Libya is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa that is officially known as the State of Libya. In addition to the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad to the south, Niger to the southwest, Algeria to the west, and Tunisia to the northwest are all borders that the country has with other countries. In the eastern Mediterranean, it shares maritime boundaries with Malta, Greece, and Turkey, among other countries. Libya is divided into three historical regions: Tripolitania, Fezzan, and Cyrenaica. Tripolitania is the largest of the three historical divisions. This country, which has an area of almost 700,000 square miles (1.8 million km2), is the fourth-largest country in both Africa and the Arab world, and it is the 16th-largest country in the world. Libya has the tenth-largest proven oil reserves in the world, according to the International Energy Agency. Tripoli, Libya's main city and capital, is located in western Libya and is home to more than three million of the country's seven million inhabitants.
In addition to the Sahara, Libya also has large areas of the Mediterranean and the Mediterranean Sea. Generally speaking, it is a desert landscape with sand and rock outcroppings. In Libya, there are no permanent rivers, and rainfall is inconsistent, making for a poor harvest that is difficult to come by every year. It can be found along the coast in the north of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, where cereal crops are grown alongside olive and date plantations. It can also be found in oases where springs water a small area of fertile land in the midst of the desert's barrenness, where dates and citrus fruits are grown alongside olive and date plantations. However, just as in Algeria, the desert itself has now emerged as a source of prosperity.
|The rising sun creates a dramatic play of light and shadow in Libya|
The slow plodding camel is the most valuable asset of the nomads. He can survive for a long time on the store of water and fat that he has stored within his body while still carrying the nomads and their equipment - the heavy woollen tents, their cooking pots, water-skins, and other implements. The camel, like all desert animals, can survive on the tough, prickly plants of the desert and, in the event of a sandstorm, can protect his eyes, mouth, and nose from the sand by closing them. Natural resources such as oil, natural gas, and iron ore are changing the way people live in the Sahara. New towns are springing up in the midst of the desert to meet the demands of the oilmen who are based there. Homes and shops with air conditioning have been constructed, as have power and water lines, as well as infrastructure for establishing contact with the outside world, such as roads and airports. Arabs in this country can expect to earn good, consistent wages and to enjoy a significantly higher standard of living than they have ever known.
Libya was a leader in North African species conservation, having established the El Kouf protected area in 1975, which was the first of its kind in the region. The fall of Muammar Gaddafi's dictatorship created favourable conditions for widespread poaching: "Even hunting guns were prohibited in Libya prior to Gaddafi's overthrow. The use of weapons of war and sophisticated vehicles in poaching has increased significantly since 2011, with up to 200 gazelle skulls being discovered in vehicles driven by militants who hunt to pass the time since 2011. In addition, we are witnessing the development of hunters who have no relation to the tribes who have traditionally practised the sport. They take down anything and everything they come across, even during the breeding season. Every year, more than 500,000 birds are slaughtered in this manner when protected areas have been stolen by tribal chiefs who have claimed them for their own purposes. The creatures that used to reside there have all vanished, having been hunted when they were edible or released when they were not, as a result of human activity "Khaled Ettaieb, a zoologist, explains why.