Zawiya, Libya


Zawiya , officially Zawia ( ar, الزاوية, transliteration: ''Az Zāwiyaẗ'', it, Zauia or ''Zavia'', variants: ar, الزاوية الغربية ''Az Zawiyah Al Gharbiyah'', ''Ḩārat az Zāwiyah'', ''Al Ḩārah'', ''El-Hára'' and ''Haraf Az Zāwīyah''), is a city in northwestern
Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībiyā), officially the State of Libya ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībiyā), is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to Egypt–Libya border, the ...

, situated on the Libyan coastline of the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the ...
about west of
Tripoli Tripoli (; ar, طرابلس, ; ber, ⵜⵔⵢⴱⵓⵍⵙ) is the capital city, capital and largest city of Libya, with a population of about three million people in 2019. It is located in the northwest of Libya on the edge of the desert, on a ...

, in the historic region of
Tripolitania Tripolitania ( ar, طرابلس '; Berber language, Berber: '; from Vulgar Latin: ''*Trapoletanius'', from Latin: ', from Greek language, Greek: ''Τριπολιτάνια'') is a historic region and provinces of Libya, former province of Libya ...

. Zawiya is the capital of the
Zawiya District Zawiya, officially Zawia ( ar, محافظة الزاوية ''Az Zāwiya''), is one of the districts of Libya. It is located in the north western part of the country, in what had been the historical region of Tripolitania. Its capital is also named ...


In the Libyan censuses of 1973 and 1984, the city counted about 91,603 inhabitants; it was then – and possibly continues to be today – the fifth largest city in Libya by population (after Tripoli,
Benghazi Benghazi () , ; it, Bengasi; tr, Bingazi; ber, Bernîk, script=Latn; also: ''Bengasi'', ''Benghasi'', ''Banghāzī'', ''Binghāzī'', ''Bengazi''; grc, Βερενίκη (''Berenice'') and ''Hesperides''., group=note (''lit. Son of Ghaz ...
Misrata Misrata (also spellled Misurata or Misratah; ar, مصراتة) is a city in the Misrata District Misrata ( ar, مصراته , Libyan Arabic: ''Məṣrātah''), also spelt ''Misurata'' or ''Misratah'', is a sha'biyah (Districts of Libya, dis ...
and Bayda). In 2011, Zawiya was estimated to have a population of about 200,000 people, most of whom were concentrated in the city. Zawiya has a university named Al Zawiya University, founded in 1988. There is also an oil field near the city and Zawiya has one of the two most important oil refineries in Libya. Zawiya was the site of some of the fiercest fighting in the first
Libyan Civil War Libyans (ليبيون) and their population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībīyā), officially the State of Lib ...
, as it controls the vital route between the national capital Tripoli and the Tunisian border.


Zawiya has a
hot semi-arid climate A semi-arid climate, semi-desert climate, or steppe climate is the climate of a region that receives precipitation below potential evapotranspiration, but not as low as a desert climate. There are different kinds of semi-arid climates, depending ...
Köppen climate classification The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used systems. It was first published by German-Russian (1846–1940) in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen, notably in 1918 and 1936. Later, the climatologist (1894- ...


During the era of the Ottoman administration, Al-Zawiya was a second-class district that included the districts of Al-Ajilat, Zuwara and Al-Hawd. It was decided in the year 1879 to establish two districts in Zuwara and Al-Ajilat. Al-Hawd District was formed in 1876. During the era of the Italian administration, Al-Zawiya district remained affiliated to the capital, Tripoli. Despite this, it retained a kind of independence. During the period of the
monarchy A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. 707. Life tenure, for life or until abdication, and therefore ...
, it became a governorate, then a municipality, then a popular one during the era of the Jamahiriya, and a major administrative region after the February 17 revolution. Its borders extend from the Tunisian border in the west (Ras Ajdir) to Janzour in the east and includes several cities within its scope. Al-Zawiya was an important base for the Libyan resistance to the Italian invasion, and the events of Al-Zawiya were important and an indication of the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's rule during the First Libyan Civil War, February 17 revolution.

Libyan civil war

During the first Libyan Civil War, severe fighting between the Libyan opposition and the government of Muammar Gaddafi took place in and around the city.BBC News (24 February 2011).
Libya protests: Gaddafi says Bin Laden to blame.
In a phone call specifically aimed at its residents, Gaddafi said the protesters were young people that had been duped into "destruction and sabotage" with drugs and alcohol. On 8 March 2011, it was reported that Gaddafi forces had 'torn the town to ashes', having used air power, and 50 tanks, to destroy the town. According to one witness, "the city is in ruins...everyone on the street is shot on sight." According to another report, regime violence began to escalate on the morning of 6 March 2011, and intensified in the following days – " Children have been shot while sitting in front of their houses, the hospital has been bombarded. I don't know where the injured are going to go." On 10 March, the city was retaken by pro-Gaddafi forces. On 18 March, it was reported that protests had once again appeared in the city. By early April 2011, the uprising, having been brutally quashed, the city was " back under Gaddafi's thumb after daring to rise up in his very own backyard." The main mosque that overlooked Martyrs' Square where the injured and dying were treated when Gaddafi's tanks and snipers moved in, had been "completely destroyed, not a trace left." Thousands of Zawiyans had been taken away for questioning in the last few weeks, according to rebel sources. Un-confirmed reports stated that as many as 10 anti-Gaddafi fighters were buried in the town center. After the battle, no trace of the graves or bodies was seen. Since Gaddafi's troops took control of Zawiya, the revolutionaries have been using guerrilla action against Gaddafi's soldiers. On various occasions rebels have ambushed Gaddafi's men but had to use night cover to prevent detection. On 11 June, around one hundred rebels infiltrated the city and claimed that they won control of some sections, marking the first significant clashes between loyalist and opposition forces since it was First Battle of Zawiya, recaptured by Gaddafi's troops in March. Due to the ongoing fighting, loyalist forces closed down a highway that crosses the town, a key expressway for Gaddafi's war effort. The next day, rebels were pushed out of the city by Gaddafi brigades and the road to the city reopened. As of 6 August, rebels had launched an offensive towards Zawiya, and revolutionaries in the city allegedly said they would rise up in support of the rebels when they reached the city. In early August, anti-Gaddafi forces launched an offensive into the plains surrounding Zawiya reaching the outskirts of the city but not holding positions. On 13 August, amid conflicting reports about the outcome of the latest fighting, Al Jazeera Arabic announced that Gaddafi forces had abandoned Zawiya, and anti-Gaddafi forces had moved in on the same day.


The multi-purpose stadium, Zawiya Stadium, which is mainly used for football (soccer), football, is located in the city.Al-Olympic Stadium
at Soccerway

See also

* List of cities in Libya


External links

Zawiya page on Encyclopædia Britannica Online.

* [,12.731094&spn=0.133102,0.2314 Zawiya dynamic map from Google Maps.] {{DEFAULTSORT:Zawiya Zawiya, Libya, Populated coastal places in Libya Tripolitania Populated places in Zawiya District Baladiyat of Libya Ports and harbors of Libya