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Tripoli

TRIPOLI

City on the Mediterranean coast of northwest Libya.

Tripoli is the capital, largest city, and chief seaport of Libya. The city was founded by the Phoenicians on a small, rocky promontory. Known by the Romans as Oea, it formed (with Sabrata and Leptis Magna) the tripolis (Greek, three towns) from which its modern name derives. (In Arabic Tripoli is known as Tarablus al-Gharb Tripoli of the Westto distinguish it from Lebanon's Tripoli.) Tripoli owed its preeminence to a fair harbor on the short sea route to Malta, Sicily, and Italy; to good water supplies and a moderately productive oasis and hinterland; and to domination of the northern ends of the shortest trade routes from the Mediterranean to central Africa via Fezzan.

After a history of foreign and local rule, prosperity declined by the end of the nineteenth century with the demise of Barbary Pirates and Mediterranean corsairing as well as the collapse of the transSaharan trade system. In 1911, the population was estimated at some 20,000, when Tripoli was the prime objective of the Italian invasion. It remained in Italian hands throughout the varying fortunes of Italy's presence in Libya. Under Italian rule, and especially during the post-1922 Fascist era, Tripoli was developed outside the walled Old City and acquired modern municipal services and the appearance of an Italian provincial town. In 1934, it became the capital of the colony of Libya, combining Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. During World War II, Tripoli fell, with little damage, to the invading British Eighth Army in January 1943 and became the seat of the British military administration that ruled Tripolitania until Libya's UN-supervised independence in 1951. On independence, Tripoli became joint capital of the Libyan federal kingdom, with Benghazi.

The oil boom of the 1950s and 1960s brought commercial expansion and increased population, with development into the outlying villages of the oasis. Shantytownswhich housed migrants from the countrysideproliferated on the outskirts. The United States had a large air base at Wheelus (alMallaha) to the east of the city, and the international airport was developed at the Royal Air Force base at Idris, near Gasr ben Gashir to the south. After the 1969 revolution, Tripoli became the sole capital of Libya and, following expulsion of its remaining Italian and Jewish communities, took on a more overtly Arab and Muslim character. Shanty towns were cleared and large public-housing schemes and commercial developments spread in a six-toten mile (1015 km) radius from the city center. The population doubled between 1973 and 1984.

Attempts by the royalist regime to create a new capital at Baida and move the central administration to the central Libyan oases did little to diminish Tripoli's political, commercial, and social preeminence. It dominates one of Libya's main agricultural and industrial regions, and its port, airport, and roads to Tunisia, Fezzan, and Cyrenaica make it a key communications and transshipment center.

In 1986 the United States bombed Tripoli because of Libya's involvement in international terrorism. Some of the city was destroyed. Its population in 2003 was estimated at 1,775,000.


Bibliography


Wright, John. Libya. New York: Praeger, 1969.

john l. wright

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Tripoli (city, Libya)

Tripoli (trĬp´əlē), ancient Oea, Arab. Tarabulus, city (1984 pop. 990,697), capital of Libya and of Tripoli dist., NW Libya, a port on the Mediterranean Sea. It is a commercial, industrial, administrative, and transportation center. Manufactures include processed food, textiles, tobacco products, and woven goods. Located on the edge of a large oasis, the city was founded (probably in the 7th cent. BC) as Oea by Phoenicians from Tyre. The main city of the historic region of Tripolitania, it was later captured by the Romans (1st cent. BC), the Vandals (5th cent. AD), and the Arabs (7th cent.). The city was a terminus of important trans-Saharan caravan routes. Captured in 1510 by the Spanish, Tripoli was granted (1528) to the Knights of St. John, who held it until 1551, when it was taken by the Ottoman Turks. From 1711 to 1835, Tripoli was the seat of the Karamanli dynasty, which ruled most of what later became Libya with little control from Constantinople. The city was a major base of the Barbary pirates, whom the United States fought (1801–5) in the Tripolitan War. In 1911, Tripoli passed to Italy, and later it was made the capital of the Italian colony of Libya. During World War II, the city was captured (1943) by the British. In Apr., 1986, Tripoli was bombed by the United States for Libya's involvement in international terrorism. Casualties included the daughter of Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi. Some of the city was destroyed. Points of interest in the city include remains of the Roman walls and an arch of Marcus Aurelius. Of note also are the Karamanli mosque (begun 1736), the large Gurgi mosque (19th cent.), and the former royal palace. Tripoli is the seat of Fateh Univ.

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Tripoli (city, Lebanon)

Tripoli (trĬp´əlē) or Tarabulus (täräb´ŏŏlŏŏs), ancient Tripolis, city (1996 est. pop. 300,000), NW Lebanon, on the Mediterranean Sea. Citrus fruits, cotton, and other goods are exported from Tripoli. It has an oil refinery and is the terminus of an oil pipeline from Iraq. The old part of the city, around the harbor, contains the remains of fortified towers and walls. The city's population is comprised largely of Sunni Muslims.

Tripoli was probably founded after 700 BC, as there is no mention of it until Persian times when it was the capital of the Phoenician federation of Tyre, Sidon, and Aradus and was divided into three sections. The city flourished under the Seleucid and Roman empires. In AD 638 it was captured by the Arabs. After a long siege it was taken (1109) by the Crusaders; during the siege its great library was destroyed. Tripoli was sacked by the sultan of Egypt in 1289 and was later rebuilt. The British conquered it from the Turks in 1918, and it became part of Lebanon in 1920.

Tripoli was the scene of heavy fighting during the 1975–76 civil war. It became the headquarters for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. In the wake of rebellion against the PLO in 1983, large numbers of Palestinian rebels fled the city. Syrian military forces began to move into the city in the mid-1980s; like Beirut, it became a Lebanese city marked by battles for hegemony. After Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon in 2005, the city became the scene of clashes between Sunnis and Alawites, a situation that was aggravated beginning in 2011 by the Syrian civil war.

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Tripoli

Tripoli (Tarabulus) Capital and chief port of Libya, on the Mediterranean Sea. The city was founded as Oea in the 7th century bc by the Phoenicians and was developed by the Romans. From the 7th century ad, the Arabs developed Tripoli as a market centre for the trans-Saharan caravans. In 1551, it was captured by the Ottoman Turks. In the 17th century, Tripoli was a notorious base for pirates. In 1911, it was made capital of the Italian colony of Libya, and during World War 2 it functioned as an important base for Axis forces. After intensive Allied bombing in 1941–42, Britain captured the city in 1943. In 1986, the US Air Force bombed Tripoli in retaliation for Libya's alleged support of worldwide terrorism. The city is the commercial, industrial, transport and communications centre of Libya. The oases comprise the most fertile agricultural area in n Africa. Pop. (2002 est.) 1,223,300.

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Tripoli

Tripoli (Tarabulus) Mediterranean port and second-largest city in Lebanon. Tripoli was an important city of the Seleucid and Roman Empires. In ad 638, it was captured by the Arabs. In 1109, the city was conquered by the Crusaders, who developed the city's fortifications. In 1289, Tripoli returned to Islamic rule under the Egyptian Mamluks. The Turks held the city until the arrival of the British in 1918, and in 1920 it became a Lebanese city. It suffered severe damage during the 1975–76 Lebanese civil war. The city remains an important centre for trade between Syria and Lebanon, and is the terminus of the oil pipeline from Iraq. Industries: oil refining, textiles, food processing. Pop. (2002 est.) 208,700.

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