Siddhesh Joshi

Gharyan

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Country  Libya
Region  Tripolitania

Elevation  693 m
District  Jabal al Gharbi
Gharyan in the past, History of Gharyan

Map of Gharyan

Gharyan (Tamazight: (Arabic: غريان‎‎) is a Berber/Amazigh city in northwestern Libya, in Jabal al Gharbi District. Prior to 2007 it was the administrative seat of Gharyan District. Gharyan is one of the largest towns in the Nafusa Mountains, an area populated primarily by Berbers.

Contents

Gharyan in the past, History of Gharyan

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History

Gharyan was on the trade routes both south to Fezzan and over the Nafusa Mountains. By 1884 the Ottomans had established a mayor and town council in Gharyan.

It was considered the center of Libyan resistance against the Italian invasion in the early 20th century.

2011 Libyan civil war

In 2011 the town became involved in the nationwide anti-Gaddafi uprising. Initially successful, as of 2 March government forces retook it.

In April rebels succeeded in occupying several nearby towns and establishing a second territory in Western Libya besides Misrata that is no longer under the control of the Gaddafi forces, but as of late June the rebels had still failed to take Gharyan. On 13 August 2011, the rebel forces in Libya initiated a new battle for control of the city and were in control within two days.

Lady of Gharyan

Just west of Gharyan, there is a primitive road to the right, which provides a bumpy trip to a derelict former Italian barracks, a relic of World War II.

There is a crumbling building at the camp. Painted on the bricks of one of the walls inside the building is an enormous (c.4m by 10m) representation of a naked woman, lying on her side, American pin-up style. The upper torso of the woman is shaped as an inaccurate representation of the North Africa coast, and the salient points of her anatomy are marked with names of North African towns.

The "Lady of Garian" was drawn by Clifford Saber, a volunteer American ambulance driver with the British 8th Army. Saber created the mural to help boost the morale of his fellow servicemen, finishing on 2 March 1943, while his unit was housed for a few days at the barracks in Gharyan.

Transport

In the 1920s the Italians built a 90 kilometres (56 mi) long railway between Tripoli and a village near Gharyan that was destroyed by the British during World War II.

Economy

Grain and figs are grown for local consumption, with olives and saffron for both local use and export. Gharyan is also well known for its ceramics industry.

References

Gharyan Wikipedia


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