General information on Libya

Information on Libya

The Libyan-Arabian Dschamahirija (Islamist-Socialistic People’s Republic) is located in North Africa, directly at the Mediterranean Sea between Egypt (in the East) and Algeria or Tunisia (in the West). The precise denotation of the regime is socialistic Libyan-Arabian People’s Dschamahirija.

With 1,67 million square kilometer, Libya owns a considerable acreage, which mostly consists of the Sahara Desert. Thus there is hot-dry climate upcountry and moderate Mediterranean climate on shore. For this reason 90% of the population of 6 million live inshore whereas the rest confines themselves in congested areas upcountry or in larger oases in the desert. Furthermore numerous Tuareg and Bedouin tribes live without fixed abode in the desert. The official and commercial language is Arabic, but you can get along well with English and eke out a living with Italian.

Islam, of course, is the religion of Libya, whereas 99% is predominated by Sunnites (moderate Islam) and usually there are absolutely no problems with any form of fundamentalism. I discovered, that most notably Germany enjoys a very good reputation. Whether this reputation is due to economic agreements or a relaxed relationship cannot be said for sure.

The most important holiday is the first of September. On this day the ‘Day of Revolution’ is celebrated everywhere in the country (especially in Tripolis at the “Green Square”).

The current head of state is officially Secretary of the General Public Congress: Zenati Mohamed Al-Zenati. In fact the power lies in the hands of the leader of revolution, Colonel Muammar Al-Gaddafi.

The current head of government is Dr. Al-Baghdadi Ali Al-Mahmudi and state secretary is Abdulrahman Mohamed Shalgam. Libya is member in diverse international organizations: VN, Arab League, African Union (since 2002), OPEC, OAPEC (Organization of Arabian Petroleum Exporting Countries), OIC (Organization for Islamic Conference), IWF, Union of Arab Maghreb, Community of the Sahel-Sahara-States ("Cen-Sad").

Among the most important media in Libya is the national broadcast, television and government-controlled newspapers and by now, the Internet, of course, which plays a more and more significant role.

The economy of Libya earns a gross national product of about 40 billion Euros, which originates to 90% from the exportation of petroleum and natural gas. The rest is earned by different economic industries, amongst others agriculture and also tourism by now. Currency is the Libyan denarius, which appreciated since lifting the embargo. After being faced with ruin because of the international trade embargo, economy recovers little by little. Particularly state-directed economy was eased; hence the possibility of a form of free market economy is now given.

Libya’s capital is Tripolis, which is the area of highest population density (with almost two million people).