Becoming an independent kingdom in late 1951, a competition was held the following year for a national anthem. The winning entry, “Libya, Libya, Libya”, was first performed at the wedding of King Idris in 1955. The composer of the music also wrote the music for the anthems of Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates. The anthem was used until the monarchy was abolished in a coup by Moammar Qadaffi in 1969, when it was replaced with a new anthem.

During the 2011 Libyan civil war, the rebel forces against Qadafi’s government used the former anthem from the monarchy period as the Libyan national anthem in the areas that they control. Upon the effective loss of power of the Qadaffi regime, “Libya, Libya, Libya” was restored as the national anthem, with the third verse that mentions the king not being used (it is still sometimes heard, or sometimes it is altered to mention other famous Libyan patriots). (The fourth verse of the original is now the third verse).

Special thanks to: Susan E. Benson for some of this information.