About Libya

Posted on: November 24th, 2012 by bast
  • On the North Africa
    bordered by the
    Mediterranean Sea to the north

    During summer
    temperature riches up to
    45° celsius

  • Ancient Libya was
    inhabited by Neolithic peoples
    from as early as 8000 BC

  • Tripoli capital of Libya,
    accounts more than 2 million residents

  • Arabic language
    have three different
    dialects

    Benghazi second largest
    city of libya,
    situated in the north east

Demography

Population: 5.9 Million Population Density: 3.13 per Km2

Major Cities

Tripoli

Situated in the north west of Libya, the capital accounts for more than 2 million residents of which one third are foreigners. Having the largest port and being the country's commercial hub, Tripoli is also Libya's industrial (agcultural/food products, textiles, building materials) and education centre.

Benghazi

Situated in the north east of Libya, Benghazi accounts for 850,000 residents. Centre of an agricultural region where the trade is dominated by the commerce of cereals, dates, and wool. The port's activity is mainly dedicated to the fishing of Tuna and sponges.

Other Cities
  • Misurata: 500,000 residents
  • Zwara: 400,000 residents
  • Sebha: 300,000 residents
  • Al Khoms: 330,000 residents

Official Language

Arabic is the official language with three distinctive dialects:
  • Cyrenaican dialect; related to the Arab Alexandrian dialect
  • Tripolitanian dialect; similar to the South Tunisian dialect
  • Fezzani dialect; closer to classical Arabic (notably that of Khartoum) and which is similar to the Bedouin dialects (Saidi of Egypt and Hassania of Mauritania).

English is the common business language, yet Italian is still widely spoken, especially among senior citizens. French language is hardly ever spoken except within the foreign communities living in Libya and with Libyans having lived abroad. It is noticed that Libyan youth express curiosity and interest in the French language.

Religion

The official religion in Libya is Islam. Libyans are all Sunni Muslims of the Maleki rite. Since 1970, alcohol is strictly forbidden in Libya. Its consumption is a judicial crime that carries prison terms. There are approximately 100,000 Christians (foreign community) living in Libya. It is possible to practice Catholicism (two churches are available, one in Tripoli and the other in Benghazi), Protestant (one Anglican church) and Orthodox (one Greek-Orthodox church).

Economical and Political Situation

Gross national product (GNP): 30 Billion U.S. Dollars. National currency: Libyan Dinar (LYD). Exchange rate EUR vs. LYD: In March 2005, the official exchange rate was 1 Libyan Dinar to 0.60 euro. However, for cash (bank notes) exchanges, the rate would be 1 Libyan Dinar to 0.66 euro.

Climate

The climate is humid and can be very hot in summer on the entire coastal region from Tripolitania to Cyrenaica. In the southern regions, the climate is dry and extremely hot. On the coastal areas, considerable temperature fluctuations can be noted during the same day; whirlwinds coming from the sea or from the southern regions can decrees or elevate temperature levels by a substantial number of degrees within a few hours. Generally, Libya has cold winters and indoor heating is necessary from December through March. During summer, temperatures in Tripoli and Benghazi reach 40° to 45° Celsius with a humidity level ranging between 75% and 95%. Like all Mediterranean countries of Africa, Libya experiences southern winds called “Ghiblis”. These winds blow for several days and mostly appear in Spring, Summer and sometimes in Autumn. Unfortunately, the Ghibli causes much damage and destruction to cultivation due to the dryness it imposes and the sand it carries. During a Ghibli, humidity levels can drop down to 10% and temperatures can reach 40° Celsius.