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Fascinating facts about Libya

Libya, officially the State of Libya, is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa with a total area of 1,759,540 square km.

The country’s capital is Tripoli which is also the country’s largest city.

Arabic is the official language of the country and Libyan dinar (LYD) is its official currency.

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Thick Tea

Mostly prepared by women, the Libyan tea is very thick as a result of mixing a lot of tea leaves and a high sugar concentration.

Once the two ingredients are mixed and an appropriate amount of water is added, the tea boils for 20 to 30 minutes.

It is served in small glasses accompanied by some bitings.

Oil

The discovery of oil in Libya in the 1950s was a great turnaround for the country which had previously been ranked among the poorest in the world.

According to reports, as of 2010, the country’s annual oil production was 1.65 million barrels per day.

Besides, it is among the 15 most thriving economies in Africa alongside South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, Kenya and Cameroon among others.

The unstable political environment of the country in the recent past led to fluctuations in its oil price globally.

Desert

The Libyan Desert comprises the eastern and northern parts of the Sahara Desert, in fact, it is the part of the Sahara Desert found in the state of Libya.

The desert is known for being the harshest, driest, and most remote region of the Sahara with day temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius.

This region may go for decades without rain.

Food importation

Libya imports most of the food consumed by its people due to its inability to locally produce the same thanks to the extensive Sahara desert which means it receives very low precipitation.

It also possesses poor soil and climate which are both limitations to food production.

A major attempt made by former Libyan President Gaddafi to reverse the situation was the financing of the Great Manmade River Project that was built for irrigation of the farming lands.

The project turned out to be the world’s largest irrigation project comprising of 1750 miles of an underground network of water pipes.

Muammar Gaddafi

Gaddafi was famously known for being a dictatorial leader Photo: Courtesy

Muammar Gaddafi seized power in 1969 and ruled Libya for 42 years.

As a result, he became one of the longest-serving African and world national Heads of States.

He was famously known for being a dictatorial leader.

His reign ended in 2011 when he was toppled from the government, the militia tracked him down in his hometown where he had sought refuge and assassinated him.

King

In Libya’s entire history, it only had one King. King Idris reigned from 1951 until he was overthrown by Colonel Gaddafi l in 1969.

On December 24, 1951, Libya became a Constitutional hereditary monarchy under King Idris of the Sanusi Order after gaining independence.

In 1959, the discovery of oil turned its fortunes and by 1969, Libya had registered positive economic prospects.

However, there was growing discontent due to the concentration of oil proceeds in the hands of Idris dynasty.

This led to a bloodless military coup headed by Colonel Gaddafi. The coup took place while Idris had traveled abroad.

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Languages

In Libya, Arabic is the official language of the country and several varieties of the language are spoken throughout the country.

English, Italian, and French are popular foreign languages spoken in Libya.

Several minority languages like Berber, Domari, and Tedaga are also spoken in Libya.

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