Theme Week Libya – Misrata

Friday, 24 November 2017 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  8 minutes

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.

Starting on 20 February 2011, small demonstrations took place in Misrata in solidarity with anti-government protesters in Benghazi. Libyan police immediately arrested the Misratan protesters, sparking larger demonstrations which Libyan government forces sought to quell using live ammunition. Within a few days, 70 protesters were killed provoking outrage among the city’s inhabitants. By 24 February, the city fell under the control of anti-Gaddafi forces in the Libyan uprising against Gaddafi. That same day, Gaddafi regime forces attempted to wrest control of the city, but were repelled. The battle was renewed with shelling on 20 March as pro-Gaddafi tanks and artillery pushed forward and besieged Misrata. Eyewitnesses reported that pro-Gaddafi soldiers were shooting, killing and injuring unarmed civilians. The city was shelled by artillery, tanks, and snipers, and for over 40 days and had its water supply shut off by Gaddafi’s forces. By late April, over 1,000 people in the city were reported killed while around 3,000 were injured. With air support from NATO which entered the conflict on the rebels’ side on March 19, and a vital sea based life line from neighbouring country the Island of Malta, anti-Gaddafi forces managed to force loyalist troops to retreat on April 21, gaining control of most of the city by mid-May. Thereafter, forces from Misrata played an important role in other theaters of the war, such as the Battle of Tripoli, the Battle of Sirte and the Battle of Bani Walid (2011).

© LookLex.com © LookLex.com Global Aviation Boing B747-400F taking off from Misrata Airport © Era of freedom/cc-by-sa-4.0 Misurata Fountain © vedi Fonte/cc-sa-1.0
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Global Aviation Boing B747-400F taking off from Misrata Airport © Era of freedom/cc-by-sa-4.0
Serving the role of Libya’s commercial hub, Misrata is notably clean and construction is well-organized. Its citizens are largely viewed by other Libyans as business oriented. The city’s steel mill industry (which is dominated by the government-owned Libyan Iron and Steel Company) is one its principal income producers and sources of employment. Due to the 1970s-80s renovation of Misrata’s marina to better supply the industrial plants with raw material, the industry has been able to expand and the steel mill authorities hold considerable influence in the city. Al-Naseem Dairy, one of the largest private companies in Libya, is also located in Misrata and employs around 750 workers. A historic aspect of the local economy is the cloth and textile industry. Situated near the city’s central square are souks (“open-air markets”) where, usually three times a week, merchants continue to sell luxury carpets, furniture cloth and traditional clothing, including abayas (cloaks worn by males for celebratory occasions). Most major businesses, shops and social centers are located on Tripoli Street, Misrata’s main thoroughfare. During the Siege of Misrata, most of the buildings housing these assets were destroyed. However, several small businesses are beginning to rebuild and reopen. Nonetheless, recovery remains relatively slow partially due to the shortage of banknotes since Libyan banks are only allowing citizens to withdraw or borrow limited amounts of funds. Once the Libyan Central Bank receives most of the assets that had been internationally frozen during the civil war, it is probable that local banks would ease these restrictions. The city has a great potential for expansion since it attracts a lot of internal immigration and is surrounded by uninhabited flat land with no obstacles. It is home to Misrata Airport, one of Libya’s largest airports. There is a port in the neighbouring town of Qasr Ahmad. Misrata the seat of many national companies such as the Libyan Ports Company, Libyan Iron and Steel Company, the Libyan publishing, distribution and Advertising Company. Besides that it has branches of public and private sector banks and one locally and privately owned bank.

Misrata University, with its 15 faculties, is located in the city of Misurata. There are several higher education institutions including a number of university faculties that are administratively linked to universities of other cities in Libya. Misurata University is a modern university which was established in 1983, persisting a long-term goal to have an educated community and to end illiteracy and innumeracy in society. Despite its short age, the university has gained excellence in providing the knowledge and skills required for higher education studies, and has enjoyed a great reputation for the teaching, research and training it provides. It has constantly topped the university rankings league in Libya and was recently ranked first in Libya and the 55th in Africa according to the Webometrics Rankings 2013. (e.g. Al-Tahadi University of Sirte and Tripoli University of Tripoli).

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Read more on Wikipedia Misrata. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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