Libya is an Islamic, Arab nation that is located in North Africa, which has a Northern coastline on the Mediterranean Sea, and is bordered by the countries Egypt, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Tunisia, and Algeria. Libya has a population of about 6 million people about a third of which live along the coastline in the area commonly referred to as Tripolitania, named after the capital city, Tripoli. Libya has a total size of about 1.8 million square kilometers making it the 17th largest country in the world. It is about the size of Alaska (CIA World Fact Book). Due to large amounts of petroleum exporting, Libya has the highest gross domestic product, or GDP, per capita, of any African country. Libya’s national flag is objectively, the plainest of any country in the world. It is simply a green colored rectangle without any design (Wikipedia.org). Libyans have an average life expectancy of 77 years, which is fairly high compared to other African countries. The dominant religion is Sunni Muslim; its followers comprising 97 percent of the country’s population. The other 3 percent follow many different religions. The country’s main languages are Arabic, Italian, and English, which are understood in most major cities. Finally, the country is lead by the military dictator, Muammar al-Qaddafi, who has been in power ever since 1969 (CIA World Fact Book). Geography
The country of Libya can be split into 2 different geographical regions. The region along the Mediterranean Sea has a mild, temperate climate, whereas the interior of the country is a very harsh, hot, and dry portion of the Sahara Desert. About 90 percent of the population of the country lives on or very near the coast because it is a much more habitable area. Libya’s coastline is 1770 kilometers long, giving it the longest Mediterranean coast of any North African country. Most major cities are located along the coastline, including the capital, Tripoli, which is also the country’s largest city (Wikipedia.org). The remainder of Libya is a vast, sand swept desert, which is home to some of the most extreme weather on the planet (CIA World Fact Book). In 1922 in this desert, known as the Libyan Desert, a naturally occurring air temperature of 136 degrees Fahrenheit was recorded. This is the hottest temperature ever in recorded history (Wikipedia.org). The desert areas usually receive rain about once every 5 to 10 years. In one area of the desert, the last recorded rainfall was in September 1998. For these reasons, few cities are located in this area of the country (Infoplease.com). Early History
Archaeological finds suggest that as early as 8000 BC people inhabited Libya’s coastal region that were skilled in the domestication of cattle and cultivation of crops. The first culture to inhabit the land of Libya was the Berber tribe, whose origin is still a mystery. They were thought to have migrated from southwest Asia to North Africa. However, only educated guesses can be made about their origins (A Country Study: Libya). The next major culture to inhabit Libya was the Phoenicians, which was the first culture to develop trading stations in Libya in order to trade with the native Berber tribes. By 500 BC, Carthage, the largest of all of the Phoenician cities, had spread its social customs into North Africa and Libya where a civilization known as Punic was formed. Some of the Punic cities included Oea and Libdah, became Tripoli and Leptis Magna, two of the largest cities in Libya today (Wikipedia.org). After the Phoenicians the Greeks inhabited the land that is now modern day Libya. It is thought that the reason the Greeks first came to Libya was because they were commanded to emigrate there by the oracle of Delphi in order to decrease the population of the crowded Greek island, Thera. In about 630 BC, they founded the city, Cyrene, which today is still a major city. Within the next 200 years 4 more major cities were founded, all of which are still in existence today,...
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