also the official language; the Berber languages spoken by 5% (i.e. Berber and Tuareg languages), which do not have official status, are spoken by Berbers and Tuaregs in the south part of the country beside the Arabic languageSony VGP-BPL21 battery. Berber speakers live above all in the Jebel Nafusa region (Tripolitania), the town of Zuwara on the coast, and the small city-oases of Ghadames and Awjila. In addition, Tuaregs speak Tamahaq, the only known Northern Tamasheq language such as Ghat, also Toubou is spoken in some pockets in Qatrun and Kufra. Italian and English are sometimes spoken in the big cities, although Italian speakers are mainly among the older generationSony VGP-BPS21 battery.
There are about 140 tribes and clans in Libya. Family life is important for Libyan families, the majority of which live in apartment blocks and other independent housing units, with precise modes of housing depending on their income and wealth. Although the Libyan Arabs traditionally lived nomadic lifestyles in tents, they have now settled in various towns and cities. Sony VGP-BPS21A battery Because of this, their old ways of life are gradually fading out. An unknown small number of Libyans still live in the desert as their families have done for centuries. Most of the population has occupations in industry and services, and a small percentage is in agriculture.
According to the World Refugee Survey 2008, published by the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Libya hosted a population of refugees and asylum seekers numbering approximately 16,000 in 2007Sony VGP-BPS21B battery. Of this group, approximately 9,000 persons were from Palestine, 3,200 from Sudan, 2,500 from Somalia and 1,100 from Iraq. Libya reportedly deported thousands of illegal entrants in 2007 without giving them the opportunity to apply for asylum. Refugees faced discrimination from Libyan officials when moving in the country and seeking employmentSony VGP-BPS26 Battery.
Libya's population includes 1.7 million students, over 270,000 of whom study at the tertiary level. Basic education in Libya is free for all citizens, and is compulsory up to the secondary level. Libya's literacy rate is the highest in North Africa; over 82% of the population can read and write. Sony VGP-BPS26A Battery
After Libya's independence in 1951, its first university – the University of Libya – was established in Benghazi by royal decree. In the 1975–76 academic year the number of university students was estimated to be 13,418. As of 2004, this number has increased to more than 200,000, with an extra 70,000 enrolled in the higher technical and vocational sector. Sony VGP-BPS13 battery(without CD) The rapid increase in the number of students in the higher education sector has been mirrored by an increase in the number of institutions of higher education.
Since 1975 the number of universities has grown from two to nine and after their introduction in 1980, the number of higher technical and vocational institutes currently stands at 84 (with 12 public universities). Since 2011 some new private universities such as the Libyan International Medical University have been establishedSony VGP-BPS13B/Q battery(without CD). Although before 2011 a small number of private institutions were given accreditation, the majority of Libya's higher education has always been financed by the public budget. In 1998 the budget allocation for education represented 38.2% of the Jamahiriya's total national budget.
By far the predominant religion in Libya is Islam with 97% of the population associating with the faith. Sony VGP-BPS13/Q battery(without CD) The vast majority of Libyan Muslims adhere to Sunni Islam, which provides both a spiritual guide for individuals and a keystone for government policy, but a minority (between 5 and 10%) adhere to Ibadism (a branch of Kharijism), above all in the Jebel Nafusa and the town of Zuwara, west of Tripoli. A Libyan form of Sufism is also common in parts of the country. Sony VGP-BPS14/B Battery
Mosque in Ghadames, close to the Tunisian and Algerian border. About 97% of Libyans are followers of Islam.
Before the 1930s, the Senussi Movement was the primary Islamic movement in Libya. This was a religious revival adapted to desert life. Its zawaaya (lodges) were found in Tripolitania and Fezzan, but Senussi influence was strongest in Cyrenaica. Rescuing the region from unrest and anarchy, the Senussi movement gave the Cyrenaican tribal people a religious attachment and feelings of unity and purpose. Sony VGP-BPS14B Battery
This Islamic movement, which was eventually destroyed by both Italian invasion and later the Gaddafi government, was very conservative and somewhat different from the Islam that exists in Libya today. Gaddafi asserted that he was a devout Muslim, and his government was taking a role in supporting Islamic institutions and in worldwide proselytising on behalf of Islam. Sony VGP-BPS14/S Battery
Other than the majority of Sunni Muslims, there are also small foreign communities of Christians. Coptic Orthodox Christianity, which is the Christian Church of Egypt, is the largest and most historical Christian denomination in Libya. There are over 60,000 Egyptian Copts in Libya, as they comprise over 1% of the population. There are an estimated 40,000 Roman Catholics in Libya who are served by two BishopsSony VGP-BPL14/B Battery, one in Tripoli (serving the Italian community) and one in Benghazi (serving the Maltese community). There is also a small Anglican community, made up mostly of African immigrant workers in Tripoli; it is part of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt.
Libya was until recent times the home of one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world, dating back to at least 300 BC. In 1942 the Italian Fascist authorities set up forced labor camps south of Tripoli for the Jews, including Giado (about 3,000 Jews) Sony VGP-BPL14 Battery and Gharyan, Jeren, and Tigrinna. In Giado some 500 Jews died of weakness, hunger, and disease. In 1942, Jews who were not in the concentration camps were heavily restricted in their economic activity and all men between 18 and 45 years were drafted for forced labor. In August 1942, Jews from Tripolitania were interned in a concentration camp at Sidi Azaz. In the three years after November 1945, more than 140 Jews were murdered, and hundreds more woundedSony VGP-BPL14B Battery, in a series of pogroms. By 1948, about 38,000 Jews remained in the country. Upon Libya's independence in 1951, most of the Jewish community emigrated.
Main article: Culture of Libya
Further information: Music of Libya and Libyan literature
A busy city beach in the Libyan capital Tripoli in the summer. The Mediterranean Sea plays an important role in Libyan culture, both historically and today.
Libya is culturally similar to its neighboring Maghrebian states. Libyans consider themselves very much a part of a wider Arab community. This is strengthened by Arabic being the only official language of the statSony VGP-BPL14/S Batterye. Under dictatorship the teaching of foreign languages previously taught in academic institutions was forbidden, along with even the use of the Berber language, leaving entire generations of Libyans with limitations in their comprehension of the English language.
Libyan Arabs have a heritage in the traditions of the previously nomadic Bedouin tribes and most Libyans will associate themselves with a particular family name originating from tribal or conquest based, typically from Ottoman forefathers, heritage. Sony VGP-BPS14 Battery
There are few theaters or art galleries due to cultural repression and lack of infrastructure development under the regime of dictatorship. For many years there have been no public theaters, and only very few cinemas showing foreign films. The tradition of folk culture is still alive and well, with troupes performing music and dance at frequent festivals, both in Libya and abroad. Sony VGP-BPL15/B Battery
A large number of Libyan television stations are devoted to political review, Islamic topics and cultural phenomena. A number of TV stations air various styles of traditional Libyan music.[? clarification needed] Tuareg music and dance are popular in Ghadames and the south. Libyan television broadcasts air programs mostly in Arabic though usually have time slots for English and French programs. Sony VGP-BPS15/B BatteryA 1996 analysis by the Committee to Protect Journalists found Libya’s media was the most tightly controlled in the Arab world during the country's dictatorship. However as of 2012 hundreds of TV stations have begun to air due to the collapse of censorship from the old regime and the initiation of "free media"Sony VGP-BPL15/S Battery.
Traditional dancing in Bayda in 1976.
Many Libyans frequent the country's beach and they also visit Libya's archaeological sites—especially Leptis Magna, which is widely considered to be one of the best preserved Roman archaeological sites in the world. The most common form of public transport between cities is the bus, though many people travel by automobile. There are no railway services in LibyaSony VGP-BPS15/S Battery, but these are planned for construction in the near future (see rail transport in Libya). The nation's capital, Tripoli, boasts many museums and archives; these include the Government Library, the Ethnographic Museum, the Archaeological Museum, the National Archives, the Epigraphy Museum and the Islamic Museum. The Red Castle Museum located in the capital near the coast and right in the city center, built in consultation with UNESCO, may be the country's most famous. Sony VGP-BPS15 Battery
Libyan cuisine is culturally diverse and ranges from the generally simple dishes to the vibrant fusions between different culinary traditions be it Italian or Bedouin / traditional Arab Libyan food (similar to Sahara cuisine). Pasta is a staple diet of the Western side of Libya whereas rice is generally the food staple of the eastSony VGP-BPS18 battery. Some common Libyan foods include several variations of, sometimes hot or spicy, red (tomato) sauce based pasta (cut short of left long) dishes (similar to the Italian Sugo all'arrabbiata dish) or rice, usually with lamb or chicken (typically stewed, fried, grilled, or boiled in-sauce), couscous which is steam cooked whilst held over boiling red (tomato) sauce and meat (sometimes also containing courgettes and chickpeas) which is typically served with it along with cucumber slicesSony VGP-BPS22 Battery, lettuce and olives. Bazeen (a dish which is similar to a type of unsweetened cake, made from barley flower, served with red tomato sauce and customarily eaten communally with several others sharing the same dish usually by hand - this dish is commonly served at traditional weddings or festivities), Ousba`an (a sweet version of Bazeen, made from white flower and served with a mix of honeySONY VGN-FZ11E battery, ghee or butter) and shurba, which is a red tomato sauce based soup usually served with small grains of pasta. A very common snack eaten by Libyan is known as 'khubs bi' tun' literally meaning bread with tuna fish, served as usually a baked baguette or pita bread stuffed with tuna fish that has been mixed with Harissa (chili sauce) and usually olive oil, many snack vendors prepare these sandwiches and can be found all over LibyaSONY VGN-FZ11L battery. Libyan restaurants may serve international cuisine, or may serve simpler fare such as lamb, chicken, vegetable stew, potatoes and macaroni. Due to severe lack of infrastructure, many under-developed areas and small towns do not have restaurants and instead food stores may be the only source to obtain food products. Alcohol consumption is illegal in the entire country. SONY VGN-FZ11M battery
There are four main ingredients of traditional Libyan food: olives (and olive oil), palm dates, grains and milk. Grains are roasted, ground, sieved and used for making bread, cakes, soups and bazeen. Dates are harvested, dried and can be eaten as they are, made into syrup or slightly fried and eaten with bsisa and milk. After eating, Libyans often drink black tea. This is normally repeated a second time (for the second glass of tea) SONY VGN-FZ11S battery, and in the third round the tea is served with roasted peanuts or roasted almonds known as 'shahi bil louse' (mixed with the tea in the same glass).
Tripoli is the capital city and the largest city of Libya. As of 2011, the Tripoli metropolitan area (district area) had a population of 2.2 million people. The city is located in the northwestern part of Libya on the edge of the desert, on a point of rocky land projecting into the Mediterranean and forming a baySONY VGN-FZ11Z battery.
Tripoli includes the Port of Tripoli and the country's largest commercial and manufacturing centre. It is also the site of the University of Tripoli. The vast Bab al-Azizia barracks, which includes the former family plantation of Muammar Gaddafi, is also located in the city. Colonel Gaddafi largely ruled the country from his residence in this barracksSONY VGN-FZ15G battery.
Tripoli was founded in the 7th century BC by the Phoenicians, who named it Oea. Due to the city's long history, there are many sites of archaeological significance in Tripoli. "Tripoli" may also refer to the shabiyah (top-level administrative division in the current Libyan system), the Tripoli DistrictSONY VGN-FZ15L battery.
Tripoli is also known as Tripoli-of-the-West (Arabic: طرابلس الغرب Ṭarābulus al-Gharb), to distinguish it from its older Phoenician sister city Tripoli, Lebanon known in Arabic as Ṭarābulus al-Sham (طرابلس الشام) meaning "Levantine Tripoli". It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean (Arabic: عروسة البحر ʼarūsat el-baḥr; lit: "bride of the sea"),SONY VGN-FZ15M battery describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli (English pronunciation: /ˈtrɪpɵli/) is a Greek name that means "Three Cities", introduced in Western European languages through the Italian Tripoli. In Arabic: طرابلس it is called Ṭarābulus ( pronunciation (help·info), Libyan Arabic: Ṭrābləs pronunciation (help·info), Berber: Ṭrables, from Ancient Greek: Τρίπολις Trípolis) SONY VGN-FZ15S battery.
The city was founded in the 7th century BC, by the Phoenicians, who gave it the Libyco-Berber name Oea (or Wy't), suggesting that the city may have been built upon an existing native town. The Phoenicians were probably attracted to the site by its natural harbor, flanked on the western shore by the small, easily defensible peninsula, on which they established their colonySONY VGN-FZ15T battery. The city then passed into the hands of the rulers of Cyrenaica (a Greek colony on the North African shore, east of Tripoli, halfway to Egypt), although the Carthaginians later wrested it from the Greeks. The Lebanese Arabic name Tarabulus is derived from the Greek Tripolis meaning three towns, hence TripoliSONY VGN-FZ17 battery.
By the later half of the 2nd century BC it belonged to the Romans, who included it in their province of Africa, and gave it the name of Regio Syrtica. Around the beginning of the 3rd century AD, it became known as the Regio Tripolitana, meaning "region of the three cities", namely Oea (i.e., modern Tripoli), Sabratha and Leptis Magna. It was probably raised to the rank of a separate province by Septimius Severus, who was a native of Leptis MagnaSONY VGN-FZ17G battery.
Roman Arch of Marcus Aurelius
In spite of centuries of Roman habitation, the only visible Roman remains, apart from scattered columns and capitals (usually integrated in later buildings), is the Arch of Marcus Aurelius from the 2nd century AD. The fact that Tripoli has been continuously inhabited, unlike e.g., Sabratha and Leptis Magna, has meant that the inhabitants have either quarried material from older buildings (destroying them in the process), or built on top of themSONY VGN-FZ17L battery, burying them beneath the streets, where they remain largely unexcavated.
There is evidence to suggest that the Tripolitania region was in some economic decline during the 5th and 6th centuries, in part due to the political unrest spreading across the Mediterranean world in the wake of the collapse of the western Roman empire, as well as pressure from the invading VandalsSONY VGN-FZ18 battery.
According to al-Baladhuri, Tripoli was, unlike Western North Africa, taken by the Muslims very early after Alexandria, in the 22nd year of the Hijra, that is between 30 November 642 and 18 November 643. Following the conquest, Tripoli was ruled by dynasties based in Cairo, Egypt (first the Fatimids, and later the Mamluks). For some time it was a part of the Berber Almohad empire and of the Hafsids kingdomSONY VGN-FZ18E battery. It was part of the Ottoman Empire between the 16th and 19th centuries.
16th to 19th centuries
In 1510, it was taken by Don Pedro Navarro, Count of Oliveto for Spain, and, in 1523, it was assigned to the Knights of St. John, who had lately been expelled by the Ottoman Turks from their stronghold on the island of Rhodes. Finding themselves in very hostile territory, the Knights enhanced the city's walls and other defensesSONY VGN-FZ18G battery. Though built on top of a number of older buildings (possibly including a Roman public bath), much of the earliest defensive structures of the Tripoli castle (or "Assaraya al-Hamra", i.e., the "Red Castle") are attributed to the Knights of St John.
Having previously combated piracy from their base on Rhodes, the reason that the Knights were given charge of the city was to prevent it from relapsing into the nest of Barbary pirates as it had been prior to the Spanish occupationSONY VGN-FZ18M battery. The disruption the pirates caused to the Christian shipping lanes in the Mediterranean had been one of the main incentives for the Spanish conquest of the city.
Historic map of Tripoli by Piri Reis
The knights kept the city with some trouble until 1551, when they were compelled to surrender to the Ottomans, led by Muslim Turk Turgut Reis. Turgut Reis served as pasha of Tripoli, during his rule he adorned and built up the city, making it one of the most impressive cities along the North African Coast. Turgut was also buried in Tripoli after his death in 1565SONY VGN-FZ18S battery. His body was taken from Malta, where he had fallen during the Ottoman siege of the island, to a tomb in the mosque he had established close to his palace in Tripoli. The palace has since disappeared (supposedly it was situated between the so-called "Ottoman prison" and the arch of Marcus Aurelius), but the mosque, along with his tomb, still stands, close to the Bab Al-Bahr gateSONY VGN-FZ18T battery.
After the capture by the Ottoman Turks, Tripoli once again became a base of operation for Barbary pirates. One of several Western attempts to dislodge them again was a Royal Navy attack under John Narborough in 1675, of which a vivid eye-witness account has survived. Effective Ottoman rule during this period (1551–1711) was often hampered by the local Janissary corpsSONY VGN-FZ190 battery. Intended to function as enforcers of local administration, the captain of the Janissaries and his cronies were often the de facto rulers.
In 1711, Ahmed Karamanli, a Janissary officer of Turkish origin, killed the Ottoman governor, the "Pasha", and established himself as ruler of the Tripolitania region. By 1714, he had asserted a sort of semi-independence from the Ottoman Sultan, heralding in the Karamanli dynastySONY VGN-FZ19L battery. The Pashas of Tripoli were expected to pay a regular tributary tax to the Sultan, but were in all other aspects rulers of an independent kingdom. This order of things continued under the rule of his descendants, accompanied by the brazen piracy and blackmailing until 1835, when the Ottoman Empire took advantage of an internal struggle and re-established its authoritySONY VGN-FZ19VN battery.
The Ottoman province (vilayet) of Tripoli (including the dependent sanjak of Cyrenaica) lay along the southern shore of the Mediterranean between Tunisia in the west and Egypt in the east. Besides the city itself, the area included Cyrenaica (the Barca plateau), the chain of oases in the Aujila depression, Fezzan and the oases of Ghadames and Ghat, separated by sandy and stony wastelandsSONY VGN-FZ210CE battery.
Main article: Barbary Wars
The USS Philadelphia burning at the Second Battle of Tripoli Harbor during the First Barbary War in 1804
In the early part of the 19th century, the regency at Tripoli, owing to its piratical practices, was twice involved in war with the United States. In May 1801, the pasha demanded an increase in the tribute ($83,000) which the US government had been paying since 1796SONY VGN-FZ21E battery for the protection of their commerce from piracy under the 1796 Treaty with Tripoli. The demand was refused, and a naval force was sent from the United States to blockade Tripoli.
The First Barbary War dragged on for four years. In 1803, Tripolitan fighters captured the US frigate Philadelphia and took its commander, Captain William Bainbridge, and the entire crew as prisonersSONY VGN-FZ21J battery. This was after the Philadelphia was run aground when the captain tried to navigate too close to the port of Tripoli. After several hours aground and Tripolitan gun boats firing upon the Philadelphia, though none ever struck the Philadelphia, Captain Bainbridge made the decision to surrender. The Philadelphia was later turned against the Americans and anchored in Tripoli Harbor as a gun battery while her officers and crew were held prisoners in TripoliSONY VGN-FZ21M battery. The following year, US Navy Lieutenant Stephen Decatur led a successful nighttime raid to retake and burn the ship. Decatur's men set fire to the Philadelphia and escaped.
The most colorful incident in the war was the expedition undertaken by William Eaton with the object of replacing the pasha with an elder brother living in exile, who had promised to accede to all the wishes of the United States. Eaton, at the head of a crew of 500 US Marines, Greek, Arab and Turkish MercenariesSONY VGN-FZ21S battery, marched across the desert from Alexandria, Egypt and with the aid of American ships, succeeded in capturing Derna. Soon afterward, on 3 June 1805, peace was concluded. The pasha ended his demands and received $60,000 as ransom for the Philadelphia prisoners under the 1805 Treaty with Tripoli.
In 1815, in consequence of further outrages and due to the humiliation of the earlier defeat, Captains Bainbridge and Stephen Decatur, SONY VGN-FZ21Z battery at the head of an American squadron, again visited Tripoli and forced the pasha to comply with the demands of the United States. See Second Barbary War.
Late Ottoman era
Ottoman Clock tower in Tripoli's old town medina
In 1835, the Ottomans took advantage of a local civil war to reassert their direct authority. After that date, Tripoli was under the direct control of the Sublime Porte. Rebellions in 1842 and 1844 were unsuccessful. After the French occupation of Tunisia (1881), the Ottomans increased their garrison in Tripoli considerablySONY VGN-FZ31B battery.
Italy had long claimed that Tripoli fell within its zone of influence and that Italy had the right to preserve order within the state. Under the pretext of protecting its own citizens living in Tripoli from the Ottoman Government, it declared war against the Ottomans on 29 September 1911, and announced its intention of annexing Tripoli. On 1 October 1911, a naval battle was fought at Prevesa, Greece, and three Ottoman vessels were destroyedSONY VGN-FZ31E battery.
By the Treaty of Lausanne, Italian sovereignty was acknowledged by the Ottomans, although the Caliph was permitted to exercise religious authority. Italy officially granted autonomy after the war, but gradually occupied the region. Originally administered as part of a single colony, Tripoli and its surrounding province were a separate colony from 26 June 1927 to 3 December 1934, when all Italian possessions in North Africa were merged into one colonySONY VGN-FZ31J battery. By 1938, Tripoli had 108,240 inhabitants, including 39,096 Italians.
Tripoli underwent a huge architectural and urbanistic improvement under Italian rule: the first thing the Italians did was to create in the early 1920s a sewage system (that until then lacked) and a modern hospital.
In the coast of the province was built in 1937-1938 a section of the Litoranea Balbia, a road that went from Tripoli and Tunisia's frontier to the border of Egypt. The car tag for the Italian province of Tripoli was "TL"SONY VGN-FZ31M battery.
Fiera internazionale di Tripoli (Tripoli International Fair) in 1939
Furthermore the Italians -in order to promote Tripoli's economy- founded in 1927 the Tripoli International Fair, that is considered to be the oldest Trade Fair in Africa. The so-called Fiera internazionale di Tripoli was one of the main international "Fairs" in the colonial world in the 1930s, and was internationally promoted together with the Tripoli Grand Prix as a showcase of Italian LibyaSONY VGN-FZ31Z battery. Italians even created the Tripoli Grand Prix, an international motor racing event first held in 1925 on a racing circuit outside Tripoli (it lasted until 1940). The first airport in Libya, the Mellaha Air Base was built by the Italian Air Force in 1923 near the Tripoli racing circuit (actually is called Mitiga International Airport).
Tripoli had even a railway station with some small railway connections to nearby cities, when in August 1941 the Italians started to build a new 1040 km railway (with a 1435 mm. gaugeSony VAIO VGN-CR11H/B battery, like the one used in Egypt and Tunisia) between Tripoli and Benghazi. But the war (with the defeat of the Italian Army) stopped the construction the next year.
Tripoli was controlled by Italy until 1943 when the provinces of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica were captured by Allied forces and placed under British administration. The city was governed by the British until independence in 1951. Under the terms of the 1947 peace treaty with the Allies, Italy relinquished all claims to Libya. Sony VAIO VGN-CR11S/L battery
On 15 April 1986, U.S. President Ronald Reagan ordered major bombing raids, dubbed Operation El Dorado Canyon, against Tripoli and Benghazi, killing 45 Libyan military and government personnel as well as 15 civilians. This strike followed US interception of telex messages from Libya's East Berlin embassy suggesting the involvement of Libyan leader Muammar Sony VAIO VGN-CR11S/P batteryGaddafi in a bomb explosion on 5 April in West Berlin's La Belle discotheque, a nightclub frequented by US servicemen. Among the alleged fatalities of the 15 April retaliatory attack by the United States was Gaddafi's adopted daughter, Hannah.
United Nations sanctions against Libya were lifted in 2003, which increased traffic through the Port of Tripoli and had a positive impact on the city's economy.
Front lines during the Battle of Tripoli (20th - 28th of August 2011) Sony VAIO VGN-CR11S/W battery
See also: Libyan civil war, Timeline of the 2011 Libyan civil war, and Battle of Tripoli (2011)
In February and March 2011, Tripoli witnessed intense anti-government protests and violent government responses resulting in hundreds killed and wounded. The city's Green Square was the scene of some of the protests. The anti-Gaddafi protests were eventually crushed, and Tripoli was the site of pro-Gaddafi rallies. Sony VAIO VGN-CR11Z/R battery
The city defenses loyal to Gaddafi included the military headquarters at Bab al-Aziziyah (where Gaddafi's main residence was located) and the Mitiga International Airport. At the latter, on 13 March, Ali Atiyya, a colonel of the Libyan Air Force, defected and joined the revolution.
In late February, rebel forces took control of Zawiya, a city approximately 50 kilometres (31 miles) to the west of TripoliSony VAIO VGN-CR131E battery, thus increasing the threat to pro-Gaddafi forces in the capital. During the subsequent battle of Zawiya, loyalist forces besieged the city and eventually recaptured it by 10 March.
As the 2011 military intervention in Libya commenced on 19 March to enforce a U.N. no-fly zone over the country, the city once again came under air attack. It was the second time that Tripoli was bombed since the 1986 U.S. airstrikes, and the second time since the 1986 airstrike that bombed Bab al-Azizia, Gaddafi's heavily fortified compoundSony VAIO VGN-CR13G battery.
In July and August, Libyan online revolutionary communities posted tweets and updates on attacks of rebel fighters on loyalist vehicles and checkpoints. In one such attack, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Senussi were targets. The regime, however, denied revolutionary activity inside the capitalSony VAIO VGN-CR13G/B battery.
Several months after the initial uprising, rebel forces in the Nafusa Mountains advanced towards the coast, retaking Zawiya and reaching Tripoli on 21 August. On 21 August, the symbolic Green Square, immediately renamed Martyrs' Square by the rebels, was taken under rebel control and Gaddafi propaganda posters were torn down and burned.Sony VAIO VGN-CR13G/L battery
During a radio address on 1 September, Gaddafi declared that the capital of Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya was moved from Tripoli to Sirte, after rebels had taken control of Tripoli.
Law and government
Tripoli and its surrounding suburbs all lie within the Tripoli sha'biyah (district). In accordance with Libya's former Jamahiriya political system, Tripoli comprises Local People's Congresses where, in theory, the city's population discuss different matters and elect their own people's committeeSony VAIO VGN-CR13G/P battery; at present[when?] there are 29 Local People's Congresses. In reality, the former revolutionary committees severely limited the democratic process by closely supervising committee and congress elections at the branch and district levels of governments, Tripoli being no exception.
Tripoli is sometimes referred to as "the de jure capital of Libya" because none of the country's ministries are actually located in the capitalSony VAIO VGN-CR13/L battery. Even the former National General People's Congress was held annually in the city of Sirte rather than in Tripoli. As part of a radical decentralization programme undertaken by Gaddafi in September 1988, all General People's Committee secretariats (ministries), except those responsible for foreign liaison (foreign affairs) and information, were moved outside of TripoliSony VAIO VGN-CR13/P battery. According to diplomatic sources, the former Secretariat for Economy and Trade was moved to Benghazi; the Secretariat for Health to Kufra; and the remainder, excepting one, to Sirte, Muammar Gaddafi's birthplace. In early 1993 it was announced that the Secretariat for Foreign Liaison and International Co-operation was to be moved to Ra's Lanuf. In October 2011, Libya fell to The National Transitional Council (N.T.C.) Sony VAIO VGN-CR13/R battery, which took full control, abolishing the Gaddafi-era system of national and local government.
Astronaut View of Tripoli
Tripoli lies at the western extremity of Libya close to the Tunisian border, on the continent of Africa. Over a thousand kilometres separates Tripoli from Libya's second largest city, Benghazi. Coastal oases alternate with sandy areas and lagoons along the shores of Tripolitania for more than 300 kilometres (190 mi) Sony VAIO VGN-CR13T/L battery.
Until 2007, the "Sha'biyah" included the city, its suburbs and their immediate surroundings. In older administrative systems and throughout history, there existed a province ("muhafazah"), state ("wilayah") or city-state with a much larger area (though not constant boundaries), which is sometimes mistakenly referred to as Tripoli but more appropriately should be called Tripolitania.
As a District, Tripoli borders the following districtSony VAIO VGN-CR13T/P battery:
Most of the residents of the city are primary ethnic Arabs and black Africans from Sub-Saharan Africa. 95% of the city's population speaks Arabic.
Tripoli has a hot subtropical semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSh) with long, hot and dry summers with relatively wet and mild winters with a Mediterranean (dry-summer) rainfall pattern. Its summers are hot with temperatures that often exceed 38 °C (100 °F) Sony VAIO VGN-CR13T/R battery; average July temperatures are between 22 °C (72 °F) and 33 °C (91 °F). In December, temperatures have reached as low as −5 °C (23 °F), but the average remains at between 9 °C (48 °F) and 18 °C (64 °F). The average annual rainfall is less than 400 millimetres (16 inches), and can be very erratic. But snowfall has occurred in past years.
For example, epic floods in 1945 left Tripoli under water for several days, but two years later an unprecedented drought caused the loss of thousands of head of cattleSony VAIO VGN-CR13T/W battery. Deficiency in rainfall is no doubt reflected in an absence of permanent rivers or streams in the city as is indeed true throughout the entire country. The allocation of limited water is considered of sufficient importance to warrant the existence of the Secretariat of Dams and Water Resources, and damaging a source of water can be penalized by a heavy fine or imprisonment. Sony VAIO VGN-CR13/W battery
The Great Manmade River, a network of pipelines that transport water from the desert to the coastal cities, supplies Tripoli with its water. The grand scheme was initiated by Gaddafi in 1982 and has had a positive impact on the city's inhabitants.
Tripoli is dotted with public spaces, but none fit under the category of large city parks. Martyrs' Square, located near the waterfront is scattered with palm trees, the most abundant plant used for landscaping in the citySony PCG-5G2L battery. The Tripoli Zoo, located south of the city centre, is a large reserve of plants, trees and open green spaces and is the country's biggest zoo.It has, however, been closed since 2009.
Tripoli is one of the main hubs of Libya's economy along with Misrata. It is the leading centre of banking, finance and communication in the country and is one of the leading commercial and manufacturing cities in LibyaSony PCG-5G3L battery. Many of the country's largest corporations locate their headquarters and home offices in Tripoli as well as the majority of international companies.
Major manufactured goods include processed food, textiles, construction materials, clothing and tobacco products. Since the lifting of sanctions against Libya in 1999 and again in 2003, Tripoli has seen a rise in foreign investment as well as an increase in tourism. Increased traffic has also been recorded in the city's port as well as Libya's main international airport, Tripoli InternationalSony PCG-5J1L battery.
The city is home to the Tripoli International Fair, an international industrial, agricultural and commercial event located on Omar Muktar Avenue. One of the active members of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), located in the French capital Paris, the international fair is organized annually and takes place from 2–12 April. Participation averages around 30 countries as well as more than 2000 companies and organizations. Sony PCG-5J2L battery
Since the rise in tourism and influx of foreign visitors, there has been an increased demand for hotels in the city. To cater for these increased demands, the Corinthia Bab Africa Hotel located in the central business district was constructed in 2003 and is the largest hotel in Libya. Other high end hotels in Tripoli include the Al Waddan Intercontinental and the Tripoli Radisson Blu Hotel as well as others. Sony PCG-5K1L battery
Companies with head offices in Tripoli include Afriqiyah Airways and Libyan Airlines. Buraq Air has its head office on the grounds of Mitiga International Airport.
Tripoli's Old City (El-Madina El-Kadima), situated in the city centre, is one of the classical sites of the Mediterranean and an important tourist attraction.
The city's old town, the Medina, is still unspoiled by mass-tourism, though it was increasingly exposed to more and more visitors from abroadSony PCG-5K2L battery, following the lifting of the UN embargo in 2003. However, the walled Medina retains much of its serene old-world ambiance. The Red Castle Museum (Assaraya al-Hamra), a vast palace complex with numerous courtyards, dominates the city skyline and is located on the outskirts of the Medina. There are some classical statues and fountains from the Ottoman period scattered around the castle. An Ottoman serail now houses the Traveler's LibrarySony PCG-5L1L battery.
Three gates provided access to the old town: Bab Zanata in the west, Bab Hawara in the southeast and Bab Al-Bahr in the north wall. The city walls are still standing and can be climbed for good views of the city. The bazaar is also known for its traditional ware; fine jewellery and clothes can be found in the local marketsSony PCG-6S2L battery.
There are a number of buildings that were constructed by the Italian colonial rulers and later demolished under Gaddafi. They included the Royal Miramare Theatre, next to the Red Castle, and Tripoli Railway Central Station.Tripoli Cathedral, constructed by the Italian colonial authorities during the 1920s, was converted into a mosque in the early 1970s. The building was extensively remodelled at this timeSony PCG-6S3L battery.
Colleges and universities
The largest university in Tripoli, the University of Tripoli, is a public university providing free education to the city's inhabitants. Private universities and colleges have also begun to crop up in the last few years.