Misratah or Misurata, city (1984 pop. 131,031), NW Libya, located in an oasis. A seaport on the Mediterranean Sea, the city exports dates and grain and is noted for its handwoven carpets, pottery, and textiles. Misratah was known to the Romans as Tubartis. The Italians built its port in the 20th cent.

Miusrata (rarely Misrata or Misratah), (Arabic: (مصراته (مسراته, مسراتا, ذات الرمال (Mişrātah Libyan vernacular:Məşrātah ), a city and Sha'biyah (top level administrative division) in northwestern Libya, situated 210 km to the east of Tripoli on the Mediterranean coast near Cape Misratah.

With a population of about 650,000 in 2007, Misurata is the third largest city in Libya after Tripoli and Benghazi. Misratah is the capital city of business in Libya.


In the north and east, Misratah has a shoreline on the Mediterranean Sea. On land, it borders the following municipalities:

Qasr Ahmed is the harbor at Misratah.


There is no consensus among different sources on whether the city was established by the Phoenicians (3000 years ago), the Romans, or the Muslim conquests (7th century AD); nor on what was its old name (Thubactis, Thubaqt, Tubartis, or Tobasitis).

Recent archaeological discoveries indicate that some sort of urban stability existed in the current location of the city since Roman times. The Roman origin theory seems to be less frequently cited and supported at least in the currently available sources and it is associated with slightly different names (Tubartis or Tobasitis) form those associated with the Islamic origin theory (Thubactis or Thubaqt). It is possible to reconcile the two theories by assuming that the city was initially founded by the Romans and was then known as Tubartis but later (after a period of disappearance or in a slightly different location for example) it was refounded by the Muslim conquests and named Thubactis. In any case, in the 7th Century, it served as a caravan supply centre. The city still preserves an old part of it with narrow streets dating backing to its early Islamic age.

A Resume of Misurata City

Misurata City is one of the trade centers that the Phoenicians started building in the tenth century BC on the northern western part of the Libyan coast. Thus it has always been - for almost three thousand years - and still the major trade and commerce hub in Libya. Some of the wealthiest and oldest Libyan families: Ben Ismail, Al-Montaser, Swehli, Gadi, Badi, Ben-Hammeda, El-Kaloush, Shebani, Fikini, Al-Darat have originated from Misratah. some live in tripoli owning large business and land. Misrata is also known for its scholars and numerous contributors to Libyan Art, Literature and academia.

The city was known in the old ages by the name of Cephale Tobactus, which means cape Misurata. It derived its importance from being on the cross roads of vital routes and amidst an agricultural area mentioned by the name of Cephale Promentium in ancient documents called Stade Somas Marcie Magna (the longest distances in the great sea) in the fourth century BC. This means that it was mentioned in those documents in a period that goes back to an era of two thousand three hundred and fifty years ago which is considered one of the oldest references in which the coastal suburb of Qasr Ahmed where the port of Misurata is located was mentioned and was found so far. The geographer Strabo described it in the first century BC that it is a high head covered with bushes forming the great gulf of Sirt. What was mentioned by Plotemeus the famous geographer in the name of the Treron Akron for it is formed of three capes from the main land springing in the sea and inhabited by the tribe Misurata. So it was named after the name of this tribe and it is the name that is given to it now, it was also known by the name Dat Arrimal (the sandy one) for it has plenty of white and yellow sand dunes.

Misurata City lies on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea 211 km East of Tripoli and 825 km west of Benghazi. The location of the city forms a mixture of a dualism of sea and sand for it is surrounded by the sea from the north and east and from the south it is surrounded by the golden sands combined with the long palm trees, the shady olives and the green plains which encircle the center of the town with its modern buildings, wide streets, large factories such as the iron and steel complex and carpets and textile factories and a number of establishments, companies and trade centers.

Besides its distinguished location, which makes it a starting point for the exchange of commodities and materials with the rest of the cities of the country, Misurata enjoys a new infrastructure in the field of services such as roads, electricity and communications. It is also the seat of many national companies such as the Libyan Ports Company, Libyan Iron and Steel Company, the Libyan publishing, distribution and Advertising Company. Besides that it has branches of public and private sector banks and one locally and privately owned bank.

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Misratah today is a modern prosperous city with light industries (carpets and textiles among many others) and heavy industries (iron and steel industrial complex). The city has a great potential of expansion since it attracts a lot of internal immigration and is surrounded by uninhabited flat land with no obstacles. There is a port in the neighbouring town of Qasr Ahmed.

The city has a university, it is 7 October Univessity which inclides 15 faculties. http://www.7ou.edu.ly, there are several higher education institutions including a number of university faculties that are administratively linked to universities of other cities in Libya (e.g. al-Tahaddi University of Sirt and al-Fateh University of Tripoli).

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The city has a new university, 7 October Univessity which includes 15 faculties. http://www.7ou.edu.ly


A railway line and port is proposed in 2008.

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