About Libya


Location: Libyan territory extends over a vast area between latitudes 45. 18 and 57. 32 degrees north latitude. Deserts form the bulk of the Libyan territory. The territory is a plateau to the extension of the African Plateau and the coastal plain extends to the Mediterranean Sea along a length to 1850 containing many oases. Its most important mountains are Green Mountain at the middle of the north-east, Nafusa Mountains in the north-west, and the Tibesti Mountains in the south. The highest peak is the peak of bits having height of 2286 meters, the Acacus Mountains and Mount Waw al-Namous. The most important plateau is  plateaux Batnan.

Terrain:  Libyan territory includes many  distinct terrain and units which can be identified within three main domains each of which contains a set of terrain units that resemble somewhat in the forms and in geomorphological factors such as

The scope of the coastal plains: Aljafarah plain, five plain, Misurata, Benghazi, Sirte plain, eastern plains

The scope of the Northern Highlands: Western Mountain, Green Mountain, and Dafna Golan Batnan
Plateaus: Plateau red Hamada

North Low areas: Jaghbub low area, Awjila low area and Gallo and Jikharra, low Eats her wanted
Basins: Ubari Basin, Murzuq basin, basin infidels

Mountains: Mount Suda, Mount Harouj, Tibesti mountain, Mount Owaynat, Mount Acacus
Valleys: the Valley of the beach, Valley Life

Flats and Sandy Bed.

Area: The area of ​​Libya is about 1,774,440 km square meters. It  occupies seventeenth rank in the world and the fourth in  Africa in terms of area as it has the longest coast among Mediterranean states to 1.955 km.

Climate :The climate is moderate in the spring and autumn sessions  while the summer is warm and winter is relatively cold. It has a diversified predominantly Mediterranean climate and semi-desert in the East, North, and desert climate in the south i.e. a cold winter and hot summer and rare rainfall. The temperature range increases between day and night, summer and winter, with the trend towards the south away from the Mediterranean influences, while the relative humidity is found especially during the months of August and September on  the coast because of the humid winds from the sea and very low desert areas because of dry surface and away from the maritime influences.


     It is worth mention for us at first to point out that the geographical significance of the names of the states and territories in ancient times had determined the name of the peoples and tribes that were inhabited there. Since the thirteenth century BC, tribes Libo (LIBU) had been living in the Libyan territory, from which its name had been derived in in many of the inscriptions and ancient Egyptian texts including those attributed to the king (Murrentaj) from captivity nineteen Pharaonic.

The Greeks also knew that name but they referred to all parts of Africa. There are some of them who used to call Cyrenaica, Libya, while the Romans took  the name of Libya from the Greeks without distortion but they refer to the ground to the west of Egypt from Cyrenaica to Tripoli. They had called the Cyrene area “Supreme Libya”  , It is the space that extends from the present Derna city to the east of the city of Sirte, the area stretching from the east of the city of Derna to western delta of the Nile Valley as  known Lower Libya. We would also like to point out that there are several ancient Libyan tribes which had settled in the eastern regions of Libya in ancient times most important among them are:
- Tehenu :  They occupy the eastern part of the Libyan coast to the west of the Egyptian border and some of them are adjacent Egyptian Delta.
- Temehu: They lived on the parallel Nile as far south as Nubia.
- LIBU : its name appeared on Egyptian antiquities recently and they occupy the South Mountain area of ​​Aqaba and even tenderly area.
- Meshwesh: Who were living on the coastal strip of Libya

- Esbet:  a small tribe to be named once on the ancient Egyptian relics.

These tribes had lived in most of the eastern regions of Libya. These tribes had gained power that enabled them to establish relations with its neighboring nations such as Egypt, which is one of the oldest civilizations in ancient times but it was a kind of runner and invasion of relations in most of the time, and this does not mean in any way that there are no peaceful relations. On the contrary, there are many Libyan families settled and lived near the Nile Valley and especially in the delta region which shows that there were social and commercial relations between the Libyan and Egyptian groups at the time, while some tribes had gained power to enter Egypt. Their families and tribes have a role in the history of ancient Egypt.  The family of King Shashank who have their roots from Libya, had ruled during the period from the tenth century to the eighteenth century BC. Because of the sheer size and the length of the coastal strip inhabited by old Libyan tribes and their proximity to the Mediterranean Sea make it a composite multi culture, make sharing governance and impacting the neighboring civilizations of the north and west with other peoples in prehistoric times, specifically between 631 and 96 BC when Libya was divided into three regions, namely:

- Oya (Tripoli) which was under the influence of its two neighboring  civilizations from the west, a civilization of Gafsa in Tunisia and civilization Oran along the west coast. The convoys of Phoenicians during their trade from Syria to Spain had anchored on the Libyan ports in order to take shelter from storms or to get food or rest. They had not come to the Libyan coast for the purposes of settlement in the beginning, but later on, they realized the importance of this coast as gateway for goods and to trade it to Sudan and the inside areas of Africa.

Ancient fossils that were found in the city of Sabratha archaeological area indicate that the Phoenicians dad resided in the city of Sabratha (Emporium) commercial station as it is the first city built by the Phoenicians in Libya as they also had built several other cities in Leptis Magna (Leptismaga) In Tripoli Oya (Oea). Then they settled in the western coasts of Libya and built cities on the coast and near rivers and valleys to serve as terminals to enable them to stay in touch with the sea as they could not live away from them.

- Cyrene (Shahat) : Due to the proximity of Greek of the coasts Libyan, some of them lived in the eastern regions of Libya and established farms and practiced the trade profession that founded the city (Cyrene) by (Patos) in 631 BC. Then friendship and affinity grew up between them and the Libyan. Likewise, The Greeks established their first settlements in the east Libya. With the establishment of Cyrene city, its neighboring areas became a bridge to the Greeks in terms of trade and they established other cities as they spread their settlements on the coastline of the city of Cyrenaica such as (Tokrh- Bossber tucked - Talmith- Opouloana - Drns) then a state of chaos prevailed  after the extinction of the royal family, which was led by Patos year 440 BC, which encouraged the Libyan tribes to attack the Greek cities under the influence of internal conflict between (Alistiqratiya group) that had established them in the centre of power and governance , and the rest of the inhabitants of those cities. The situation continued to suffer chaos and internal conflict till the dissolution of the era of Alexander the Great, who swept the Persian empire and entered Egypt in 333 BC. The Greek cities took the initiative depending upon him and appointed Alexander the Great Apollonius bin Harinos (Charinos) governor of Libya Cyrenaica region.

- Germa (Fezzan), a region located in the southern center of Libya, where the ancient Goths concentrated due  to desert oases rich in the presence of water and they extended their villages in the Red Hamada areas and the plain north of Gharyan city as many graves were discovered in the areas of Hamada and Murzuq and Okacos mountains.

 The Libyan civilization  became famous with the demographic diversity reflected in the architecture and culture, where the Greeks and Phoenicians remained in the northern coast of Libya and their trade relations remained continued as well as their presence particularly after the establishing of Carthage city which  became the biggest political and commercial power in the Mediterranean and North Africa while the Goths settled in Fezzan area and they also got fame in trade till the Romans waged wars upon all Libyan regions and seized the north-west of Libya, i.e. the Oya, Lubza, Sabrata, as for the eastern coasts are concerned it was under the control of the Greeks.

With the advent of Christianity in Rome during the fourth century AD, the roman influence increased in the northern coast of Libya, March (Marks) Christian messenger to Libya, whose roots from Libya, undertook the task of spreading the Christian religion in the areas of Cyrene, which further escalated the conflict and civil wars until the fifth century AD, which facilitated the entry of the Vandals to North Africa to gain control of the areas where he found the conflict between the Libyan tribes and the Romans. The Romanian empire regained some of the provinces in the sixteenth century AD by using some leaders of the Libyan tribes such as the commander (Kabaun). The conflict remained continued between the Libyan tribes and the legion of Vandals who wanted to control over all of North Africa and the expulsion of the Romans, it remained till the Islamic conquests entered Libya as they entered Egypt at the hands of The Sahaabi Omar ibn al-Aas  in the year 22 AH 642/ AD and followed by Tabai conqueror Uqba bin Nafe to complete the conquer task, but the religion of  Islam settled there in Libya only after the =victory of Andalus by the Umayyed Commander Tariq ibn Ziyad in the year 93 AH /711 AD.

After that the rule of the Fatimid state came in the year 973 AD at the hands of the Jawhar al-Saqli, commander of the armies of the Fatimid Caliph the fourth Muizz le Dinillah. His rule was extended to all of North Africa until the year 1145 AD.

In the year 1158 , Al Moahedon (Unitarians) succeeded in expelling the Normans completely from Tripoli who remained ruling the North Africa until the year 1230 AD. Unitarians has left ruling the eastern parts of the cities they had occupied for Hvsaan. But Cyrenaica remained totally undominated by Hafsids.

 In the year 1510,  the Spanish occupied  Tripoli and continued to govern until the year 1530 AD and then they awarded it to  Charles V, Emperor of the Romanian Empire of the Knights of St. John who became know at the time Knights of Malta.

 In the year 1551 AD, the Ottoman Sultan army led by Sinan Pasha attacked Tripoli and imposed upon it a blockade that lasted for one week and ended the fall of the city and they entered the country in 1551 AD since then it is called first Ottoman Covenant, which ends in 1711, when Ahmed Pasha al-Qara Manley made it free and ruled Libya till 1735 AD.

In the year 1803, he called for increased duties on American ships as insurance for their safety while passing through Libyan waters. When the United States refused to meet his request, he seized one of its vessels which  the Americans considered as an attack. An embargo was imposed on Tripoli and they hit it with bombs, but the Ottomans managed to capture one of the American ships (Philadelphia) in 1805 which forced Americans to accept the demands of the Ottomans. By this way, Yusuf Pasha Ottoman managed to collect the wealth in form of money paid by the maritime nations to insure that the safety of ships from pirates.

 With the beginning of the twentieth century, the French occupied Algeria and Tunisia, and the British occupied Egypt and Sudan. Italy was the last European countries that entered the field of colonial expansion as the part of the Ottoman Empire.

Italy declared war against Turkey on September 29, 1911 AD and captured Tripoli on October 3 of the same year. Ottoman Turkish forces did not hold up against the Italians only for a short time. Turkey was forced to cede Libya to Italy under the treaty concluded between the two countries on October 18, 1912
Meanwhile, the Libyans began Jihad movement against the Italians, among the most prominent leaders of the Mujahideen was Sheikh Omar Mukhtar.

He took over the leadership of Jihad. While the Fascist Party took over the reins in Italy in 1922 and in 1932 the Italians captured Omar al-Mukhtar, who was the leader of the resistance movement against them and executed him by hanging on September 16, 1931 and were able to control the country completely, and seized the most fertile land and gave it to the Italian families who came to reside in Libya.

 During the Second World War in 1940,  Libyans joined the ranks of the Allies after Britain pledged that when the war ended, Libya will be free from Italy.

After the defeat of Italy and the fall of both Benghazi and Tripoli in the hands of British troops. England divided the regions of Cyrenaica and Tripoli, and award the region of Fezzan to France.

On First June 1949 and after negotiations, it was agreed to grant independence to Cyrenaica which was recognized by the British. the Libyans raised the issue of Libya in conferences held by the major powers after World War II as Libyans transferred their case to the United Nations.

After the Second World War was over, the United Nations body was set up which studied the issue of Libya, and the major countries agreed that Libya should be placed under one of its curatorship however different views of major powers appeared regarding the curatorship, therefore the issue was put to vote in the United Nations General Assembly that approved on November 2, 1949 to grant independence to Libya with its territorial integrity. An international committee was formed to oversee the resolution which stated that the period of international supervision should not exceed beyond the year 1952, hence, the country got the independence. on 24 December 1951 as federal kingdom while the State’s constitution came into force on 7th October 1951 means before the independence of Libya officially which stated the formation of Libya as a constitutional monarchy with King Idris the first as its king then the constitution  was amended on 25th April 1963 by abolition of federal system and unifying the three states. Under this constitutional modification, several other legislative amendments were issued regarding the government and its ministries.  After independence of Libya, the Monarchy continued for nearly seventeen years during which eleven government were formed.  The independent Libya was progressing on the path of future of civilization, then a group of army officers formed a movement as a so-called movement of “Liberal Unionist Officers movement to topple the monarchy and the declaration of a military coup against the rule of King Idris, under the name of the First September revolution led by Lt. Muammar Gaddafi and a group of army officers on the first of September 1969, after which, the King Idris al-Sanusi moved to Egypt to settle there till he died on 25th May 1983.

The rule of Muammar Gaddafi continued for 42 years. In the beginning, the State was named “Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, and after the proclamation of the establishment of People’s Authority on 2nd March 1977, the regime of Libya change to a complex and unusual system whose foundation was made by Muammar Gadhafi in 1977. The states was renamed as (Socialist Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) then a word (Great) was added to its name on 14the April 1986 after the US air strikes against Libya. Muammar Gadhafi continued his way of rule within the frame of his knowledge and change the name of the country to “Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya” and later on he added the word “the Great” and after the proclamation of the establishment of the people’s authority in the year -----, within the frame of so-called “third universal theory” as a third way of ruling after Marxism and Capitalism for which he compiled a book named “Green Book” explaining its purposes and concepts. The regime formed by Gadhafi was based on popular committees. The General People’s Congress was considered to be the highest legislative authority in the country as per that system, until it was overthrown by a popular uprising by the people against him on the seventeenth of February 2011, called the Arab Spring revolutions.

Population : Libya has a population of 6,597,960, including millions of foreign nationals. High population density is found in coastal areas in the north of the country with an average of 50 person /sq km, while it is about 1 person per km in the south.  The Ethnic groups in Libya are Arabs and Berbers who form about 95% of the population, in addition to about 3% of different origins.

Religion: Islam

Culture: The culture of people includes several aspects including their language, identity, history, struggle, the plight and crises that brings together all its people throughout history whether they are inside their homeland or those who have left it for reasons.

The Libyan people has various components, multi-activities and their movement throughout the history that represent a shared memory for its people and groups.

The people belong to Arab and Islamic with their impressions of culture and values that make them tributary in enriching their culture and a defender of their existence and presence as the demographic diversity of the people of Libya is reflected from Arab, Amazigh and Tuareg and Toubou culturally beautiful in terms of different dialects and traditional cultures with their root across history to create a strong and characteristic bond that makes them people resistant  to all the challenges that have passed and going through all this because of this distinct identity and that coexistence with them over the years.

The consecutive Arab migrations through the history impressed these people with a unique culture and behavior. Islam form the tribes – despite the tribalism characteristic dominating them- a new identity carrying in itself the Libyan and Arabism and Islam. These basic elements represent the basis for the continuation of the people after facing much pains and ordeals starting from the Ottomans through out the period till the independence. Then the period of construction , formation, excellence, end of period of revision and reforms in which we live now. These historic stations form a part of memory of the Libyan people which distinguish through out these historic periods with simplicity and noble conduct and behavior which provided them a distinguished personality among their neighboring peoples.

Language : Arabic is the official Language of Libya under the constitutional declaration for the year 2011 while ensuring the linguistic and cultural rights of Amazigh, Tuareg and Toubou as well as all the components of the Libyan society.

Official Name: The State of Libya

Capital :  Tripoli

Currency : Dinar

Time : Libya is situated in East of Greenwich line behind the timing +1.

National Day : 24 December which represents the Independence Day

Public holidays

S. No.




17th February

Day of Revolution


1st May

Labour Day


16th  September

Martyr’s Day


23rd October

Libration Day


24th  December

Independence Day


Public holidays

S. No.

Islamic Date



01 Muharram

Islamic New Year


12 Rabi ul Awal

Prophet’s Birthday


1.2.3. Shawal

Eid al-Fitre


9 Zul Hijja

Day of Arafah


10.11.12 Zul Hijja






Related Links
  • NID Libya
  • High National Elections Comm
  • Define the name of the institution
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