Tripoli is the capital and largest city of Libya, with a population of about three million people in 2019. It is located in the northwest of Libya on the edge of the desert, on a point of rocky land projecting into the Mediterranean Sea and forming a bay. It includes the port of Tripoli and the country's largest commercial and manufacturing center. It is also the site of the University of Tripoli. The vast Bab al-Azizia barracks, which includes the former family estate of Muammar Gaddafi, is also located in the city. Colonel Gaddafi largely ruled the country from his residence in this barracks.
Tripoli was founded in the 7th century BC by the Phoenicians, who gave it the Libyco-Berber name Oyat before passing into the hands of the Greek rulers of Cyrenaica as Oea. Due to the city's long history, there are many sites of archeological significance in Tripoli. Tripoli may also refer to the sha'biyah, the Tripoli District.
In the Arab World, Tripoli is also known as Tripoli-of-the-West, to distinguish it from its Phoenician sister city Tripoli, Lebanon, known in Arabic as Ṭarābulus al-Sham, meaning 'Levantine Tripoli'.
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