Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

former state in Libya, ruled by Muammar Gaddafi; Jamahiriya (“peopledom”) is a neologism by Gaddafi (portmanteau of jamāhīr “the masses” + jumhūriyya “republic”)

Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, formerly the official name for Libya, was a state led by Muammar Gaddafi's unique political ideology, known as the Third International Theory. Gaddafi held power for over four decades until his overthrow in 2011. The regime faced international criticism for human rights abuses, and its collapse led to ongoing political instability and conflict in the region. In 1977 Libya became "Al-Jamahiriya al-`Arabiyah al-Libiyah ash-Sha`biyah al-Ishtirakiyah al-Uzma" . In English, the name means the "Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya".

Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
الجماهيرية العربية الليبية الشعبية الاشتراكية

al-Jamāhīrīyah al-'Arabīyah al-Lībīyah ash-Sha'bīyah al-Ishtirākīyah
Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
الجماهيرية العربية الليبية الشعبية الإشتراكية العظمى

al-Jamāhīrīyah al-'Arabīyah al-Lībīyah ash-Sha'bīyah al-Ishtirākīyah al-'Uẓmá
Coat of arms of Libya
Coat of arms
Motto: وحدة ، حرية ، اشتراكية
Waḥdah, Ḥurrīyah, Ishtirākīyah
("Unity, Freedom, Socialism")
Anthem: الله أكبر
Allahu Akbar
("God is Great")
Location of Libya
CapitalTripoli (1977–2011)
Sirte (2011)[1]
32°52′N 13°11′E / 32.867°N 13.183°E / 32.867; 13.183
Largest cityTripoli
Official languagesArabic[b]
Spoken languages
Minority Languages
Ethnic groups
GovernmentUnitary Islamic socialist Jamahiriya
Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution 
• 1977–2011
Muammar al-Gaddafi
Secretary-General of the General People's Committee 
• 1977–1979 (first)
Abdul Ati al-Obeidi
• 2006–2011 (last)
Baghdadi Mahmudi
LegislatureGeneral People's Congress
Historical eraCold War · War on Terror · Arab Spring
2 March 1977
15 February 2011
28 August 2011
20 October 2011
• Total
1,759,541 km2 (679,363 sq mi) (16th)
• 2010
GDP (nominal)2007 estimate
• Total
Increase $58.3 billion
• Per capita
Increase $14,364 [3]
HDI (2009)Increase 0.847[4]
very high
CurrencyLibyan dinar (LYD)
Calling code218
ISO 3166 codeLY
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Libyan Arab Republic

The official name "Libyan Arab Jamahiriya" was used for Libya from 1977 to 2011. "Jamahiriya" translates to "state of the masses" in Arabic, reflecting Muammar Gaddafi's political ideology. The term "Arab" denotes the country's cultural and linguistic affiliation.



The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, established by Muammar Gaddafi in 1977, was characterized by his unique political philosophy called "Jamahiriya," emphasizing direct people's rule. Gaddafi's rule faced both domestic opposition and international isolation. The nation experienced economic challenges, and Gaddafi's controversial policies led to conflicts, including the Lockerbie bombing. In 2011, the Arab Spring fueled a rebellion, resulting in NATO intervention and Gaddafi's overthrow. Post-Gaddafi Libya has struggled with political instability and security issues.


  1. "Libya crisis: Col Gaddafi vows to fight a 'long war'". BBC News. 1 September 2020. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
  2. "L'Aménagement Linguistique dans le Monde - Libye". Archived from the original on 26 April 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  3. [bare URL PDF]
  4. "Human Development Report 2009" (PDF).