Libya, officially the State of Libya, is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad to the south, Niger to the southwest, Algeria to the west, and Tunisia to the northwest.

Libya’s terrain is mostly barren and features flat to undulating plains, plateaus and depressions.

Several highlands dot the landscape, but there are almost no true mountain ranges, except for the Tibesti Massif along its border with Chad. South of Libya’s narrow coastal strip is a sparse grassland giving way to the Sahara Desert – a vast, unfertile wasteland that supports a very small percentage of people and agriculture. The Mediterranean coast and the Sahara Desert are Libya’s most prominent natural features. Within Africa, Libya has the longest Mediterranean coastline and is home to many unspoiled beaches. The highest point of the country is Bikku Bitti at 7,437 ft (2,267 m); the lowest point of Libya is Sabkhat Ghuzayyil at -154 ft (-47 m).

Key Cities

Key cities in Libya include: Tripoli, Benghazi, Misratah, Tarhuna, Al Khums, Az Zawiyah,  Zawiya,  Ajdabiya,  Al Ajaylat, and Sabha.

Historical, Cultural facts & Religion

Libya’s history covers its rich mix of ethnic groups added to the indigenous Berber tribes. The modern history of independent Libya began in 1951. The history of Libya comprises six distinct periods: Ancient Libya, the Roman era, the Islamic era, Ottoman rule, Italian rule, and the Modern era.

Its culture involves roots in Berber, African, Turkish and Arab cultures. Libya was also an Italian colony for about three decades, which had a great impact on the culture. Libya has managed to keep its traditional folk culture alive to today. Most Libyans are Berber and Arab, and 96.6% are Muslim Sunnis.

Brief Country History

At first, Libya was inhabited by Berber tribes. After 1,000 BC a people from Lebanon called the Phoenicians settled in Tripolitania (western Libya). They founded Tripoli. Later the ancient Greeks settled in Cyrenaica (eastern Libya). Later both areas of Libya became part of the Roman Empire. A Roman Emperor called Septimius Severus (193-211) was a native of the great city of Leptis Magna in Roman Libya. Unfortunately, Leptis Magna was severely damaged by an earthquake in 365.

Then in the 4th century, the Roman Empire split in two. Cyrenaica became part of the eastern Roman Empire while Tripolitania was part of the Western Empire. In 431 a Germanic people called the Vandals captured Libya but Justinian, emperor of the Eastern Empire forced them out in 533.

Then in 642-44, the Arabs conquered Libya. During the 16th century, Libya became part of the Turkish Empire. It remained part of the Turkish Empire for centuries although it was a haven for pirates. However, in 1911 the Italians invaded Libya.

The Turks surrendered Libya to Italy in 1912. However, resistance from the people of Libya continued for many years. Until 1922 the Italians only controlled the coastal region. However, the Fascist regime in Italy was determined to subdue all of Libya and by 1932 it was in control of the whole country. The conquest of Libya by Fascist Italy was extremely brutal and many Libyans died as a result. Mussolini, the Italian dictator encouraged Italians to emigrate to Libya and by 1939 there were 150,000 of them living in the country.

In 1940 Italy joined the Second World War on Germany’s side and Italian forces based in Libya fought the British in Egypt. However, in 1943, the British took Libya. After the war, Libya was controlled by the British and French. By a peace treaty of 1947, Italy gave up all claim to Libya. Then in 1949, the UN decreed Libya must become independent by 1 January 1952. A constitution was for Libya that was drawn up and Muhammad Idris al Sanusi was chosen as king. King Idris, I declared Libya independent on 24 December 1951.

At first, Libya was an impoverished country. However, Libya was changed forever in 1959 when oil was discovered. Oil brought new wealth to the country and by the mid-1960s Libya was one of the most important oil-producing countries in the world. However, on 1 September 1969, a group of army officers led by Muammar Gaddafi staged a coup in Libya. The monarchy was abolished. Gaddafi became the dictator of Libya and remained in power for 42 years. In 1984 the UK broke off diplomatic relations with Libya after a policewoman was killed outside the Libyan embassy in London. In 1986 a bomb exploded in a German nightclub. The USA believed Libyans were involved so they bombed Libya. In 1992 and 1993 the UN-imposed sanctions on Libya because of its involvement in destroying a passenger plane over Lockerbie in 1988. In 1999 Gaddafi finally surrendered 2 men suspected of involvement. The UN sanctions were suspended but they were not formally lifted until 2003. Meanwhile, in 1999 the Italian government apologized for the brutal conquest of Libya decades earlier. However, in 2011 there was a revolution in Libya, and Gaddafi was killed. In the early 21st century Libya was still dependent on oil. Libya still has very large reserves of oil. However, Libya suffered high unemployment. Today the population of Libya is 6.6 million.

Language (s) Written & Spoken

Languages of Libya. The official language of Libya is Modern Standard Arabic. Most residents speak one of the varieties of Arabic as a first language, most prominently Libyan Arabic, but also Egyptian Arabic and Tunisian Arabic.

Important Types of Commerce in Libya

Libya is located in the Maghreb region of North Africa. It is the sixteenth biggest state in the world and fourth largest African state occupying an area of about 700,000 sq miles. The country has over 7,200,000 people with over a million Libyans living in Tripoli, the largest and capital city. The economy of Libya depends on revenue from the petroleum industry, which contributes over 95% of the revenue Libya earns from exports. Other important industries including mining, agriculture, and tourism.

Language Services US and others will provide working with Libya

The majority of the population speaks Arabic as their first language. Libya has a huge potential and value globally, that is why Arabic translation, Arabic interpreting services is required for all multi-national workforce. With the great amount of tourism and international business pursuits and opportunities in Libya, accurate translation of your documents ensures that you are reaching those individuals directly and professionally in a language they can relate to. A professional document translation, perfectly done, will not only attract residents of the area you want to insinuate yourself into but also impacts visitors or people wanting to relocate.

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