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Howard Banwell | profile | all galleries >> Libya >> Tripoli tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Jebel Nafusa | Ghadames | Wadi Al-Hayat | Idehan Murzuq | Idehan Ubari | Tripoli | Cyrenaica | Tripolitania

Tripoli

Tripoli's heart is the vast "revolutionary" Green Square full of traffic during the day, and teeming with strolling families, merchants and entertainers at night. Right by here lay the old Roman settlement of Oea, one of the three ancient cities which (together with Leptis Magna and Sabratha), formed the Roman 'tripolis' that eventually gave the capital its name. On top of this was built the Turkish medina. Here the souks throb with human traffic and the shops and street markets do a roaring trade, run by Arabs, Africans and Egyptians, and probably Lebanese, Tunisians and Moroccans too. In daylight, the Tripoli medina epitomizes much of Libya: very run down and dusty, the buildings decrepit and crumbling, electric wires festooning every facade, and the streets littered with every kind of garbage imaginable. But after dark, it takes on a new life as the hustle and bustle, the brightly lit shops and stalls, and the sociable noise of commerce bring warmth and friendliness to the whole scene. Around the old heart of Tripoli lie the Italianate boulevards of the colonial era, once grand, but today sorely in need of repair and restoration. The rest of the capital consists of sprawling suburbs constructed since the oil began to be exploited in the 1960's. Wherever you go, however, at any hour of day or night, you meet nothing but warm 'salaams', smiles and friendliness. It is by no means a very exciting city overall, but it makes up for it in terms of openness and affability.
The ubiquitous Great Leader
The ubiquitous Great Leader
Corinthia Bab Africa, best hotel in Libya...
Corinthia Bab Africa, best hotel in Libya...
...best building in Libya, actually
...best building in Libya, actually
Revolutionary water...
Revolutionary water...
Everywhere you look...
Everywhere you look...
Gaddafi's VW, used in the 1960's
Gaddafi's VW, used in the 1960's
Jebel Acacus rock art copy, National Museum
Jebel Acacus rock art copy, National Museum
Jebel Acacus rock art copy, National Museum
Jebel Acacus rock art copy, National Museum
Jebel Acacus rock art copy, National Museum
Jebel Acacus rock art copy, National Museum
Roman mosaic, National Museum
Roman mosaic, National Museum
That man again
That man again
Mosque, former cathedral, Algeria Square
Mosque, former cathedral, Algeria Square
Bashir and family, breaking fast
Bashir and family, breaking fast
Ramadan feast
Ramadan feast
Hospitality, Libya style
Hospitality, Libya style
Fish restaurant
Fish restaurant
Souk 'antique' store
Souk 'antique' store
The copper souk
The copper souk
The copper souk
The copper souk
The copper souk
The copper souk
Medina colours
Medina colours
The beautiful Gurgi Mosque
The beautiful Gurgi Mosque
Exquisite tile work, Gurgi Mosque
Exquisite tile work, Gurgi Mosque
Sidi Abdul Wahab Mosque
Sidi Abdul Wahab Mosque
Marcus Aurelius Arch, the Medina
Marcus Aurelius Arch, the Medina
His dream of a united North Africa...
His dream of a united North Africa...