Tripoli (; Arabic: طرابلس, Ṭarābulus) is the capital city and the largest city of Libya, with a population of about 1.165 million people in 2018. It is located in the northwest of Libya on the edge of the desert, on a point of rocky land projecting into the Mediterranean Sea and forming a bay. It includes the port of Tripoli and the country's largest commercial and manufacturing centre. It is also the site of the University of Tripoli. The vast Bab al-Azizia barracks, which includes the former family estate of Muammar Gaddafi, is also located in the city. Colonel Gaddafi largely ruled the country from his residence in this barracks. Tripoli was founded in the 7th century BC by the Phoenicians, who gave it the Libyco-Berber name Oyat (Punic: 𐤅𐤉𐤏𐤕, Wyʿt) before passing into the hands of the Greek rulers of Cyrenaica as Oea (Greek: Ὀία, Oía). Due to the city's long history, there are many sites of archaeological significance in Tripoli. Tripoli may also refer to the sha'biyah (top-level administrative division in the current Libyan system), the Tripoli District. Tripoli is also known as Tripoli-of-the-West (Arabic: طرابلس الغرب Ṭarābulus al-Gharb), to distinguish it from its Phoenician sister city Tripoli, Lebanon, known in Arabic as Ṭarābulus al-Sham (طرابلس الشام), meaning 'Levantine Tripoli'. It is affectionately called "The Mermaid of the Mediterranean" (عروسة البحر ʿArūsat al-Baḥr; lit: 'bride of the sea'), describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means 'Three Cities', introduced in Western European languages through the Italian Tripoli. In Arabic, it is called طرابلس, Ṭarābulus (pronunciation ; Libyan Arabic: Ṭrābləs, pronunciation ; Berber: Ṭrables, from Ancient Greek: Τρίπολις Trípolis, from Ancient Greek: Τρεις Πόλεις, romanized: Treis Póleis, lit. 'three cities').
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