Libya - Wikipedia
Libya's judicial system consists of four types of courts: the summary courts .. in Tripoli, are now more likely to date in public places such as cafes in shopping. Africa:: Libya Print. Page last updated on January 08, The World Factbook Country/Location Flag Modal ×. Africa:: Libya Print. Flag Description. Culture of Libya - history, people, traditions, women, beliefs, food, customs, family , a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and support extensive date plantations. While these areas contain highly productive agricultural systems, they are.
InIdris returned from exile in Cairo but declined to resume permanent residence in Cyrenaica until the removal of some aspects of foreign control in Under the terms of the peace treaty with the AlliesItaly relinquished all claims to Libya. The discovery of significant oil reserves in 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. The day became a national holiday known as "Vengeance Day".
Widespread surveillance of the population was carried out through Gaddafi's Revolutionary Committees. Ina law was introduced affirming equality of the sexes and insisting on wage parity. Ina 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.
Gaddafi officially passed power to the General People's Committees and henceforth claimed to be no more than a symbolic figurehead. The Chadian—Libyan conflict began in earnest when Libya's support of rebel forces in northern Chad escalated into an invasion. The country is bounded to the north by the Mediterranean Sea, to the west by Tunisia and Algeria, and to the south by Chad and Niger. Egypt borders Libya to the east and Sudan is to the southeast. The landmass ofsquare miles 1, square kilometers makes Libya the fourth largest country in Africa.
Each of the three provinces of Libya—Tripolitania on the western coast, Cyrenaica to the east, and Fezzan in the south—are influenced by the great Sahara in different ways.
Tripolitania is sheltered by barrier mountains, the Jabal Nafusa, south of the coast. While the mountains create a favorable environment for agriculture, the coastal littoral, protected from the Sahara, is still arid and requires irrigation. The capital of Libya, Tripoli, is an oasis on the Tripolitanian coast and its inhabitants rely on aquifers to meet most of their water requirements.
The coastal mountain range of Cyrenaica, the Jabal Akhdar, rises to a high plateau, which breaks precipitously down to the sea.
There are five distinct ecological zones in this region, from a high plateau in the north to desert in the south, each with different combinations of pastoralism and agriculture. There are large towns in Cyrenaica, but until recently the nomadic Bedouins dominated the countryside. The Gulf of Sirte is between eastern Tripolitania and the mountain chains in Cyrenaica. Primarily steppe country, it is suited to pastoral pursuits and historically has been a major seasonal grazing ground for some of the powerful tribes who spend winters in the interior of the desert.
South of the two mountain chains and the Gulf of Sirte lies the Sahara Desert and the province of Fezzan. The area is vast, extremely dry, and barren.
It is characterized by large sand seas, eroded mountain ranges, and upland mesas. Aridity is a fact of existence in Libya. There is not a single permanent waterway in the whole country. Permanent settlement in the south is limited to a number of depressions where irrigated agriculture may be pursued due to easily accessible supplies of fresh water from deep aquifers. These oases produce a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and support extensive date plantations.
While these areas contain highly productive agricultural systems, they are restricted in population size due to the limitation on amounts of water available for irrigation.
This vast land has an extremely small population, estimated at 5. The indigenous population is homogeneous, with 90 percent claiming to be of Arab ancestry. While largely rural, the massive oil wealth beginning in the s changed the economic and residential profile of the population. For instance, between and l, the citizen population of Tripoli grew by 58 percent, while Benghazi grew by 66 percent.
A five-year plan introduced in the s was geared to bring prosperity to rural areas. Its success slowed the migration to the urban areas and made paid employment widely available throughout the country.
The oil industry brought large Libya numbers of European and North American workers to the country. Oil revenues allowed the state to greatly expand its work force while the wealth stimulated the private sector. Thus, over the years large numbers of guest workers have found their way to Libya from Eastern Europe and the surrounding Mediterranean and Arab states. In the western mountains of Libya, the Berber language is still spoken in places and remnants of it remain in the southern oases.
Still, Libya is culturally homogeneous. Its citizens speak a distinctive dialect of Arabic in public while modern standard Arabic is taught in the schools and used in government and business. In culture, language, and religion, Libya forms a part of the greater Arab world. History and Ethnic Relations Emergence of the Nation. In Libya, as in most of the Middle East and North Africa, the modern concept of the territorially discreet nation is a recent development. Historically, Libya was characterized by sets of connections between relatively autonomous polities.
Even under Turkish rule in the nineteenth century, the city of Tripoli was more of a city—state with commercial links to a politically autonomous countryside rather than a center of integrated rule.
A large tented population of pastoral nomads, independent and aggressively autonomous, resided in the steppe and desert to the southeast and to the west. Smaller towns, some similar in commerce, trade, and political aspiration to Tripoli, occupied the shores of the Mediterranean to the west and east. The town of Misarata, with the support of the powerful Bedouin tribal allies of the Wafallah confederacy, challenged Tripoli's hegemony.
To the south, the richly endowed agricultural communities of the Jabal Nafusa Mountains maintained an opposition to the coastal powers. With abundant rainfall and a temperate climate, crops were plentiful; citrus and olive groves abounded. Communities maintained independence, some supported by their kin among the powerful camel herding tribes to the south. Everyone was aware of the military prowess and political autonomy of the tribes.
Libya coindates – Numista
Cyrenaica had a similar but more distinct antagonism between the desert and the town, and between pastoral tribal and sedentary agricultural society. Important towns like Ajadabya and Benghazi were isolated from a countryside occupied by Bedouin tribes who numbered over 90 percent of the province's population.
The country was divided among the so-called noble tribes i. In the south, there was a similar opposition between the oasis communities and the tribes.
Much of Libya was organized into agricultural centers surrounded by tribally-organized Bedouin nomads. There was no sense of nation; instead there was a series of social structures bound by the material conditions of trade in both practical and luxury goods.
The only nineteenth-century institution that might be considered a defining characteristic of the country was the presence of a Turkish administration the Porte. Even here the Porte was at a loss to exert its influence outside of the administrative centers. The nascent strides toward a national identity began with the Italian invasion in the early twentieth century. The first Italian invasion in focused on the fertile coastal plain of Tripolitania and the city of Tripoli where political fragmentation gave the Italians an easy victory.
Libyan allies were easy to gain if not to maintain. Having secured a foothold on the coast, the Italians mistakenly turned their attention to the Fezzan. They marched south through the Al Jufrah oases to Sebha, the modern capital of Fezzan, securing towns on their way. Once in Sebha, the tribes rallied, cut off the garrison and harassed the Italians as they tried to fight their way back to the coast.
A decisive battle was fought in Sirte where the tribes under the Ulad Sleman defeated the Italians who then withdrew from the countryside. Ina more determined Italian force invaded. This time the primary opposition came from Cyrenaica where the tribes rallied under the banner of the Sanussi religious order and the leadership of such national heroes such as Umar al Mukhtar. A brutal and bloody ten-year guerilla war followed, pitting the modern military might of the Italians against a largely subsistence-based nomadic society.
It is claimed that nearly 50 percent of the population of Cyrenaica perished during the struggle. The guerilla war represents an historic struggle in the minds of the Libyan people and its leader Umar al Mukhtar became Libya's first national hero. The future king of Libya, Idris, the head of the Sanussi order an ascetic Muslim sectremained in exile during the colonial period, a symbol of regional if not national opposition to the Italians.
He lent his support and that of his forces to the allied war effort in World War II, in exchange for a promise of national independence. The United Nations awarded Libya independence in and economic stability was assured by grants in aid from the United States and several European countries. InLibya underwent a revolution with far reaching consequences for the country both nationally and internationally. Muammar Qaddafi emerged as leader of the country.
Under this regime, a series of far reaching social experiments have been tried, producing a somewhat unique political system. Internationally the pan-Arab and leftist leanings of the regime have had an impact, as the immense oil wealth of the country A man using a camel to plough a field along the Tunisia-Libya border. The majority of Libyans have a pride in nation.
The birth of the nation, the heroics of Umar al Mukhtar, and the revolution are commemorated in annual national celebrations as are the major religious events on the Islamic calendar.
Although the Libyan people are in culture, language, and religion largely homogeneous, there have been and still are significant cultural minorities. Until the last half of the twentieth century there were relatively large Jewish and Italian communities in the country. Members of the Jewish community began to emigrate to Israel in and several anti-Israeli riots in,and encouraged further emigration.
Inthe revolutionary regime of Muammar Qaddafi confiscated all property owned by nonresident Jews. Also inQaddafi's regime "invited" forty-five thousand Italian residents who remained from the Italian colonial era to leave the country, and all Italian properties were confiscated by the State.
Black Libyans are descendants of slaves brought to the country during the days of the slave trade. Some worked the gardens in the southern oases and on the farms along the coast.ordendelsantosepulcro.info survey reveals rules for dating are changing
Others were taken in by Bedouin tribes or merchant families as retainers and domestics. Berber peoples form a large, but less distinguishable minority in the Libyan population.
The original inhabitants in most of North Africa, they were overrun in the eleventh and twelfth centuries by the Bedouin Arab armies of the expanding Islamic empire. Over the centuries, the Berber population largely fused with the conquering Arabs. Evidence of Berber culture still remains.
The herdsmen and traders of the great Tuareg confederation are found in the south. Known as the "Blue Men of the Desert," their distinctive blue dress and the practice of men veiling distinguish them culturally from the rest of the population. Historically autonomous and fiercely independent, they stand apart from other Libyans and maintain links to their homelands in the Tibesti and Ahaggar mountain retreats of the central Sahara.
Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space Modern Libyan architecture throughout the country reflects the impact of the spectacular oil wealth. Modern apartment buildings and government and private office complexes abound in the major urban centers, while government peoples' housing is a A man walking along a covered street in Tripoli. Walled fortifications dominate the old section of the city. However, the distribution of political power among the sectors of Libyan society, to some degree, is reflected, still, in traditional forms of architecture.
Walled fortifications, a testimony to tribal power as well as a reminder of the past as a piratical state, dominate the old section of Tripoli. Similar concerns for security characterized other ancient Libyan towns. In the mountains of Tripolitania, some settlements were constructed completely underground on hillsides. These towns of troglodytes maintained security by having only one entrance. Further south, the concern for defense also was a characteristic of architecture. Most oasis communities were walled and fortified.
Libya country profile
In the Sawknah oasis of Al Jufrah, for instance, the fortified wall extended around the entire residential area. There were only two gated entrances to the community, and the wall had parapets at intervals of twenty yards to allow defenders to catch the enemy in crossfire.
In the center of the walled town stood a large fort whose ramparts commanded a line of fire on all sections of the outer wall.
It stood as the last line and a sanctuary should the town be overrun. In many towns the traditional pattern of residence was a dense settlement of domestic units inside a fortified perimeter with agricultural lands lying at some distance from the residential areas. Libyan towns are characterized by a strict distinction between public and private use of space.
The gardens, usually worked by families, are sanctuaries, not to be entered by strangers. The compact nature of fortified residential centers gives them a distinctive character. Streets are narrow and twisting. In some areas, kin groups, looking to extend the space available to developing extended families, have joined houses at the second-story level over the street to extend living quarters. This bridging effect produces long canopied cul-de-sacs, where kin groups may convert public to private space by gating the residential quarter.
Whole communities may extend this concept of the privacy of space to the reception of strangers. The use of space in relation to social distance is a major feature of Libyan custom.
Public space is a busy, bustling, man's world. Private space is as rigidly defined for men as is public space for women. Traditional house design presents no windows at the first-floor level.
Houses may have windows at the second-story level, but they are barred, sometimes with elaborate iron filigree. There is usually only one entrance, through a heavy wooden door. Some of the more luxurious homes have a large rectangular courtyard with elaborate gardens and fountains. The courtyard is completely enclosed, as is the private world of the immediate family.
A wide balcony runs the full length and width of the second story and is accessed by one or two elegantly designed staircases. As the residence of a large extended family, rooms and apartments lead off from the center of the house on all sides and on both levels.
In the houses of prominent persons and local notables, another set of stairs is located immediately inside the front door without a view of the inner sanctuary of the courtyard.
These stairs lead to the guestroom or maraboura quasi-public space within the confines of the intensely private home. The head of the household entertains friends, business associates, clients, political supporters, and delegates in the marabour.
Some of these rooms may accommodate as many as fifty guests. The marabour is almost always rectangular with mattresses lining the walls to provide seating and bedding for guests.
Guests who are strangers are confined to this chamber and will not meet the women of the household. In tented societies, spatial use and the distinction between public and private spaces are similar to that observed in the towns. Pastoral society has less of a problem defining public space. Bedouin camps consist of closely-related kin, and the physical distance between family groups in the same tribal section reinforces privacy.
For most of the year, Bedouin camps spread across the countryside with groups separated from each other by several miles. Drainage There are no permanent rivers in Libya. The numerous wadis that drain the uplands are filled by flash floods during the rains but then quickly dry up or are reduced to a trickle.
Other large wadis drain the interior basins of Sirte, Zeltenand the Fezzan. There is also, however, extensive underground water.
Numerous oases are watered by wells and springs, and artesian wells tap large deep fossil aquifers in the Fezzan and southeastern Libya; the Great Man-Made River was one of the more ambitious projects designed to make use of these underground reserves.
See the map illustrating the phases of the Great Man-Made River project that were planned or completed in the late 20th century. Along the coastal strip there are several salt flats, or sabkhasformed by the ponding and evaporation of water behind coastal dunes.
Rich alluvial soils are found in the coastal deltas and valleys of large wadis. On the margins of the Sahara, cultivation and overgrazing have seriously depleted the soil. The rest of the country is covered by wind-eroded sand or stony desert. The soils in these areas are poorly developed, with little organic material.
The Saharan influence is stronger in summer. From October to March, prevailing westerly winds bring cyclonic storms and rains across northern Libya.
Periodic droughts, often lasting several years, are common in the steppe and desert. Along the coast, the Mediterranean climate is characterized by a cool rainy winter season and a hot dry summer. The warmest months are July and Augustwhen average temperatures in Benghazi and Tripoliin the Mediterranean zone, reach between the low 70s and mids F low to upper 20s C and the low 60s and mids F upper 10s and low 30s Crespectively.
The coolest months are January and February; winter monthly temperatures in Benghazi range from the low 50s to low 60s F low to mids Cwhile those in Tripoli range from the upper 40s to low 60s F low to mids C. Benghazi has an average annual precipitation of about 10 inches mmand Tripoli receives an annual average of about 15 inches mm.
Inland from the coast, annual precipitation declines, and its variability increases. Most rain falls in a few days between November and January. Less than 4 inches mm of rain falls annually in the steppes, and Saharan zones receive less than 1 inch 25 mm. The dry climate is exacerbated by the ghiblia hot arid wind that blows from the south over the entire country several times a year.
It is usually preceded by a short lull in the prevailing winds, followed by the full force of the ghibli. The wind carries large quantities of sand dust, which turns the sky red and reduces visibility to less than 60 feet 18 metres. The heat of the wind is increased by a rapid drop of relative humiditywhich can fall dramatically within hours. Plant and animal life In years of ample precipitation, the coastal plains are covered with herbaceous vegetation and annual grasses; the most noticeable plants are the asphodel an herb of the lily family and jubule.
Annual plants are abundant and include brome grass, canary grass, bluegrass, and rye grass. The forest becomes more scattered and stunted south of the mountain crest, and annual plants are less frequent.
In the semiarid steppes, vegetation is also sparse, characterized by pockets of isolated drought-resistant plants. The most commonly found species are saltwort a plant used in making soda ash and spurge flax a shrubby plantwhile goosefoot, wormwood, and asphodel also are widespread.
Annual grasses grow in the rainy season, and leguminous plants appear in years of good precipitation. Although precipitation is extremely low in the true desert zone and the vegetation cover is scant, some plants from the semiarid region penetrate the occasional wadi valley, and date palms are grown in the southern oases. Wild animals include desert rodents, such as the desert hare and the jerboa ; hyenas; foxes, such as the fennec and the red fox; jackals; skunks; gazelles; and wildcats.
The poisonous adder and krait are among the reptiles that inhabit the scattered oases and water holes. Native birds include the wild ringdove, the partridge, the lark, and the prairie hen.