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الجماهيرية العربية الليبية الشعبية الإشتراكية
al-Jamāhīrīyah al-cArabīya al-Lībīyah ash-Shacbīyah al-Ishtirākīyah
(In Detail)
Official languageArabic
Brother Leader of the RevolutionMoammar Al Qadhafi
PresidentZentani Muhammad az-Zentani
- Total
Ranked 16th
1,759,540 km²
 - Total (Year)
 - Density
Ranked 103rd
CurrencyLibyan dinar
Time zoneUTC +3
 - Declared
(From Italy)
December 24, 1951
National anthemAllahu Akbar
Calling Code218

The Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya or Libya (Arabic: ليبيا) is a country in North Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, located between Egypt and Tunisia . Its capital city is Tripoli.

(Note that in ancient Greece, Libya is used in a broader meaning, encompassing all of North Africa west of Egypt. The three traditional parts of the country are Tripolitania, Fezzan and the Cyrenaica.) In Greek mythology, Dido came from Libya.


Main article: History of Libya

Tripoli and Cyrenaica were Roman colonies; and were conquered by Arab Muslims in the 7th century. By the 19th century it was an increasingly independent Ottoman province; and came under the control of Italy in 1911.

After the Second World War Libya was granted independence, as a condition of the Allied peace treaty with Italy. Since 1969 Libya has been ruled by Colonel Moammar Al Qadhafi, who came to power in a coup and deposed the Libyan monarchy.

The United Nations imposed sanctions against Libya in 1992 following the Pan Am Flight 103 Lockerbie disaster. The sanctions were lifted on September 12, 2003, after Libya agreed to accept responsibility and make payment of US$2.7 billion to the families of those who died in the bombing.


Main article: Politics of Libya

The Libyan system of government is quite unusual. Qadhafi claims that Libya is a "pure socialist state", and as such the formal institutions of government are purposely quite vague. Qadhafi himself is not even technically the "President" or "Prime Minister" of the country, and instead describes himself as a sort of "guide" to help the Libyan people in socialism. Libya has no constitution, and the laws of the land come from Islamic law, and Qadhafi's "Green Book" of political philosophy.

In practice, however, Libya is essentially a dictatorship, with Qadhafi ruling by decree, assisted by a small clique of military and political officials. Libya has been accused of widespread human rights abuses, and state sponsored terrorism.

On December 19, 2003, Libya admitted having had a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programme and simultaneously announced its intention to end it and dismantle all existing WMD to be verified by unconditional inspections. Libya also agreed to limit its long range missiles to 300 km. The announcement came after clandestine diplomatic negotiations with the United Kingdom and United States since March 2003.

Miscellaneous topics

Some of the material in this article was taken from the CIA World Factbook 2000 and the U.S. Department of State website.

In Greek mythology, Libya was a daughter of Memphis and Epaphus. Poseidon loved her. The country, Libya, described above, was named after her.