The Port of Benghazi lies on the shores of the Gulf of Sidra off the Mediterranean Sea in the Cyrenaica region of northeast Libya. It is the second biggest city in Libya and an important educational, administrative, and commercial center. In 2005, over 685 thousand people called the Port of Benghazi home.
In addition to its busy port, industries in the Port of Benghazi include oil refining, food and salt processing, cement manufacturing, fishing, brewing, and tanning. Providing fresh water for its residents, the Port of Benghazi is home to one of the biggest water desalinization plants in the world. The Port of Benghazi is connected to other coastal Libyan cities by road.
The Port of Benghazi, called Euesperides (or Hesperides) at that time, was founded by the ancient Greeks of Cyrenaica in the 6th Century BC. The Greeks passed it to Ptolemy III, Egyptian pharaoh, naming it Berenice to honor the pharaoh’s wife. The city’s modern name honors a benefactor named Ghazi (Bani Ghazi means “Ghazi’s descendants).
After the 3rd Century AD, it surpassed Barce and Cyrene as the region’s main center. Later, it began to decline, and it was a small town until the Italians occupied the Port of Benghazi from 1912 to 1942.
During the era of Kingdoms in Libya, the Port of Benghazi was more or less a joint capital with the Port of Tripoli, and it continues to house many organizations and institutions normally associated with a country’s capital city. This favored status has led to a strong rivalry between the cities and the regions in which they are located (Cyrenaica and Tripolitania).
Today, the Port of Benghazi it is a modern economic center today with busy finance and manufacturing sectors. The city’s multi-ethnic population is dominated by persons of Arab descent.