Discovering Libya: From Imperialism to the Present

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Libya has been formed by parts of various empires that have remodeled its entire society. As a result, Libyans were unable to achieve a common national identity. Many of the foreigners who dominated Libya include the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Ottomans, Italians, British and French. All of these external powers were able to rule over Libya’s provinces by conducting unfair policies that forced people to avoid looking inward for support in political, social, and economic matters. For instance, Tripoli Tania depended on its neighbors to the north, in Europe when it came to dilemmas dealing with salvation, trade, or culture. The Cyrenaica province received much support from its Egyptian neighbors to the east within the Arab world for trade and cultural situations. The African province of Fezzan looked south to African countries for any economical, political, and military links. These examples from Libya’s past help explain the current mindset of its people. Libyans have historic experience with external domination that to this day has left citizens fearful of being overpowered once again.

Libya underwent continuous changes because different empires invaded the land before fading away. It began with the Phoenician sailors who were amongst the first to visit Libya and trade with the entire fellow Africans while establishing permanent trading centers in Carthage and Tripoli. Carthage therefore was able to become a large, prosperous city where many people found economic stability. Prosperity continued in Carthage until the Phoenicians fought a series of wars against the Romans and were eventually destroyed.

The Romans however had power over only the western coast of Libya, while the Greeks were in charge of the eastern ...

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...pt a philosophy called Pan-Arabism, which is a movement in recent years by countries with Arabic populations that wish to become united. It is ironic however that with all the advancements in Libya made possible by foreign interests; it was the recent oppression by Col. Qadhafi against his own people that has thrown the country into turmoil while leaving its future in doubt.

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