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Arabic: 'al-marj

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Al-Marj, Libya

City in northeastern Libya (Cyrenaica) with 120,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), near the Mediterranean Sea, at the edge of the Green Mountains (Jabal Akhdar).
Al-Marj is the commercial centre for agriculture in the region which benefits from an unusually high precipitation of about 400 mm. The main produce are cereals like barley and wheat, fruits and vegetables.
Al-Marj is well connected with other urban centres in Cyrenaica and the rest of Libya by road, with Benghazi 80 km southwest.

560 BCE: A Greek colony named Barce is established here.
642 CE: Conquered by the Muslim Arabs.
1842: The Ottomans builds a fort in town. Around this, a town would quickly develop.
1913: Al-Marj comes under Italian control, who starts developing it into an administrative and market town.
1963: An earthquake destroys large parts of town. It is rebuilt about 5 km off the former location.

By Tore Kjeilen