folkways

how long can they** be an influence? ca. 200+ years. ca. 2000+ years?

there are three broad regions in libya: cyrenaica to the east, tripolitania to the west, and fezzan to the southwest.

these were provinces in the ottoman empire, and cyrenaica and tripolitania were parts of the umayyad caliphate before that. they were only joined up into a nation called libya in 1951.

by a guy who was from cyrenaica:

But [King] Idris himself was first and foremost a Cyrenaican, never at ease in Tripolitania. His political interests were essentially Cyrenaican, and he understood that whatever real power he had—and it was more considerable than what he derived from the constitution—lay in the loyalty he commanded as amir of Cyrenaica and head of the Sanussi order. Idris’ pro-Western sympathies and identification with the conservative Arab bloc were especially resented by an increasingly politicized urban elite that favored nonalignment.”

and then he was ousted by a guy from tripolitania.

and now he’s being ousted by — well, a LOT of people in libya — but the uprisings seem to have started (and it’s my impression have been strongest) in benghazi, which is back in cyrenaica.

so, while there’s all these gosh-derned tribes in libya, there also seems to be a broad east-west divide (plus fezzan which is mostly tuareg and other partially sub-saharan african folks).

cyrenaica was, very early on, settled by greeks:

tripolitania, on the other hand, by phoenicians:

now berbers and arabs are obviously very important if one tries to work out the “folkways” of libya. but my question is, could the greeks and phoenicians still be having an influence after all these years?

**of course, folkways are not just airy-fairy mores floating on the wind. they originate with folks and their various biologies.

update 02/27: according to this site

“Arabs, whether descending from Phoenicians or medieval tribes, constitute a minority in Libyan population. They mainly reside in Northeastern Libya, where Awlad Ali, the largest Arab tribe in Libya, lives.

“Some other major Arab tribes in Libya are Fawatir, Beni Selim, and Beni Hilal….”

so, there’s (possibly) an east|arab vs. west|berber divide in libya.

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