Kharga (khärˈgə) [key] or Al Kharijah äl khärˈēnjä, large oasis (1986 pop. 38,544), S central Egypt, in the Libyan (Western) Desert. Populated chiefly by Arab Bedouins and Arab-speaking Berbers, the irrigated oasis produces cereals, vegetables, olives, dates, citrus fruits, and alfalfa. Cattle and poultry are also raised. Al Kharga, the chief settlement, is a rail terminus. The oasis was prosperous in ancient times; the earliest known significant settlement there dates to 1650 B.C. The ruins there include temples built by the Achaemenids of ancient Persia and by the Romans.