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The flag above represented the Kingdom of Libya from Independence in 1951 until the 19969 coup d’etat that brought Muammar al-Gaddafi to power. Upon the demise of Gaddafi in 2011, this same flag was restored to represent the Republic of Libya.

The images above are from banknotes of our country. Select an image for its story.

The land is old, truly old. In olden days, the world was considered as eruba, the land upon which the sun sets, Europe, asusa, the land upon which the sun rises, Asia, and, libya. Libya was the vast unknown territory south of the Great Sea, around which was civilization.1

Tripoli is the capital city and figures prominently in history.2

Roman Libya…

Islamic Libya…

Ottoman Libya…

The European colonial era…

The European colonial era for Libya extended from 1910 when Italy invaded and commenced its territorial claims, through WW2 during which Britain and France assumed administration, until 1952 when Libya became independent.

The war between Italy and the Ottoman Empire,3 from 1911 to 1912, resulted in Italy’s capture of the provinces that would become known as Italian Libya.4

Libyan infrastructure advanced considerably under Italian rule, particularly in the 1930s, until it was interrupted by war.

From after the Great War to the Arab Spring …

Following the Great War of the 20th century, that which spanned from 1914 to 1945, the recently formed United Nations, the UN, the present manifestation of Woodrow Wilson’s dream of a League of Nations, declared that Libya should be, and shall be, an independent state, prior to January 1, 1952. A constitution was created establishing a federal system with separate parliaments for each of three main constituting regions, British administrated Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, and, French administrated Fezzan. A King was chosen by national assembly in 1950, King Idris I. And so it was that on December 24, 1951, Libya declared its independence; and it was not significantly contested.

Oil exploration and development advanced rapidly under the King’s rule; and Libya’s wealth advanced commensurately.

A small group led by 27 year old Muammar Gaddafi staged a coup d’etat on September 1, 1969, abolished the monarchy and established the Libyan Arab Republic. Gaddafi was an advocate of Pan-Africanism.5 6 7 When neighboring leader, president of Algeria Kwame Nkrumah a leader in the pan-african movement, passed away in 1972, Gaddafi became the most prominent and outspoken leader of the movement, calling for a United States of Africa. In 2008, surrounded by 200 leaders in Africa, Gaddafi was proclaimed King of Kings8in 2008, and died in the uprisings associated with the Arab Spring in 2011.

Since the Arab Spring…

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  1. the latin term libya meant the land west of the Nile. Egypt at that time was considered a part of Asia, asusa, the land upon which the sun rose. Libya was beyond… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libya
  2. including that of the United States. the fight song of the United States Marines: from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli…
  3. presently referred to as the Turco-Italian War, but known in Italy as The Libyan War and in The Turkish as the Tripolitanian War https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italo-Turkish_War
  4. Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica.
  5. pan africanism calls for the unity of continental Africa, based upon the idea that peoples of African descent have common interests.
  6. Britannica, Pan-Africanism, “In its narrowest political manifestation, Pan-Africanists envision a unified African nation where all people of the African diaspora can live.” https://www.britannica.com/topic/Pan-Africanism
  7. Britannica, Pan-Africanism, “In more-general terms, Pan-Africanism is the sentiment that people of African descent have a great deal in common, a fact that deserves notice and even celebration.” https://www.britannica.com/topic/Pan-Africanism
  8. a strong supporter of pan, Gaddafi said, “We want an African military to defend Africa, we want a single African currency, we want one African passport to travel within Africa,” and crowned king of kings in 2008 ceremony in Benghazi http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7588033.stm