Wednesday, 12 November 2008

A New Fish Market Opens in Tripoli

The Libyan capital, Tripoli, is famous among many Mediterranean cities for the high quality of various species of fish and the low price to buy it. For those who are always seeking the right fish dish and enjoy buying a just-out-of-the Mediterranean water fish a new market, right at the edge of the water near the Old City, has just been opened. It is just across the road from the Arch of Marcus Aurelius, a great tourist site.On September 6, the sixth day of the holy month of Ramadan a number of Libyan top officials and a large crowd of people gathered on the site for the official opening of the building housing the new fish market. As it turns out, the building is very modern, equipped with equipped with new facilities that make it very attractive for the customers and visitors. The place is also air-conditioned and represents a treat to all those who buy and sell fish.The market has a total of 48 vendors behind neatly arranged stalls lined up and divided into two halls to serve the public. A number of vendors line the place leaving enough space for fish buyers to easily move around and to pick the fresh fish from any one of the stalls or just to enjoy walking around breathing in the smell of fresh Mediterranean fish. During the early hours of the morning, fishermen pour in with their catch of the day. Then the fish is neatly displayed and a bargain can always be had, not just at a reasonable, but even better, at a rather cheap price, particularly as each and every vendor tries his best to sell his stock before the end of the day.Having bought your favourite fish, you can step forward to the fishing cleaning area where a number of young Libyans will be waiting to professionally clean and cut them out for you at just one dinar per kilo. If one is interested in the fish wholesale market, this is only a few metres away. The wholesale market, also part of the newly established fish market complex. It opens its doors as early as 4.30 a.m. and if stock is still available, it won’t close until 9.00 p.m. The new fish market is equipped with three huge icemakers that provide ice to vendors on demand and free of charge. It also has eight large cooling containers that are used as storage along with a water desalination station especially built for the fish market.The fish market also has a medical observation unit with a laboratory so tests could be run to run on fish being sold in the market at different times of the day. According to the manager of the market Mr. Ali Embarak, the Tripoli fish market is the first of its kind in Libya. It is also the first in serious that are to be established in major Libyan costal cities in the near future.The setting up of the Tripoli fish market is part of a public policy that pays attention to the maritime economic sector and its development in a way it can attract thousands of Libyan workers.Mr. Sadiq Azzouz, Director of Projects at the General Authority of Maritime Wealth, said his institution is focusing on establishing a modern infrastructure for the fishing sector. He said that a number of projects are soon to commence in a number of cities on the Libyan coast.He mentioned the rather big project for fishing industry which is being constructed in Tajoura area in the suburbs of Tripoli. The project includes a marina large enough for 400 small-sized fishing boats, 50 large fishing trawlers and 15 overseas fishing boats. He said that the objective would be able to produce 10,000 tones of fish every year and provide 4000 job opportunities for Libyan citizens.The project also includes a training centre for potential fishermen, shopping areas, fish restaurants, coffee shops and entertainment facilities.The founding stone for this new project to cost approximately 90 million Libyan dinars is to be laid in the next few days.A similar project is located in Zawia, 40 km west of Tripoli. It is a part of the maritime wealth projects set up at a cost of 39 million dinars (over $30m). This project is estimated to provide more than 1000 job opportunities. It will also provide berthing places for 200 fishing units and 15 cranes. This in addition to new fishing harbours to be constructed in Susa and Darna in the eastern part of Libya.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Dry Land But for the Winter Months

At this stage the impression must not be given that it never rains in Libya. Although rainfall is not frequent, the highest level takes place in the hills of Cyrenaica and Tripolitania.However, there is no real rain season, and the rain that falls follows no seasonal patter. It is more or less sporadic and reliable.Statistic demonstrates that an average of 38 cm to 50cm of rain per year is the expected amount in the coastal regions. In the interior, at best, a meagre 20cm or so of rainfall can be hoped for.The greater part of the rainfall occurs during the period that is known as the Libyan winter, a period between the months of October and March.For the rest of the year, the country is to all intents and purposes dry. In fact, Libya is regularly subjected to long rainless periods. One idiosyncrasy of the Libyan climate had always been, until the recent past, an apparently cyclic period of drought that used to occur every five or six years.However, today the situation is a different one, and even during those years when the rain is particularly scarce, and during which the droughts of the past used to take place, modern technology has taken over to provide an uninterrupted and adequate source of water for agriculture.Until a few decades ago the people looked upon the periods of drought with both alarm and dread. At times this period lingered on for two en-tire seasons and when that used to take place the cultivation of crops used to come to a virtual standstill, leaving it its wake the hardship and the consequences that the Libyan people had to suffer.Strange as it may seem, winter in the northern parts of the land could be extremely cold.Sleet and even snow have been known to fall in the hilly regions of the costal belt. This takes place, although not regularly, in the higher grounds of both Tripolitania and Cyrenaica.As opposed to this, summer in such places as the Jafara plain can be uncomfortably hot. Hence the immense differences that exist in the temperatures which are recorded during the day and during the night.For instance, to the south, where the land is exposed to a relentless and scorching sun, temperatures soar during the day, only to plunge rapidly during the night, at times to below freezing point.There is no mystery about this. It is a typical feature of the desert terrain.It is these differences, in climate and in the terrain itself, which makes Libya one of the more interesting countries of North Africa, where only about 1.2% of the country is cultivated, and where, as of 1998, irrigation covered about 470,000 ha (1,161,000 acres) of the cultivated land.Weather in LibyaThe coastal region in Libya has a Mediterranean climate, with average temperatures in Tripoli ranging from 30°C (86°F) in summer to 8°C (46°F).Rainfall is mostly during the winter months and averages 380mm annually. Coastal towns can be humid, with levels as high as 80% in Tripolitania.The mountain regions experience more rainfall, particularly during the winter and early spring. Summers here are cooler than on the coastal plain.Southern Libya has a desert climate with daytime winter temperatures ranging between 15 and 20°C, falling below zero at night. During the summer months there is virtually no rainfall and temperatures soar to over 50°C.In the northwest a scorching wind, known as the ghibli, blows from the Sahara along the coast at the time of the spring solstice. This causes a sharp drop in humidity and a dramatic rise in temperature.