Libya Longitude & Latitude
Libya Public & National Holidays
Libya Nationl Anthem/Song
Hotels & Restaurants in Libya
Libya Culture, Map, Flag, Tourist Places
Libya (Arabic: Libiya), officially the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya is a country in Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, located between Egypt on the east, Sudan on the southeast, Chad and Niger on the south and Algeria and Tunisia to the west. Its capital city is Tripoli. The three traditional sections of the country are Tripolitania, the Fezzan and Cyrenaica.
The name "Libya" derives from the Egyptian term "Lebu", referring to Berber peoples living west of the Nile, and adopted into Greek as "Libya". In ancient Greece, the term had a broader meaning, encompassing all of North Africa west of Egypt, and sometimes referring to the entire continent of Africa.
The Libyan Desert, which covers much of eastern Libya, is one of the most arid places on earth. In places decades may pass without rain, and even in the highlands rainfall happens erratically, once every 5-10 years. At Uweinat, the last recorded rainfall was in September 1998. There is a large depression, the Qattara Depression, just to the south of the northernmost scarp, with Siwa oasis at its western extremity. The depression continues in a shallower form west, to the oases of Jaghbub and Jalo. There are other inhabited oases, Baharya, Farafra, Dakhla and Kharga west of the Nile in Egypt.
Summers are very hot and dry. winters are mild with cooler evenings. The desert has hot days and cold nights.
The land now known as modern Libya has been, throughout the ages, 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 ruins at Cyrene, Leptis Magna, and Sabratha, little else remains today to testify to the presence of these ancient cultures.
Libya has a small population within its large territory, with a population density of about 3 persons per square kilometre (8.5/mi˛) in the two northern regions of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, and less than one person per square kilometre (1.6/mi˛) elsewhere. Ninety percent of the people live in less than 10% of the area, primarily along the coast. More than half the population is urban, mostly concentrated in the two largest cities, Tripoli and Benghazi. Fifty percent of the population is estimated to be under the age of 15. Native Libyans are primarily a mixture of Arabs and Berbers.
Small Tuareg and Tebu tribal groups in southern Libya are nomadic or semi-nomadic. Among foreign residents, the largest groups are citizens of other African nations, including North Africans (primarily Egyptians and Tunisians), West Africans and Sub-Saharan Africans. Libyan Berbers and Arabs constitute 97% of the population, the other 3% being Black Africans, Greeks, Maltese, Italians, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Turks, Indians and Tunisians.
The main language spoken in Libya is Arabic, which is also the official language. Tamazight(Berber Languages), which do not have official status, are spoken by Libyan Berbers. Italian and English are sometimes spoken in the big cities, although Italian speakers are mainly among the older generation. In addition to that the Tuaregs have their own language which belongs to the Berber languages group. In the north east of Libya a few hundred speak a dialect which is related to the Ancient Greek language.
Libyan culture is, to a certain extent, similar to that of its other Arab neighbour states and the Libyan people very much consider themselves as part of a wider Arab community. The primary language is a colloquial form of Arabic that is unique to the area around Libya. There seem to be two distinct dialects and a couple of village and tribal dialects. Libyan Arabs have a heritage in the traditions of the nomadic Bedouin and associate themselves with a particular Bedouin tribe.
Family life is important for Libyan families. Most Libyans live in apartment blocks and various kinds of independent housing units depending on their income status. Most of the Arabs who have lived a nomadic lifestyle, traditionally in tents, have been settled into various towns and cities in Libya, their old way of life fading out. It is believed that there are still some who do live as they have for centuries in the desert, though no one knows their exact numbers. Most of the population are engaged in occupations in industry and services and a small percentage in agriculture.
Libya is overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim (97 to 98 percent), there are also very small Christian communities, composed exclusively of foreigners. There is a small Anglican community, made up mostly of African immigrant workers in Tripoli, which is part of the Egyptian Diocese. There are also an estimated 40,000 Roman Catholics in Libya who are served by two Bishops, one in Tripoli (serving the Italian community) and one in Benghazi (serving the Maltese community).
Libya’s capital has retained much of its historical heritage; Tripoli’s old walled city is a picturesque African jumble of narrow alleyways leading to traditional mosques, houses and khans (public houses). The architecture is a fusion of the country’s many rulers and includes Turkish, Spanish, Maltese and Italian influences. Worth seeing is the ancient Marcus Aurelian Arch, the Al Nagha and Ahmed Pash mosques, and some of the many vibrant souqs (markets) in the heart of Medina (Tripoli’s center). Situated on a promontory above the city is Assai al-Hamra (Red Castle); a spectacular fortress stretching over an area of approximately 13,000 sq meters, that houses a maze of courtyards and buildings. Next to the castle on the Green Square is the Jamahiriya Museum that was designed in conjunction with UNESCO. Classical artifacts such as ancient mosaics and statues are among the extensive collection displayed here. Visitors to the city can also enjoy a number of beautiful Mediterranean beaches.
Leptis Magna, historical town lies 120km east of Tripoli overlooking the Mediterranean. This incredible archaeological site was originally a port, built by the Phoenicians in the first millennium BC. Since then it became a Roman settlement and today many of the ruins from that time remain preserved. Among the things to see are the Severan Arch (erected in honor of Emperor Septimus Severus), the marble- and granite-lined Hadrianic Baths, a detailed basilica and an amphitheater.
Benghazi is Libya’s second-largest city, located on the Eastern edge of the Gulf of Sirt. Far more commercial and less aesthetically pleasing then Tripoli, Benghazi is nevertheless a popular tourist spot due to its close proximity to a number of beautiful beaches. Ras Alteen is a nearby beach with pristine white sands. It has recently been the location of an amazing archaeological discovery where Greek and Byzantine graves from a colossal underwater city were recovered. Other historical sites include the battlefield of Tobruk, 140km east of Ras Alteen, and the town of Cyrene, 245km east of Benghazi. The lush forested range of the Green Mountains is easily reached from Benghazi and Ras Alteen and is a great area for walking. A suspended cave named after the apostle Mark, who was thought to have been raised in the Green Mountains, can be found in the Marcus Valley.
Ghadames, known as the ‘Pearl of the Desert’, is a unique desert oasis town 800km (500 miles) southwest of Tripoli. The old town’s unique architecture consists of white-washed mud walls and covered labyrinthine walkways that are only lit by overhead skylights and open squares. Worth seeing are the D’jmaa al-Kabir mosque, where the minaret can be climbed for a wonderful panorama of the city; Mulberry Square, site of the old slave market; and the House Museum, that displays traditional mercantile furnishings.
Nearby are the Zallaf Sand Dunes, home to the native Tuareng tribe. Saline lakes with high mineral content and palm trees surround the dunes. In this unusual environment visitors can enjoy relaxing sand baths and salt-lake bathing.
LIBYA National Flower : Pomegranate blossom
Libya National Name : Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
National Capital : Tripoli
Libya Area : Approx. 1,759,540n Sq Km (679,360 Sq. Mi), 1.20% of total
Libya Population : 6,546,000 in 2010 (0.10% in total)
Ethnicity in Libya : Berber and Arab 97%, Greeks, Maltese, Italians, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Turks, Indians, Tunisians
Libya Languages : Arabic, Italian, English, all are widely understood in the major cities.
Religions in Libya: Islam (Sunni) 97%
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