|Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahirya Republic|
|Current President||Col. Muammar Abu
Libya's land is separated into three zones, but is mostly barren and desert -like. In the north there are low-lying coastal plains called Jifarah. To the south of Jifarah there is a mountain zone called Jabal. A desert zone called Fazzan is on a plateau that has some oasis across it.
|Jifarah||Jabal al Akhdar||Fazzan||Gulf of Sidra|
along the north
along the south
|Climate||Libya has a Mediterranean climate along the coast and a dry, extreme desert climate away from the coast.|
|Population||5,248,000 (1995 census)|
|People||At one time the Berbers were part of Libya's main ethnic group, but the people of Libya are now mostly Arabic. There are a few groups of Berbers still in Libya. They live in the Fazzan region of the country. These Berbers are a mixed race of Berber and black Africans. There are many small groups of people who are descendants of Italians, Greeks, Maltese, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Turks, Indians, and Tunisians. Immigrants come into the country to work in agriculture and industry jobs because there is a shortage of those kinds of workers. The people of Libya speak Arabic, Italian, and English.|
|Economy||Until 1958 Libya was a very poor agricultural state. It did not have many ways to raise money for its government. In 1958 oil was discovered in Libya and it changed the economy of Libya into a stronger one. Libya's economy flows with the world petroleum markets and is sometimes strong and sometimes weak. Libya is a large exporter of natural gas. Petroleum sales still are the single major factor that raises money for the Libyan government.|
|Government||Libya is led by a military dictatorship. Its government is called Jamahiriya which is a theory that means -- "a state of the masses". This gives the idea that the people take part in the government, but really the country is in control of a military leader. The laws of Libya are made by following the Italian civil law system and Islamic law. Revolutionary Leader Col. Muammar Abu Minyar al-QADHAFI has been in charge of Libya since September 1, 1969. He is the chief of state, but holds not real official title. The premier is Mubarak al-SHAMEKH and he is in official charge of running the country. The premier has a cabinet of advisors that are elected by the General People's Congress. The unicameral legislative branch of the government makes the laws and is called the General People's Congress. The judicial branch is organized by a supreme court that is in charge of enforcing the laws of Libya.|
For most of the time that Libya has been a country it has been in the control of foreign countries. In 1912 Italy captured North Tripoli during the Turko-Italian War and by 1914 Italy had taken over almost all of Libya. An Italian named Balbo improved Libya by building roads, schools, government buildings, and hospitals. Two areas called Tripolitania and Cyrenaica were put together to form the country of Libya in 1934. Italy sent 40,000 Italian immigrants to form a colony. The Muslim people of Libya was given limited Italian citizenship. During the 1950's Libya was living in poverty and depended on loans from other governments in order to survive. A group of army officers planned a coup and kicked out the ruler of Libya, King Idris. This group of officers was led by Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi who was only 27 years old. In 1951 Libya's government came under rule by the military who set up the Revolutionary Command Council. Qaddafi became the prime minister of Libya, but gave the office of prime minister to Abdul Salam Jallud. Qaddafi did not give up rule over Libya, but is became the president of the military group, Revolutionary Command Council, still in control. Under Qaddifi Libya's government set up laws that were part socialist and part Islamic. Qaddifi was against socialism in the form of communism, but wanted strict laws that would keep western views out of Libya.
|Bibliography and Citations|
|Photographic Citations: Photographic citations can be found by moving your mouse over the picture.|
Electronic Encyclopedia: http://www.encyclopedia.com/articles/07445.html
CIA Factbook: http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/