In the 16th century, the Spanish Empire and the Knights of St John occupied Tripoli, until Ottoman rule began in 1551.
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Libyans are welcoming and generous to foreigners and would always try to help them adjust to the Libyan lifestyle.
However, foreigners should know what topics to bring up when meeting Libyans.
With an area of almost 1.8 million square kilometres (700,000 sq mi), Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa, and is the 16th largest country in the world. The other large city is Benghazi, which is located in eastern Libya.
Libya has been inhabited by Berbers since the late Bronze Age.
Sources spoken to by MEE suggest that the UK government facilitated the travel of Libyan exiles and British-Libyan residents and citizens keen to fight against Gaddafi, including those it was deemed posed a potential security threat.