Libya is a country located in the North African region. On the north it is being bordered by Mediterranean Sea, on the east by Egypt, on the southeast by Sudan, on the south by Niger and Chad, and on the west by Tunisia and Algeria. It has a total area of 1,759,541 km2 making it as the Africa’s 3rd largest country and 17th in the world by area. Tripoli is the capital and largest city which consists of 1.7 million Libyans out of the total population of 6.4 million. The Fezzan, Cyrenaica and Tripolitania are the country’s traditional parts. The climate in Libya is dessert like and dry but the climate in northern part is mild Mediterranean.
The natives of Libya are mainly combination of Berbers and Arabs. The largest group of foreign residents are Sub-Saharan Africans and North Africans specifically the Egyptians. As of 2011, there were estimated population of 60,000 Bangladeshis, 30,000 Filipino and 30,000 Chinese residing in Libya. Islam is the dominant religion comprising the 97% of the total population and majority of them are Sunni Muslims. There are also small community of Christian and Anglican.
The official language of Libya is Arabic and spoken by 95% of the population although the Modern Standard Arabic is also considered as the official language. The remaining 5% of the population speaks Berber. Some Libyans in big cities also speak English and Italian but Italian are mostly spoken by older generation.
Despite the large area of Libya, the country has small population. There are approximately 140 clans and tribes in Libya. Traditionally, the Libyan Arabs lived in tent and has a nomadic lifestyle but recently they migrated in different cities and towns. That is the reason why the old lifestyle is slowly fading out. Most of the Libyans are occupying jobs in services and industries and a small number are in agriculture.
Government and Politics
During the Libyan civil war in 2011, the political body that represent the Libya by forces of anti-Gaddafi is the NTC or the National Transitional Council. The NTC declared itself as the sole representative of Libya on March 5, 2011. On 2012 of October, 100 countries such as Canada, France, Italy and Germany recognized the power of NTC. Then the United States and the United Nations followed and switched the recognition from the government of Gaddafi to the NTC.
The economy of Libya heavily depends upon the oil. Because of the 1959 discovery of natural gas and oil reserves in the country, the economy was transformed from a poor country to the richest in Africa. Libya was considered one of the world’s wealthiest countries during the early 1980’s. Unfortunately, most of the income has been lost to corruption, waste and the attempt to create mass weapon destruction.
The government had been trying to restore and develop infrastructure projects such as railways, water works and public housing but the current government hold the projects for a while until the expected election in June 2012 when the new government of Libya assumes the office.