|Arabic is the official language of Libya. It is
the language of the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam. Muslims believe
that the Qur'an contains the exact words of Allah (God), and Libyans
must therefore know Qur'anic or classical Arabic in order to understand
the true word of God. There are differences between the spoken and written
forms of Arabic and also regional variations among the spoken versions
of the language. The Arabic spoken in Libya is distinct from that spoken
in other Arab nations. It includes many Berber words.
Libyans value courtesy. It is considered
rude to criticize another person directly or to discuss family matters
in public. When two people meet, they begin their conversation with a series
of formal questions and answers about their health and families. When asking
and answering these ritual questions, people clasp each other's hands.
A common Libyan greeting is "Salaam aleikum," which means "Peace
be with you." Another common greeting is "Sabbahakum Allah bi'l-khair,"
means "May Allah give you a good morning."
|Most Berbers speak Arabic, but in a
few isolated communities, people speak Numidian, an ancient North African
language. The nomadic Tuareg people speak Tamacheq, sometimes called Tifnagh.
In urban areas, some people speak English or Italian.
All publishing companies in Libya are owned by
the government, including Libya's only daily newspaper.The government must
approve all material published in Libya.
| How are you?
|| Kayf haalek?
| Very well, thanks
be to God
|| Bikher, al-Hamdu
| Thank you
| Excuse me
|| Smeh leeya
|| Ma'as as-salaama
Did you know?
North Africa, languages are classified as Semitic or Hamitic. Semitic languages
include Hebrew and Arabic. The speakers of these languages are believed
to be descendants of Shem, the eldest son of Noah. Hamitic languages include
Egyptian and Berber. The speakers of these languages are believed to be
descendants of Ham, Noah's second son.