Culture of Libya: Definition

Minister of Culture of Libya Habib Mohammed Al-Amin defines Libyan culture.

Minister of Culture of Libya Habib Mohammed Al-Amin defines Libyan culture.

Al-Amin explains: “Since I am an archaeologist, I know a lot about this topic since I am an expert with the history of Libya. Just like in Europe where you find specialists who know a lot about the history there. When it comes to the history of Libya, we should know that this country enjoys the biggest museum for arts in the world that goes back to 10,000 years B.C. especially when we talk about the stone drawings found in the caves in the south of the desert in Libya, which is considered the older stone drawings and it dates far more into the history than the ones found Altamira cave in Spain. Now, according to the theory of the movement of the Mediterranean people says that Libya was the land of storage for all the Mediterranean nations including the Pharaohs. One of the facts related to the pre-historic science states that Egypt didn’t have any population back in the history when Libya had people in it, because Egypt was consisted of mud and fluvial since the Nile wasn’t there yet. The most important specialists in the science of history and archaeology says that the beginning of the Egyptian civilization is credited to Libya, and that includes the art of mummification, since the oldest mummy in the world is found in Libya, and it dates way older than the oldest Egyptian mummy found today. even when we talk about the Egyptian pyramids, it is know that earlier and older examples of such pyramids were found in Libya. The Libyan kings also reached and ruled Egypt. Even Khufu was married to a Libyan. It is also claimed that Sheshonk, the Libyan king was a brother in law to Prophet Sulayman (Solomon) may the Peace of Allah be upon Him. Libya was also mentioned in Torah and in the ancient Greek epic poems like the Iliad, the Odyssey. It was spoke about by historians like Homer and Herod. Even Plato visited this country and studied the philosophy of pleasure in Cyrene, since Libya had a big school of philosophy back then. The first Librarian in history was the poet Callimachus from Cyrene in Libya, and He was responsible for the Library of Alexandria. the second Librarian who followed Callimachus was Libyan too. Even the first man who measured the diameter of earth was a Libyan Greek. The movement of reform and modernization in Christianity in north of Africa was led by a Libyan named Arius. The first bible was written in Libya’s mountain by Saint Mark who was born and lived in Libya. then after He wrote it in Cyrene, He took it to Alexandria which held back then the status which the city of Beirut hold now when it comes to reading.”

“During the Ottoman Empire time, Libya didn’t witness at first great architectural and scientific progress like the rest of lands of the Empire, but still we found many prints left by great Arab Libyan men. Now during the Italian time of occupation which was a time of war, we still found great Libyan names who came forth with great writings of history and poetry. The Kingdom of Libya during the modern age, witnessed a big cultural boom. Yet all of that collapsed after Libya was seized in the reign of darkness by Alqadhafi the fallen tyrant. The culture back then was crushed, but Libyan intellectuals kept given more even during that time. Libya is known for many famous writers and poets, with some of them are known internationally. We have a strong cultural presence among the Arab nations even though that presence was on individual basis and even though we couldn’t have good relations with other government because of the previous regime who used to tie politics with culture and mixing them both for his own needs. He used the culture and controlled the intellectuals, yet despite that few free ones remained and kept taking care of culture. So, again we find that Libya has a great history, and the proof to that is the depth of everything related to this topic found in Libya,” recounts Al-Amin.

“The Libyan culture has another feature in which we can describe it as a mosaic of varieties, and that adds more value to the Libyan culture, as we have different cultural environments when it comes to folk arts, architecture, poetry, music. So we can say that Libya is a continent, and just like Herod said that everything other than Egypt is Africa, and that was called Libya.”

“And now, during this new democracy, the culture will have better places and chances in order to let the Libyans say and share what they want as humans. So they will have freedom to listen, say and paint their lives with what they want and write down beautiful words they like. So this is another battle for the culture in Libya which I think should have a supportive role in this community which endured a lot of oppression on the hands of the previous regime,” concludes Al-Amin.

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