Theme Week Libya – Misrata

November 24th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General |

Misurata Fountain © vedi Fonte/cc-sa-1.0

Misurata Fountain © vedi Fonte/cc-sa-1.0

Misurata is a city in the Misrata District in northwestern Libya, situated 187 km (116 mi) to the east of Tripoli and 825 km (513 mi) west of Benghazi on the Mediterranean coast near Cape Misurata. With a population of about 281,000, Misrata is the third-largest city in Libya, after Tripoli and Benghazi. It is the capital city of the Misurata District and has been called the trade capital of Libya. The harbor is at Qasr Ahmad. The name “Misurata” derives from the Misrata tribe, a section of the larger Berber Hawwara confederacy, whose homeland in Roman and early Arab times was coastal Tripolitania. The location of the city creates a dualism of sea and sand, bounded by the sea to the north and east and to the south by golden sands dotted with palm and olive trees. Like Benghazi and Tripoli, Misurata is divided into two distinct sections. Older Misurata consists of small stone houses and narrow arched streets while the newer part of the city, which began to develop in the 20th century, consists of modern buildings, homes, factories and industrial areas. Aside from its distinct location, which makes it a centre for the exchange of commodities and materials with the rest of the cities of the country, Misrata has modern infrastructure, including paved roads, electricity and communications.   read more…

Clearwater Beach in Florida

November 24th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General |

© Shannon Leigh Sandusky/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Shannon Leigh Sandusky/cc-by-sa-3.0

Clearwater Beach includes a resort area and a residential area on the Gulf of Mexico in Pinellas County on the west central coast of Florida. Located just west over the Intracoastal Waterway by way of the Clearwater Memorial Causeway from the city of Clearwater, of which it is part. Clearwater Beach is characterized by white sand beaches stretching for 2.5 miles (4 km) along the Gulf and sits on a barrier island. It has a full marina on the Intracoastal Waterway side and is linked on the south by a short bridge to another barrier island called Sand Key, where Sand Key Park is located.   read more…

Theme Week Libya – Kufra oasis group

November 23rd, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General |

Al Jawf © NASA

Al Jawf © NASA

Kufra is a basin and oasis group in the Kufra District of southeastern Cyrenaica in Libya. At the end of nineteenth century Kufra became the center and holy place of the Senussi order. It also played a minor role in the Western Desert Campaign of World War II. It is located in a particularly isolated area, not only because it is in the middle of the Sahara Desert but also because it is surrounded on three sides by depressions which make it dominate the passage in east-west land traffic across the desert. For the colonial Italians, it was also important as a station on the north-south air route to Italian East Africa. These factors, along with Kufra’s dominance of the southeastern Cyrenaica region of Libya, explains the oasis’s strategic importance and why it was a point of conflict during World War II.   read more…

Theme Week Libya – Benghazi

November 22nd, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General |

Benghazi Waterfront © Jaw101ie

Benghazi Waterfront © Jaw101ie

Benghazi is the second most populous city in Libya and the largest in Cyrenaica. A port on the Mediterranean Sea in the Kingdom of Libya, Benghazi had joint-capital status alongside Tripoli, possibly because the King and the Senussi royal family were associated with Cyrenaica rather than Tripolitania. The city was also provisional capital of the National Transitional Council. Benghazi continues to hold institutions and organizations normally associated with a national capital city, such as the country’s parliament, national library, and the headquarters of Libyan Airlines, the national airline, and of the National Oil Corporation. This creates a constant atmosphere of rivalry and sensitivities between Benghazi and Tripoli, and between Cyrenaica and Tripolitania. The population was 670,797 at the 2006 census.   read more…

Portrait: Henry Morrison Flagler

November 22nd, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: Portrait |

Portrait of Henry Morrison Flagler © The Cyclopaedia of American biography, 1918

Portrait of Henry Morrison Flagler © The Cyclopaedia of American biography, 1918

Henry Morrison Flagler was an American industrialist and a founder of Standard Oil. He was also a key figure in the development of the Atlantic coast of Florida and founder of what became the Florida East Coast Railway. He is known as the father of St. Augustine, Miami, West Palm beach and Palm Beach. When looking back at Flagler’s life, after Flagler’s death, George W. Perkins, of J.P. Morgan & Co., reflected, “But that any man could have the genius to see of what this wilderness of waterless sand and underbrush was capable and then have the nerve to build a railroad here, is more marvelous than similar development anywhere else in the world.” Miami’s main east-west street is named Flagler Street and is the main shopping street in Downtown Miami. There is also a monument to him on Flagler Monument Island in Biscayne Bay in Miami; Flagler College and Flagler Hospital are named after him in St. Augustine. Flagler County and Flagler Beach in Florida and Flagler in Colorado are also named for him. Whitehall in Palm Beach is open to the public as the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum; his private railcar No. 91 is preserved inside a Beaux Arts pavilion built to look like a 19th-century railway palace. On February 24, 2006, a statue of Flagler was unveiled in Key West near the spot where the Oversea Railroad once terminated. Also, on July 28, 2006, a statue of Flagler was unveiled on the southeast steps of Miami’s Dade County Courthouse, located on Miami’s Flagler Street.   read more…

Theme Week Libya – Tobruk

November 21st, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General |

Port of Tobruk © Maher A. A. Abdussalam

Port of Tobruk © Maher A. A. Abdussalam

Tobruk is a port city on Libya’s eastern Mediterranean coast, near the border of Egypt. It is the capital of the Butnan District (formerly Tobruk District) and has a population of 120,000 (2011 est.). King Idris of Libya had his palace at Bab Zaytun. Tobruk was traditionally a stronghold of the Senussi royal dynasty and one of the first to rebel against Colonel Gaddafi in the Arab Spring. At the outset of the 2011 Libyan Civil War, the city quickly came under the control of the NTC. In September 2014 the internationally recognized government of Libya relocated to a Greek car ferry in Tobruk harbor. A rival New General National Congress parliament continued to operate in Tripoli. In October 2014 they again re-located, to a hotel named Dar al-Salam also known as the Al Masira Hotel in Tobruk. In November 2014 that government was declared illegal by Libya’s highest court. Tobruk has a strong, naturally protected deep harbour. It is probably the best natural port in northern Africa, although due to the lack of important nearby land sites it is certainly not the most popular. The city is effectively surrounded by a desert lightly populated with nomadic herdsmen who travel from oasis to oasis. There are many escarpments (cliffs) to the south of Tobruk (and indeed in all of Cyrenaica, the eastern half of Libya). These escarpments generally have their high sides to the south and their low sides (dip slopes) to the north. This constitutes a substantial physical barrier between the north and south of Libya in the Tobruk area.   read more…

Theme Week Libya

November 20th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks |

Ancient Roman Leptis Magna Theatre east of Khums © David Gunn

Ancient Roman Leptis Magna Theatre east of Khums © David Gunn

Libya is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south and Algeria and Tunisia to the west. The country is made of three historical regions, Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. With an area of almost 1.8 million square kilometres (700,000 sq mi), Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa, and is the 16th largest country in the world. Libya has the 10th-largest proven oil reserves of any country in the world. The largest city and capital, Tripoli, is located in western Libya and contains over one million of Libya’s six million people. The other large city is Benghazi, which is located in eastern Libya.   read more…

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