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Libya Overview

Libya - Introduction

Overview A former Roman colony, Libya is a mostly desert country which saw invasions by Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, Turks and more recently Italians before gaining independence in 1951. Until Libya achieved independence in 1951, its history was essentially that of tribes, regions, and cities, and of the empires of which it was a part. Derived from...

Libya Facts

Full name: Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya National name: Al Jumahiriyah al Arabiyah al Libiyah ash Shabiyah al Ishtirakiyah al Uzma Independence: From Italy - 24 December 1951 Total area: 1.77 million sq km (685,524 sq miles) Location: Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Tunisia. Border countries:...

People of Libya

Libya has a small population in a large land area.  Population density is about 50 persons per sq. km. (80/sq. mi.) in the two northern regions of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, but falls to less than one person per sq. km. (1.6/sq. mi.) elsewhere. Ninety percent of the people live in less than 10% of the area, primarily along the coast. ...

Climate of Libya

The climate over most of the country is that of the hot, arid Sahara, but it is moderated along the coastal littoral by the Mediterranean Sea. The Saharan influence is stronger in summer. Dominant climate influences Mediterranean Sea and Sahara Desert. In coastal lowlands, where 80 percent of population lives, climate Mediterranean, with warm...

Geography of Libya

Libya is the fourth largest country in the continent and is situated on the north-east coast of Africa. While the northern part of the country lies along the Mediterranean, the south is covered by the Sahara. With an area of almost 1.8 million square kilometers (700,000 sq mi), 90% of which is desert, Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa...

Recent History of Libya

Qaddafi's control of Libya remained absolute, despite occasional outbreaks of civil disobedience and several rumoured military coup attempts. Beginning in the late 1990s Libya embarked on a series of moves designed to end its estrangement from Western nations. On Dec. 21, 1988, a Boeing 747 exploded in flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, the result...

Modern History of Libya

For most of their history, the peoples of Libya have been subjected to varying degrees of foreign control.  The Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Vandals, and Byzantines ruled all or parts of Libya. Although the Greeks and Romans left impressive ruins at Cyrene, Leptis Magna, and Sabratha, little else remains today to testify to the...

Pre 20th Century History of Libya

Following the Napoleonic wars, European powers began to colonise northern Africa, and the Turks hastened to strengthen their control of Libya. Their last North African possession, Libya was taken from the Turks by Italy in that country's last-minute bid for colonies in Africa. Throughout most of its history the territory that constitutes modern...

History of Ancient Libya

Early History The first inhabitants of Libya were Berber tribes. In the 7th century B.C., Phoenicians colonized the eastern section of Libya, called Cyrenaica, and Greeks colonized the western portion, called Tripolitania. Archaeological evidence indicates that from as early as the 8th millennium BC, Libya's coastal plain was inhabited by a...

Government & Politics of Libya

After the revolution in 1969, Colonel Muammar al Qadhafi, applied his innovative and revolutionary Arab-socialist philosophy to Libyan nation has resulted in fundamental changes in political representation, property ownership, legal system, and commercial transactions. Although Qadhafi holds no formal office, he exercises absolute power with the...

International Relations of Libya

Libya under Qadhafi a staunch proponent of pan-Arab unity, both in theory and in practice. Libyan regional policy predicated on intractable opposition to Israel and support of Palestinian cause. Libya is keen to shake off its pariah status and rejoin the international community. Libya's foreign policies have undergone much fluctuation and change...

Ethnic composition of Libya

Almost all Libyans speak Arabic, the country's official language, and adhere to the Sunnite branch of Islam. They claim descent from the Bedouin Arab tribes of the Banu Hilal and the Banu Sulaym, who invaded the Maghrib in the 11th century. In the eastern region the influence of the Sanusiyah, a 19th-century militant Islamic brotherhood, remains...

Languages of Libya

Official language Arabic. Government policy discourages use of other languages, but English used extensively--even by government for some purposes--and ranks as a second language. Italian and French also spoken, and small minorities speak Berber dialects. Arabic-speaking Sunni Muslims of mixed Arab and Berber ancestry make up well over 90 percent...

Culture of Libya

Libya has a rich history; over the years, it has been invaded by the Romans, Arabs, Turks and Italians. That’s why Libyan culture, similar to other African countries, is a mix of various other cultures. Its origin can be traced back to Berber, African and Turkish cultures. However, it has been able to remain alienated from Western influences...

Towns & Cities of Libya

After Governorates abolished in 1975, Libya divided into between seven and ten military districts (number varies with frequent reorganizations). Each military district divided into several municipalities, subdivided into villages or urban wards. Libya was divided into several governorates (muhafazat) before being split into 25 municipalities (...