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10% of the sample always played sports. 11% of the sample often played sports. 35% of the sample occasionally played sports - this third of the sample realise the importance of sport and make use of free sports facilities available in parks. 44% of the sample never played sports. Engagement in sport (and particularly when the sport is commercialized) is more common in urban areas than in rural areas. This particularly holds true for women. 5% of the sample always go to coffee-houses. 10% of the sample often go to coffee-houses. 32% of the sample sometimes go to coffee-houses, and 53% of the sample never go to coffee-houses due to aspects of local culture still which continue to have an impact on the social system. Therefore, a low number or no visits to coffee houses indicates a rural ethos. This can also be explained by the fact that half of the sample are women who are generally busy with childcare of household tasks. 8% of the sample always go to a cultural centre or library. 10% of the sample often go to a cultural centre/library. 34% of the sample sometimes go to a cultural centre/library. 48% of the sample never go to a cultural centre/library. Most do not go to the library as it is located in the city centre. Additionally, a number of people are not interested in reading and would prefer to watch satellite TV instead. 19% of the sample always visit relatives. 25% of the sample often visit relatives. 54% of the sample sometimes visit relatives, and only 2% of the sample never visit relatives. Visiting relatives forms an important part of Tripoli social life. 212
This is due to the impact of local culture and the fact that most individuals living in the city are originally from a rural community. There are also various institutions that promote social relations with relatives (the mosque, for example). Last, 14% of the sample always visit friends. 24% of the sample often visit friends. 58% of the sample sometimes visit friends, and 4% of the sample never visit friends. When it comes to the importance of spending time with relatives and friends, there is little difference in the research findings. Relatives are important the rural context while the it is the latter that dominate in urban areas. As for Tripoli, people seem to display both urban and rural features in terms of their patterns of socialisation. Social relations have an important function in social life and as a result Tripoli people have many links with different blood relations. This element makes Tripoli different from other cities, especially those in Europe. This result concurs with El-Hawat’s research. Figure (16) Favourite foods 24% International food 67% National food 9% A Mixture of food Figure 16 shows the distribution of the sample according to their favourite type of cuisine, divided into the categories of international, traditional, and a mixture of the two. 76% of the sample have noted that they prefer traditional food to the other groups. 24% of the sample favour international food, signifiying a presence of global culture in the city. 9% of the sample favour a mixture of food. Thus, the majority of 213