Posted on February 17, 2014
It is perhaps hard for Americans to want to celebrate anything about Libya because of the senseless 2012 Benghazi attack that resulted in the deaths of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and one other diplomat. However, we know that the militants who attacked the American consulate did not speak and act for all Libyans, just as the American man who killed former Beatle John Lennon didn't act on behalf of all Americans!
At any rate, this particular national day is called February 17th Revolution, and it commemorates (as you may have already gathered) the start up of the revolution against dictator Muammar Gaddafi on February 17, 2011. Libya celebrates its actual liberation from Gaddafi and his forces on October 23 (2011) and honors those who were killed in the revolution on Martyrs' Day, September 16.
Libya now has an elected government, but there is still a lot of violence between different regional and religious groups, there are still a lot of security issues, there are still bouts of lawlessness.
Basically, you really do not want to do the tourist thing in Libya!
Libya is about the size of Alaska, and the coastal parts along the Mediterranean have a pleasant climate—what is known as a Mediterranean climate (duh!). But the interior of the country does hot and dry to an extreme. For example, in many desert locales in Libya, there is no rain for DECADES! In one town, temperatures of 57.8 degrees C – or 136 degrees F – set the world's record for almost a century (until it was overturned in 2012). And sometimes there are dust storms and sandstorms and a hot, dry sirocco wind that lasts for days.
Some of the nicer things about Libya include beaches along the Mediterranean and Leptis Magna, one the best-preserved Roman ruins.
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