Features include interactive map, in-depth stories, and more.Download now. »
The week's top five must-sees,
delivered to your inbox.
Kufra or Kofra, also spelled Cufra, is the largest district of Libya. Its capital is Al Jawf, one of the oases in Kufra basin. There is a very large oil refinery near the capital. In the late 15th century, Leo Africanus reported an oasis in the land of the Berdoa, visited by a caravan coming from Awjila. It is possible that this oasis was identical with either the Al Jawf or the Taiserbo oasis, and on early modern maps, the Al Kufra region was often labelled as Berdoa based on this report. The name Kufra itself is a derivation from kafir, the Arabic term for non-Muslims. Kufra did not fall under the dominion of either the Arabs or the Ottomans and was colonized by the Arab Bedouin tribe of the Zuwayya only in the mid 19th century, and eventually by the Italians by the 1930s. In 1931, during the campaign of Cyrenaica, General Rodolfo Graziani easily conquered Kufra, considered a strategic region, leading about 3,000 soldiers from infantry and artillery, supported by about twenty bombers. Following the Libyan civil war, the area is reported to be under control of the Libyan opposition, but on 28 April 2011 forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi seized the southeastern city of Kufra. (via Freebase)