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Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībiyā), officially the State of Libya ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībiyā), is a country in the
Maghreb The Maghreb (; ar, المغرب, al-Maghrib, lit=the west), also known as Northwest Africa, is the western part of North Africa and the Arab world. The region includes Algeria, Libya, Mauritania (also considered part of West Africa), Morocco and ...

Maghreb
region in
North Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in th ...

North Africa
bordered by the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
to the north,
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...

Egypt
to
the east ''The'' () is a grammatical Article (grammar), article in English language, English, denoting persons or things already mentioned, under discussion, implied or otherwise presumed familiar to listeners, readers or speakers. It is the definite art ...
,
Sudan Sudan ( or ; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A ...

Sudan
to the southeast,
Chad Chad (; ar, تشاد , ; french: Tchad, ), officially known as the Republic of Chad ( ar, جمهورية تْشَاد, link=no '; ), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an oce ...

Chad
to the south,
Niger ) , official_languages = French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primar ...

Niger
to the southwest,
Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , religion = , official_languages = , languages_type = Oth ...

Algeria
to the west,
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11. ...

Tunisia
to the northwest, and
maritime border A maritime boundary is a conceptual division of the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continent A continent is ...
s with
Malta Malta ( , , ), officially known as the Republic of Malta ( mt, Repubblika ta' Malta ) and formerly Melita, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies south of Italy, east of Tunisi ...

Malta
and
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
. The
sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social relatio ...
is made of three historical regions:
Tripolitania Tripolitania ( ar, طرابلس '; Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated ...

Tripolitania
,
Fezzan Fezzan ( , ; ber, ⴼⵣⵣⴰⵏ, Fezzan; ar, فزان, Fizzān; la, Phazania) is the southwestern region of modern . It is largely , but broken by mountains, uplands, and dry river valleys (s) in the north, where oases enable ancient towns an ...
and
Cyrenaica Cyrenaica ( ; ar, برقة, Barqah; grc-koi, Κυρηναϊκή παρχία Kurēnaïkḗ parkhíā after the city of Cyrene, Libya, Cyrene) is the eastern coastal region of Libya. Also known as ''Pentapolis'' ("Five Cities") in A ...

Cyrenaica
. With an area of almost 700,000 square miles (1.8 million km2), Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa, the fourth largest in the
Arab world The Arab world ( ar, العالم العربي '), formally the Arab homeland ( '), also known as the Arab nation ( '), the Arabsphere, or the Arab states, consists of the 22 Member states of the Arab League, Arab countries which are members of ...

Arab world
and
Arab League The Arab League ( ar, الجامعة العربية, '), formally the League of Arab States ( ar, جامعة الدول العربية, '), is a regional organization in the Arab world, which is located in Africa and Western Asia. The Arab L ...

Arab League
behind Algeria and the 16th
largest country in the world This is a list of the world's countries and their dependent territories by area, ranked by total area. Entries in this list include, but are not limited to, those in the ISO 3166-1 ISO 3166-1 (''Codes for the representation of names of countries ...
. Libya has the 10th-largest
proven oil reserves Oil reserves denote the amount of petroleum, crude oil that can be technically recovered at a cost that is financially feasible at the present price of oil. Hence reserves will change with the price, unlike oil resources, which include all oil tha ...
of any country in the world. The largest city and capital,
Tripoli Tripoli (; ar, طرابلس, ; ber, ⵜⵔⵢⴱⵓⵍⵙ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals ...

Tripoli
, is located in western Libya and contains over three million of Libya's seven million people. Libya has been inhabited by
Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, the Canary Islands, and to a lesser ...
since the late
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age sys ...
as descendants from
Iberomaurusian The Iberomaurusian is a backed Blade (archaeology), bladelet lithic technology, lithic industry found near the coasts of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. It is also known from a single major site in Libya, the Haua Fteah, where the industry is local ...
and
Capsian The Capsian culture was a Mesolithic The Mesolithic ( Greek: μέσος, ''mesos'' "middle"; λίθος, ''lithos'' "stone") is the Old World archaeological period between the Upper Paleolithic and the Neolithic The Neolithic period is th ...
cultures. In ancient times the
Phoenicia Phoenicia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3 ...
ns and Greeks established city-states and trading posts in western Libya. Parts of Libya were variously ruled by
Carthaginians The Punics, Carthaginians or Western Phoenicians, were a group of peoples in the Western Mediterranean who traced their origins to the Phoenicians. In modern scholarship, the term 'Punic' – the Latin equivalent of the Greek-derived term 'Phoen ...
,
Persians The Persians are an Iranian ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups such as a common set of traditions, ancestr ...

Persians
,
Egyptians Egyptians ( arz, المصريين, ; cop, ⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ, remenkhēmi) are an ethnic group of people originating from the country of Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning t ...
and
Macedonians Macedonian most often refers to someone or something from or related to Macedonia (disambiguation), Macedonia. Macedonian may specifically refer to: People Modern * Macedonians (ethnic group), the South Slavic ethnic group primarily associated w ...
then becoming part of the
Byzantine empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine empire
. Libya was an
early center of Christianity Early may refer to: History * The beginning or oldest part of a defined historical period is commonly divided into three main s – , , and . Ancient history (6,000 BCE – 650 CE) Ancient history refers to the time period since the introdu ...
. After the
fall of the Western Roman Empire The fall of the Western Roman Empire (also called the fall of the Roman Empire or the fall of Rome) was the loss of central political control in the Western Roman Empire The Western Roman Empire comprises the western provinces of the Ro ...
, the area of Libya was mostly occupied by the
Vandals The Vandals were a Germanic peoples, Germanic people who first inhabited what is now southern Poland. They established Vandal Kingdom, Vandal kingdoms on the Iberian Peninsula, Mediterranean islands, and North Africa in the fifth century. The ...
until the 7th century when
invasions An invasion is a Offensive (military), military offensive in which large numbers of combatants of one geopolitics, geopolitical Legal entity, entity aggressively enter territory (country subdivision), territory owned by another such entity, gene ...
brought
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
to the region. In the 16th century, the
Spanish Empire The Spanish Empire ( es, link=no, Imperio Español), also known as the Hispanic Monarchy ( es, link=no, Monarquía Hispánica) or the Catholic Monarchy ( es, link=no, Monarquía Católica) during the Early Modern period, was a colonial empire ...

Spanish Empire
and the
Knights of St John The Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem ( la, Ordo Fratrum Hospitalis Sancti Ioannis Hierosolymitani), commonly known as the Knights Hospitaller (), the Knights of Rhodes, the Knights of Malta, or the Order of Saint John, ...
occupied
Tripoli Tripoli (; ar, طرابلس, ; ber, ⵜⵔⵢⴱⵓⵍⵙ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals ...

Tripoli
until
Ottoman Ottoman is the Turkish spelling of the Arabic masculine given name Uthman (name), Uthman (Arabic: عُثْمان ''‘uthmān''). It may refer to: Governments and dynasties * Ottoman Caliphate, an Islamic caliphate from 1517 to 1924 * Ottoman Empi ...
rule began in 1551. Libya was involved in the
Barbary Wars The Barbary Wars were a series of two wars fought by the United States, Sweden, and the Kingdom of Sicily against the Barbary states (including Beylik of Tunis, Tunis, Regency of Algiers, Algiers, and Ottoman Tripolitania, Tripoli) of North Afri ...
of the 18th and 19th centuries. Ottoman rule continued until the
Italo-Turkish War The Italo-Turkish or Turco-Italian War ( tr, Trablusgarp Savaşı, "Tripolitanian War", it, Guerra di Libia, "War of Libya") was fought between the and the from 29 September 1911, to 18 October 1912. As a result of this conflict, Italy capture ...
which resulted in the
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...
occupation of Libya and the establishment of two colonies,
Italian Tripolitania Italian Tripolitania was an Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946), Italian colony, located in present-day western Libya, that existed from 1911 to 1934. It was part of the territory conquered from the Ottoman Empire after the Italo-Turkish War in 1911. It ...
and
Italian Cyrenaica Italian Cyrenaica was an Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946), Italian colony, located in present-day eastern Libya, that existed from Italo-Turkish War, 1911 to Italian Libya, 1934. It was part of the territory conquered from the Ottoman Empire during ...
(1911–1934), later unified in the
Italian Libya Italian Libya ( it, Libia Italiana; ar, ليبيا الإيطالية, Lībyā al-Īṭālīya) was a colony of the Fascist Italy (1922–1943), Kingdom of Italy located in North Africa, in what is now modern Libya, between 1934 and 1943. It was ...

Italian Libya
colony from 1934 to 1947. During the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, Libya was an area of warfare in the
North African Campaign#REDIRECT North African campaign {{Redirect category shell, {{R from move {{R from other capitalisation ...
. The Italian population then went into decline. Libya became independent as a
kingdom Kingdom may refer to: Monarchy * A type of monarchy * A realm ruled by: **A king, during the reign of a male monarch **A queen regnant, during the reign of a female monarch Taxonomy * Kingdom (biology), a category in biological taxonomy Arts an ...
in 1951. A bloodless military coup in 1969, a coalition led by
Muammar Gaddafi Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, Modern Standard . Due to the lack of standardization of transcribing written and regionally pronounced Arabic, Gaddafi's name has been romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Ling ...
, overthrew
King Idris I Idris ( ar, إدريس الأول; El Sayyid Prince Muhammad Idris bin Muhammad al-Mahdi as-Senussi; 12 March 1889 – 25 May 1983) was a Demographics of Libya, Libyan political and religious leader who served as the Emir of Cyrenaica and then as ...
and created a
republic A republic () is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a month ...

republic
. Gaddafi was often described by critics as a
dictator A dictator is a political leader who possesses absolute power. A dictatorship A dictatorship is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the ...
, and was one of the world's longest serving non-royal leaders, ruling for 42 years. He ruled until being overthrown and killed in the
2011 Libyan Civil War The First Libyan Civil War was an armed conflict in 2011 in the North Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and ...
, with authority transferred to the
General National Congress The General National Congress or General National Council (GNC; ar, المؤتمر الوطني العام, Berber language, Berber: Agraw Amuran Amatay) was the Legislature, legislative authority of Libya for two years following the end of the ...
. By 2014 two rival authorities claimed to govern Libya, destabilizing the country and leading to a second civil war, with parts of Libya split between the Tobruk and Tripoli-based governments as well as various tribal and Islamist militias. The two main warring sides signed a permanent ceasefire on 23 October 2020 and a unity government took authority. Libya is a member of the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harm ...

United Nations
(since 1955), the
Non-Aligned Movement The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is a forum of 120 developing world Image:Imf-advanced-un-least-developed-2008.svg, 450px, Example of Older Classifications by the International Monetary Fund, IMF and the United Nations, UN from 2008 A deve ...
, the
Arab League The Arab League ( ar, الجامعة العربية, '), formally the League of Arab States ( ar, جامعة الدول العربية, '), is a regional organization in the Arab world, which is located in Africa and Western Asia. The Arab L ...

Arab League
,
OIC The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC; ar, منظمة التعاون الإسلامي, Munaẓẓama at-Taʿāwun al-ʾIslāmiyy; french: Organisation de la coopération islamique), formerly the Organisation of the Islamic Conference ...
and
OPEC The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC, ) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or o ...

OPEC
. The country's official religion is
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
, with 96.6% of the Libyan population being
Sunni Muslims Sunni Islam () is by far the largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam, followed by 85–90% of the world's Muslims. Its name comes from the word ''Sunnah'', referring to the behaviour of Muhammad. The differences between Sunni and ...
.


Etymology

The origin of the name "Libya" first appeared in an inscription of
Ramesses II Ramesses II ( egy, rꜥ-ms-sw meaning "Ra is the one who bore him", ''Rīʿa-məsī-sū'', ; ) was the third pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state ...
, written as '' rbw'' in hieroglyphic. The name derives from a generalized identity given to a large confederacy of ancient east "Libyan"
berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, the Canary Islands, and to a lesser ...

berbers
,
African African(s) may refer to: * Anything from or pertaining to the continent of Africa: ** People who are native to Africa, descendants of natives of Africa, or individuals who trace their ancestry to indigenous inhabitants of Africa *** Ethnic groups ...
people(s) and tribes who lived around the lush regions of
Cyrenaica Cyrenaica ( ; ar, برقة, Barqah; grc-koi, Κυρηναϊκή παρχία Kurēnaïkḗ parkhíā after the city of Cyrene, Libya, Cyrene) is the eastern coastal region of Libya. Also known as ''Pentapolis'' ("Five Cities") in A ...

Cyrenaica
and
Marmarica Marmarica (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as ...
. An army of 40,000 men and a confederacy of tribes known as "Great Chiefs of the
Libu The Libu ( egy, rbw; also transcribed Rebu, Lebu, Lbou, Libou) were an Ancient Libyan tribe of Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ ...
" were led by King
Meryey Meryey was a king of ancient Libya The Latin name ''Libya'' (from Greek :wikt:Λιβύη, Λιβύη: ''Libyē'', which came from Berber language, Berber: ''Libu'') referred to the region west of the Nile generally corresponding to the Atlantic Mo ...
who fought a war against
pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the conte ...

pharaoh
Merneptah Merneptah or Merenptah (reigned July or August 1213 BC – May 2, 1203 BC) was the fourth pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along th ...
in year 5 (1208 BCE). This conflict was mentioned in the
Great Karnak Inscription Location of Cachette court The Great Karnak Inscription is an ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile, Nile River, situated in the place that ...
in the western delta during the 5th and 6th years of his reign and resulted in a defeat for Meryey. According to the
Great Karnak Inscription Location of Cachette court The Great Karnak Inscription is an ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile, Nile River, situated in the place that ...
, the military alliance comprised the
Meshwesh The Meshwesh (often abbreviated in ancient Egyptian language, Egyptian as Ma) were an ancient Libyan tribe of Berbers, Berber origin from beyond Cyrenaica. According to inscriptions in Egyptian hieroglyphs, the Libu and Tehenou/Tehenu inhabited thi ...
, the
Lukka The term Lukka lands (sometimes Luqqa lands), in Hittite language Hittite (natively / "the language of Kültepe, Neša", or ''nešumnili'' / "the language of the people of Neša"), also known as Nesite (''Nešite'' / Neshite, Nessite), was a ...
, and the "Sea Peoples" known as the
Ekwesh The Achaeans (; grc, Ἀχαιοί ''Akhaioí,'' "the Achaeans" or "of Achaea") constitute one of the collective names for the Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group and nation native to t ...
, Teresh,
Shekelesh The Sea Peoples are a purported seafaring confederation that attacked ancient Egypt and other regions of the Eastern Mediterranean, East Mediterranean prior to and during the Late Bronze Age collapse (1200–900 BCE).. Quote: "First coined in ...
, and the
Sherden The Sherden (Egyptian language, Egyptian: ''šrdn'', ''šꜣrdꜣnꜣ'' or ''šꜣrdynꜣ'', Ugaritic: ''šrdnn(m)'' and ''trtn(m)'', possibly Akkadian language, Akkadian: ''še–er–ta–an–nu''; also glossed “Shardana” or “Sherdanu”) a ...
. The Great karnak inscription reads: ' The modern name of "Libya" is an evolution of the "''Libu''" or "''Libúē''" name (from Greek ''Λιβύη, Libyē''), generally encompassing the people of
Cyrenaica Cyrenaica ( ; ar, برقة, Barqah; grc-koi, Κυρηναϊκή παρχία Kurēnaïkḗ parkhíā after the city of Cyrene, Libya, Cyrene) is the eastern coastal region of Libya. Also known as ''Pentapolis'' ("Five Cities") in A ...

Cyrenaica
and
Marmarica Marmarica (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as ...
. The ''"Libúē"'' or ''"libu"'' name likely came to be used in the classical world as an identity for the natives of the North African region. The name was revived in 1934 for
Italian Libya Italian Libya ( it, Libia Italiana; ar, ليبيا الإيطالية, Lībyā al-Īṭālīya) was a colony of the Fascist Italy (1922–1943), Kingdom of Italy located in North Africa, in what is now modern Libya, between 1934 and 1943. It was ...

Italian Libya
from the
ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
('). It was intended to supplant terms applied to
Ottoman Tripolitania The coastal region of what is today Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībīyā), officially the State of Libya, ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībīyā) is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to ...
, the coastal region of what is today Libya, having been ruled by the Ottoman Empire from 1551 to 1911 as the Eyalet of Tripolitania. The name "Libya" was brought back into use in 1903 by Italian geographer Federico Minutilli."Bibliografia della Libia"; Bertarelli, p. 177. Libya gained independence in 1951 as the United Libyan Kingdom ( '), changing its name to the Kingdom of Libya ( '), literally "Libyan Kingdom", in 1963. Following a coup d'état led by
Muammar Gaddafi Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, Modern Standard . Due to the lack of standardization of transcribing written and regionally pronounced Arabic, Gaddafi's name has been romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Ling ...
in 1969, the name of the state was changed to the Libyan Arab Republic ( '). The official name was "Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya" from 1977 to 1986 (), and "Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya" (, ' ) from 1986 to 2011. The
National Transitional Council The National Transitional Council of Libya ( ar, المجلس الوطني الإنتقالي ' ), sometimes known as the Transitional National Council, was the ''de facto'' government of Libya for a period during and after the Libyan Civil War ...
, established in 2011, referred to the state as simply "Libya". The UN formally recognized the country as "Libya" in September 2011 based on a request from the Permanent Mission of Libya citing the
Libyan interim Constitutional Declaration The Constitutional Declaration is the current supreme law of Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībīyā), officially the State of Libya, ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībīyā) is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa bordered by t ...
of 3 August 2011. In November 2011, the
ISO 3166-1 ISO 3166-1 (''Codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions – Part 1: Country codes'') is a standard defining codes for the names of countries, dependent territories, and special areas of geographical interest. It i ...
was altered to reflect the new country name "Libya" in English, ''"Libye (la)"'' in French. In December 2017 the Permanent Mission of Libya to the United Nations informed the United Nations that the country's official name was henceforth the "State of Libya"; "Libya" remained the official short form, and the country continued to be listed under "L" in alphabetical lists.


History


Ancient Libya

The coastal plain of Libya was inhabited by
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
peoples from as early as 8000 BC. The
Afroasiatic Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamito-Semitic or Semito-Hamitic, is a large language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed lang ...

Afroasiatic
ancestors of the
Berber people Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, the Canary Islands, and to a lesser ...
are assumed to have spread into the area by the
Late Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age sys ...
. The earliest known name of such a tribe was the
Garamantes The Garamantes ( ar, جرمنت; Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in Nor ...
, based in
Germa Germa ( ar, جرمة), known in ancient times as Garama, is an archaeological site in Libya. It was the capital of the Garamantian Kingdom. The Garamantes were a Berbers, Berber people living in the Fezzan in the northeastern Sahara Desert. Garam ...
. The
Phoenicia Phoenicia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3 ...
ns were the first to establish trading posts in Libya. By the 5th century BC, the greatest of the Phoenician colonies,
Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient , on the eastern side of the in what is now . Carthage was the most important trading hub of the Ancient Mediterranean and one of the most affluent cities of the . The city developed from a n colony ...

Carthage
, had extended its
hegemony Hegemony (, , ) is the political, economic, and military predominance of one state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (ne ...
across much of North Africa, where a distinctive civilization, known as
Punic The Punic people or Western Phoenicians, were a group of Semitic people, Semitic peoples in the Western Mediterranean who traced their origins to the Phoenicians of the coasts of Western Asia. In modern scholarship, the term 'Punic' – the Lati ...
, came into being. In 630 BC, the
ancient Greeks Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era was ...
colonized the area around Barca in Eastern Libya and founded the city of
Cyrene Cyrene may refer to: Antiquity * Cyrene (mythology), an ancient Greek mythological figure * Cyrene, Libya, an ancient Greek colony in North Africa (modern Libya) ** Crete and Cyrenaica, a province of the Roman Empire ** Cyrenaica, the region aroun ...

Cyrene
. Within 200 years, four more important Greek cities were established in the area that became known as
Cyrenaica Cyrenaica ( ; ar, برقة, Barqah; grc-koi, Κυρηναϊκή παρχία Kurēnaïkḗ parkhíā after the city of Cyrene, Libya, Cyrene) is the eastern coastal region of Libya. Also known as ''Pentapolis'' ("Five Cities") in A ...

Cyrenaica
. In 525 BC the
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...

Persian
army of
Cambyses II Cambyses II ( peo, 𐎣𐎲𐎢𐎪𐎡𐎹 ''Kabūjiya'') was the second King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, wa ...

Cambyses II
overran Cyrenaica, which for the next two centuries remained under Persian or Egyptian rule.
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title ...

Alexander the Great
was greeted by the Greeks when he entered Cyrenaica in 331 BC, and Eastern Libya again fell under the control of the Greeks, this time as part of the
Ptolemaic Kingdom The Ptolemaic Kingdom (; grc-koi, Πτολεμαϊκὴ βασιλεία, Ptolemaïkḕ basileía) was an Ancient Greece, Ancient Greek state based in Egypt during the Hellenistic period, Hellenistic Period. It was founded in 305 BC by Ptolemy ...
. After the fall of
Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient , on the eastern side of the in what is now . Carthage was the most important trading hub of the Ancient Mediterranean and one of the most affluent cities of the . The city developed from a n colony ...

Carthage
the Romans did not immediately occupy
Tripolitania Tripolitania ( ar, طرابلس '; Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated ...

Tripolitania
(the region around Tripoli), but left it instead under control of the kings of
Numidia Numidia (Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifica ...

Numidia
, until the coastal cities asked and obtained its protection. Bertarelli, p. 202.
Ptolemy Apion Ptolemy Apion or simply known as Apion ( grc, Πτολεμαῖος Ἀπίων; between 150 BC and 145 BC – 96 BC) was the last Greek King of the King of the Romans (variant used in the early modern period) File:Nezahualpiltzintli.jpg" ...
, 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. As part of the
Africa Nova Numidia was a Roman province on the North African coast, comprising roughly the territory of north-east Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 ...
province, Tripolitania was prosperous, and reached a golden age in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, when the city of
Leptis Magna Leptis or Lepcis Magna, also known by other names Other most often refers to: * Other (philosophy), a concept in psychology and philosophy Other or The Other may also refer to: Books * The Other (Tryon novel), ''The Other'' (Tryon novel), a 1971 ...

Leptis Magna
, home to the
Severan dynasty The Severan dynasty was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter in the New Tes ...
, was at its height. On the Eastern side, Cyrenaica's first Christian communities were established by the time of the Emperor
Claudius Claudius ( ; Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 1 August 10 BC – 13 October AD 54) was the fourth Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the History of the Roman Empire, imperial p ...

Claudius
. Bertarelli, p. 417. It was heavily devastated during the
Kitos War The Kitos War (115–117; he, מרד הגלויות: ''mered ha'galuyot'' or ''mered ha'tfutzot'' רד התפוצות "rebellion of the diaspora" la, Tumultus Iudaicus) was one of the major Jewish–Roman wars (66–136). The rebellions er ...
and almost depopulated of Greeks and Jews alike. Although repopulated by
Trajan Trajan ( ; la, Caesar Nerva Trajanus; 18 September 539/11 August 117) was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the History of the Roman Empire, imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors use ...

Trajan
with military colonies, from then started its decline. Libya was early to convert to
Nicene Christianity The original Nicene Creed (; grc-gre, Σύμβολον τῆς Νικαίας; la, Symbolum Nicaenum) was first adopted at the First Council of Nicaea, which opened on 19 June 325.''Readings in the History of Christian Theology'' by William Car ...
and was the home of
Pope Victor I Pope Victor I (died 199) was the bishop of Rome A bishop is an , , or appointed member of the who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the , , , , , and churches, as well as the , bishops claim , a dire ...

Pope Victor I
; however, Libya was also home to many non-Nicene varieties of early Christianity, such as
Arianism Arianism is a Christology, Christological doctrine first attributed to Arius (), a Christian presbyter in Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt. Arian theology holds that the Son of God is not co-eternal with God the Father and is distinct from th ...
and
Donatism alt=Painting of Augustine of Hippo arguing with a man before an audience, Charles-André van Loo's 18th-century ''Augustine arguing with Donatists'' Donatism was a Christian sect A sect is a subgroup of a religious Religion is a social ...
. The decline of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
saw the classical cities fall into ruin, a process hastened by the
Vandals The Vandals were a Germanic peoples, Germanic people who first inhabited what is now southern Poland. They established Vandal Kingdom, Vandal kingdoms on the Iberian Peninsula, Mediterranean islands, and North Africa in the fifth century. The ...
' destructive sweep through North Africa in the 5th century. When the Empire returned (now as ) as part of
Justinian Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus; grc-gre, Ἰουστινιανός ; 48214 November 565), also known as Justinian the Great, was the Byzantine emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation o ...

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 disuse. Cyrenaica, which had remained an outpost of the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

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. 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 Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...
invasion.


Islamic Libya

Under the command of 'Amr ibn al-'As, the
Rashidun army The Rashidun army () was the core of the Rashidun Caliphate The Rashidun Caliphate ( ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلرَّاشِدَةُ, ') was the first of the four major caliphates established after the death of the Prophets and messe ...
conquered
Cyrenaica Cyrenaica ( ; ar, برقة, Barqah; grc-koi, Κυρηναϊκή παρχία Kurēnaïkḗ parkhíā after the city of Cyrene, Libya, Cyrene) is the eastern coastal region of Libya. Also known as ''Pentapolis'' ("Five Cities") in A ...

Cyrenaica
. Bertarelli, p. 278. In 647 an army led by
Abdullah ibn Saad Abdallah ibn Sa'd ibn Abi Sarh ( ar, عبد الله بن سعد بن أبي السرح, ʿAbdallāh ibn Saʿd ibn Abī Sarḥ), was a Muslim administrator and commander. He came from the Banu Amir ibn Lu'ay clan of the Quraish tribe and was an ...
took Tripoli from the Byzantines definitively. The
Fezzan Fezzan ( , ; ber, ⴼⵣⵣⴰⵏ, Fezzan; ar, فزان, Fizzān; la, Phazania) is the southwestern region of modern . It is largely , but broken by mountains, uplands, and dry river valleys (s) in the north, where oases enable ancient towns an ...
was conquered by
Uqba ibn Nafi Uqba ibn Nafi ibn Abd al-Qays al-Fihri al-Qurashi ( ar, عقبة بن نافع بن عبد القيس الفهري القرشي, ʿUqba ibn Nāfiʿ ibn ʿAbd al-Qays al-Fihrī al-Qurashī) was an Arabs, Arab general serving the Rashidun Caliphate ...
in 663. The Berber tribes of the hinterland accepted Islam, however they resisted Arab political rule. For the next several decades, Libya was under the purview of the
Umayyad The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was ruled by the ...
Caliph of Damascus until the Abbasid Caliphate, Abbasids overthrew the Umayyads in 750, and Libya came under the rule of Baghdad. When Caliph Harun al-Rashid appointed Ibrahim I ibn al-Aghlab, Ibrahim ibn al-Aghlab as his governor of Ifriqiya in 800, Libya enjoyed considerable local autonomy under the Aghlabid dynasty. By the 10th century, the Shiite Fatimids controlled Western Libya, and ruled the entire region in 972 and appointed Bologhine ibn Ziri as governor. Ibn Ziri's Berber Zirid dynasty ultimately broke away from the Shiite Fatimids, and recognised the Sunni Abbasids of Baghdad as rightful Caliphs. In retaliation, the Fatimids brought about the migration of thousands from mainly two Arab Qaisi 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. 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. Bertarelli, p. 203. It was not until 1159 that the Moroccan Almohad leader Abd al-Mu'min reconquered Tripoli from European rule. For the next 50 years, Tripolitania was the scene of numerous battles among Ayyubids, the Almohad rulers and insurgents of the Banu Ghaniya. Later, a general of the Almohad Caliphate, 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. By the 16th century the Hafsids became increasingly caught up in the power struggle between Spain and the Ottoman Empire. After weakening control of Abbasids, Cyrenaica was under Egypt based states such as Tulunids, Ikhshidids, Ayyubids and Mamluks before Ottoman conquest in 1517. Finally
Fezzan Fezzan ( , ; ber, ⴼⵣⵣⴰⵏ, Fezzan; ar, فزان, Fizzān; la, Phazania) is the southwestern region of modern . It is largely , but broken by mountains, uplands, and dry river valleys (s) in the north, where oases enable ancient towns an ...
acquired independence under Awlad Muhammad dynasty after Kanem Empire, Kanem rule. Ottomans finally conquered Fezzan between 1556 and 1577.


Ottoman Tripolitania (1551–1911)

After a successful invasion of Tripoli by Habsburg Spain in 1510, and its handover to the Knights of St. John, the Ottoman admiral Sinan Pasha (Ottoman admiral), Sinan Pasha took control of Libya in 1551. His successor Turgut Reis was named the Bey of Tripoli and later Pasha of Tripoli in 1556. By 1565, administrative authority as regent in Tripoli was vested in a ''pasha'' appointed directly by the ''sultan'' in Constantinople/Istanbul. In the 1580s, the rulers of
Fezzan Fezzan ( , ; ber, ⴼⵣⵣⴰⵏ, Fezzan; ar, فزان, Fizzān; la, Phazania) is the southwestern region of modern . It is largely , but broken by mountains, uplands, and dry river valleys (s) in the north, where oases enable ancient towns an ...
gave their allegiance to the sultan, and although Ottoman authority was absent in
Cyrenaica Cyrenaica ( ; ar, برقة, Barqah; grc-koi, Κυρηναϊκή παρχία Kurēnaïkḗ parkhíā after the city of Cyrene, Libya, Cyrene) is the eastern coastal region of Libya. Also known as ''Pentapolis'' ("Five Cities") in A ...

Cyrenaica
, a ''bey'' was stationed in Benghazi late in the next century to act as agent of the government in Tripoli. European Barbary slave trade, 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 5,000 people, sending them to Libya. In time, real power came to rest with the pasha's corps of janissaries. In 1611 the ''deys'' staged a coup against the pasha, and Dey Sulayman Safar was appointed as head of government. For the next hundred years, a series of ''deys'' effectively ruled Tripolitania. The two most important Deys were Mehmed Saqizli (r. 1631–49) and Osman Saqizli (r. 1649–72), both also Pasha, who ruled effectively the region. Bertarelli, p. 204. The latter conquered also Cyrenaica. 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. The Karamanli dynasty, Karamanlis ruled from 1711 until 1835 mainly in Tripolitania, and had influence in Cyrenaica and Fezzan as well by the mid-18th century. Ahmed's successors proved to be less capable than himself, however, the region's delicate balance of power allowed the Karamanli. The 1793–95 Tripolitanian civil war occurred in those years. In 1793, Turkish officer Trabluslu Ali Pasha, Ali Pasha deposed Hamet Karamanli and briefly restored Tripolitania to Ottoman rule. Hamet's brother Yusuf Karamanli, Yusuf (r. 1795–1832) re-established Tripolitania's independence. 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 First Barbary War and the Second Barbary War. 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 crumble. As Yusuf weakened, factions sprung up around his three sons. Civil war soon resulted. Bertarelli, p. 205. Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II sent in troops ostensibly to restore order, marking the end of both the Karamanli dynasty and an independent Tripolitania. 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. The second period of direct Ottoman rule saw administrative changes, and greater order in the governance of the three provinces of Libya. Ottoman rule finally reasserted to Fezzan between 1850 and 1875 for earning income from Saharan commerce.


Italian colonization (1911–1943)

After the
Italo-Turkish War The Italo-Turkish or Turco-Italian War ( tr, Trablusgarp Savaşı, "Tripolitanian War", it, Guerra di Libia, "War of Libya") was fought between the and the from 29 September 1911, to 18 October 1912. As a result of this conflict, Italy capture ...
(1911–1912), Italy simultaneously turned the three regions into colonies. 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 Italian Cyrenaica was an Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946), Italian colony, located in present-day eastern Libya, that existed from Italo-Turkish War, 1911 to Italian Libya, 1934. It was part of the territory conquered from the Ottoman Empire during ...
and
Italian Tripolitania Italian Tripolitania was an Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946), Italian colony, located in present-day western Libya, that existed from 1911 to 1934. It was part of the territory conquered from the Ottoman Empire after the Italo-Turkish War in 1911. It ...
, run by Italian governors. Some 150,000 Italians settled in Libya, constituting roughly 20% of the total population. Omar Mukhtar rose to prominence as a Libyan resistance movement, resistance leader against Italian colonization and became a national hero despite his capture and execution on 16 September 1931. His face is currently printed on the Libyan ten dinar note in memory and recognition of his patriotism. Another prominent resistance leader, Idris al-Mahdi as-Senussi (later
King Idris I Idris ( ar, إدريس الأول; El Sayyid Prince Muhammad Idris bin Muhammad al-Mahdi as-Senussi; 12 March 1889 – 25 May 1983) was a Demographics of Libya, Libyan political and religious leader who served as the Emir of Cyrenaica and then as ...
), Emir of Cyrenaica, continued to lead the Libyan resistance until the outbreak of the World War II, Second World War. The so-called "pacification of Libya" by the Italians resulted in mass deaths of the indigenous people in Cyrenaica, killing approximately one quarter of Cyrenaica's population of 225,000. Ilan Pappé estimates that between 1928 and 1932 the Italian military "killed half the Bedouin population (directly or through disease and starvation in Italian concentration camps in Libya)." In 1934, Italy combined
Cyrenaica Cyrenaica ( ; ar, برقة, Barqah; grc-koi, Κυρηναϊκή παρχία Kurēnaïkḗ parkhíā after the city of Cyrene, Libya, Cyrene) is the eastern coastal region of Libya. Also known as ''Pentapolis'' ("Five Cities") in A ...

Cyrenaica
,
Tripolitania Tripolitania ( ar, طرابلس '; Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated ...

Tripolitania
and
Fezzan Fezzan ( , ; ber, ⴼⵣⵣⴰⵏ, Fezzan; ar, فزان, Fizzān; la, Phazania) is the southwestern region of modern . It is largely , but broken by mountains, uplands, and dry river valleys (s) in the north, where oases enable ancient towns an ...
and adopted the name "Libya" (used by the Ancient Greeks for all of North Africa except Egypt) for the unified colony, with Tripoli as its capital. The Italians emphasized infrastructure improvements and public works. In particular, they greatly expanded Libyan railway and road networks from 1934 to 1940, building hundreds of kilometers of new roads and railways and encouraging the establishment of new industries and dozens of new agricultural villages. In June 1940, Military history of Italy during World War II, Italy entered World War II. Libya became the setting for the hard-fought
North African Campaign#REDIRECT North African campaign {{Redirect category shell, {{R from move {{R from other capitalisation ...
that ultimately ended in defeat for Italy and its Afrika Korps, German ally in 1943. From 1943 to 1951, Libya was under Allied occupation of Libya, Allied occupation. The British military British Military Administration (Libya), administered the two former Italian Libyan provinces of Tripolitana and Cyrenaïca, while the French French Fezzan, administered the province of 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 Treaty of Peace with Italy, 1947, 1947 peace treaty with the Allies of World War II, Allies, Italy relinquished all claims to Libya.


Independence, Kingdom and Libya under Gaddafi (1951–2011)

On 24 December 1951, Libya declared its independence as the Kingdom of Libya, United Kingdom of Libya, a constitutional and hereditary monarchy under King Idris of Libya, Idris, Libya's only monarch. 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 Idris. On 1 September 1969, a group of rebel military officers led by
Muammar Gaddafi Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, Modern Standard . Due to the lack of standardization of transcribing written and regionally pronounced Arabic, Gaddafi's name has been romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Ling ...
launched a 1969 Libyan coup d'état, coup d'état against King Idris, which became known as the Al Fateh Revolution. Gaddafi was referred to as the "Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution, Brother Leader and Guide of the Revolution" in government statements and the official Libyan press. Moving to reduce Italian influence, in October 1970 all Italian-owned assets were expropriated and the 12,000-strong Italian settlers in Libya, Italian community was expelled from Libya alongside the smaller community of History of the Jews in Libya, Libyan Jews. The day became a Public holiday, national holiday known as "Vengeance Day". Libya's increase in prosperity was accompanied by increased internal political repression, and political dissent was made illegal under Law 75 of 1973. Widespread surveillance of the population was carried out through Gaddafi's Revolutionary Committees. Gaddafi also wanted to combat the strict social restrictions that had been imposed on women by the previous regime, establishing the Revolutionary Women's Formation to encourage reform. In 1970, a law was introduced affirming equality of the sexes and insisting on wage parity. In 1971, Gaddafi sponsored the creation of a Libyan General Women's Federation. In 1972, a law was passed criminalizing the marriage of any females under the age of sixteen and ensuring that a woman's consent was a necessary prerequisite for a marriage. On 25 October 1975, a coup attempt was launched by some 20 military officers, mostly from the city of Misrata. This resulted in the arrest and executions of the coup plotters. On 2 March 1977, Libya officially became the "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. The new ''jamahiriya'' (Arab for "republic") governance structure he established was officially referred to as "direct democracy". 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 Toyota war, invasion. Later that same year, Libya and
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...

Egypt
fought a four-day border war that came to be known as the Libyan-Egyptian War. Both nations agreed to a ceasefire under the mediation of the Algerian president Houari Boumediène. Hundreds of Libyans lost their lives in the country's support for Idi Amin's Uganda in its Uganda–Tanzania War, war against Tanzania. Gaddafi financed various other groups from anti-nuclear movements to Australian trade unions. 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 List of sovereign states by public debt, debt-free. 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 programs. Much of Libya'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 1986 United States bombing of Libya, American airstrike intended to kill Gaddafi failed in 1986. Libya was finally put under sanctions by the United Nations after the Lockerbie bombing, bombing of a commercial flight killed 270 people.


First Libyan Civil War (2011)

The first civil war came during the Arab Spring movements which overturned the rulers of
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11. ...

Tunisia
and
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...

Egypt
, Libya experienced a full-scale revolt beginning on Revolution Day, 17 February 2011. Libya's authoritarian regime led by Muammar Gaddafi put up much more of a resistance compared to the regimes in Egypt and Tunisia. While overthrowing the regimes in Egypt and Tunisia was a relatively quick process, Gaddafi's campaign posed significant stalls on the uprisings in Libya. The first announcement of a competing political authority appeared online and declared the Interim Transitional National Council as an alternative government. One of Gaddafi's senior advisors responded by posting a tweet, wherein he resigned, defected, and advised Gaddafi to flee. By 20 February, the unrest had spread to Tripoli. On 27 February 2011, the
National Transitional Council The National Transitional Council of Libya ( ar, المجلس الوطني الإنتقالي ' ), sometimes known as the Transitional National Council, was the ''de facto'' government of Libya for a period during and after the Libyan Civil War ...
was established to administer the areas of Libya under rebel control. On 10 March 2011, America and many other nations recognised the council headed by Mahmoud Jibril as acting prime minister and as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people and withdrawing the recognition of Gaddafi's regime. Pro-Gaddafi forces were able to respond militarily to rebel pushes in Tripolitania, Western Libya and launched a counterattack along the coast toward Benghazi, the ''de facto'' centre of the uprising. The town of Zawiya, Libya, Zawiya, from Tripoli, was bombarded by Libyan Air Force (1951–2011), air force planes and army tanks and seized by Armed Forces of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Jamahiriya troops, "exercising a level of brutality not yet seen in the conflict." Organizations of the United Nations, including United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations Human Rights Council, condemned the crackdown as violating international law, with the latter body expelling Libya outright in an unprecedented action. On 17 March 2011 the UN Security Council passed United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, Resolution 1973, with a 10–0 vote and five abstentions including Russia, China, India, Brazil and Germany. The resolution sanctioned the establishment of a no-fly zone and the use of "all means necessary" to protect civilians within Libya. On 19 March, the first act of NATO allies to secure the no-fly zone began by destroying Libyan air defenses when French military jets entered Libyan airspace on a reconnaissance mission heralding attacks on enemy targets. In the weeks that followed, American forces were in the forefront of NATO operations against Libya. More than 8,000 American personnel in warships and aircraft were deployed in the area. At least 3,000 targets were struck in 14,202 strike sorties, 716 of them in Tripoli and 492 in Brega. The American air offensive included flights of B-2 Stealth bombers, each bomber armed with sixteen 2000-pound bombs, flying out of and returning to their base in Missouri in the continental United States. The support provided by the NATO air forces contributed to the ultimate success of the revolution. By 22 August 2011, National Liberation Army (Libya), rebel fighters had entered Tripoli and occupied Martyrs' Square, Tripoli, Green Square, which they renamed Martyrs' Square in honour of those killed since 17 February 2011. On 20 October 2011, the last heavy fighting of the uprising came to an end in the city of Sirte. The Battle of Sirte (2011), Battle of Sirte was both the last decisive battle and the last one in general of the Libyan Civil War (2011), First Libyan Civil War where Gaddafi was captured and killed by NATO backed forces on 20 October 2011. Sirte was the last Gaddafi loyalist stronghold and his place of birth. The defeat of loyalist forces was celebrated on 23 October 2011, three days after the fall of Sirte. At least 30,000 Libyans died in the civil war. In addition, the
National Transitional Council The National Transitional Council of Libya ( ar, المجلس الوطني الإنتقالي ' ), sometimes known as the Transitional National Council, was the ''de facto'' government of Libya for a period during and after the Libyan Civil War ...
estimated 50,000 wounded.


Post-Gaddafi era and the Second Libyan Civil War

Since the defeat of loyalist forces, Libya has been torn among numerous rival, armed militias affiliated with distinct regions, cities and tribes, while the central government has been weak and unable effectively to exert its authority over the country. Competing militias have pitted themselves against each other in a political struggle between Islamist politicians and their opponents. On 7 July 2012, Libyans held their first parliamentary elections since the end of the former regime. On 8 August 2012, the
National Transitional Council The National Transitional Council of Libya ( ar, المجلس الوطني الإنتقالي ' ), sometimes known as the Transitional National Council, was the ''de facto'' government of Libya for a period during and after the Libyan Civil War ...
officially handed power over to the wholly elected
General National Congress The General National Congress or General National Council (GNC; ar, المؤتمر الوطني العام, Berber language, Berber: Agraw Amuran Amatay) was the Legislature, legislative authority of Libya for two years following the end of the ...
, which was then 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 Reuters reported as "the most blatant sectarian attack" since the end of the civil war, unnamed organized assailants bulldozed a Sufism, Sufi mosque with graves, in broad daylight in the center of the Libyan capital
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Tripoli
. It was the second such razing of a Sufi site in two days. Numerous acts of vandalism and destruction of heritage were carried out by suspected Islamist militias, including the removal of the Nude Gazelle Statue and the destruction and desecration of World War II-era British grave sites near Benghazi. Many other cases of heritage vandalism were carried out and were reported to be carried out by Islamist-related radical militias and mobs that either destroyed, robbed, or looted a number of historic sites, which remain in danger at present. On 11 September 2012, Islamist militants mounted an 2012 Benghazi attack, attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, killing the U.S. ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, and three others. The incident generated outrage in the United States and Libya. On 7 October 2012, Libya's Prime Minister-elect Mustafa A.G. Abushagur was ousted 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. Zeidan was sworn in after his cabinet was approved by the GNC. On 11 March 2014, after having been ousted by the GNC for his inability to halt a rogue oil shipment, Prime Minister Zeiden stepped down, and was replaced by Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani. On 25 March 2014, in the face of mounting instability, al-Thani's government briefly explored the possibility of the restoration of the Libyan monarchy. In June 2014, 2014 Libyan parliamentary election, elections were held to the House of Representatives (Libya), House of Representatives, a new legislative body intended to take over from the
General National Congress The General National Congress or General National Council (GNC; ar, المؤتمر الوطني العام, Berber language, Berber: Agraw Amuran Amatay) was the Legislature, legislative authority of Libya for two years following the end of the ...
. The elections were marred by violence and low turnout, with voting stations closed in some areas. Secularists and liberals did well in the elections, to the consternation of Islamist lawmakers in the GNC, who reconvened and declared a General National Congress (2014), continuing mandate for the GNC, refusing to recognise the new House of Representatives. Armed supporters of the General National Congress occupied Tripoli, forcing the newly elected parliament to flee to Tobruk. Libya has been Second Libyan Civil War (2014–present), riven by conflict between the rival parliaments since mid-2014. Tribal militias and jihadist groups have taken advantage of the power vacuum. Most notably, radical Islamist fighters seized Derna, Libya, Derna in 2014 and Sirte in 2015 in the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. In early 2015, neighbouring Egypt 2015 Egyptian military intervention in Libya, launched airstrikes against ISIL in support of the Tobruk government. In January 2015, meetings were held with the aim to find a peaceful agreement between the rival parties in Libya. The so-called Geneva-Ghadames talks were supposed to bring the GNC and the Tobruk government together at one table to find a solution of the internal conflict. However, the GNC actually never participated, a sign that internal division not only affected the "Tobruk Camp", but also the "Tripoli Camp". Meanwhile, terrorism within Libya has steadily increased, affecting also neighbouring countries. The Bardo National Museum attack, terrorist attack against the Bardo Museum on 18 March 2015, was reportedly carried on by two Libyan-trained militants. During 2015 an extended series of diplomatic meetings and peace negotiations were supported by the United Nations, as conducted by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG), Spanish diplomat Bernardino Leon. UN support for the SRSG-led process of dialogue carried on in addition to the usual work of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). In July 2015 SRSG Leon reported to the UN Security Council on the progress of the negotiations, which at that point had just achieved a political agreement on 11 July setting out "a comprehensive framework... includ[ing] guiding principles... institutions and decision-making mechanisms to guide the transition until the adoption of a permanent constitution." The stated purpose of that process was "...intended to culminate in the creation of a modern, democratic state based on the principle of inclusion, the rule of law, separation of powers and respect for human rights." The SRSG praised the participants for achieving agreement, stating that "The Libyan people have unequivocally expressed themselves in favour of peace." The SRSG then informed the Security Council that "Libya is at a critical stage" and urging "all parties in Libya to continue to engage constructively in the dialogue process", stating that "only through dialogue and political compromise, can a peaceful resolution of the conflict be achieved. A peaceful transition will only succeed in Libya through a significant and coordinated effort in supporting a future Government of National Accord...". Talks, negotiations and dialogue continued on during mid-2015 at various international locations, culminating at Skhirat in Morocco in early September. Also in 2015, as part of the ongoing support from the international community, the UN Human Rights Council requested a report about the Libyan situation and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, established an investigative body (OIOL) to report on human rights and rebuilding the Libyan justice system. Chaos-ridden Libya has emerged as a major transit point for European migrant crisis, people trying to reach Europe. Between 2013 and 2018, nearly 700,000 migrants reached Italy by boat, many of them from Libya. In May 2018 Libya's rival leaders agreed to hold parliamentary and presidential elections following a meeting in Paris. In April 2019, Khalifa Haftar launched 2019 Western Libya offensive, Operation Flood of Dignity, in an offensive by the Libyan National Army aimed to seize Western territories from the Government of National Accord (GNA). In June 2019, forces allied to Libya's UN-recognized Government of National Accord successfully captured Gharyan, a strategic town where military commander Khalifa Haftar and his fighters were based. According to a spokesman for GNA forces, Mustafa al-Mejii, dozens of LNA fighters under Haftar were killed, while at least 18 were taken prisoner. In March 2020, UN-backed government of Fayez Al-Sarraj commenced Operation Peace Storm. The government initiated the bid in response to the state of assaults carried by Khalifa Haftar, Haftar’s Libyan National Army, LNA. “We are a legitimate, civilian government that respects its obligations to the international community, but is committed primarily to its people and has an obligation to protect its citizens,” Sarraj said in line with his decision. On 28 August 2020, the ''BBC Africa Eye'' and ''BBC Arabic Documentaries'' revealed that a drone operated by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) killed 26 young cadets at a military academy in
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Tripoli
, on 4 January. Most of the cadets were teenagers and none of them were armed. The Chinese drone CAIG Wing Loong II, Wing Loong II fired Blue Arrow 7 missile, which was operated from UAE-run Al-Khadim Libyan air base. In February, these drones stationed in Libya were moved to an air base near Siwa Oasis, Siwa in the western Egyptian desert. The Guardian probed and discovered the blatant violation of United Nations, UN arms embargo by the United Arab Emirates, UAE and Turkey on 7 October 2020. As per the reporting, both the nations sent large-scale military cargo planes to Libya in support of their respective parties. On 23 October 2020, a permanent ceasefire was signed to end the war.


Post-civil war years

In December 2021, the Next Libyan presidential election, country's first presidential election was scheduled but has been indefinitely delayed.


Geography

Libya extends over , making it the List of countries and outlying territories by total area, 16th largest nation in the world by size. Libya is bound to the north by the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
, the west by
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11. ...

Tunisia
and
Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , religion = , official_languages = , languages_type = Oth ...

Algeria
, the southwest by
Niger ) , official_languages = French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primar ...

Niger
, the south by
Chad Chad (; ar, تشاد , ; french: Tchad, ), officially known as the Republic of Chad ( ar, جمهورية تْشَاد, link=no '; ), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an oce ...

Chad
, the southeast by
Sudan Sudan ( or ; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A ...

Sudan
, and the east by
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...

Egypt
. Libya lies between latitudes 19th parallel north, 19° and 34th parallel north, 34°N, and longitudes 9th meridian east, 9° and 26th meridian east, 26°E. At , 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 extremely dry and desertlike in nature. However, the northern regions enjoy a milder Mediterranean climate. Six ecoregions lie within Libya's borders: Saharan halophytics, Mediterranean dry woodlands and steppe, Mediterranean woodlands and forests, North Saharan steppe and woodlands, Tibesti-Jebel Uweinat montane xeric woodlands, and West Saharan montane xeric woodlands. 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 Dust storm, sandstorms. Oasis, Oases can also be found scattered throughout Libya, the most important of which are Ghadames and Kufra. Libya is one of the sunniest and driest countries in the world due to prevailing presence of desert environment. Libya was a pioneer state in North Africa in species protection, with the creation in 1975 of the El Kouf protected area. The fall of Muammar Gaddafi's regime favoured intense poaching: "Before the fall of Gaddafi even hunting rifles were forbidden. But since 2011, poaching has been carried out with weapons of war and sophisticated vehicles in which one can find up to 200 gazelle heads killed by militiamen who hunt to pass the time. We are also witnessing the emergence of hunters with no connection to the tribes that traditionally practice hunting. They shoot everything they find, even during the breeding season. More than 500,000 birds are killed in this way each year, when protected areas have been seized by tribal chiefs who have appropriated them. The animals that used to live there have all disappeared, hunted when they are edible or released when they are not," explains zoologist Khaled Ettaieb.


Libyan Desert

The Libyan Desert, which covers much of Libya, is one of the most arid and sun-baked places on earth. In places, decades may pass without seeing any rainfall at all, and even in the highland (geography), highlands rainfall seldom happens, once every 5–10 years. At Jebel Uweinat, Uweinat, the last recorded rainfall was in September 1998. Likewise, the temperature in the Libyan Desert can be extreme; on 13 September 1922, the town of 'Aziziya, which is located southwest of
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Tripoli
, recorded an air temperature of , considered to be a world record. In September 2012, however, the world record figure of 58 °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 depressions, 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 them. 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 Libya. The water in the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System pre-dates the last Ice ages and the Sahara Desert itself. This area also contains the Arkenu structures, which were once thought to be two impact craters.Cigolini, C, C Laiolo, and M Rossetti (2012) ''Endogenous and nonimpact origin of the Arkenu circular structures (al-Kufrah basin-SE Libya)'' Meteoritics & Planetary Science. 47(11):1772–1788.


Government and politics

In March 2021, the country formed an interim unity government to run the country until 2021 Libyan general election, elections in December 2021. The legislature of Libya is the unicameral House of Representatives (Libya), House of Representatives which meets in Tobruk. The former legislature was the
General National Congress The General National Congress or General National Council (GNC; ar, المؤتمر الوطني العام, Berber language, Berber: Agraw Amuran Amatay) was the Legislature, legislative authority of Libya for two years following the end of the ...
, which had 200 seats. The General National Congress (2014), a largely unrecognised rival parliament based in the ''de jure'' capital of
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Tripoli
, claims to be a legal continuation of the GNC. On 7 July 2012, Libyans voted in Libyan General National Congress election, 2012, parliamentary elections, the first free elections in almost 40 years. Around thirty women were elected to become members of parliament. Early results of the vote showed the National Forces Alliance, led by former interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, as front runner. The Justice and Construction Party, affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood, has done less well than similar parties in Egypt and Tunisia. It won 17 out of 80 seats that were contested by parties, but about 60 independents have since joined its caucus. As of January 2013, there was mounting public pressure on the National Congress to set up a drafting body to create a new constitution. Congress had not yet decided whether the members of the body would be elected or appointed. On 30 March 2014, the General National Congress voted to replace itself with a new House of Representatives (Libya), House of Representatives. The new legislature allocates 30 seats for women, will have 200 seats overall (with individuals able to run as members of political parties) and allows Libyans of foreign nationalities to run for office. Following the 2012 elections, Freedom House improved Libya's rating from Not Free to Partly Free, and now considers the country to be an electoral democracy. Gaddafi merged civil and Sharia#Personal status law only, sharia courts in 1973. Civil courts now employ sharia judges who sit in regular Court of appeal, courts of appeal and specialise in sharia appellate cases. Laws regarding personal status are derived from Islamic law. At a meeting of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs on 2 December 2014, UN Special Representative Bernardino León described Libya as a non-state. An agreement to form a Government of National Unity (Libya), national unity government was signed on 17 December 2015. Under the terms of the agreement, a nine-member Presidency Council (Libya), Presidency Council and a seventeen-member interim Government of National Accord would be formed, with a view to holding new elections within two years. The House of Representatives (Libya), House of Representatives would continue to exist as a legislature and an advisory body, to be known as the State Council (Libya), State Council, will be formed with members nominated by the General National Congress (2014). The formation of an interim unity government was announced on 5 February 2021, after its members were elected by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF). Seventy four members of the LPDF cast ballots for four-member slates which would fill positions including the Prime Minister and the head of the Presidential Council. After no slates reached a 60% vote threshold, the two leading teams competed in a run-off election. Mohamed al-Menfi, a former ambassador to Greece, became head of the Presidential Council. Meanwhile, the LPDF confirmed that Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, a businessman, would be the transitional Prime Minister. All of the candidates who ran in this election, including the members of the winning slate, promised to appoint women to 30% of all senior government positions. The politicians elected to lead the interim government initially agreed not to stand in the national elections scheduled for 24 December 2021. However, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh announced his candidature for president despite the ban in November 2021. The Appeals Court in Tripoli rejected appeals for his disqualification, and allowed Dbeibeh back on the candidates' list, along with a number of other disqualified candidates, originally scheduled for December 24. Even more controversially, the court also reinstated Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, a son of the former dictator, as a presidential candidate. On 22 December 202, Libya's Election Commission called for the postponement of the election until 24 January 2021. Earlier, a parliamentary commission said it would be "impossible" to hold the election on 24 December 2021. The UN called on Libya's interim leaders to "expeditiously address all legal and political obstacles to hold elections, including finalising the list of presidential candidates". However, at the last minute, the election was postponed indefinitely and the international community agreed to continue its support and recognition of the interim government headed by Mr Dbeibeh. According to new election rules, a new prime minister has 21 days to form a cabinet that must be endorsed by the various governing bodies within Libya. After this cabinet is agreed upon, the unity government will replace all "parallel authorities" within Libya, including the Government of National Accord in Tripoli and the administration led by General Haftar.


Foreign relations

Libya's foreign policies have fluctuated since 1951. As a Kingdom, Libya maintained a definitively pro-Western stance, and was recognized as belonging to the conservative traditionalist bloc in the League of Arab States (the present-day
Arab League The Arab League ( ar, الجامعة العربية, '), formally the League of Arab States ( ar, جامعة الدول العربية, '), is a regional organization in the Arab world, which is located in Africa and Western Asia. The Arab L ...

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, French Fifth Republic, France, First Italian Republic, Italy, Kingdom of Greece (Glücksburg), Greece, and established full diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union in 1955. 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. After the 1969 coup d'état, coup,
Muammar Gaddafi Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, Modern Standard . Due to the lack of standardization of transcribing written and regionally pronounced Arabic, Gaddafi's name has been romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Ling ...
closed American and British bases and partly Nationalization, 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 History of Uganda (1971–79), Ugandan President Idi Amin, Central African Empire, Central African Emperor Jean-Bédel Bokassa, Derg, Ethiopian strongman Haile Mariam Mengistu, Liberian President Charles Taylor (Liberian politician), Charles Taylor, and Serbia and Montenegro#History, Yugoslav President Slobodan Milošević. Relations with the West were strained by a series of incidents for most of Gaddafi's rule, including the killing of City of London Police, London policewoman Yvonne Fletcher, the 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing, 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. Gaddafi's decision to abandon the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction after the Iraq War saw History of Iraq under Ba'athist rule, 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. In October 2010, Gaddafi apologized to African leaders on behalf of Arab nations for their involvement in the trans-Saharan slave trade. Libya is included in the European Union's European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) which aims at bringing the EU and its neighbours closer. Libyan authorities rejected European Union's plans aimed at stopping Immigration to Europe, migration from Libya. In 2017, Libya signed the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.


Military

Libya's Armed Forces of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, previous national army was defeated in the 2011 Libyan Civil War, Libyan Civil War and disbanded. The Tobruk based House of Representatives (Libya), House of Representatives who claim to be the legitimate government of Libya have attempted to reestablish a military known as the Libyan National Army. Led by Khalifa Haftar, they control much of eastern Libya. In May 2012, an estimated 35,000 personnel had joined its ranks. The internationally recognised Government of National Accord established in 2015 has Libyan Army, its own army that replaced the LNA, but it consists largely of undisciplined and disorganised militia groups. As of November 2012, it was deemed to be still in the embryonic stage of development. President Mohammed Magariaf, Mohammed el-Megarif promised that empowering the army and police force is the government's biggest priority. President el-Megarif also ordered that all of the country's militias must come under government authority or disband. Militias have so far refused to be integrated into a central security force. Many of these militias are disciplined, but the most powerful of them answer only to the executive councils of various Libyan cities. These militias make up the so-called Libya Shield Force, Libyan Shield, a parallel national force, which operates at the request, rather than at the order, of the defence ministry.


Administrative divisions

Historically, the area of Libya was considered three provinces (or states),
Tripolitania Tripolitania ( ar, طرابلس '; Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated ...

Tripolitania
in the northwest, Cyrenaica, Barka (Cyrenaica) in the east, and
Fezzan Fezzan ( , ; ber, ⴼⵣⵣⴰⵏ, Fezzan; ar, فزان, Fizzān; la, Phazania) is the southwestern region of modern . It is largely , but broken by mountains, uplands, and dry river valleys (s) in the north, where oases enable ancient towns an ...
in the southwest. It was the conquest by Italy in the
Italo-Turkish War The Italo-Turkish or Turco-Italian War ( tr, Trablusgarp Savaşı, "Tripolitanian War", it, Guerra di Libia, "War of Libya") was fought between the and the from 29 September 1911, to 18 October 1912. As a result of this conflict, Italy capture ...
that united them in a single political unit. Since 2007, Libya has been divided into 22 districts (Shabiyat):


Human rights

According to Human Rights Watch annual report 2016, journalists are still being targeted by the armed groups in Libya. The organization added that Libya ranked very low in the 2015 Press Freedom Index, 154th out of 180 countries. LGBT rights in Libya, Homosexuality is illegal in Libya. For the 2019 Press Freedom Index its score dropped to 162nd out of 180 countries.


Economy

The Libyan economy depends primarily upon revenues from the Petroleum industry, oil sector, which account for over half of GDP and 97% of exports. Libya holds the largest proven oil reserves in Africa and is an important contributor to the global supply of light, sweet crude. During 2010, when oil averaged at $80 a barrel, oil production accounted for 54% of GDP. Apart from petroleum, the other natural resources are natural gas and gypsum. The International Monetary Fund estimated Libya's real GDP growth at 122% in 2012 and 16.7% in 2013, after a 60% plunge in 2011. The World Bank defines Libya as an 'Upper Middle Income Economy', along with only seven other African countries. Substantial revenues from the energy sector, coupled with a small population, give Libya one of the highest per capita GDPs in Africa. This allowed the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya state to provide an extensive level of social security, particularly in the fields of housing and education. Libya faces many structural problems including a lack of institutions, weak governance, and chronic structural unemployment. The economy displays a lack of economic diversification and significant reliance on immigrant labour. Libya has traditionally relied on unsustainably high levels of public sector hiring to create employment. In the mid-2000s, the government employed about 70% of all national employees. Unemployment rose from 8% in 2008 to 21% in 2009, according to the census figures. According to an
Arab League The Arab League ( ar, الجامعة العربية, '), formally the League of Arab States ( ar, جامعة الدول العربية, '), is a regional organization in the Arab world, which is located in Africa and Western Asia. The Arab L ...

Arab League
report, based on data from 2010, unemployment for women stands at 18% while for the figure for men is 21%, making Libya the only Arab country where there are more unemployed men than women. Libya has high levels of social inequality, high rates of youth unemployment and regional economic disparities. Water supply is also a problem, with some 28% of the population not having access to safe drinking water in 2000. Libya imports up to 90% of its cereal consumption requirements, and imports of wheat in 2012/13 was estimated at about 1 million tonnes. The 2012 wheat production was estimated at about 200,000 tonnes. The government hopes to increase food production to 800,000 tonnes of cereals by 2020. However, natural and environmental conditions limit Libya's agricultural production potential. Before 1958, agriculture was the country's main source of revenue, making up about 30% of GDP. With the discovery of oil in 1958, the size of the agriculture sector declined rapidly, comprising less than 5% GDP by 2005. The country joined
OPEC The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC, ) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or o ...

OPEC
in 1962. Libya is not a WTO member, but negotiations for its accession started in 2004. In the early 1980s, Libya was one of the wealthiest countries in the world; its GDP per capita was higher than some developed countries. In the early 2000s officials of the Jamahiriya era carried out economic reforms to reintegrate Libya into the global economy. International sanctions, UN sanctions were lifted in September 2003, and Libya announced in December 2003 that it would abandon programs to build weapons of mass destruction. Other steps have included applying for membership of the World Trade Organization, reducing Subsidy, subsidies, and announcing plans for privatization. Authorities privatized more than 100 government owned companies after 2003 in industries including oil refining, tourism and real estate, of which 29 were 100% foreign owned. Many international oil companies returned to the country, including oil giants Royal Dutch Shell, Shell and ExxonMobil. After sanctions were lifted there was a gradual increase of air traffic, and by 2005 there were 1.5 million yearly air travellers. Libya had long been a notoriously difficult country for Western tourists to visit due to stringent visa requirements. In 2007 Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the second-eldest son of Muammar Gaddafi, was involved in a green development project called the Green Mountain Sustainable Development Area, which sought to bring tourism to
Cyrene Cyrene may refer to: Antiquity * Cyrene (mythology), an ancient Greek mythological figure * Cyrene, Libya, an ancient Greek colony in North Africa (modern Libya) ** Crete and Cyrenaica, a province of the Roman Empire ** Cyrenaica, the region aroun ...

Cyrene
and to preserve Classical Greece, Greek ruins in the area. In August 2011 it was estimated that it would take at least 10 years to rebuild Libya's infrastructure. Even before the 2011 war, Libya's infrastructure was in a poor state due to "utter neglect" by Gaddafi's administration, according to the NTC. By October 2012, the economy had recovered from the 2011 conflict, with oil production returning to near normal levels. Oil production was more than 1.6 million barrels per day before the war. By October 2012, the average oil production has surpassed 1.4 million bpd. The resumption of production was made possible due to the quick return of major Western companies, like Total S.A., Total, Eni, Repsol, Wintershall and Occidental Petroleum, Occidental. In 2016, an announcement from the company said the company aims 900,000 barrel per day in the next year. Oil production has fallen from 1.6 million barrel per day to 900,000 in four years of war. The Great Man-Made River is the world's largest irrigation project. The project utilizes a pipeline system that pumps fossil water from the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System from down south in Libya to cities in the populous Libyan northern Mediterranean coast including Tripoli and Benghazi. The water provides 70% of all freshwater used in Libya. During the second Libyan civil war, lasting from 2014 to 2020, the water infrastructure suffered neglect and occasional breakdowns. By 2017, 60% of the Libyan population were Malnutrition, malnourished. Since then, 1.3 million people are waiting for emergency humanitarian aid, out of a total population of 6.4 million.


Demographics

Libya is a large country with a relatively small population, and the population is concentrated very narrowly along the coast. Population density is about in the two northern regions of
Tripolitania Tripolitania ( ar, طرابلس '; Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated ...

Tripolitania
and
Cyrenaica Cyrenaica ( ; ar, برقة, Barqah; grc-koi, Κυρηναϊκή παρχία Kurēnaïkḗ parkhíā after the city of Cyrene, Libya, Cyrene) is the eastern coastal region of Libya. Also known as ''Pentapolis'' ("Five Cities") in A ...

Cyrenaica
, but falls to less than elsewhere. 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,
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Tripoli
, Benghazi and Misrata. Libya has a population of about million, 27.7% of whom are under the age of 15. In 1984 the population was 3.6 million, an increase from the 1.54 million reported in 1964. The majority of the Libyan population today identifies as Arab, that is, Arabic-speaking and Arab-cultured. Berbers, Berber Libyans, those who retain Berber language and Berber culture, represent the second largest ethnic group and are found primarily in Nafusa Mountains and Zuwarah. Additionally, the South of Libya, primarily Sebha, Kufra, Ghat, Libya, Ghat, Ghadamis and Murzuk, are also inhabited by two additional Libyan ethnicities: the Tuareg people, Tuareg and Toubou people, Toubou. There are about 140 tribes and clans in Libya. Family life is important for Libyan families, the majority of which live in Tower block, apartment blocks and other independent housing units, with precise modes of housing depending on their income and wealth. Although the Arab Libyans traditionally lived nomadic lifestyles in tents, they have now settled in various towns and cities. 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 Tertiary sector of the economy, services, and a small percentage is in agriculture. According to the UNHCR, there were around 8,000 registered refugees, 5,500 unregistered refugees, and 7,000 asylum seekers of various origins in Libya in January 2013. Additionally, 47,000 Libyan nationals were internally displaced and 46,570 were internally displaced returnees.


Health

In 2010, spending on healthcare accounted for 3.88% of the country's GDP. In 2009, there were 18.71 physicians and 66.95 nurses per 10,000 inhabitants. The life expectancy at birth was 74.95 years in 2011, or 72.44 years for males and 77.59 years for females.


Education

Libya's population includes 1.7 million students, over 270,000 of whom study at the Tertiary education, tertiary level. Basic education in Libya is free for all citizens, and is compulsory up to the secondary education, secondary level. The adult literacy rate in 2010 was 89.2%. 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. , this number has increased to more than 200,000, with an extra 70,000 enrolled in the higher technical and vocational sector. 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 2007 some new private universities such as the Libyan International Medical University have been established. 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 Libya's total national budget.


Ethnicity

The original inhabitants of Libya belonged predominantly to various Berber people, Berber ethnic groups; however, the long series of foreign invasions and migrations – particularly by Arab people, Arabs and Turkish people, Turks – have had a profound and lasting linguistic, cultural, and identity influence on Libya's demographics. Today, the great majority of Libya's inhabitants are Arabic-speaking Muslims of mixed descent, with many claiming ancestry tracing to Bedouin arab tribes like Banu Sulaym and Banu Hilal, beside Turkish and Berber ethnicities. The Turks in Libya, Turkish minority are often called "Kouloughlis" and are concentrated in and around villages and towns. Additionally, there are some Libyan ethnic minorities, such as the Berber Tuareg people, Tuareg and the Toubou people, Tebou. Most Italian settlers in Libya, Italian settlers, at their height numbering over half a million, left after Italian Libya's independence in 1947. More repatriated in 1970 after the accession of Muammar Gaddafi, but a few hundred of them returned in the 2000s.


Immigrant labour

, the UN estimates that around 12% of Libya's population (upwards of 740,000 people) was made up of foreign migrants. Prior to the 2011 revolution official and unofficial figures of migrant labour range from 25% to 40% of the population (between 1.5 and 2.4 million people). Historically, Libya has been a host state for millions of low- and high-skilled Egyptian migrants, in particular. It is difficult to estimate the total number of immigrants in Libya as there are often differences between census figures, official counts and usually more accurate unofficial estimates. In the 2006 census, around 359,540 foreign nationals were resident in Libya out of a population of over 5.5 million (6.35% of the population). Almost half of these were Egyptians, followed by Sudanese and Palestinian immigrants. During the 2011 revolution, 768,362 immigrants fled Libya as calculated by the International Organization for Migration, IOM, around 13% of the population at the time, although many more stayed on in the country. If consular records prior to the revolution are used to estimate the immigrant population, as many as 2 million Egyptian migrants were recorded by the Egyptian embassy in Tripoli in 2009, followed by 87,200 Tunisians, and 68,200 Moroccans by their respective embassies. Turkey recorded the evacuation of 25,000 workers during the 2011 uprising. The number of Asian migrants before the revolution were just over 100,000 (60,000 Bangladeshis, 20,000 Filipinos, 18,000 Indians, 10,000 Pakistanis, as well as Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai and other workers). This would put the immigrant population at almost 40% before the revolution and is a figure more consistent with government estimates in 2004 which put the regular and irregular migrant numbers at 1.35 to 1.8 million (25–33% of the population at the time). Libya's native population of Arabs-Berbers as well as Arab migrants of various nationalities collectively make up 97% of the population .


Languages

According to the CIA, the official language of Libya is Arabic. The local Libyan Arabic variety is spoken alongside Modern Standard Arabic. Various Berber languages are also spoken, including Tamasheq language, Tamasheq, Ghadamis, Nafusi, Suknah and Awjilah. The Libyan Amazigh High Council (LAHC) has declared the Amazigh (Berbers, Berber or Tamazight) language as an official language in the cities and districts inhabited by the Berbers in Libya. In addition, English is widely understood in the major cities, while the former colonial language of Italian is also used in commerce and by remaining Italian population.


Religion

About 97% of the population in Libya are Muslims, most of whom belong to the Sunni Islam, Sunni branch. Small numbers of Ibadi Muslims live in the country. Before the 1930s, the Senussi Sunni Sufi movement was the primary Islamic movement in Libya. This was a religious revival adapted to desert life. Its ''zawaaya'' (lodges) were found in
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Tripolitania
and
Fezzan Fezzan ( , ; ber, ⴼⵣⵣⴰⵏ, Fezzan; ar, فزان, Fizzān; la, Phazania) is the southwestern region of modern . It is largely , but broken by mountains, uplands, and dry river valleys (s) in the north, where oases enable ancient towns an ...
, but Senussi influence was strongest in
Cyrenaica Cyrenaica ( ; ar, برقة, Barqah; grc-koi, Κυρηναϊκή παρχία Kurēnaïkḗ parkhíā after the city of Cyrene, Libya, Cyrene) is the eastern coastal region of Libya. Also known as ''Pentapolis'' ("Five Cities") in A ...

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. This Islamic movement was eventually destroyed by the Italo-Turkish War, Italian invasion. 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. Since the 2011 Libyan Civil War, fall of Gaddafi, ultra-conservative strains of Islam have reasserted themselves in places. Derna, Libya, Derna in eastern Libya, historically a hotbed of jihadist thought, came under the control of militants aligned with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in 2014. Jihadist elements have also spread to Sirte and Benghazi, among other areas, as a result of the Second Libyan Civil War (2014–present), Second Libyan Civil War. There are small foreign communities of Christians. Coptic Orthodox Church, Coptic Orthodox Christianity, which is the Christian Church of Egypt, is the Coptic Orthodox Church in Africa#Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, largest and most historical Christian denomination in Libya. There are about 60,000 Egyptian Copts in Libya. There are three Coptic Churches in Libya, one in Tripoli, one in Benghazi, and one in Misurata. The Coptic Church has grown in recent years in Libya, due to the growing immigration of Egyptian Copts to Libya. There are 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 people, 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. People have been arrested on suspicion of being Christian missionaries, as proselytising is illegal. Christians have also faced the threat of violence from radical Islamists in some parts of the country, with a well-publicised video released by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in February 2015 depicting the mass beheading of Christian Copts. Libya was once 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), 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 wounded, 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.


Largest cities


Culture

Many Arabic speaking Libyans consider themselves as part of a wider Arab community. This was strengthened by the spread of Pan-Arabism in the mid-20th century, and their reach to power in Libya where they instituted Arabic as the only official language of the state. Under Gaddafi's rule, the teaching and even use of indigenous Berber language was strictly forbidden. In addition to banning foreign languages previously taught in academic institutions, leaving entire generations of Libyans with limitations in their comprehension of the English language. Both the spoken Arabic dialects and Berber, still retain words from Italian, that were acquired before and during the ''Italian Libya, Libia Italiana'' period. Libyans have a heritage in the traditions of the previously nomadic Bedouin Arabic speakers and sedentary Berbers, Amazigh tribes. Most Libyans associate themselves with a particular family name originating from tribal or conquest based heritage. Reflecting the "nature of giving" ( ar, الاحسان ', Berber languages: ⴰⵏⴰⴽⴽⴰⴼ Anakkaf ), amongst the Libyan people as well as the sense of hospitality, recently the state of Libya made it to the top 20 on the world giving index in 2013. According to CAF, in a typical month, almost three-quarters (72%) of all Libyans helped somebody they did not know – the third highest level across all 135 countries surveyed. There are few theaters or art galleries due to the decades of cultural repression under the Qaddafi regime 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. A large number of Television in Libya, 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. 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. A 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. hundreds of TV stations have begun to air due to the collapse of censorship from the old regime and the initiation of "free media". Many Libyans frequent the country's beach and they also visit Libya's archaeological sites—especially
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, 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 Libya, but these are planned for construction in the near future (see rail transport in Libya). Libya's capital,
Tripoli Tripoli (; ar, طرابلس, ; ber, ⵜⵔⵢⴱⵓⵍⵙ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals ...

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, has 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.


Cuisine

Libyan cuisine is a mixture of the different Italian cuisine, Italian, Bedouin and traditional Arab culinary influences. Pasta is the staple food in the Western side of Libya, whereas rice is generally the staple food in the east. Common Libyan foods include several variations of red (tomato) sauce based pasta dishes (similar to the Italian Arrabbiata sauce, Sugo all'arrabbiata dish); rice, usually served with lamb or chicken (typically stewed, fried, grilled, or boiled in-sauce); and couscous, which is steam cooked whilst held over boiling red (tomato) sauce and meat (sometimes also containing courgettes/zucchini and chickpeas), which is typically served along with cucumber slices, lettuce and olives. Bazeen, a dish made from barley flour and served with red tomato sauce, is customarily eaten communally, with several people sharing the same dish, usually by hand. This dish is commonly served at traditional weddings or festivities. Asida is a sweet version of Bazeen, made from white flour and served with a mix of honey, ghee or butter. Another favorite way to serve Asida is with Rub (syrup), rub (fresh date syrup) and olive oil. Usban is animal tripe stitched and stuffed with rice and vegetables cooked in tomato based soup or steamed. Chorba, Shurba is a red tomato sauce-based soup, usually served with small grains of pasta. A very common snack eaten by Libyans is known as ''khubs bi' tun'', literally meaning "bread with tuna fish", usually served as a baked baguette or pita bread stuffed with tuna fish that has been mixed with harissa (chili sauce) and olive oil. Many snack vendors prepare these sandwiches and they can be found all over Libya. 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. There are four main ingredients of traditional Libyan food: olives (and olive oil), Date 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), and in the third round of tea, it is served with roasted peanuts or roasted almonds known as ''shay bi'l-luz'' (mixed with the tea in the same glass).


Sport

Association football, Football is the most popular sport in Libya. The country hosted the 1982 African Cup of Nations and almost qualified for the 1986 FIFA World Cup. The Libya national football team, national team almost won the 1982 AFCON; they barely lost to Ghana national football team, Ghana on penalties 7–6. In 2014, Libya won the African Nations Championship after beating Ghana in the finals. Although the national team has never won a major competition or qualified for a World Cup, there is still lots of passion for the sport and the quality of football is improving. Horse racing is also a popular sport in Libya. It is a tradition of many special occasions and holidays.


See also

* Outline of Libya * Index of Libya-related articles * Telephone numbers in Libya


References


Bibliography



External links


Libya
. ''The World Factbook''. Central Intelligence Agency. * *
Libya profile
from the BBC News. * {{coord, 27, 17, dim:1500km_type:country_region:LY, format=dms, display=title Libya, North African countries Maghrebi countries Saharan countries Eastern Mediterranean Arabic-speaking countries and territories Berber-speaking countries and territories Member states of the African Union Member states of the Arab League Member states of OPEC Member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Member states of the United Nations States and territories established in 1951 1951 establishments in Libya, * 1951 establishments in Africa Countries in Africa