Libya

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Libya, officially the State of Libya is a country in North Africa.

During the Second World War, Libya was an area of warfare in the North African Campaign. Libya became independent as a kingdom in 1951. A military coup in 1969 overthrew King Idris I. The "bloodless"[1] coup leader Muammar Gaddafi ruled the country from 1969 and the Libyan Cultural Revolution in 1973 until he was overthrown and killed in the 2011 Libyan Civil War. Following this overthrow, two authorities initially claimed to govern Libya: the House of Representatives in Tobruk and the 2014 General National Congress (GNC) in Tripoli which considered itself the continuation of the General National Congress, elected in 2012.[2][3] After UN-led peace talks between the Tobruk and Tripoli governments,[4] a unified interim UN-backed Government of National Accord was established in 2015[5] and the GNC disbanded to support it.[6] A second civil war began in 2014, with parts of Libya split between the Tobruk and Tripoli-based governments as well as various tribal and Islamist militias.[7] However, the two main warring sides signed a permanent ceasefire on 23 October 2020.

Libya has upcoming elections in 2011.[8]

Libya is a member of the United Nations (since 1955), the Non-Aligned Movement, the Arab League, OIC and OPEC. The country's official religion is Islam, with 96.6% of the Libyan population being Sunni Muslims.

Conditions of Libya under Gaddafi

Gaddafi sought to transform Libya into a new socialist state called a Jamahiriya ("state of the masses") in 1977. Libya was heralded by foreign press as "the Switzerland of Africa"[9] and was a popular destination for migrant workers seeking a strong economy to participate in.[10] The following is a list of some basic facts about Libya under Gaddafi.[11]

  • No electricity bills in Libya; free electricity for all its citizens.
  • There was no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans given to all its citizens at 0% interest by law.
  • If a Libyan is unable to find employment after graduation, the state would  pay the average salary of the profession as if he or she is employed until employment is found.
  • Should Libyans want to take up a farming career, they receive farm land, a house, equipment, seed and livestock to kick start their farms – this was all for free.
  • Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Man-Made River project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.
  • A home was considered a human right in Libya. (In Qaddafi’s Green Book it states: “The house is a basic need of both the individual and the family, therefore it should not be owned by others.”)
  • All newlyweds in Libya would receive 60,000 Dinar (US$ 50,000 ) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start a family.
  • A portion of Libyan oil sales is or was credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.
  • A mother who gives birth to a child would receive US $5,000.
  • When a Libyan buys a car, the government would subsidize 50% of the price.
  • Fuel subsidies: The price of petrol in Libya was $0.14 per liter.
  • Food subsidies: For $ 0.15, a Libyan local could  purchase 40 loaves of bread.
  • Education and medical treatments was all free in Libya. Libya can boast one of the finest health care systems in the Arab and African World. All people have access to doctors, hospitals, clinics and medicines, completely free of charge.
  • If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they need in Libya, the government would fund  them to go abroad for it – not only free but they get US $2,300/month accommodation and car allowance.
  • 25% of Libyans have a university degree.
  • Before Gaddafi only 25% of Libyans were literate. Today the figure is 87%.
  • Libya had no external debt and its reserves amount to $150 billion – though much of this is now frozen globally.

References