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Tripoli, Libya

Tripoli is the joint capital city of Libya along with Benghazi. It is also known in Arabic as Tarabulus Al-Gharb, which translates into 'The Western Tripoli.' It is located in the northwestern part of the country on the Mediterranean coast.

Tripoli, and the area around it has had a long and interesting history. Known as Oea in olden times, Tripoli formed the Tripolitania or African Tripolis along the other cities of Sabratha and Leptis Magna. While it was founded by the Phoenicians, Tripoli came under the control of the Romans (146BC-450AD), Vandals (5th century AD), Byzantines (6th century), Arabs (7th century till 16th century), Sicilian Normans (1145-1158), Spanish (1510 onwards), Turks (1551 onwards). Finally, in the 20th century, it was first under Italian control and then under British influence. Finally Libya gained independence in 1951.

The city has distinct old and new quarters. The old quarters - the medina - still maintains its charm, and numerous historical structures have survived, some having been renovated, and some are in need of it. Important historical structures include the Marcus Aurelius triumphal arch (2nd century AD), mosques of Gurgi and Karamanli, and En-Naqah Mosque (camel mosque). The new city includes most of the modern official buildings and institutions including the former royal palace, and Al-Fateh University among others.

Tripoli is Libya's largest city and the seat of the administration. It has a population of about 1.5 million. It is a major sea port and there are many industries operating in the region including canneries, tanning, cigarette and carpet making. Also, agricultural products like olives, vegetables, tobacco, grains and citrus fruits are produced.

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