For more than three decades, most countries of the world have viewed Libya as a radical, unstable nation. Under the leadership of Muammar al-Qaddafi, Libya has sponsored international terrorism and supported efforts to overthrow the governments of its African neighbors. This has led to confrontations with the West, particularly with the United States during the 1980s. Beneath the sands of Libya lies a valuable resource-vast amounts of oil. Despite this, the people of Libya have remained poor during Qaddafi's rule. Although in recent years Libyan society appears to have become more open, and Qaddafi seems to have moderated some of his extremist views, the future of the country remains uncertain. Discusses the geography, history, economy, government, religion, people, foreign relations, and major cities of Libya.