Libya: مقدمة

We are in Northern Africa this week and back to a new part of the Sahara Desert, we are in Libya!

Libya is on the Mediterranean Sea and boarders Tunisia and Algeria to the west, Niger and Chad to the south, and Sudan and Egypt to the east. It is the fourth largest country in Africa and boasts a population of 6.9 million. The Libyan Desert is part of the Sahara and arguably the driest and hottest portion with temperatures reaching 50℃ or 120℉ and may go decades without rain! Interestingly the city of Cyrene in Libya was once a part of the ancient Greek Empire and is one of the oldest cities in the country and is now a UNESCO world heritage site.

In 1951 at the end of colonialism, Libya gained its first and only King- King Idris I. He ruled until 1969 when he was removed from power via a coup d’état led by Colonel Gaddafi. Gaddafi became the next ruler of Libya and he stayed in power for 42 years til 2011 when he was assassinated.

The Libyan Flag

The country of Libya has traditionally been divided into 3 regions- Fezzan, Tripolitania, and Cyrenaica. These 3 regions are represented in the 3 colors of the Libyan flag, red for Fezzan, black for Cyrenaica, and green for Tripolitania. The flag is finished off with the Islamic symbols of the star and crescent.

To make the flag start by folding the paper in thirds horizontally.

Paint the top red, middle black, and bottom green.

Cut out a crescent and star in white paper.

Glue the star and crescent in the center of the black stripe.

There you have it! The flag of Libya.

Loggerhead Sea Turtle Craft

Since Libya boarders the Mediterranean Sea to the north, there are several rare aquatic animals that can be found near its shores, one of which is the loggerhead sea turtle. These sea turtles have strong jaws that can crush shell prey like clams and sea urchins. They can live to be 100 years old but sadly they are currently on the threatened species list but conservation efforts are making a positive impact.

In celebration of these amazing animals we made our own sea turtles!

You will need…

  • 3 craft sticks per turtle
  • hot glue or craft glue and time to secure the sticks
  • yarn
  • marker

Start by glueing the craft sticks together to create the legs, head and tail of your turtle.

Next secure the yarn by tying it around the center with a double or triple knot- be sure to leave a long enough tail to secure the other end when you’re done. Wrap the yarn around the center several times in several directions to fill in the center of the turtle shell.

Now it is time to wrap- this is the same technique used for making a God’s Eye which is a spiritual image in Mexican and Mexican American culture. You will repeat the same pattern around every stick so once kids get it they can make the whole turtle.

The pattern is: Over the top, back under the bottom and then back over the top and repeat!

Continue this pattern till the whole turtle shell is compete. Tie the end of the yarn with the starting knot tail to secure the whole craft. Cut off the excess yarn.

Finally, add claws to the fins, eyes and a smile.

There you go! Your very own loggerhead sea turtle 🙂

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