About Libya

Official Name: Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (Al Jumahiriyah al Arabiyah al Libiyah ash Shabiyah al Ishtirakiyah)

Location: Morocco is located in North Africa (21st parallel, North), between Tunisia and Egypt. It is bordered on the north by the Mediterranean Sea, on the west by Tunisia and Algeria, on the south by Niger and Chad, and on the east by Sudan and Egypt.

Land Area: 1,759,540 sq km (679,182 sq mi).

Coast: 1770 km (1100 mi) of Mediterranean coast.

Climate: Coastal Libya has a sometimes humid Mediterranean climate, with average temperatures of 30°C (86°F) in the summer and 8°C (46°F) in the winter. Southern Libya has a desert climate.

Population: Over 5 million inhabitants, of which 36% are younger than 15 years old.

Language: Arabic is the primary language of Libya, but Italian and English are also widely spoken in the major urban areas.

Religion: 97% of the Libyan population is Sunni Muslim.

Government: According to the Libyan constitution, Libya is a "jamahiriya" (governed by the masses), with local councils representing the wishes of the people. The peoples' committees elect representatives to the General Peoples' Congress, which in turn elects a Secretary to serve as the head of government. In practice, Libya has been ruled by Revolutionary Leader Gen. Muammar Abu Minyar al-Qadhafi since 1969.

Chief of State: Colonel Muammar Abu Minyar al-Qadhafi

Capital: Tripoli

Flag: Libyan flag

Currency: The Libyan currency is the Libyan dinar (LD), which is divided into 1,000 dirhams. The exchange rate was approximately 0.4 Libyan dinars for every $1 in January of 1997 (the time of the BikeAbout journey).

Resources and Industry: Libya is a major petroleum and natural gas exporter, supplying these resources to several western European countries. However, agriculture is the primary occupation in Libya. Droughts have forced reliance on desalinization of sea water for irrigation. Agricultural products include citrus fruits, wheat, olives, figs and dates, but the single most important field crop is fodder for livestock.

Transport: 83,200 km (51,667 mi) of road.

Electric Current: 240 volts

Time Zone: GMT +2 hours

Sources: CIA World Factbook 2000, ArabNet, AfricaNet

Web Links

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AfricaNet: Libya
Very good historical overview.
Al Bawaba: The Middle East Gateway
A comprehensive Middle Eastern portal. Provides information on the Middle Eastern economy and business sectors, along with politics, tourism, culture, legal issues, health, entertainment and sports. News items, in-depth reports and analysis on all these topics are undertaken daily. Includes a keyword search facility. Available in English and Arabic.
Arab Countries' WWW Sites
Links to country indexes, news, pictures, and Middle Eastern recipes.
ArabNet -- Libya
Government, history, geography, transportation, culture and descriptions of Libya's major cities.
Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (UNESCO World Heritage Site) [also available in French]
Archaeological Site of Sabratha (UNESCO World Heritage Site) [also available in French]
Destination: Libya
Historical overview, maps, travel facts, culture, environment, attractions. The "Off the Beaten Track" feature is especially interesting. Brought to you be Lonely Planet.
General information, archaeological sites, Mediterranean coast.
Libya Home Page
General information, including map, weather forecast, and a picture gallery. LookSmart Editor's Choice award winner.
Libyan American Friendship Association
Libya: Our Home
Comprehensive list of links to historical, cultural and current events information about Libya
Libya's Resources on the Internet
General information on agriculture, travel, politics, business, culture and history.
Libya's WWW Sites [Index]
General information, local time, map.
Map of Libya
From DeLorme Mapping (1991). Used by permission.
Miftah Shamali -- Libya
Geared toward tourism, this site includes descriptions of Libya's cities and wilderness areas.
Weather-Tripoli, Libya
Weather in Tripoli. Source: USAToday.

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