General facts


OFFICIAL NAME : Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
CAPITAL : Tripoli

MAJOR CITIES : Benghazi , Sirt, Misrata & Sabha
AREA : 1,759,540 Sq Km

LOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Libya is located along the Mediterranean coast of North Africa . It is bound by Tunisia to the northwest, Algeria to the west, Niger to the southwest, Chad to the south, Sudan to the southeast, Egypt to the east and the Mediterranean Sea to the north.

The principal topographical regions are Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan . Around 93% of Libya 's land area is semi desert or comprised of the Sahara Desert . The country is generally low lying with two northern upland areas while to the south the land rises to form the Tibesti and Uweinat Massifs. The country has no permanent rivers, although water courses known as wadis flow during rains.

CLIMATE: Libya has two climatic zones.

A Mediterranean climate along the coast and the northern areas which is generally characterized by warm dry summers with cold winters and a variable precipitation up to 600 mm (24 inches) between October and March.

A hot and dry desert climate in the south with rainfall seldom exceeding 500 mm (19 inches) annually. The prevailing winds are from the north and east between May and October as well as the north and west between November and April. Average temperature ranges in Tripoli are from 8 to 16 degrees Celsius (46 to 61 degrees Fahrenheit) in January to 22 to 30 degrees Celsius (72 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit) in August.

PEOPLE: Around 89% of the population is of mixed Arab-Berber origin. The remainders are comprised of ethnic minorities of Berber, Negroes or Harratins and Tebous. In addition, there are small ethnic alien numbers of Egyptians, Italians, Greeks, Cretans, Maltese, Tunisians and Armenians.

RELIGIONS: The official religion is Islam with 97% of the population Sunni Muslims while Jews and Christians represent less than 1% of the population.

LANGUAGES: The official language is Arabic with the different dialects for the Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica topographical regions. Other minority languages include Berber and the Tamohek dialect of Berber.




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