African Country

Libya

History of Libya

Arab soldiers, spreading Islam, entered Cyrenaica in 642 and occupied Tripoli in 643. Arab and Berber dynasties then controlled what is now Libya. In December 1951, the United Nations called for the independence of Libya. Libya in 2012 formed a new parliament and elected a new prime minister. The country then elected a new parliament in 2014, but remnants of the withdrawing legislature refused to leave office and created a rival government, causing a civil war.

Physical Geography and Location

Mediterranean climate along coast; dry, extreme desert climate on interior. Terrain is mostly barren, flat to rolling plains, plateaus, depressions. More than 90% of the country is desert or semi desert. Libya is located in Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria.

Imperialism and Influence

The culture of northwestern Libya developed along with the country west of it, while development in the east was strongly influenced by its neighbor, Egypt. Due to the influence of Arabs, the official language of Libya is still Arabic. Italy invaded Libya in 1911 and took control in 1912. During the 1920's and 1930's, the Italians sponsored many improvements that led to thousands of Europeans immigrating to Libya, crippling its economy.

Ethnicity and Cultural Geography

96.6% of Libya is Muslim while Berber and Arab make up 97%. Arabic is the official language.

Current Events

In February 2015, a radical group claiming to belong to the Islamic State massacred 21 Egyptian Christians in eastern Libya. It was the first known action in Libya by ISIS. In October of 2016, a cautious agreement of unity was signed by Libya’s rival governments to stop the fighting.

Future Problems/Goals

Libya has a very high poverty rate and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be resolved in the following years. Recently the people of Libya were asking the National Transitional Council (NTC) to help in the cleanup of their towns and roads. The piles of garbage in the streets and pollution is just another spark that gets the people in the mindset of a revolution.

Something Else

The economy of Libya depends on its petroleum industry but surprisingly it only employs a small percent of the workers. Despite the large amount of money that comes from the oil, the country’s unemployment rate is very high and most people are in poverty.