chapter  6
23 Pages

The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

ByJ.S. Birks, C.A. Sinclair

The area has been successively occupied by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Spaniards, Turks and, most recently, the Italians. Libya’s transformation of economy and society is continuing rapidly, with concomitant stresses within society. Examination of the Libyan economy shows it to be surprisingly conventional, especially similar in structure and direction to the economy of Saudi Arabia, despite the period of time for which the country has been directed by the Revolutionary Command Council. Libya therefore experienced a colonial, rather than an Arab peninsula pattern of educational development prior to independence. Despite the emphasis of education being on the primary level, in 1952 over 90 per cent of the Libyan population was illiterate. The area has been successively occupied by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Spaniards, Turks and, most recently, the Italians. On 3 March 1977, the Libyan Arab Republic became the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, meaning ‘State of the Masses’, as distinct from a Republic.