LibyaBy: Becca Kasdan
Map of Libya over 2000 years ago
During the early 1900’s, Libya was still referred to as Tripoli. This was called Libya’s colonial period when it was an Italian occupied country. It was during 1917-1918 that the Republic of Tripoli was created and it was the first Republic in the Arab world.

Modern day Libya

african-icon-m-binlamin.jpgLibyan art

Per Capita Income
Land Area
See map below
1,759,540 km squared
Political System/Gov’t
At times may have been a dictatorship as rulers conquered Libya
· No political parties
· No democracy, they are a Jamahiriya, which is like a republic
· Very little freedom of speech and mind
Imports/ Exports
Imports: wood, iron goods
Exports: olive oil, gold, slaves, wine, drugs, horses, wool, leather, salt
Imports: machinery, food, consumer products
Exports: crude oil, natural gas, chemicals
Cultural Traditions
Wearing conservative clothing
Having more than one wife, up to four
Following an Islamic calendar system
Worshipping Islam in mosques
Took part in the gold and salt trade
· Women are not allowed to attend public gatherings, have less rights than men, must dress conservatively
· Weaving, embroidery, metal engraving, leatherwork
· Since the majority is Muslim, art must contain geometric designs and cannot include people or animals for the most part, mostly nature
  • Both men and women must be fully covered with clothes
  • Celebrate Ramadan
  • Weddings are a main tradition in Libyan society
Sunni Muslim: 97%
Ibadi Muslim: 1%
Roman Catholic: 0.6%
Copts: 1%
Other: 0.8%
300px-Herodotus_world_map-en_svg.pngWhat Herodotus, a famous Greek map maker as well as other things thought Libya/Africa looked like back in 630 B.C.
 Libya Timeline
7th-5th Cent. B.C. The Ancient Greeks inhabit Cyrene and several cities in Cyrenaica.
525 B.C.- A.D. 642 Throughout time, Tripolitania and Cyrenaica are ruled by the Persians, Alexander the Great, Ptolemies, Romans, Vandals, and Byzantines.

632 Death of Muhammad.
643 :Amr Ibnu l-As conquers northeastern Libya, and in turn becomes a part of the new Muslim Empire whose governmental and political center was situated in Madina.
647: The Arabs conquer Tripolitania.
10th-16th Cent. Tripolitania and Cyrenaica have many personal problems, that leads to the weakening and vulnerability of the country. Therefore, they are taken over and controlled by many Muslim and Christian rulers: Fatamids, Berber Zirids, Normans, Almohads, Mamluks, Hapsburg Spain, and Knights of St. John Malta.
16th Cent. Ottomans have conquered all North Africa, but not including Morocco.
17th Cent. Tripoli falls into military anarchy with complete chaos.
1835 The Ottomans still continue to have direct control over the country, and Libya has become a single province with an Ottoman governor-general as their leader.
1934 Tripolitania and Cyrenaica are combined to Libya
November 1949 Libya becomes an independent country in January of 1952.
DownloadedFile-1.jpegLibyan flag

October 1951 Libya sets up a federal system, which includes a constitutional monarchy as their system of government. A constitution for Libya becomes enforced.
1 September 1969 Libya transforms from a constitutional monarchy to a republic.
1974 Libya has control and affairs in all foreign oil companies.
March 1982 U.S. places an embargo on the importing of Libyan oil. Also, the U.S. has an embargo on the export of high technology.
February 2011 A revolution erupts in Libya as its citizens plot to overthrow Khadafi, their dictator for the past forty years, and they plan to create a stable and fair democracy.
Geography’s Impact on Libya
  • Libya has many rocky plains, steep plateaus, and vast deserts. Thus, less than five percent of the land can be used for farming or other economical purposes
  • Climate is affected by the Mediterranean Sea and Sahara Desert; causes hot summers and extreme temperature ranges in desert, the majority of Libya’s landscape
  • Libya gets less than two percent of the rainfall it needs in order to farm and make a surplus of economical products
  • The deserts in Libya have separated Libya’s three main regions: Tripolitania, Cyrenaica, and Fezzan. This has caused these regions to have little or no contact with each other until the 1960’s.

Berbers and Libya
  • There were many ancient Berber tribes in early Libya, the most significant was the Levu tribe
  • The Berbers were the first inhabitants of Libya and came around the seventh century
  • The Berbers were nomads who hunted and gathered as their way for survival

  • Many Berbers migrated to Egypt and served in the armies of pharos
  • Females had high status in Berber society
  • One famous historical event involved a famous female leader named Kahina. When Arabs invaded, Kahina put up a fierce fight, and even drove them away. However she was defeated and lost her life.
  • For the most part, Berber women are the only ones who are literate in their society. They have their own alphabet and they are the ones who pass down literature and poetry.
  • Berbers have unique culture with their own music, architecture, clothing, and art.Ancient rock carving of a female archer in Wadi, which is in southwestern Libya
  • Most Berbers live in rural areas

archer1.gifAn early rock carving made by a berber of a female archer
Islam Expansion and the Arabs
  • Most significant event in Libya’s history was during the Middle Ages, when Islam was introduced.
  • In A.D. 632, the prophet Muhammad died, and his disciples had been converting most of the Arabian Peninsula to the new monotheistic religion of Islam; where all pay tribute to one god, Allah, and are collectively called Muslims.
  • Arab armies had been conquering many lands, converting their conquered people to Islam, and were now heading westward into North Africa.
  • By 644, Cyrenaica and Tripolitania were captured and had complete Arab control.
  • In 712, Andulusia, Maghrib (including Tripolitania) and Cyrenaica were organized politically and religiously by the Umayyad caliph of Damascus.
  • Arabs ruled North Africa through Sharia law, which is based off of the Quran.
  • After Arab conquest, North Africa was controlled by amirs, also known as commanders, who enforced a bureaucracy, a military caste system, and an organization of social classes.
  • Soon, Christian communities started to diminish, as Islam started to dominate.

Changes in Traditional Libya
  • Cities have instigated the most social change in Libya
  • Before the 1920’s, cities were organized into quarters, each including a number of families who had lived in that place for many generations; different social classes were grouped together, although the wealthy and the nobles were granted leadership of the quarter.
  • Weddings have been a strong tradition in Libya that usually last three to five days, and festive food is served such as mint tea, baklava, and cookies.
  • Most Libyans celebrate Ramadan, another long tradition due to the large Muslim population
  • Europeans arrived and built new cities with private lawns, separate houses, and wide roads, disrupting the traditional housing system of the Libyans
  • Libyans began to dress and behave like Europeans and used many manufactured European products.
  • Gradually, the old quarters were neglected and became a shelter for poor communities.
  • During the twentieth century, schools, hospitals, and electricity were introduced to Libyan society, as a way of modernizing and developing the country.DownloadedFile-4.jpegLibyan food
Libya and the Italians
Brief History
wikipedia. org
"Italian Libya was formed from the colonies of Cyrenaica and Tripolitania which were taken by Italy from the Ottoman Empire in 1912 after the Italo-Turkish War of 1911 to 1912. Both Cyrenaica and Tripolitania, along with Fezzan, were merged into Italian Libya in 1934.
The colony expanded after concessions were made from the British colony of Sudan and a territorial agreement with Egypt. The Kingdom of Italy at the 1919 Paris "Conference of Peace" did not receive anything of the German colonies, but as a compensation was given from Great Britain the Oltre Giuba and France agreed to give some Saharan territories to the Italian Libya. After many discussions during the 1920s, it was only until 1935 that the Mussolini-Laval agreement was reached and Italy received the Aouzou strip that was added to Libya, but this agreement was not ratified later by France.
Libya was lost as a colony in early 1943 when it was occupied by the Allied powers near the end of the North African Campaign."
  • The Italians occupied Libya for thirty years from 1911-1940
  • In that time, they established a public works system, 400km of new railroads, 4,000 km of new roads, and Libya's economy flourished
  • Italian farmers were able to farm Libya's land that had been swallowed by the harsh deserts and geographical features
  • Archaeology flourished, and Libya became a haven for Italian immigrants
  • In 1938, the governor of Libya, Italo Balbo, had 20,000 Italian farmers cultivate Libya's land, and created 26 new villages that were situated mostly in the heart of Cyrenaica
  • 10 villages were created in 1939 for the Arabs of Libya and the Berbers. Each village had their own mosque, school, cinema, sports center, and hospital
  • In return for Italy advancing and colonizing Libya, in World War II, the Libyans went on the side of the Italians. The Italians got defeated and Libya began to spiral downhill
Islam in Modern Libya
  • Qadhafi, the president of Libya for over 40 years, is a conservative, orthodox Muslim whose goal is to spread Islam and have all Libyans worship and pay tribute to Muhammad.
  • Qadhafi strongly believes that after the Europeans came to Libya and reshaped Muslim society, that the purity of Islam has been lost, and Islam is not as exalted as it once was.
  • As president, Qadhafi reinforced Sharia law as the base for the Libyan governmental and legal system and has made the use of mosques have a more religious impact on society
  • Qadhafi’s ultimate goal however is to establish Islam as the religion of the world, and for all to unite as an Arab nation.
  • Qadhafi and his government sponsor Islamic institutions, educational centers, and together they created the Islamic Call Society which supports Islam abroad and provides aid for Muslims everywhere.DownloadedFile-3.jpegmosque in Libya

Libya and the United States
  • 1980’s, Qadhafi realized the U.S. was the dominant leader of the Western World
  • Tired to influence U.S. with Libya’s bountiful oil companies with large amounts of highly wanted petroleum.
  • U.S. and Libya have had conflicts over territorial waters, such as the Gulf of Sidra, and policies on the importation and exportation of oil resources.
  • Reagan decided to take action against Libya in 1981 and expelled 27 Libyan diplomats because they supported international terrorism.
  • U.S. does not have a good relationship with Libya. However, Obama is supporting Libya’s attempts for democracy and overthrowing Qadhafi, their dictator.

Libya: Forget that new relationship
(from the Boston Globe)
"Whatever ambivalence may have colored President Obama's cautious response to uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Bahrain, he should offer full-throated support for Libyans who are risking their lives to shake off Moammar Khadafy. Sad to say, Washington and certain European governments, avidly pursuing oil contracts and business deals, have curried favor with a "reformed" Khadafy over the past few years. But despite this new relationship, the United States shouldn't hesitate to stand with protesters and against Khadafy's all but unchanged regime.
Though the United States has limited influence over the outcome, it can push for protection of the Libyan protesters-who have been bombed by fighter jets and strafed by helicopter gunships-and to encourage Khadafy's military chiefs to turn against him. President Obama should support a UN Security Council resolution to extend a no-fly zone over the eaastern region of Libya, which is now our of Khadafy's control. And he should back a UN warning of indictments for anyone in Khadafy's ruling clique who participates in crimes against humanity. Khadafy has a history of terroism abroad and repression at home, and the lobbyists whom he's hired have largely failed to transform his image. He is still despised, rightly, for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. Other Arab leaders still scorn him for his rants at Arab League summits. And now the world can see how desperate his own people are to get free of him. video of conlfict in Libya today
Libya is a unique country with a rich culture of Islamic practices and beliefs that has continued to shape its society today. Libya has been influenced by the Arabs, Greeks, and the Italians who have each changed Libyan dress, architecture, transportation systems, philosophy, education, and introducing new technological devices to help develop them into a more modern state. Islam was first introduced in Libya after the death of Muhammad, as his followers spread his message across the world through strong Arab armies. As other outside civilizations influenced Libya, Islam may have been pushed aside at times, but their president, Khadafy, who has ruled for the past forty years, has reinforced the practices and importance of Islam through Sharia Law, mosques, and an Islamic calendar system. Although Libya has geographical features that prove to have more disadvantages than advantages, they have been able to make their money through their bountiful sources of petroleum and other valuable oils, rather than agriculture. Even today, Libya is still developing, and they are creating a revolution that could possibly lead to a civil war, as its citizens fight for democracy against their dictator Khadafy. The United States and Libya may have not had a good relationship in the past, due to claims over territorial waters and oil resources, but due to Libya's want for a change in their society, we may be able to glue back the pieces to a solid and friendly relationship. Libya's changes in its society has not come from natural disasters, or invasions as much, but rather the influence of other civilizations and the Libyan citizens want for a fair and stable society. Bibliographywww.temehu.orgwww.wikipedia.comwww.libyana.org Globe