When we think of deserts, we conjure up images of sand dunes,
barren, arid regions of great heat, and no where will you find a
higher temperature than that recorded at Al 'Aziziyah in the
Libyan Desert which reached a record 57.8c or 136.0f in 1922; the
highest naturally occurring temperature ever recorded.
Although the Sahara
desert is considered one of the least inhospitable places on
earth, the Libyan desert which covers most of eastern Libya and
forms part of it's north-eastern section, is the most inhospitable
of the inhospitable with rainfall that only falls in some areas
every five to to years.
Even the few scattered
oases are uninhabited and some areas are so dry even the desert Bedouins refuse
to enter them.
Libyan Desert went largely uncharted until 1924 when the
explorer Ahmed Hassanein, the grandson of the last Admiral of
the Egyptian fleet, undertook a 2200 mile expedition deep into
the heart of the desert, discovering the Jebel Uweinat mountain
~ Mountain of Sourcelets ~ on the Egyptian, Libyan and Sudanese
border, named after the spring 'Ain Dua' found at the foot of
the mountain on its Libyan side.
also encountered the hostile Senussi, a grouping pledged to
fight colonial expansion in the region particularly Italy after
their Libyan forays that started in 1911. The Grand Senussi's grandson was
later to become King Idris I of Libya in 1951 until he was overthrown in a
military coup in 1969 by Colonel Gaddafi. Hassanein adventures were published in 1924 in the
National Geographic Magazine and a year later in his book 'The
video explores the Libyan desert and shows examples of its ancient
rock art. After you've watched it why not check out our
interactive map of the Libyan Desert below.