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Libya

  • 1,759,540 km▓
  • 25║ 00' N
  • 17║ 00' E
  • Tripoli
  • LYD
  • 6283283.2
  • 3.5/ km2
  • Arabic, Italian
  • Authoritarian State
  • 74.75 Billion US$
  • UTC+2
Libya Map
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Libya Map

Libya is an Arab country in Northern Africa. It lies on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The country is bordered by Egypt and Sudan on the east, Chad and Niger on the south and Algeria and Tunisia on the west. Tripoli, Libya's capital and largest city, lies along the Mediterranean Sea. Modern high-rise buildings are common in the city's area. About 90 per cent of Libya consists of the dunes of the Sahara Desert. The eastern section of the Sahara, which crosses into Egypt and Sudan, is called the Libyan Desert. There are scattered oases. At the large oasis of Al Kufrah a huge underground water supply lies beneath the desert rock.

The semi-desert regions provide sparse grazing for sheep, goats and cattle. The only natural farmland is along the Mediterranean coast. On the northwestern plains and the northeastern highlands farmers use mainly traditional methods to grow oranges, wheat, olives, almonds and grapes. The Berber people were the original inhabitants of this land and today almost all Libyans are of Berber and Arab descent. In ancient times trading ships and war galleys brought Mediterranean peoples to Libya. The Phoenicians settled in the northwest and the Greeks in the east. The Romans conquered the whole coast, shipping wheat and fruit back to Italy from their African estates.

The Arabs invaded in the AD 600's, bringing Islam to North Africa. For a long period the country was split between Tunisia and Egypt. In the 1500's it became part of the Turkish empire, but Arab rulers still had local power. Italy seized control and ruled the country from 1911 until 1943. During World War II, Britain defeated Italian and German armies in the Libyan Desert. As a result, Britain and France briefly shared control of Libya. Libya gained independence in 1951 and Idris-I became king.