Showing posts with label Libya. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Libya. Show all posts

Thursday, 16 April 2015

The Lakes of Ubari Sand Sea

The Ubari Sand Sea is a widespread area of towering sand dunes in the Fezzan region of south-western Libya. However, around 200,000 years ago, this was an extremely wet and fertile region with plenty of rainfall and flowing rivers. These rivers fed a gigantic lake, even the size of Czech Republic, in the Fezzan basin called Lake Megafezzan. Well, during the humid temperature the lake stretched to a maximum size of 120,000 square kilometers. As the climate changes, it cause the region, a part of Sahara, to slowly dry up and between 3,000 to 5,000 years ago. But the lake evaporated away into thin air. Hints of this great lake still exist nowadays in the form of micro lakes dispersed among the towering dunes like wet patches in the desert. Presently there’re about 20 lakes in the Ubari Sand Sea - beautiful palm-fringed oases that appear like anomalies in the harsh desert environment. Among the most attractive of the lakes are Gaberoun and Umm al-Maa (the Mother of Water). It is located besides the ruins of the old village; Gaberoun is the place, which one tourist mostly visits. There is a rudimentary tourist camp on the shore, including an open patio, sleeping huts, and a souvenir shop. There’re two more lovely lakes – “Umm al-H'isan” (the Mother of the Horse), also spelt as Oum El Hassan, which is located north of Gaberoun; and another one at Tarhouna, about 11km from Umm al-H'isan. These are, however, rarely visited by tourists.

The Ubari lakes are very salty; due to the fact that these lakes are being incessantly evaporated and have no rivers replenishing them (Libya has no persistent rivers that persist year-round. This has caused the dissolved minerals in the lake waters to become concentrated. Some of these lakes are nearly five times saltier than seawater. Some take on blood-red hue from the presence of salt-tolerant algae. Although the Ubari Lakes are not exactly shallow, ranging from 7 to 32 meters in depth, they’re at the risk of drying out. The waters in Sahara’s underground aquifers, that were deposited tens of thousands of years ago in much wetter times, is limited and this is now declining, however thanks to the increasing use of aquifer water by growing human populations. Almost thirty years ago, the Libyan government accepted an ambitious project called “Great Man-Made River”, aimed at drawing water from the aquifers beneath the Fezzan region via a network of underground pipes to make the desert bloom. The project, if successful, will drain these enormous reserves of fresh water in just 50 to 100 years.Source: Amusing Planet

Saturday, 22 February 2014

The Historic Bank Vaults of Libya

One of the finest examples of Berber architecture is “Qasr Al Haj”, situated on the Tripoli-'Aziziya-Al Jawf route in Libya approximately 130 kilometer from Tripoli. Qasr Al Haj actually built with bricks and clay. This circular earth-colored building is uninspired from the outside, with a door that leads to the large courtyard inside, which surrounding are rows of small windows arranged in three stories that looks like open catacombs stacked one on top of another, or a fortified village at best.
Qasr is an Arabic word for “Castle” and Haj meant a pilgrimage. The Haj is the annual pilgrimage undertaken by Muslims to Makkah an obligations that preferably has to be done by all Muslims at least once in their lifetime.
In the 12th century the Qasr is built by Shikh A'ebdella Ben Muhammad Ben Hilal Ghanem. “Qasr Al Haj” was a place where pilgrims who went on the Haj stored their belongings before they went, similar to modern airport locker rooms or bank vaults, so they won’t be weighed down with several belongings during their Haj trip. The statement mentioned by some historians that the Libyans were the first to invent the banking system, and hence you are looking at one of the oldest banks in the world. “Qasr Al Haj” was later used as communal granary and olive oil storage rooms, for villagers who did not have adequate space at home to store these staples.
It is also speculated that the number 114 was used symbolically to reflect the number of Sura in the Qur'an, a view widely accepted by villagers in the region nowadays. Every family had a space in that Qasr where they could save food and grains for safe keeping. Source; Charismatic Planet

Friday, 29 November 2013

Leptis Magna The World’s Most Attractive Roman Ruins of Libya

All throughout Europe, there are a lot of attractive ancient Roman ruins, although they are equally-magnificent and lesser-known ruins on other continents too. A right example of this is Leptis Magna.Which are the remnants of a once-great Roman port city, and is considered to be one of the most impressive and unspoiled Roman ruins in the world? The city ruins are close to the coast in the African country of Libya, approximately 80 miles from its capital, Tripoli.

The city was discovered by the Phoenicians roughly 3000 years ago, and was originally called Lpqy. During the reign of the Roman Emperor Tiberius, it became a thriving trade city. Then, from the year 193 onwards, it became one of Roman Africa’s most high-flying cities. This was because the Roman Emperor at that time, Septimius Severus, was in fact born in Leptis Magna, so he of course favored his home-city over others. Severus enlarged the city, and as a result Leptis Magna enclosed many Roman-inspired buildings; forums, a theatre, public baths, market areas and monuments, to name a few. Ultimately, the city was ransacked by the Vandals, and later by the Berbers.

Byzantine Empire general Flavius Belisarius tried to re-establish it as a provincial Byzantine capital, but the city didn’t get well from the destruction that previous raiders had caused. By the year 650 AD, the city was more often than not abandoned. It is believed Libya isn’t the easiest country to visit due to its political shakiness, but Leptis Magna would surely be a magnificent place to see. Archaeologists have still not done excavating the ruins, so it will also be appealing to see what else ends up being discovered in the future.