Dubbed "the pearl of the desert," this oasis town of 10,000, a short flight or a long, 838-kilometre drive from capital Tripoli, is one of the world's oldest still existing settlements, dating back to the fourth millennium BCE. For that reason its walled old quarter of whitewashed mud buildings is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, albeit one also classified as endangered due to Libya's military strife as well as budgetary neglect from the central government, such as it is.

Robert Bamler

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