Awjila (Arabic: أوجلة) is an oasis after which the Awjila language, an Eastern Berber language spoken there, is named. The people cultivate small gardens using water from deep wells. They are Sunni Muslims.
Awjila is an historic oasis deep in the Libyan desert about 260 kilometers south of Agedabia. From Awjila the road leads to Jalo and Kufra.
Not so long ago Awjila was the capital of the large surrounding region because of its unique location of being at the crossroads of caravans moving along the east west north Africa route and the north south coast to Africa route.
It has the oldest masjed (mosque) in the western north African region with its unique style of architecture with rooms that are naturally air conditioned. In the scorching heat of the summer days the rooms are cool and at night they are warm.
The building materials are made from the soil and the palm tree branches which make up an excellent heat insulator.
Awjila is a unique ethnic community as the people are of Berber (Amazigh) origins. They have their own distinct Berber language but Arabic is the dominant language and Islam is the only religion.
The main activities of the people in Awjila are agriculture and working for the oil sector companies as this area is the cradle of Libyan wealth.
The main crops are dates from the many varieties of palm trees, tomatoes, and cereals.
Recently Awjila acquired an extra importance as it was the most convenient site for viewing the solar eclipse on March 29, 2006.
Coordinates: 29°8′25″N 21°17′51″E / 29.14028°N 21.2975°E
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed (1913). "Augilæ". Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.
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