Adventures at Matheran Hill Station
March 13, 2013 – 12:05 am | No Comment
Matheran is a Hill Station located near Mumbai, Karjat.   It is located 800 meters above sea level in the Jambol Forest of Maharashtra.  It was found by Hugh Poynts Malet in May 1850.  It spreads over an area of 8 square kilometers in Sahyadri Mountains.  It is one of the best places to spend a two-day holiday if you are in Mumbai or in the vicinity of Mumbai or its suburbs.  To reach Matheran,  [...]

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Home » Fascinating Cities

Present Culture, Developed From The Past

Posted on November 26, 2009 | Fascinating CitiesNo Comment

No doubt that Tripoli, the Capital City of Libya is a rapidly developing town. As the Capital of the North African country of Libya, it is its political center and because of its Geographical location, along the Mediterranean Sea, it has always been a major trading centre since the ancient times because of its port and still is a commercial hub of the country.

Consequently, the culture that has developed over the years in Tunis is a mixed bag that transcends boundaries.

History, its influence on Tripoli’s culture

The present city of Tripoli was once a part of the city the province of Tripolitania which comprised of three cities. These three cities were Tripoli, Sabratha and Leptis Magna. After the Arab conquered the city in 7th century, it came to be known with its present name of Tripoli.

The city has been under the influence of the Arab, Ottoman and the Italian civilizations which are reflected in the architecture across the city. No wonder then, it has earned itself the nickname that goes as ‘White Bride of the Mediterranean’ which suits it to the T.

This place has been home to people from all religions and has imprints of these religions on its soil. As a proof to this fact lie the ruins of the Church of St. John of the Pilgrims Mount which has two joined chapels, 200 meters away, to the south of the Castle on Abu Samra Hill. The remains of this church were found in the Maronite Cemetery of Saint John.

Taynal MosqueOf course, symbolizing the Arab- Islamic culture and their style of architecture, this Libyan city houses the Great Mosque on the historical site of the Cathedral of St Mary, the Taynal Mosque dating back to 1336 and the Al –Maullaq mosque built in the 16th century. Another significant mosque, the Gurgi mosque, elegantly reflects a blend of Turkish, Italian and Moroccan style of architecture. It was built by Tusuf Gurgi in 1833.

The Qasr Naous is ruins of two temples facing each other with damaged bust of the Roman sun God, Helios too found here.

The former palaces that have been converted to museums speak a great deal about the city’s rich cultural past. One such museum is the Jamahiriya Museum, largest museum in Libya. Collections here include the artefacts from the Neolithic period to the present times. Reproductions of Saharan rock art from the Acacus Mountains, Roman sculptures and mosaics from Leptis Magna too give a deep insight of the city.Jamahiriya Museum

Royal palaces like the As- Sarraya al-Hamra or the Red Castle lets you peak into the lives that the wealthy lived here and what they left behind. Medina, a colonial downtown area is a gift of Arab- urban planning to Tunis and reflects the city lives as it is today, where people come for work, shop and eat.

Festivals and cultural events in the city

The al-Rabitah al –Thakafiyah and Dar al-Fann as well as a number of school theatres like al –Iman and Feres School are your options if you wish to enjoy some good theatre in the city. Some theatre performances are staged at al-Kashef theatre and the Sharia Oamr al-Muktar, though they are only Arabic plays and not much publicized.

There are plenty of cinemas around the city, in the downtown area though the films they screen are Arabic, Indian or Western action movies that are dubbed to attract the youth to cinemas.

Ghadames art galleryArt galleries like Ghadames Art Gallery do organize exhibitions to promote the local artists.

Performances by musicians and dancers can be seen rarely, mostly on special occasions like a wedding or during the celebrations of Ramadan. This festival, observed by Muslims over the world requires Muslims to abstain from food and drink between sunrise and sunset. Evenings are times to break the fast, eat together, shop and visit the Medina. It usually is held in the months of September to October, though the dates might change as the Islamic calendar follows the movement of the moon.

The fast of Ramadan is broken by celebrating Eid ul Fitr, a three day festival which is usually a public holiday.

Summer brings the popular Tripoli Festival, held every year in the months of August and September and has performances by national as well as international artists.

In April, it is time for the Qasr festival hosted in the 700 year old fortress of Kabaw. This is the festival of Berber music and dance. Kabaw is at a distance of about 9 kilometers from the city of Tripoli.

In the months of November and December, families get together to celebrate Eid al-Adha. They slaughter a sheep as a part of the ritual during this festival to commemorate Abraham’s sacrifice and marks the time of the pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiest place for Muslims.

The first of September is celebrated as Revolution Day. It is a public holiday. There is a rally and parades held at the Ghadames FestivalGreen Square and along the seafront of the city.

Mid of October is the time to celebrate the Ghadames Festival in the old city of Ghadames. The festival is celebrated over a period of three days. There are music and dances to commemorate the occasion.

The last three days of the year’s last month, that is, from December 29 to December 31, it is time to celebrate the Ghat Festival.  The festival is about celebrating the Tuareg culture. There are concerts held on the New Year’s Eve as part of this fest.  Ghat is about 1,342 kilometers to the south of Tripoli and can be reached conveniently by flight.

While there are big political rallies, cultural performances and festivals are rare and not much advertised. Nevertheless, the city is now coming off age. There are a number of festivals being held in and around the city of Tunis to celebrate the culture of the city. For information of festivals that can concur with your itinerary of your visit to this city, you could check out with the travel agents of Tripoli. They could also arrange for your trip accordingly.

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