Country of the World Libya

About the country Libya, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.




Lay of the Land: The People's Socialist Libyan Arab Public is located on the north central coast of Africa. About 95% of Libya's terrain consists of barren, rock-strewn plains and sandy deserts. A feature of the Libyan climate is the ghibli, a hot, dry, dust-laden southern wind which usually comes in the spring and fall and lasts for one to four days.

Size: 679,358 sq. mi. (1,759,540 sq. km.), more than twice the size of Texas.

Population: 2.7 million, of whom some 450,000 are foreign workers and their families.

Who Rules: A General People's Congress, which chooses "supervisors" who define the laws of the society in the light of traditional Islamic law. A system of People's Committees extends into even the smallest villages, and these local organizations exercise a limited veto power over the actions of government bureaucrats and foreign businessmen.

Who REALLY Rules: The 12-man Revolutionary Command Council, headed by Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi and backed by the rapidly expanding armed forces. All political parties are illegal. Although the regime buys weapons from both France and the Soviet Union, it does not enjoy the firm political support of either, as Qaddafi preaches a brand of Islamic socialism which is hostile to both capitalism and communism. A close trade relationship, however, is developing with Italy, the former colonial power. Among its many foreign investments, the Libyan Arab Foreign Bank counts a 13% share in Fiat, Italy's largest private enterprise, and two of its directors sit on Fiat's board.

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