Libya / Cities and Towns /
Other spellings: Baida, Bayda, Al-Baidhah, El-Beda, Beida
City in northeastern Libya (Cyrenaica) with 160,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), on a high ridge of the Green Mountains, 30 km south of the Mediterranean Sea. The present name is short for the original name az-Zawiyya al-Bayda
Much of the economy of Al-Bayda is related to the agriculture, of which the region is famous for its apples, grapes and a fruit of shmari.
Al-Bayda is well-connected with to other urban centres in Cyrenaica and the rest of Libya by road. There is also a national airport. Benghazi is 180 km southwest.
Al-Bayda has the Omar al-Mukhtar University, which formerly was an Islamic university.
The original town was centered around the tombs of Rawayfa and Sari, companions of Muhammad. 20 km northeast lies the ancient Greek city Cyrene.
The area has been settled at least back to the early 1st millennium BCE, then known as Balagrae.
1840: A Sanusi lodge is established here by Muhammad as-Sanusi.
1933: An Italian colony is established here, named Beda Littoria.
Late 1950s: Al-Bayda serves as the administrative capital of Libya. Many new buildings are added, intending at making it the new capital of Libya. From this time on, most of the present city is built.