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|12/5/2011 From our counterpart in Libya:
"Glad that the tyrant is part of Libya ('s) past, the future can now INSHALLAH be a reality and not only a dream. (Now) you could breathe freedom and nothing like in the world. The people are aware of the hardship laying ahead, but are willing to put up with (it) and work hard to make a better future for themselves. Now we will be able to develop the tourism industry we dreamt of in the past decades and present to the world the true face of Libya and the Libyans, that unfortunately the past regime didn't want to show."
We look forward to operating a tour similar to the one below planned for October 2011 and rejoicing with the people of a new Libya.
Tripoli • Sabratha • Benghazi • Cyrene
Apollonia • Albyda • Qaser Libya • Ptolemais
Benghazi • Nalut • Ghadames • Sebha • Germa
Erg Ubari • Leptis Magna • Villa Silin
Land only rate
October 13 - 24, 2011 • 12 days
$3690 double occupancy from Tripoli • Airfare additional
$690 single supplement
Air Inclusive rate
October 12 - 25, 2011 • 14 Days
$4640* double occupancy including airfare from New York, JFK via Royal Air Maroc
$690 single supplement
*Based on 10 participants using flights as listed that we are holding with Royal Air Maroc
Accepting deposits now!
|Dear Serious Traveler,
After a long period in which visas were not issued to American tourists, you can be among the first to visit Libya at the beginning of her new era as she joins the global community of peaceful nations and throws open her doors to international trade, commerce and tourism.
We’ll experience the marvels of this Mediterranean desert nation rich in ancient treasures and natural wonders. Our journey begins in Libya’s capital city of Tripoli. Today a modern city, evidence still abounds of her Phoenician origin five centuries before the birth of Christ. We continue to Sabratha, first a trading post for the Phoenician merchants and later claimed by the Romans in 146 B.C. We visit the ancient sites of Benghazi; Cyrene, among the earliest Greek colonies; the ancient port of Apollonia; Leptis Magna, one of the best-preserved cities of antiquity; and many more ancient sites along the Mediterranean coast.
We’ll visit the ancient caravaning center of Ghadames, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and experience the unique hospitality of the Berber and Tuareg people. Then our journey turns inland toward Libya’s Great Sand Sea. We’ll marvel at the serenity of her endless landscape. Then, to our surprise and delight, we discover lovely oases. Libya’s desert contains many lakes that are surrounded by lush palm trees and are home to nomadic peoples. We’ll venture aboard 4x4 vehicles deep into the Great Sand Sea and stay overnight at a deluxe desert camp equipped with all comforts.
I am very excited to invite you on this extraordinary trip limited to just 15 very special people, plus our escort.
President, Travel Concepts International
Click map for larger view
- Taste local cuisine with most meals included
- Visit a Libyan school
- Tour Tripoli, site of medieval Medina and Jamahiriya Museum, housed in the massive Citadel
- Visit Sabratha, an ancient seaside city that flourished during the Roman period
- See Cyrene, among the earliest Greek colonies and one of the great ancient cities in North Africa
- Explore Leptis Magna, one of the more extraordinary ancient sites in the Mediterranean, with streets that exemplify ancient town planning
- Relive ancient times at the caravaning center of Ghadames, a UNESCO site
- Experience museums housing treasures of the ancient world
- Stay overnight at the deluxe Magic Camp in the Great Sand Sea
- Travel to desert lakes and great sand dunes
- Enjoy a folklore show in the desert oasis
- Barter for treasures at Libya’s bustling souks
- Prepare with pre-trip study material
What our travelers say...
WOMEN IN LIBYA
Throughout our tour of Libya, I can’t recall seeing or meeting any women on the streets of the old towns we visited. The men did all the shopping. We saw only men enjoying a night out.
Yet, today, Libya ranks extremely high in the field of rights for women due to a change in attitude of President Qaddafi later in his regime.
Islamic traditionalists were particularly pleased by Libya’s President Qaddafi’s Green Book's agreement with Koran Muslim strictures regarding the role of women when became president. The Prophet himself had especially warned against corruption leading to general moral laxity. Regarding women generally, the Koran says that "men are a degree higher" and that "righteous women are devoutly obedient." In like manner the Green Book echoed that "motherhood is the female's function" and while that man is "strong and tough. . . because he is created in that way," woman is "gentle not because she wanted to be, but because she is created so." And it agreed with the Koran that "there is no absolute equality" between men and women.
Did Qaddafi believe this when he wrote his Green Book and then change his mind over a period of years? Or was it merely lip service designed to calm the fears of religious Libyans suspicious of his socialist revolution, even as he was beginning to implement programs that would up?grade the status of women? Either way, his programs created a confrontation between Libyan women and Muslim fundamentalists with himself squarely in the middle.
Two of these programs Qaddafi instituted in particular emancipated Libyan women from the restricted role symbolized by the Muslim practice of veiling the face. The first was Qaddafi's nationalization of many of the Libyan oil fields early in his regime. This resulted in greatly in?creased production, creating thousands of jobs. There was a mass shifting of Libya's population from the deserts and mountains to the oil fields and refineries near the cities.
A whole generation of women grew up in urban areas as different from their tribal settings as they could be. They were introduced to attitudes and ideas about women's roles that would have been unthinkable in the villages and tribes of their forefathers.
The second program had an even more far? more reaching effect. Qaddafi made education available to women on a scale never before known. Girls who for?merly would never have seen the inside of an elemen?tary school were now completing twelfth grade. Women were becoming as literate as men and far more literate than men had been in the past. The last barrier came down when free college education was made available to women. From the religious Muslim point of view, an educated woman was not the obedient wife and mother glorified by Islamic tradition. Matters came to a head at the Libyan General People's Congress held in February 1984.
. Qaddafi wanted the Congress to rubber-stamp his plan to draft women to serve alongside men in the nation's armed forces. Pressure against this proposal came not just from the fundamentalists, but from a wide spectrum of Sunni Muslims as well. Military offi?cers and other men also opposed it. Men outnumbered women heavily in the Congress. The plan was not approved. Qaddafi put it into effect anyway.
Today there are women not only in the army but also in all areas of Libyan life. The majority of them neither wear veils nor try to conform to the feminine role defined by Islamic tradition. Fundamentalists see them as visible proof of the breakdown in religious values, and so women are prime targets in their efforts to unseat Qaddafi.
Not all Libyan women defy the militant imams. Many who oppose Qaddafi's economic and military policies are drawn to the fundamentalists as the orga?nized opposition most likely to overthrow his regime. Others, viewing Libya as increasingly corrupt, mate?rialistic, and godless, embrace fundamentalism in a quest for their roots. They wear the veil proudly and conform to the Islamic ideal of womanhood. For them it is a matter of reclaiming their spiritual identity.
Traveled to Libya November 2004