Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Letter from Libya
  1. Hani T S Benamer
  1. Correspondence to Dr Hani T S Benamer, Neurology Department, New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton WV 10 0QO, UK; benamer{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Libya is a large Arab and North African country about three times the size of France but with a population of only 5.3 million, as the majority of the country is desert. Most of the population is young (32% under the age of 15 years) and urban, with 85% living in the main coastal cities such as Tripoli, Benghazi and Misrata.1 Libya was an Italian colony from 1911 until after the Second World War when it became a British protectorate; Libya obtained independence as a kingdom in 1951. However, in September 1969 Muammar Gaddafi established a military dictatorship that continued until he was killed on 20 October 2011.

In the 1950s Libya was considered to be one of the poorest countries in the world with high illiteracy rates and only a handful of people with university qualifications. With the discovery of oil in the 1960s, living standards rose and literacy rates escalated to 86%.1 Currently, Libya is regarded as one …

View Full Text


  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed. This paper was reviewed by Peter Newman, Middlesbrough, UK.