Libya’s north coast is on the Mediterranean and it shares borders with Egypt, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Algeria and Tunisia. The country gained independence from Italy in 1951 and has recently undergone a period of political reconstruction.

With a coastline of over 1,000 miles, Libya’s is the longest of any African country bordering the Mediterranean. Desert covers most of the land and is one of the driest places on earth. Libya’s economy revolves around the energy sector which accounts for 80% of GDP and close to 100% of its exports.

Libya is culturally similar to its North African neighbours − the tradition of folk culture is still alive and well, with troupes performing music and dance at frequent festivals. Libyan cuisine combines a vibrant fusion of Italian, Bedouin and Arab culinary influences.

The Essentials

6 million 
Arabic, Italian and English are understood 
Libyan dinar 
Mediterranean along the coast; dry, extreme desert interior
Largest Cities
Tripoli (cap) pop 1.25m, Benghazi pop 0.7m, Misrata pop 0.35m  
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