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current time and date
currency: Dinar (LYD)
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Libya profile
more than 90% of the country is desert or semidesert
Libya history
The Italians supplanted the Ottoman Turks in the area around Tripoli in 1911 and did not relinquish their hold until 1943 when defeated in World War II. Libya then passed to UN administration and achieved independence in 1951. Following a 1969 military coup, Col. Muammar Abu Minyar al-QADHAFI began to espouse his political system, the Third Universal Theory. The system was a combination of socialism and Islam derived in part from tribal practices and was supposed to be implemented by the Libyan people themselves in a unique form of "direct democracy." QADHAFI used oil funds during the 1970s and 1980s to promote his ideology outside Libya, supporting subversives and terrorists abroad to hasten the end of Marxism and capitalism. In addition, beginning in 1973, he engaged in military operations in northern Chad's Aozou Strip - to gain access to minerals and to use as a base of influence in Chadian politics - but was forced to retreat in 1987. UN sanctions in 1992 isolated QADHAFI politically following the downing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. During the 1990s, QADHAFI began to rebuild his relationships with Europe. UN sanctions were suspended in April 1999 and finally lifted in September 2003 after Libya accepted responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing. In December 2003, Libya announced that it had agreed to reveal and end its programs to develop weapons of mass destruction and to renounce terrorism. QADHAFI subsequently made significant strides in normalizing relations with Western nations. The US rescinded Libya's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism in June 2006. In August 2008, the US and Libya signed a bilateral comprehensive claims settlement agreement to compensate claimants in both countries who allege injury or death at the hands of the other country, including the Lockerbie bombing, the LaBelle disco bombing, and the UTA 772 bombing. In October 2008, the US Government received $1.5 billion pursuant to the agreement to distribute to US national claimants, and as a result effectively normalized its bilateral relationship with Libya. The two countries then exchanged ambassadors for the first time since 1973 in January 2009. Libya in May 2010 was elected to its first three-year seat on the UN Human Rights Council, prompting protests from international non-governmental organizations and human rights campaigners. Unrest that began in several Near Eastern and North African countries in late December 2010 spread to several Libyan cities in early 2011. In March 2011, a Transitional National Council (TNC) was formed in Benghazi with the stated aim of overthrowing the QADHAFI regime and guiding the country to democracy. In response to QADHAFI's harsh military crackdown on protesters, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1973, which demanded an immediate ceasefire and authorized the international community to establish a no-fly zone over Libya. After several months of see-saw fighting, anti-QADHAFI forces in August 2011 captured the capital, Tripoli. In mid-September, the UN General Assembly voted to recognize the TNC as the legitimate interim governing body of Libya. The TNC on 23 October officially declared the country liberated following the defeat of the last remaining pro-QADHAFI stronghold and QADHAFI's death. In July 2012, Libya held its first post-QADHAFI nationwide election, which resulted in the formation of a 200-member National Congress (NC). In August 2012, the NC elected a congress president and in October, a new prime minister.
interesting Libya facts
Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Libya
Local long form: none
Local short form: Libiya
fun Libya facts for kids
Libya's capital city is Tripoli (Tarabulus)
amazing Libya facts
Libya Constitution:
none
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Libya population growth rate: 2%
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Libya highest point: Bikku Bitti 2,267 m
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Libya lowest point: Sabkhat Ghuzayyil -47 m
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About 1% of Libya's land is arable.
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Libya birth rate is 18 births/1,000 population
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Libya infant mortality rate is 13 deaths/1,000 live births
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Libya fertility rate is 2.09 children born/woman
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Libya climate:
Mediterranean along coast; dry, extreme desert interior
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Top 10 cities of Libya with populations (2012 est.) are:
1. Tripoli: 1,250,000
2. Benghazi: 700,000
3. Misrata: 350,000
4. Bayda: 250,000
5. Zawiya: 200,000
6. Khoms: 201,000
7. Ajdabiya: 134,000
8. Sabha: 130,000
9. Sirte: 128,000
10. Tobruk: 120,000
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Libya ethnic groups:
Berber and Arab - 97%
Other - 3% (includes Greeks, Maltese, Italians, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Turks, Indians, and Tunisians)
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Libya Exports:
crude oil, refined petroleum products, natural gas, chemicals
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Libya Imports:
machinery, semi-finished goods, food, transport equipment, consumer products
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unicameral National Congress (200 seats; 120 individual seats elected from 69 constituencies and 80 party list seats elected from 20 constituencies; member term NA)

Administrative Divisions:
There are 22 districts (shabiyat, singular - shabiyat).
They are:
1. Al Butnan
2. Al Jabal al Akhdar
3. Al Jabal al Gharbi
4. Al Jafarah
5. Al Jufrah
6. Al Kufrah
7. Al Marj
8. Al Marqab
9. Al Wahat
10. An Nuqat al Khams
11. Az Zawiyah
12. Banghazi
13. Darnah
14. Ghat
15. Misratah
16. Murzuq
17. Nalut
18. Sabha
19. Surt
20. Tarabulus
21. Wadi al Hayat
22. Wadi ash Shati
Political parties and leaders:
Al-Watan (Homeland) Party
Justice and Construction Party (JCP) - Muhammad SAWAN
National Front (initially the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, formed in 1981 as a diaspora opposition group);
National Forces Alliance - Mahmoud JIBRIL (includes many political organizations, NGOs, and independents);
Union for the Homeland - Abd al-Rahman al-SUWAYHILI