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Flag of LibyaLibya / Cities and Towns /
Ghat
Arabic: ghāt


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Ghat

Ghat, Libya.
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Ghat, Libya.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Ghat, Libya.
Ghat, Libya.

Ghat, Libya.
Ghat, Libya.

Ghat, Libya.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Not very old, Ghat, Libya is dominated by its Ottoman/Italian fort.

Travel information from
LookLex / Libya
Ghat: Introduction
Old town
Italian fort
What deserves the colour white

Town and oasis in southwestern Libya with 18,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), in the Sahara desert, close to the border to Algeria.
The cornerstone activity in Ghat's economy is oasis agriculture, although tourism has also become of much importance. In the local system, water is distributed according to the strictest regulations. Olives, cereals and vegetables are the main produce. Livestock is also held. Local manufacture still covers many fields, including the production of rugs, baskets and leather goods.
Despite the proximity to Algeria, there is no road crossing here, as there is no infrastructure on the Algerian side. Roads connect Ghat to urban settlements further north in the country. A road runs south along the border on the Libyan side, but may not be used freely.
Ghat's traditional quarters have since some time been almost totally abandoned for the comfort of modern housing. The town is dominated the Ottoman/Italian fort on a hill.
Ghat is one of few larger settlements in Sahara with a permanent population of Tuaregs.

History
The history of Ghat goes at least deep back into the 1st millennium BCE. Its earliest recorded name was Rana.
1st century BCE: The present town is constructed here as a fortress of the Garamantian empire. It was a central post of the caravans crossing the desert.
14th century: The name Ghat seems to have been introduced. The town appears to have reached a large extent of independency from external ruler, thriving from the slave trade.
1858: Ghat is occupied by the Ottomans, who builds a fort here.
Late 19th century: Ghat regains its independence.
1915: Comes under Italian control, but this would only last a few years.
1930: Is finally occupied by the Italians.




By Tore Kjeilen