After years in comparative isolation Libya is opening up again. Its relations with the rest of the world have now improved, and with the lifting of sanctions it is likely that more outsiders will have a chance to visit it both for business and for pleasure.
To many the country and its people are an enigma. It is an Arab country unlike other Arab countries. It is an African country, but it doesn’t feel like Africa. For the uninitiated, the Libyans are difficult to fathom. But their values and attitudes have been shaped by their past and traditions, many of which date back centuries.
This slim volume aims to offer an insight into the Libyan people and their view of life. Such information will enhance your stay in their country and ensure that you do not commit too many faux pas. There are chapters on customs and traditions, and the rapidly changing nature of modern Libyan life, with advice on what to expect and how to behave appropriately in different situations. For the business traveler there is guidance on how to deal with government structures and policies, and how to make the most of the opportunities that present themselves.
Above all, Culture Smart! Libya should help you to become acquainted with a nation of resilient, outgoing, and friendly people who, when they greet you with the words ahlan wa sahlan, are completely genuine in their welcome.
The practice of haggling is less common than elsewhere in the Middle East. The vendor usually sets a price and it is up to the customer to beat him down. Stallholders tend to charge foreigners more than they would locals.