Arabic definite article "the"; connotes family or group to
which an individual belongs or region of origin.
Title of an independent chieftain. Literally, "commander."
Also seen as emir.
- Aouzou Strip
A rectangle of territory in northern Chad 100 kilometers
wide and 1000 kilometers long, paralleling Libya's southern
border. Libya first occupied the strip in 1973 and annexed
it in 1976. It is said to contain valuable minerals, including
- Arab Socialist Union
ASU. The mass organization created in 1971 to provide a framework
for popular participation and representation within the political
system. Reorganized in 1975 to include the local-level Basic
Popular Congresses (BPCs) and the intermediates-level Municipal
Popular Congresses, (MPCs) both of which send delegated to
the national General People's Congress (GPC--q.v.);
organization was disbanded in January 1976. Not to be confused
with the Egyptian political organization of the same name.
Arabic for a tribe, people, or nation; plural of ibn,
son of a person
Quality of blessedness or grace found characteristically
in marabouts (q.v.) and other divinely favored persons.
Also, charisma that endows the blessed with a special capacity
- barrels per day
Production of crude oil and petroleum products is frequently
measured in barrels per day and often abbreviated bpd or bd.
A barrel is a volume measure of 42 United States gallons.
Conversion of barrels to tons depends on the density of the
specific product. About 17.3 barrels of average crude oil
weigh one ton. Light products such as gasoline and kerosine
would average close to eight barrels per ton.
a member of the Baath (Arab Socialist Resurrection Party),
a pan-Arab party established in Damascus in the 1940s by Michel
Aflaq and Salah ad Din al Bitar.
In Islamic tradition, the Prophet Muhammad's successor as
spiritual and temporal leader of the Islamic community. Literally,
- Cultural Revolution
The basic component of the Popular Revolution proclaimed
on April 15, 1973. Comprising five "points" or policies, it
aimed at effacing foreign cultural influence and reviving
Libya's Arab and Islamic heritage.
Largest of Libya's three historic regions, occupying the
eastern half of the country. Name derived from the ancient
Greek city-state, Cyrene; in Arabic known as Barqu.
Originally a junior officer commanding a company of janissaries
(q.v.). After 1611 the title of the head of government
in Tripolitania (q.v.). Literally, "maternal uncle."
Council of senior military officers during the Ottoman period.
One of Libya's three historic regions, located in the southwestern
part of the country.
- fiscal year (FY)
Since 1974 the calendar year before that date the fiscal
year commenced on April 1.
- Free Officers Movement
Secret organization of junior Libyan army officers and enlisted
men responsible for carrying out the September 1, 1969, coup
against the monarchy.
Front de Libération Nationale du Tchad (Front for the National
Liberation of Chad). Muslim insurgent movement supported by
Gross National Product. A value measure of the flow of domestic
goods and services produced by an economy over a period of
time, such as a year. Only output values of goods for final
consumption and investment are included because the values
of primary and intermediate production are assumed to be included
in final prices. GDP is sometimes aggregated and shown at
market prices, meaning that indirect taxes and subsidies are
included; when these have been eliminated, the result is GDP
at factor cost. The word gross indicates that deductions
for depreciation of physical assests have not been made. See
- General People's Committee
Name given the cabinet (formerly the Council of Ministers)
in March 1977.
Gross National Product. The gross domestic product (q.v.)
plus net income or loss stemming from transactions with foreign
countries. GNP is the broadcast measurement of the output
of goods and services by an economy. It can be calculated
at market prices, which include indirect taxes and subsidies.
Because indirect taxes and subsidies are only transfer payments,
GNP is often calculated at factor cost by removing indirect
taxes and subsidies.
General People's Congress. Body combining executive and legislative
functions that became the formal supreme organ of government
in March 1977.
- Green Book
Muammar al Qadhafi's ideological testament, containing his
political, economic, and social thought, revolutionary precepts,
and definition of "Arab socialism." The first volume was published
in 1976 and the second in 1978.
Islamic religious endowment or trust (usually real estate)
used to support mosques, schools, and charitable works. Sometimes
seen as habous or hubus; occurs as waqf
outside the Maghrib (q.v.).
Literally, "speech, prophetic tradition." Islamic writings
containing the sayings and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad
as recalled by those who knew him during his life.
Literally, "son of"; used before or as part of proper name
to indicate patrilineal descent. Also seen as bin
Professed members of a religious order resident in a zawiya
(q.v.). Usually translated as "brothers."
In general, an Islamic leader who is a recognized authority
on Islamic theology and law; also the prayer leader of a mosque.
The term is used to designate the leader of the Islamic community
in a particular locale.
- International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Established along with the World Bank (q.v.) in
1945, the IMF is a specialized agency affiliated with the
United Nations and is responsible for stabilizing international
exchange rates and payments. The main business of the IMF
is the provision of loans to its members (including industrialized
and developing countries) when they experience balance of
payments difficulties. These loans frequently carry conditions
that require substantial internal economic adjustments by
the recipients, most of which are developing countries.
Newly coined Arabic work having no official translation but
unofficially translated to mean "state of the masses," "people's
authority," or "people's power." On March 2, 1977, Libya officially
became the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.
Members of an elite Ottoman military corps; in Tripolitania
(q.v.), recruited from among Turkish peasants committed
to a life of service. From the Turkish yeniceri,
or "new soldier."
According to Islamic doctrine, the permanent struggle to
establish the law of God on earth, often interpreted to mean
In Tripolitania (q.v.), a distinct caste of mixed Turkish
and Arab parentage. Literally, "sons of servants" or "sons
of slaves." Adjectival form is khoulougli. Various
transliterations are found.
Libyan dinar. Unit of currency since September 1, 1971, replacing
the Libyan pound. At the beginning of 1987 LD1 was valued
at US$3.38; reciprocal exchange rate approximately LD0.29
per US$1. The rate of exchange has been stable since February
1973. The Libyan dinar is divided into 1,000 dirhams.
The western Islamic world (northwest Africa); distinguished
from the Mashriq (q.v.), or eastern Islamic world
(the Middle East). Traditionally includes Morocco, Algeria,
Tunisia, and Tripolitania (q.v.). Literally, "the
time or place of the sunset--the west." For its Arab conquerors,
the region was the "island of the west" (jazirat al maghrib),
the land between the "sea of sand" (Sahara) and the Mediterranean
Sea. Also transliterated as Maghreb.
According to the Islamic tradition, the messianic guide who
will rise up to lead the faithful to salvation in anticipation
of the last day. Historically a religious leader who is recognized
as the Mahdi of tradition by his followers and assumes a messianic
role in order to unify Islam and institute a reign of virtue.
Literally, the "enlightened" or "divinely guided one."
In North Africa a holy man and teacher venerated locally
and believed to be touched by divine grace, or baraka
(q.v.), which sometimes conferred the right to rule
as well. Frequently called upon to arbitrate tribal disputes,
the marabout was not usually a member of the ulama (q.v.).
Transliteration of al murabutun (those who have made
a religious retreat); popularly called rijal al bilad
(men of the soil, earth, or countryside).
Eastern Islamic world, as distinct from the Maghrib (q.v.).
Also transliterated as Machrek.
Classical name for the ancient Berber kingdom in the northwest
African and Roman provinces that succeeded it. Cited in some
sources as Mauritania but not to be confused with the modern
Islamic Republic of Mauritania.
Arabic for town or city; used in North Africa to refer to
the old center part of a city.
In Tripolitania (q.v.), an urban Arab during the
dynastic and Ottoman periods. The term Arab was reserved
specifically for the beduins.
Refers specifically to the cultural attributes common to
Muslim Spain and the Maghrib after the twelfth century.
- muhafazaat (sing., muhafazat)
Governorates into which Libya's three traditional regions
were divided in 1963. Each was headed by a governor (muhafiz).
The muhafazat were abolished in 1975.
Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries. Coordinates
petroleum policies of major oil-producing Arab states. In
early 1987 membership included Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq,
Kuwait, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and the United
Organization of African Unity.
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Coordinates
petroleum policies of thirteen major oil-producing countries.
In early 1987 members included Algeria, Ecuador, Gabon, Indonesia,
Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the
United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.
Ottoman provincial governor or military commander. In Tripolitania
(q.v.), the title of the regent representing the
Frente Popular por la Liberación de Saguia el Hamra y Río
de Oro (Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el Hamra
and Rio de Oro). Western Sahara independence movement.
- qadi (pl., qudah)
Islamic judge who presides over sharia (q.v.) court.
Islamic scriptures believed by Muslims to be God's (Allah's)
revelation to the Prophet Muhammad. Derived from the Arabic
verb qaraa (to recite or to read). Commonly written
Revolutionary Command Council. Supreme organ of the revolutionary
regime from September 1969 to 1977.
- Revolutionary Committees
Unofficial watchdog organizations whose members tended to
be zealots devoted to Qadhafi and his teachings. First instituted
in November 1977 to supervise the Basic People's Congresses
and to fight bureaucracy, they have steadily grown more powerful.
For example, their members play a large role in selecting
delegates to the General People's Congress.
Literally, "testimony." Islamic profession of faith: "There
is no god but God (Allah), and Muhammad is His Prophet."
Traditional code of Islamic law, both civil and criminal,
based in part on the Quran (q.v.). Also drawn from
the hadith (q.v.); the consensus of Islamic belief
(ijma; i.e., concensus of the authorities on a legal
question); and analogy (qiyas; i.e., an elaboration
of the intent of law).
Tribal leader; also seen as sheik or sheikh.
The smaller of the two great divisions of Islam. Literally,
"party" from Shiat Ali (Party of Ali). Adherents
are referred to as Shias; adjectival form is Shia. According
to the Shias, the Quran (q.v.) is not a closed body
of revelation but is open to further elaboration by inspired
- shurfa (sing., sharif)
In strict usage, descendants of the Prophet Muhammad through
his daughter, Fatima; broadly, persons or groups having noble
status. Also transliterated as ashraf. Singular form is used
as a title.
- the Sudan
Geographical region stretching across Africa from Cape Verde
on the Atlantic coast to the Red Sea between 8o
and 16o north latitude; characterized by savanna
and semiarid steppe. Term derived from Arabic bilad as
sudan (literally, "country of the blacks"). Not to be
confused with the Republic of Sudan.
Title of the Almoravid, Hafsid, and Ottoman overlords of
Libya. Considered the ultimate secular title for a Muslim
Body of customs and practices based on the Prophet Muhammad's
words and deeds as found in the Quran (q.v.) and
the hadith (q.v.), which serve as guides to proper
behavior for Muslims.
The larger of the two great divisions of Islam. The Sunni
consider themselves the orthodox adherents of the sunna (q.v.).
Traditional North African bazaarlike open-air market.
- Third International Theory
Major tenet of Qadhafi's revolutionary ideology, which purports
to offer nonaligned states what is regarded as the Third World
political, economic, and social alternatives to Western capitalism
and East European communism. Frequently seen as the Third
Universal Theory, or simply the Third Theory.
Most populous of Libya's three historic regions, situated
in the northwestern part of the country. Name derived from
Tripolis (Three Cities).
Collective term for Muslim religious scholars (sing., alim)
learned in the Quran (q.v.) and responsible for interpreting
and elaborating on the shaira (q.v.). Derived from
Arabic verb alama (to know).
Administrative division of the Ottoman Empire, governed by
a wali (q.v.).
Governor general of a vilayet (q.v.).
- World Bank
Informal name used to designate a group of three affiliated
international institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction
and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association
(IDA), and the International Fiance Corporation (IFC). The
IBRD, established in 1945, has the primary purpose of providing
loans to developing countries for productive pfojects. The
IDA, a legally separate loan fund but administered by the
staff of the IBRD, was set up in 1960 to furnish credits to
the poorest devloping countries on much easier terms than
those of conventional IBRD loans. The IFC, founded in 1956,
supplements the activities of the IBRD through loans and assistance
designed specifically to encourage the growth of productive
private enterprises in the less developed countries. The president
and certain senior of the IBRD hold the same positions in
the IFC. The three institutions are owned by the governments
of the countries that subscribe their capital. To participate
in the World Bank group, member states must first belong to
the International Monetary Fund (IMF--q.v.).
- zawiya (pl. zawaayaa)
Lodge containing mosque, school, and quarters for the ikhwan
(q.v.) of a religious order.