Sorry for the prolonged blogger silence ... I've been out of town, even out of cell phone range, and so haven't been babysitting the blog as I'd be prone to do if I had more ready access to the computer. I returned to work yesterday with a pile of emails that I'm still trying to read and triage.
Had interaction with a number of great people over the last week+; it made for some very stimulating conversation (and also some funny conversations about otherwise mundane subjects). One of them stemmed from a crossword puzzle clue, "Tripoli's country." I was convinced it was in Lebanon (having heard people talk about Tripoli when I was there in January); turns out the correct answer (as per this puzzle) was Libya. So, (courtesy of Wikipedia) here's a little info about the two Tripolis (both Mediterannean cities, btw):
Tripoli (Lebanese Arabic: طرابلس Ṭrāblos or Ṭrēblos, locally Ṭrōbles, Standard Arabic: Ṭarābulus; Greek: Τρίπολις Tripolis) is the second-largest city in Lebanon, located north of Batroun and Cape Lithoprosopon. Tripoli is the capital of the North Governorate and a qada of the same name. The city is located 85 km north of the capital Beirut and can be described as the Eastern-most port of Lebanon.
In ancient times, it was the center of a Phoenician confederation which included Tyre, Sidon and Arados, hence the name Tripoli, from the Greek meaning "triple city". Later, it was controlled successively by the Assyrian Empire, Persian Empire, Roman Empire, the Caliphate, the Seljuk Empire, Crusader States, the Mamluks, and the Ottoman Empire. The Crusaders established the County of Tripoli there in the twelfth century.
Today it is the second-largest city and second-largest port in Lebanon, with approximately 500,000 inhabitants, mainly Sunnis, along with smaller communities of Alawites and Christians. The city borders the city of El Mina which is the port outlet of Tripoli district. The two cities are geographically conjoined to form the Greater Tripoli.
Tripoli (Arabic: طرابلس Ṭarābulus - also طرابلس الغرب Ṭarā-bu-lus al-Gharb Libyan vernacular: Ṭrābləs) is the capital city of Libya.
Tripoli has a population of 1.68 million. The city is located in the northwest of the country on the edge of the desert, on a point of rocky land projecting into the Mediterranean Sea and forming a bay. Tripoli was founded in the 7th century BCE by the Phoenicians, who named it Oea.
Tripoli is the largest city, the principal sea port, and the largest commercial and manufacturing centre in Libya. It is also the site of Al-Fateh University. Due to the city's long history, there are many sites of archaeological significance in Tripoli. The climate is typical Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers, cool winters and some modest rainfall.
"Tripoli" may also refer to a "Sha'biyah" (top-level administrative division in the current Libyan system).
The city was subjected to an air strike by the United States in 1986, in retaliation for what the US saw as Libya's proven support of terrorism. United Nations sanctions against Libya were lifted in 2003, which is expected to increase traffic through the Port of Tripoli and have a positive impact on the city's economy.