Jordan

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Jordan officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (Arabic: اَلمَمْلَكَة اَلأُرْدُنِيَّة اَلهَاشِمِيَّة), Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank
Transjordan
The Emirate of Transjordan was a former Ottoman territory in the Southern Levant that was part of the British Mandate of Palestine...

 of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 to the east and south-east, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 to the north-east, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 to the north and the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 to the west, sharing control of the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
The Dead Sea , also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface. The Dead Sea is deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world...

. Jordan's only port is at its south-western tip, at the Gulf of Aqaba
Gulf of Aqaba
The Gulf of Aqaba is a large gulf located at the northern tip of the Red Sea. In pre twentieth-century and modern sources it is often named the Gulf of Eilat, as Eilat is its predominant Israeli city ....

, which is shared with Israel, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, and Saudi Arabia. Over half of Jordan is covered by the Arabian Desert
Arabian Desert
The Arabian Desert is a vast desert wilderness stretching from Yemen to the Persian Gulf and Oman to Jordan and Iraq. It occupies most of the Arabian Peninsula, with an area of...

. However, the western part of Jordan is arable land
Arable land
In geography and agriculture, arable land is land that can be used for growing crops. It includes all land under temporary crops , temporary meadows for mowing or pasture, land under market and kitchen gardens and land temporarily fallow...

 and forests. Jordan is part of the Fertile Crescent
Fertile Crescent
The Fertile Crescent, nicknamed "The Cradle of Civilization" for the fact the first civilizations started there, is a crescent-shaped region containing the comparatively moist and fertile land of otherwise arid and semi-arid Western Asia. The term was first used by University of Chicago...

. The capital city is Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

.

Jordan was founded in 1921, and it was recognized by the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 as a state under the British mandate in 1922 known as The Emirate of Transjordan
Transjordan
The Emirate of Transjordan was a former Ottoman territory in the Southern Levant that was part of the British Mandate of Palestine...

. In 1946, Jordan joined the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 as an independent sovereign state officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

In antiquity, the present day Jordan was in the heart of the earlier civilizations which prospered in the Fertile Crescent
Fertile Crescent
The Fertile Crescent, nicknamed "The Cradle of Civilization" for the fact the first civilizations started there, is a crescent-shaped region containing the comparatively moist and fertile land of otherwise arid and semi-arid Western Asia. The term was first used by University of Chicago...

 including the Babylonian and the Canaanites. Later, Jordan became a home for several ancient kingdoms including: the kingdom of Edom
Edom
Edom or Idumea was a historical region of the Southern Levant located south of Judea and the Dead Sea. It is mentioned in biblical records as a 1st millennium BC Iron Age kingdom of Edom, and in classical antiquity the cognate name Idumea was used to refer to a smaller area in the same region...

, the kingdom of Moab
Moab
Moab is the historical name for a mountainous strip of land in Jordan. The land lies alongside much of the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. The existence of the Kingdom of Moab is attested to by numerous archeological findings, most notably the Mesha Stele, which describes the Moabite victory over...

, the kingdom of Ammon
Ammon
Ammon , also referred to as the Ammonites and children of Ammon, was an ancient nation located east of the Jordan River, Gilead, and the Dead Sea, in present-day Jordan. The chief city of the country was Rabbah or Rabbath Ammon, site of the modern city of Amman, Jordan's capital...

 and the prominent Nabataean kingdom of Petra
Petra
Petra is a historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that is famous for its rock cut architecture and water conduits system. Established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited...

. However, across different eras of history, parts of the country laid under the control of some regional powers including Pharaonic Egypt during their wars with the Babylonian and the Hittite
Hittites
The Hittites were a Bronze Age people of Anatolia.They established a kingdom centered at Hattusa in north-central Anatolia c. the 18th century BC. The Hittite empire reached its height c...

s; and for discrete periods of times by Israelites who were taken under the captivity of the Babylonian, and who were later defeated by the Moabites as recorded in Mesha stele
Mesha Stele
The Mesha Stele is a black basalt stone bearing an inscription by the 9th century BC ruler Mesha of Moab in Jordan....

. Furthermore, and due to its strategic location in the middle of the ancient world, Jordan was also controlled by the ancient empires of Greece, the Persians
Achaemenid Empire
The Achaemenid Empire , sometimes known as First Persian Empire and/or Persian Empire, was founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great who overthrew the Median confederation...

, the Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 and later by the Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

. Yet, the Nabataean managed to create their independent kingdom which covered most parts of modern Jordan and beyond, for some centuries, before it was taken by the still expanding Roman empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

. However, apart from Petra, the Romans maintained the prosperity of most of the ancient cities in Jordan which enjoyed a sort of city-state autonomy under the umbrella of the alliance of the Decapolis
Decapolis
The Decapolis was a group of ten cities on the eastern frontier of the Roman Empire in Judea and Syria. The ten cities were not an official league or political unit, but they were grouped together because of their language, culture, location, and political status...

. With the decline of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, Jordan came to be controlled by the Ghassanid Arab kingdom. In the seventh century, and due to its proximity to Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

, Jordan became a heartland for the Arabic Islamic Empire
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

 and therefore secured several centuries of stability and prosperity, which allowed the coining of its current Arabic Islamic identity. In the 11th century, Jordan witnessed a phase of instability, as it became a battlefield for the Crusade wars which ended with defeat by the Ayyubids. Jordan suffered also from the Mongol attacks which were blocked by Mamluk
Mamluk
A Mamluk was a soldier of slave origin, who were predominantly Cumans/Kipchaks The "mamluk phenomenon", as David Ayalon dubbed the creation of the specific warrior...

s. In 1516, It became part of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 and it remained so until 1918, when the Army of the Great Arab Revolt
Arab Revolt
The Arab Revolt was initiated by the Sherif Hussein bin Ali with the aim of securing independence from the ruling Ottoman Turks and creating a single unified Arab state spanning from Aleppo in Syria to Aden in Yemen.- Background :...

 took over, and secured the present day Jordan with the help and support of Jordan local tribes.

As witness to Jordan's rich history, the Nabataean civilization left many magnificent archaeological sites at Petra
Petra
Petra is a historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that is famous for its rock cut architecture and water conduits system. Established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited...

, which is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World
New Seven Wonders of the World
New7Wonders of the World was an initiative started in 2001 by the Swiss corporation New7Wonders Foundation to choose Wonders of the World from a selection of 200 existing monuments. A popularity poll was led by Canadian-Swiss Bernard Weber and organized by the New7Wonders Foundation based in...

 as well as been recognized by the UNESCO as a world Heritage site. Beside Petra, other civilizations also left their archaeological fingerprints on Jordan including the Hellenistic and the Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 through their ruins in Decapolis
Decapolis
The Decapolis was a group of ten cities on the eastern frontier of the Roman Empire in Judea and Syria. The ten cities were not an official league or political unit, but they were grouped together because of their language, culture, location, and political status...

 cities of Gerasa (Jerash
Jerash
Jerash, the Gerasa of Antiquity, is the capital and largest city of Jerash Governorate , which is situated in the north of Jordan, north of the capital Amman towards Syria...

), Gadara (Umm Qais), Philadelphia
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

 (Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

), Capitolias (Beit Ras), Raphana, Pella
Pella, Jordan
Pella is a village and the site of ancient ruins in northwestern Jordan. It is half an hour by car from Irbid, in the north of the country....

 and Arabella
Arabella
Arabella is a lyric comedy or opera in 3 acts by Richard Strauss to a German libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, their sixth and last operatic collaboration. It was first performed on 1 July 1933, at the Dresden Sächsisches Staatstheater....

 (Irbid
Irbid
Irbid , known in ancient times as Arabella or Arbela , is the capital and largest city of the Irbid Governorate. It also has the second largest metropolitan population in Jordan after Amman, with a population of around 660,000, and is located about 70 km north of Amman on the northern ridge of...

) and the Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 site of Um er-Rasas
Um er-Rasas
Umm ar-Rasas is an archeological site in Jordan which contains ruins from the Roman, Byzantine, and early Muslim civilizations. The majority of the site has not been excavated. Among the portions excavated so far include a military camp and several churches...

 (a UNESCO World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

). The Arabic Islamic Empire
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

 also left its unique architectural signature which is embodied by desert palaces including Qasr Mshatta
Qasr Mshatta
Qasr Mshatta is the ruin of an Umayyad winter palace probably commissioned by caliph Al-Walid II . The ruins are located approximately 30 km south of Amman, Jordan and are part of a string of castles, palaces and caravanserai known collectively in Jordan as the Desert Castles...

, Qasr al Hallabat
Qasr al Hallabat
Qasr al Hallabat is a town in the Amman Governorate of north-western Jordan. The town is named after the Umayyad castle located there. Also located in the town is the Qasr Hammam As Sarah. It is located north-east of the capital of Amman.-Castle:...

 and Qasr Amra
Qasr Amra
Qasr Amra , often Quseir Amra or Qusayr Amra, is the best-known of the desert castles located in present-day eastern Jordan. It was built early in the 8th century by the Umayyad caliph Walid I whose dominance of the region was rising at the time...

 which is recognized as World Heritage; in addition to the castles of Ajloun
Ajloun
Ajloun also written Ajlun is the capital town of the Ajloun Governorate . A hilly town in the north of Jordan, located 76 kilometers north west of Amman. It is noted for its impressive ruins the 12th century castle which known nowadays as Ajlun Castle...

 and Karak
Al Karak
Karak is a city in Jordan that is known for the famous crusader castle Kerak. The castle is one of the three largest castles in the region, the other two being in Syria...

 which combine the Crusade, Ayyubid and Mamluk
Mamluk
A Mamluk was a soldier of slave origin, who were predominantly Cumans/Kipchaks The "mamluk phenomenon", as David Ayalon dubbed the creation of the specific warrior...

 eras all together. The more recent Ottomans left some landmarks including several mosques, tombs, small railway stations and castles.

Modern Jordan is predominantly urbanized. Jordan is classified as a country of "high human development" by the 2010 Human Development Report. Furthermore, The Kingdom has been classified as an emerging market with a free market economy by the CIA World Fact Book
The World Factbook
The World Factbook is a reference resource produced by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States with almanac-style information about the countries of the world. The official paper copy version is available from the National Technical Information Service and the Government Printing Office...

. Jordan is also considered to be an "upper middle income" economy. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States went into effect in December, 2001 phased out duties on nearly all goods and services between the two countries. Jordan has also enjoyed "advanced status" with the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 since December 2010 as well as being a member of the Euro-Mediterranean free trade area. Jordan has more Free Trade Agreements than any other country in the region. It has very close relations with the United States and the United Kingdom, and became a major non-NATO ally
Major non-NATO ally
Major non-NATO ally is a designation given by the United States government to close allies who have strategic working relationships with US armed forces but are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization...

 of the United States in 1996. Jordan is a founding member of both the Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

, and the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Recently, Jordan has been invited to Join the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The Jordanian Government is one of only three members of the 22 state Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 to have diplomatic
Diplomacy
Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states...

 relations with Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, the others being the Egyptian and Palestinian governments. Jordan is a member of the WTO, the AFESD, the Arab Parliament
Arab Parliament
At the Arab League Summit of 2001-Amman, the Arab states agreed to create an Arab Parliament, and came up with a resolution to give the Secretary General of the Arab League the power to start and create the Parliament...

, the AIDMO, the AMF
Arab Monetary Fund
The Arab Monetary Fund is a regional Arab organization, founded 1976, and operational from 1977. It is a working sub-organization of the Arab League.-Objectives:...

, the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

, the International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression .It came into being on 1 July 2002—the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the...

, the UNHRC, the GAFTA
GAFTA
The abbreviation GAFTA refers to* Council of Arab Economic Unity#Greater Arab Free Trade Area* Grain and Feed Trade Association...

, the ESCWA, the ENP and the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

.

Etymology


The kingdom is named after the River Jordan. The name "Jordan" derives from Arabic and other Semitic languages and has multiple meanings (Ancient Arabic الأردن meaning "Steep/Slope" from the root يرد/أرد Ard/Yrd, the Canaanite root Arda, Hebrew ירד Yarad, ultimately from Aramaic Yarden meaning "down-flowing" or "one who descends" in the root ירד Yrd).

Geography




Jordan lies between latitudes 29°
29th parallel north
The 29th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 29 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America and the Atlantic Ocean....

 and 34° N
34th parallel north
The 34th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 34 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America and the Atlantic Ocean....

, and longitudes 35°
35th meridian east
The meridian 35° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 and 40° E
40th meridian east
The meridian 40° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 (a small area lies west of 35°). It consists of an arid plateau in the east, irrigated by oasis and seasonal water streams, with highland area in the west of arable land and Mediterranean evergreen forestry.

The Great Rift Valley
Great Rift Valley
The Great Rift Valley is a name given in the late 19th century by British explorer John Walter Gregory to the continuous geographic trench, approximately in length, that runs from northern Syria in Southwest Asia to central Mozambique in South East Africa...

 of the Jordan River separates Jordan, the west bank and Israel. The highest point in the country is Jabal Umm al Dami, at 1854 m (6,083 ft) above sea level, its top is also covered with snow, while the lowest is the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
The Dead Sea , also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface. The Dead Sea is deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world...

 -420 m. Jordan is part of a region considered to be "the cradle of civilization
Civilization
Civilization is a sometimes controversial term that has been used in several related ways. Primarily, the term has been used to refer to the material and instrumental side of human cultures that are complex in terms of technology, science, and division of labor. Such civilizations are generally...

", the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

 region of the Fertile Crescent
Fertile Crescent
The Fertile Crescent, nicknamed "The Cradle of Civilization" for the fact the first civilizations started there, is a crescent-shaped region containing the comparatively moist and fertile land of otherwise arid and semi-arid Western Asia. The term was first used by University of Chicago...

.

Major cities include the capital Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

 and as-Salt in the west, Irbid
Irbid
Irbid , known in ancient times as Arabella or Arbela , is the capital and largest city of the Irbid Governorate. It also has the second largest metropolitan population in Jordan after Amman, with a population of around 660,000, and is located about 70 km north of Amman on the northern ridge of...

, Jerash
Jerash
Jerash, the Gerasa of Antiquity, is the capital and largest city of Jerash Governorate , which is situated in the north of Jordan, north of the capital Amman towards Syria...

 and Zarqa
Zarqa
Az-Zarqāʔ is a city in Jordan located to the northeast of Amman. With a population of more than one million 1000,000. It is the country's second largest city after Amman. Zarqa is the capital of Zarqa Governorate . Its name means "the blue one".- Overview :Zarqa is Jordan's industrial centre, home...

, in the northwest and Madaba
Madaba
Madaba , is the capital city of Madaba Governorate of Jordan, which has a population of about 60,000. Madaba is the fifth most populous town in Jordan. It is best known for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, especially a large Byzantine-era mosaic map of The Holy Land...

, Karak
Al Karak
Karak is a city in Jordan that is known for the famous crusader castle Kerak. The castle is one of the three largest castles in the region, the other two being in Syria...

 and Aqaba
Aqaba
Aqaba is a coastal city in the far south of Jordan, the capital of Aqaba Governorate at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. Aqaba is strategically important to Jordan as it is the country's only seaport. Aqaba is best known today as a diving and beach resort, but industrial activity remains important...

 in the southwest. Major towns in the eastern part of the of the country are the oasis town of Azraq and Ruwaished
Ruwaished
Ruwaished is a town in the far east of Jordan. Administratively it belongs to Mafraq Governorate. It has a population of 14,400 . Ruwaished is the farthest Jordanian settlement to the east...

.

Climate



The climate in Jordan is semi-dry in summer with average temperature in the mid 30 °C (86 °F) (mid 90°F) and relatively cold in winter averaging around 13 °C (55 °F). The western part of the country receives greater precipitation during the winter season from November to March and snowfall in Amman (756 m (2,480 ft) ~ 1280 m (4,199 ft) above sea-level) and Western Heights of 500 m (1,640 ft). Excluding the rift valley the rest of the country is entirely above 300 m (984 ft)(SL).

The major characteristic of the climate is humid from November to March and semi dry weather for the rest of the year. With hot, dry summers and cool winters during which practically all of the precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

 occurs, the country has a Mediterranean-style climate
Mediterranean climate
A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

. In general, the farther inland from the Mediterranean a given part of the country lies, the greater are the seasonal contrasts in temperature and the less rainfall.

Atmospheric pressure
Atmospheric pressure
Atmospheric pressure is the force per unit area exerted into a surface by the weight of air above that surface in the atmosphere of Earth . In most circumstances atmospheric pressure is closely approximated by the hydrostatic pressure caused by the weight of air above the measurement point...

s during the summer months are relatively uniform, whereas the winter months bring a succession of marked low pressure areas and accompanying cold front
Cold front
A cold front is defined as the leading edge of a cooler mass of air, replacing a warmer mass of air.-Development of cold front:The cooler and denser air wedges under the less-dense warmer air, lifting it...

s. These cyclonic disturbances generally move eastward from over the Mediterranean Sea several times a month and result in sporadic precipitation.

Most of the land receives less than 620 mm (24.4 in) of rain a year and may be classified as a semi dry region. Where the ground rises to form the highlands east of the Jordan Valley, precipitation increases to around 300 mm (11.8 in) in the south and 500 mm (19.7 in) or more in the north. The Jordan Valley
Jordan Valley (Middle East)
The Jordan Valley forms part of the larger Jordan Rift Valley. It is 120 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide, where it runs from Lake Tiberias in the north to northern Dead Sea in the south. It runs for an additional 155 kilometer south of the Dead Sea to Aqaba, an area also known as Wadi...

, forms a narrow climatic zone that annually receives up to 900 mm (35.4 in) of rain in the northern reaches; rain dwindles to less than 120 mm (4.7 in) at the head of the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
The Dead Sea , also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface. The Dead Sea is deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world...

.

The country's long summer reaches a peak during August. January is usually the coldest month. The fairly wide ranges of temperature during a twenty-four-hour period are greatest during the summer months and have a tendency to increase with higher elevation. Daytime temperatures during the summer months frequently exceed 29 °C (84.2 °F) and average about 32 °C (89.6 °F).

In contrast, the winter months—September to March—bring moderately cool and sometimes very cold weather, averaging about 3.2 °C (37.8 °F). Except in the rift depression, frost is fairly common during the winter, it may take the form of snow at the higher elevations of the north western highlands. Usually it snows a couple of times in the winter.

For a month or so before and after the summer dry season, hot, dry air from the desert, drawn by low pressure, produces strong winds from the south or southeast that sometimes reach gale
Gale
A gale is a very strong wind. There are conflicting definitions of how strong a wind must be to be considered a gale. The U.S. government's National Weather Service defines a gale as 34–47 knots of sustained surface winds. Forecasters typically issue gale warnings when winds of this strength are...

 force. Known in Western Asia by various names, including the khamsin, this dry, sirocco
Sirocco
Sirocco, scirocco, , jugo or, rarely, siroc is a Mediterranean wind that comes from the Sahara and reaches hurricane speeds in North Africa and Southern Europe. It is known in North Africa by the Arabic word qibli or ghibli Sirocco, scirocco, , jugo or, rarely, siroc is a Mediterranean wind...

-style wind is usually accompanied by great dust clouds. Its onset is heralded by a hazy sky, a falling barometer
Barometer
A barometer is a scientific instrument used in meteorology to measure atmospheric pressure. Pressure tendency can forecast short term changes in the weather...

, and a drop in relative humidity to about 10%. Within a few hours there may be a 10 C-change to 15 C-change rise in temperature. These windstorms ordinarily last a day or so, cause much discomfort, and destroy crop
Crop
Crop may refer to:* Crop, a plant grown and harvested for agricultural use* Crop , part of the alimentary tract of some animals* Crop , a modified whip used in horseback riding or disciplining humans...

s by desiccating them.

The shamal
Shamal (wind)
A shamal is a northwesterly wind blowing over Iraq and the Persian Gulf states , often strong during the day, but decreasing at night. This weather effect occurs anywhere from once to several times a year, mostly in summer but sometimes in winter...

, comes from the north or northwest, generally at intervals between June and September. Steady during daytime hours but becoming a breeze at night, the shamal may blow for as long as nine days out of ten and then repeat the process. It originates as a dry continental mass of polar air that is warmed as it passes over the Eurasia
Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

n landmass.

History of Jordan


Ancient history



Jordan's roots as a sovereign independent state go back to the ancient kingdoms of the Nabatean Petra, Edom
Edom
Edom or Idumea was a historical region of the Southern Levant located south of Judea and the Dead Sea. It is mentioned in biblical records as a 1st millennium BC Iron Age kingdom of Edom, and in classical antiquity the cognate name Idumea was used to refer to a smaller area in the same region...

, Ammon
Ammon
Ammon , also referred to as the Ammonites and children of Ammon, was an ancient nation located east of the Jordan River, Gilead, and the Dead Sea, in present-day Jordan. The chief city of the country was Rabbah or Rabbath Ammon, site of the modern city of Amman, Jordan's capital...

, and Moab
Moab
Moab is the historical name for a mountainous strip of land in Jordan. The land lies alongside much of the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. The existence of the Kingdom of Moab is attested to by numerous archeological findings, most notably the Mesha Stele, which describes the Moabite victory over...

 which flourished in the modern state of Jordan in the 2nd and 1st millennium B.C which makes its history goes back to 3000–4000 years ago.

The Nabatean kingdom
Nabataean kingdom
The Nabataean kingdom, also named Nabatea , was a political state of the Nabataeans which existed during Classical antiquity and was annexed by the Roman Empire in AD 106.-Geography:...

 (Arabic: الأنباط, Al-Anbāt) was one of the most prominent states in the region. The amazing ruins of its capital, Petra
Petra
Petra is a historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that is famous for its rock cut architecture and water conduits system. Established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited...

, bear witness to their unique architecture, civilization, and prosperity. In 2007 Petra was selected as one of the new seven wonders of the world
New Seven Wonders of the World
New7Wonders of the World was an initiative started in 2001 by the Swiss corporation New7Wonders Foundation to choose Wonders of the World from a selection of 200 existing monuments. A popularity poll was led by Canadian-Swiss Bernard Weber and organized by the New7Wonders Foundation based in...

.

The Nabatean were an ancient Arabic Semitic people who inhabited most of the populated region of modern Jordan. During its peak, the Nabataean kingdom controlled regional and international trade routes of the ancient world by dominating a large area southwest of the fertile crescent
Fertile Crescent
The Fertile Crescent, nicknamed "The Cradle of Civilization" for the fact the first civilizations started there, is a crescent-shaped region containing the comparatively moist and fertile land of otherwise arid and semi-arid Western Asia. The term was first used by University of Chicago...

, which included the whole of modern Jordan in addition to the southern part of Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 in the north and the northern part of Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

 in the south. As a result, Nabatean enjoyed independence, prosperity, and wealth for hundreds of years until it was occupied by the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, which was still expanding in 100 CE. The Nabataeans developed the Arabic Script, with their language as an intermediary between Aramaean and the ancient Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic , also known as Qur'anic or Koranic Arabic, is the form of the Arabic language used in literary texts from Umayyad and Abbasid times . It is based on the Medieval dialects of Arab tribes...

, which evolved into Modern Arabic.

The Kingdom of Edom was another strong ancient kingdom, based in the south of Jordan, it controlled most of the populated region of modern Jordan. The writings of Mesha Stele
Mesha Stele
The Mesha Stele is a black basalt stone bearing an inscription by the 9th century BC ruler Mesha of Moab in Jordan....

 recorded the glory of the King of Edom and the victories of the kingdom in its wars with the Israelites and other nations.

In addition to Nabatean and Edom, the Ammon
Ammon
Ammon , also referred to as the Ammonites and children of Ammon, was an ancient nation located east of the Jordan River, Gilead, and the Dead Sea, in present-day Jordan. The chief city of the country was Rabbah or Rabbath Ammon, site of the modern city of Amman, Jordan's capital...

 and Moab
Moab
Moab is the historical name for a mountainous strip of land in Jordan. The land lies alongside much of the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. The existence of the Kingdom of Moab is attested to by numerous archeological findings, most notably the Mesha Stele, which describes the Moabite victory over...

 kingdoms were also based in the area of modern Jordan. All are mentioned in several ancient maps, Near Eastern documents, ancient Greco-Roman artifacts, and Christian and Jewish religious scriptures.

Classic antiquity


During the Greco-Roman period of influence, a number of semi-independent city-states also developed in the region of Jordan under the umbrella of the Decapolis
Decapolis
The Decapolis was a group of ten cities on the eastern frontier of the Roman Empire in Judea and Syria. The ten cities were not an official league or political unit, but they were grouped together because of their language, culture, location, and political status...

 including: Gerasa (Jerash
Jerash
Jerash, the Gerasa of Antiquity, is the capital and largest city of Jerash Governorate , which is situated in the north of Jordan, north of the capital Amman towards Syria...

), Philadelphia (Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

), Raphana
Raphana
Raphana, in present-day north of Jordan, was a city of the Decapolis. It is thought to lie north of Umm Qais in the Abilene plain.The city was the base camp of the Roman legions Legio III Gallica and of Legio XII Fulminata.-References:*...

 (Abila
Abila (Decapolis)
Abila Dekapoleos – Abila in the Decapolis or Abila was an ancient city, near the Hieromax river in the Decapolis; the site is occupied by two tells and the village of Hartha, circa north-northeast of Irbid, Jordan. The site is 25km east of the Sea of Galilee and 4km south of Wadi Yarmouk...

), Dion (Capitolias), Gadara (Umm Qays), and Pella
Pella
Pella , an ancient Greek city located in Pella Prefecture of Macedonia in Greece, was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia.-Etymology:...

 (Irbid
Irbid
Irbid , known in ancient times as Arabella or Arbela , is the capital and largest city of the Irbid Governorate. It also has the second largest metropolitan population in Jordan after Amman, with a population of around 660,000, and is located about 70 km north of Amman on the northern ridge of...

). Parts of Jordan were later incorporated into the Hasmonean kingdom, with pastoralist Nabateans slowly establishing their own realm in the southern parts of the Transjordan
Transjordan
The Emirate of Transjordan was a former Ottoman territory in the Southern Levant that was part of the British Mandate of Palestine...

. Following the establishment of Roman Empire at Syria
Syria (Roman province)
Syria was a Roman province, annexed in 64 BC by Pompey, as a consequence of his military presence after pursuing victory in the Third Mithridatic War. It remained under Roman, and subsequently Byzantine, rule for seven centuries, until 637 when it fell to the Islamic conquests.- Principate :The...

 and Judaea
Judaea (Roman province)
Judaea or Iudaea are terms used by historians to refer to the Roman province that extended over parts of the former regions of the Hasmonean and Herodian kingdoms of Israel...

, the country was incorporated into the client Judaea Kingdom of Herod
Herod the Great
Herod , also known as Herod the Great , was a Roman client king of Judea. His epithet of "the Great" is widely disputed as he is described as "a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis." He is also known for his colossal building projects in Jerusalem and elsewhere, including his...

, and later the Iudaea Province. With the suppression of Jewish Revolts, the eastern bank of Jordan was incorporated into the Syria Palaestina
Syria Palaestina
Syria Palæstina was a Roman province between 135CE and 390CE. It had been established by the merge of Roman Syria and Roman Judaea, following the defeat of the Bar Kokhba Revolt in 135 CE. In 193 Syria-Coele was split to form a separate provincial locality...

 province, while the eastern deserts fell under Parthian
Parthian Empire
The Parthian Empire , also known as the Arsacid Empire , was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Persia...

 and later Persian Sassanid
Sassanid Empire
The Sassanid Empire , known to its inhabitants as Ērānshahr and Ērān in Middle Persian and resulting in the New Persian terms Iranshahr and Iran , was the last pre-Islamic Persian Empire, ruled by the Sasanian Dynasty from 224 to 651...

 control.

Muslim empires


In the 7th century, and for several centuries, the region of today's Jordan became one of the heartlands of the Arabic Islamic Empire
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

 across its different Caliphates' stages, including the Rashidun Empire
Rashidun Empire
The Rashidun Caliphate , comprising the first four caliphs in Islam's history, was founded after Muhammad's death in 632, Year 10 A.H.. At its height, the Caliphate extended from the Arabian Peninsula, to the Levant, Caucasus and North Africa in the west, to the Iranian highlands and Central Asia...

, Umayyad Empire and Abbasid Empire. During the Islamic era, Jordan coined its current Arabic Islamic cultural identity. Several resources pointed that the Abbasid movement, was started in region of Jordan before it took over the Umayyad empire. After the decline of the Abbasid
Abbasid
The Abbasid Caliphate or, more simply, the Abbasids , was the third of the Islamic caliphates. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region....

, It was ruled by several conflicting powers including the Mongols, the Crusaders
Crusaders
The Crusaders are a New Zealand professional rugby union team based in Christchurch that competes in the Super Rugby competition. They are the most successful team in Super Rugby history with seven titles...

, the Ayyubids and the Mamluk
Mamluk
A Mamluk was a soldier of slave origin, who were predominantly Cumans/Kipchaks The "mamluk phenomenon", as David Ayalon dubbed the creation of the specific warrior...

s until it became part of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 in 1516.

The Great Arab Revolt




During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, the Jordanian tribes fought, along with other tribes of Hijaz and Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

 regions, as part of the Arab Army of the Great Arab Revolt
Arab Revolt
The Arab Revolt was initiated by the Sherif Hussein bin Ali with the aim of securing independence from the ruling Ottoman Turks and creating a single unified Arab state spanning from Aleppo in Syria to Aden in Yemen.- Background :...

. The revolt was launched by Hashemite
Hashemite
Hashemite is the Latinate version of the , transliteration: Hāšimī, and traditionally refers to those belonging to the Banu Hashim, or "clan of Hashim", a clan within the larger Quraish tribe...

s and led by Sherif Hussein of Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 against the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. It was supported by the Allies of World War I
Allies of World War I
The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire; Italy entered the war on their side in 1915...

. The chronicle of the revolt was written by T. E. Lawrence
T. E. Lawrence
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO , known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British Army officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18...

 who, as a young British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 officer, played a liaison role during the revolt. He published the chronicle in London, 1922 under the title "Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Seven Pillars of Wisdom is the autobiographical account of the experiences of British soldier T. E. Lawrence , while serving as a liaison officer with rebel forces during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Turks of 1916 to 1918....

", which was the base for the iconic movie "Lawrence of Arabia".

The Great Arab Revolt was successful in liberating most of the territories of Hijaz and the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

, including the region of east of Jordan. However, it failed to gain international recognition of the region as an independent state, due mainly to the secret Sykes–Picot Agreement of 1916 and the Balfour Declaration of 1917. This was seen by the Hashemites and the Arabs as betrayal of the previous agreements with the British, including the McMahon–Hussein Correspondence in 1915, in which the British stated their willingness to recognize the independence of the Arab state in Hijaz and the Levant. However, a compromise was eventually reached; and the Emirate of Transjordan was created under the Hashemites reign.

British mandate of Transjordan


In September 1922 the Council of the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 recognized Transjordan
Transjordan
The Emirate of Transjordan was a former Ottoman territory in the Southern Levant that was part of the British Mandate of Palestine...

 as a state under the British Mandate
British Mandate
British Mandate may refer to:*British Mandate for Palestine*British Mandate of Mesopotamia...

 and Transjordan memorandum
Transjordan memorandum
The Transjordan memorandum was a British memorandum passed by the Council of the League of Nations on September 16, 1922. The memorandum described how the British government planned to implement the article of the Mandate for Palestine which allowed exclusion of Transjordan from the provisions...

 excluded the territories east of the River Jordan from all of the provisions of the mandate dealing with Jewish settlement. The country remained under British supervision until 1946.

The Hashemite leadership met multiple difficulties upon assuming power in the region. The most serious threats to emir Abdullah
Abdullah I of Jordan
Abdullah I bin al-Hussein, King of Jordan [‘Abd Allāh ibn al-Husayn] عبد الله الأول بن الحسين born in Mecca, Second Saudi State, was the second of three sons of Sherif Hussein bin Ali, Sharif and Emir of Mecca and his first wife Abdiyya bint Abdullah...

's position in Transjordan were repeated Wahhabi incursions
Ikhwan raids on Transjordan
Ikhwan raids on Transjordan were a series of plunders by the Ikhwan, irregular Arab tribesmen of Najd, on Transjordan between 1922 and 1924. The repeated Wahhabi incursions fron Najd into southern parts of his territory were the most serious threat to emir Abdullah's position in Transjordan...

 fron Najd into southern parts of his territory. The emir was powerless to repel those raids by himself, thus the British maintained a military base, with a small air force, at Marka, close to Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

. The British military force was the primary obstacle against the Ikhwan, and was also used to help emir Abdullah
Abdullah I of Jordan
Abdullah I bin al-Hussein, King of Jordan [‘Abd Allāh ibn al-Husayn] عبد الله الأول بن الحسين born in Mecca, Second Saudi State, was the second of three sons of Sherif Hussein bin Ali, Sharif and Emir of Mecca and his first wife Abdiyya bint Abdullah...

 with the suppression of local rebellions at Kura
Kura Rebellion
Kura Rebellion was among the first uprisings against the authority of emir Abdullah in Transjordan. The rebellion, begun in 1921, resulted in minor casualties and was at first pacified via negotiations and amnesty by the Hashemite ruler, but erupted again in 1923...

 and later by Sultan Adwan
Adwan Rebellion
Adwan Rebellion or the Balqa Revolt was the largest uprising against the newly installed Transjordanian government, headed by Mezhar Ruslan, during its first years. The rebellion was initiated in the early months of 1923, but was quickly crushed with the assistance of the British RAF...

, in 1921 and 1923 respectively.

Independence


On May 25, 1946 the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 approved the end of the British Mandate and recognized Jordan as an independent sovereign kingdom. The Parliament of Jordan proclaimed King Abdullah
Abdullah I of Jordan
Abdullah I bin al-Hussein, King of Jordan [‘Abd Allāh ibn al-Husayn] عبد الله الأول بن الحسين born in Mecca, Second Saudi State, was the second of three sons of Sherif Hussein bin Ali, Sharif and Emir of Mecca and his first wife Abdiyya bint Abdullah...

 as the first King. Abdullah I continued to rule until he was assassinated in 1951 as he was leaving the al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque also known as al-Aqsa, is the third holiest site in Sunni Islam and is located in the Old City of Jerusalem...

 in Jerusalem.

Post-independence history



Jordan became a founding member of the Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 in 1945 and, as an independent country, it joined the United Nations in 1955. In 1957 it terminated the Anglo-Jordan treaty, one year after the king sacked the British personnel serving in the Jordanian Army. This act of Arabization
Arabization
Arabization or Arabisation describes a growing cultural influence on a non-Arab area that gradually changes into one that speaks Arabic and/or incorporates Arab culture...

 ensured the complete sovereignty of Jordan as a fully independent nation.

1967 War with Israel


Jordan signed a military pact with Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 in May 1967, and following an Israeli air attack on Egypt in June 1967, Egypt, Jordan, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 continued the Six Day War against Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. During the war, Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The period following the 1967 war saw an upsurge in the activity and numbers of Arab Palestinian paramilitary elements (fedayeen
Fedayeen
Fedayeen is a term used to describe several distinct militant groups and individuals in West Asia at different times in history. It is sometimes used colloquially to refer to suicide squads, especially those who are not bombers.-Overview:...

) within the state of Jordan. These distinct, armed militias were becoming a "state within a state", threatening Jordan's rule of law. King Hussein's armed forces targeted the fedayeen, and open fighting erupted in June 1970. The battle in which Palestinian fighters from various Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 (PLO) groups were expelled from Jordan is commonly known as Black September
Black September in Jordan
September 1970 is known as the Black September in Arab history and sometimes is referred to as the "era of regrettable events." It was a month when Hashemite King Hussein of Jordan moved to quash the militancy of Palestinian organizations and restore his monarchy's rule over the country. The...

.

The heaviest fighting occurred in northern Jordan and Amman. In the ensuing heavy fighting, a Syrian tank force invaded northern Jordan to back the fedayeen fighters, but subsequently retreated. King Hussein
Hussein of Jordan
Hussein bin Talal was the third King of Jordan from the abdication of his father, King Talal, in 1952, until his death. Hussein's rule extended through the Cold War and four decades of Arab-Israeli conflict...

 urgently asked the United States and Great Britain to intervene against Syria. Consequently, Israel performed mock air strikes on the Syrian column at the Americans' request. Soon after, Syrian President Nureddin al-Atassi
Nureddin al-Atassi
Noureddin Mohammed Ali al-Atassi was President of Syria from February 1966 to November 1970...

, ordered a hasty retreat from Jordanian soil. By September 22, Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo arranged a cease-fire beginning the following day. However, sporadic violence continued until Jordanian forces, led by Habis Al-Majali
Habis Al-Majali
Field Marshal Habis al-Majali . A noted Jordanian soldier from the southern city of Kerak, Habis served as Chief of Staff, Jordanian Armed Forces 1958-1975, Minister of Defence 1967-1968, and 20-year member of the Jordanian Senate 1981?-2001.-Life and career:Habis Pasha he is the son of Sheik...

, with the help of Iraqi forces, won a decisive victory over the fedayeen on July 1971, expelling them, and ultimately the PLO's Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

, from Jordan.

1973 Arab-Israeli war


In 1973, allied Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 forces attacked Israel in the Yom Kippur War
Yom Kippur War
The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War or October War , also known as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, was fought from October 6 to 25, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria...

, and fighting occurred along the 1967 Jordan River cease-fire line. Jordan sent a brigade to Syria to attack Israeli units on Syrian territory but did not engage Israeli forces from Jordanian territory.

At the Rabat summit conference
Rabat summit conference
The 1974 Arab League summit was a meeting of Arab leaders held in Rabat, Morocco in 1974. Leaders to twenty Arab countries were present, including King Hussein of Jordan, together with representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization...

 in 1974, Jordan was now in a more secure position to agree, along with the rest of the Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

, that the PLO was the "sole legitimate representative of the [Arab] Palestinian people", thereby relinquishing to that organization its role as representative of the West Bank.

The Amman Agreement of February 11, 1985, declared that the PLO and Jordan would pursue a proposed confederation between the state of Jordan and a Palestinian state. In 1988, King Hussein dissolved the Jordanian parliament and renounced Jordanian claims to the West Bank. The PLO assumed responsibility as the Provisional Government of Palestine and an independent state was declared.

Peace treaty with Israel


In 1991, Jordan agreed, along with Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), to participate in direct peace negotiations with Israel at the Madrid Conference, sponsored by the US and the Soviet Union. It negotiated an end to hostilities with Israel and signed a declaration to that effect on 25 July 1994 (see Washington Declaration). As a result, an Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty
Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace
The Israel–Jordan Treaty of Peace was signed in 1994. The treaty normalized relations between the two countries and resolved territorial disputes. The conflict had cost roughly US$18.3 billion...

 was concluded on 26 October 1994. King Hussein was later honored when his picture appeared on an Israeli postage stamp in recognition of the good relations he established with his neighbor. Since the signing of the peace treaty with Israel, the United States not only contributes hundreds of millions of dollars in an annual foreign aid stipend to Jordan, but also has allowed it to establish a free trade zone in which to manufacture goods that will enter the US without paying the usual import taxes as long as a percentage of the material used in them is purchased in Israel.

King Hussein was treated for cancer in the US for a long period of time. On his return to Jordan, King Hussein changed the crown prince from his brother Prince Hasan to his eldest son Abdullah. He also released some political prisoners in Jordan. King Hussein died some time afterward in 1999. His son, King Abdullah II succeeded him.

Following the outbreak of fighting between Israel and Palestinians in the Second Intifada in September 2000, the Jordanian government offered its offices to both parties. Jordan has since sought to remain at peace with all of its neighbors. Particularly good relations have been maintained between the Jordanian royal family and Israel, with the Jordanian government frequently dispersing rallies and jailing demonstrators protesting against Israeli actions. The government also censors anti-Israeli views from the Jordanian news media.

The last major strain in Jordan's relations with Israel occurred in September 1997, when two Israeli agents entered Jordan using Canadian passports and poisoned Khaled Meshal, a senior leader of the Palestinian group Hamas. Under threat of cutting off diplomatic relations, King Hussein forced Israel to provide an antidote to the poison and to release dozens of Jordanians and Palestinians from its prisons, including the spiritual leader of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. Sheikh Yassin was later assassinated by Israel in a targeted bombing in early 2004 in the Gaza Strip.

On 9 November 2005 Jordan experienced three simultaneous terrorist bombings
2005 Amman bombings
The 2005 Amman bombings were a series of coordinated bomb attacks on three hotels in Amman, Jordan, on 9 November 2005. The attacks killed 60 people and injured 115 others. The explosions—at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, the Radisson SAS Hotel, and the Days Inn—started at around 20:50 local time at the...

 at hotels in Amman. At least 57 people died and 115 were wounded. "Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

", a group led by terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi ; October 30, 1966 – June 7, 2006), born Ahmad Fadeel al-Nazal al-Khalayleh was a Jordanian militant Islamist who ran a paramilitary training camp in Afghanistan...

, claimed responsibility.

Recently, Jordan has revoked the citizenship of thousands of Palestinians in an attempt to thwart any attempt by Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 of permanently re-settling West Bank Palestinians in Jordan. West Bank Palestinians with family in Jordan or with previous Jordanian citizenship would be issued yellow cards which guaranteed them all the rights of Jordanian citizenship. Palestinians working for the Palestinian Authority or the PLO were among those who have had their Jordanian passports taken from them, in addition to anyone who did not serve in the Jordanian army. Palestinians living in Jordan with family in the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 would also be issued yellow cards. All other Palestinians wishing such Jordanian papers would be issued a green card which would facilitate travel into Jordan and give them temporary Jordanian passports in order to make travel easier. In addition, no Palestinians from the Gaza Strip are given any such privileges because Jordanian authority never extended into the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

.

Government


The Hashemite
Hashemite
Hashemite is the Latinate version of the , transliteration: Hāšimī, and traditionally refers to those belonging to the Banu Hashim, or "clan of Hashim", a clan within the larger Quraish tribe...

 Kingdom of Jordan is a constitutional monarchy with an appointed government. The reigning monarch is the chief executive and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The king exercises his executive authority through the prime ministers and the Council of Ministers, or cabinet. The cabinet, meanwhile, is responsible before the democratically elected House of Deputies which, along with the House of Notables (Senate), constitutes the legislative branch of the government. The judicial branch is an independent branch of the government.

Kings


King Abdullah I ruled Jordan after independence from Britain. After the assassination of King Abdullah I in 1951, his son King Talal
Talal of Jordan
Talal I bin Abdullah 26 February 1909 – 7 July 1972) was the second King of Jordan from 20 July 1951 until forced to abdicate in favour of his son Hussein due to health reasons on 11 August 1952....

 ruled briefly. King Talal's major accomplishment was the Jordanian constitution. King Talal was removed from the throne in 1952 due to mental illness. At that time his son, Hussein
Hussein of Jordan
Hussein bin Talal was the third King of Jordan from the abdication of his father, King Talal, in 1952, until his death. Hussein's rule extended through the Cold War and four decades of Arab-Israeli conflict...

, was too young to rule, and hence a committee ruled over Jordan.

After Hussein reached 18, he ruled Jordan as king from 1953 to 1999, surviving a number of challenges to his rule, drawing on the loyalty of his military, and serving as a symbol of unity and stability in Jordan. King Hussein ended martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 in 1991 and legalized
Legalization
Legalization is the process of removing a legal prohibition against something which is currently not legal.Legalization is a process often applied to what are regarded, by those working towards legalization, as victimless crimes, of which one example is the consumption of illegal drugs .Those...

 political parties
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

 in 1992. In 1989 and 1993, Jordan held free and fair parliament
Parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

ary elections. Controversial changes in the election law led Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ist parties to boycott the 1997 elections.

King Abdullah II
Abdullah II of Jordan
Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein is the reigning King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. He ascended the throne on 7 February 1999 after the death of his father King Hussein. King Abdullah, whose mother is Princess Muna al-Hussein, is a member of the Hashemite family...

 succeeded his father Hussein following the latter's death in February 1999. Abdullah moved quickly to reaffirm Jordan's peace treaty
Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace
The Israel–Jordan Treaty of Peace was signed in 1994. The treaty normalized relations between the two countries and resolved territorial disputes. The conflict had cost roughly US$18.3 billion...

 with Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and its relations with the United States. Abdullah, during the first year in power, refocused the government's agenda on economic reform.
Jordan's continuing structural economic difficulties, burgeoning population, and more open political environment led to the emergence of a variety of political parties. Moving toward greater independence, Jordan's parliament has investigated corruption charges against several regime figures and has become the major forum in which differing political views, including those of political Islamists, are expressed. While the King remains the ultimate authority in Jordan, the parliament plays an important role.

Parliament



The 1952 Constitution provided for the establishment of the bicameral National Assembly of Jordan (‘Majlis al-Umma’). The Parliament consists of two Chambers: The Chamber of Deputies (‘Majlis al-Nuwaab’) and the Senate (‘Majlis al-Aayan’; literally, ‘Assembly of Notables’). The Senate has 60 Senators, all of whom are directly appointed by the King, while the Chamber of Deputies/House of Representatives has 120 elected members representing 12 constituencies. Of the 120 members of the Lower Chamber, 12 seats are reserved for women, 9 seats are reserved for Christian candidates, 9 seats are reserved for Bedouin candidates, and 3 seats are reserved for Jordanians of Chechen or Circassian descent. The Constitution ensures that the Senate cannot be more than half the size of the Chamber of Deputies.

The constitution does not provide a strong system of checks and balances within which the Jordanian Parliament can assert its role in relationship to the monarch. During the suspension of Parliament between 2001 and 2003, the scope of King Abdullah II's power was demonstrated with the passing of 110 temporary laws. Two of such laws dealt with election law and were seen to reduce the power of Parliament.

Senators have terms of four years and are appointed by the King and can be reappointed. Prospective Senators must be at least forty years old and have held senior positions in either the government or military. Appointed Senators have included former Prime Ministers and Members of the Chamber of Deputies. Deputies are elected to also serve a four year term. Candidates must be older than thirty-five, cannot have blood ties to the King, and must not have any financial interests in government contracts.

Constitution


Jordan is a constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 based on the constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

 promulgated on 8 January 1952. Executive authority is vested in the king and his council of ministers. The king signs and executes all laws. His veto
Veto
A veto, Latin for "I forbid", is the power of an officer of the state to unilaterally stop an official action, especially enactment of a piece of legislation...

 power may be overridden by a two-thirds vote of both houses of the National Assembly. He appoints and may dismiss all judges by decree, approves amendments
Constitutional amendment
A constitutional amendment is a formal change to the text of the written constitution of a nation or state.Most constitutions require that amendments cannot be enacted unless they have passed a special procedure that is more stringent than that required of ordinary legislation...

 to the constitution, declares war, and commands the armed forces. Cabinet
Cabinet (government)
A Cabinet is a body of high ranking government officials, typically representing the executive branch. It can also sometimes be referred to as the Council of Ministers, an Executive Council, or an Executive Committee.- Overview :...

 decisions, court judgments, and the national currency are issued in his name. The council of ministers, led by a prime minister, is appointed by the king, who may dismiss other cabinet members at the prime minister's request. The cabinet is accountable to the Chamber of Deputies on matters of general policy and can be forced to resign by a 50% or more of vote of "no confidence" by that body.

The constitution provides for three categories of courts: civil, religious, and special. Administratively, Jordan is divided into twelve governorates
Governorates of Jordan
||The country of Jordan is divided into 12 governorates .-References:...

, each headed by a governor appointed by the king. They are the sole authorities for all government departments and development projects in their respective areas.

Legal system and legislation


Jordan's legal system is based on French code law system via the Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

ian civil laws while Islamic law is limited to civic status legislation for Muslims. Religious minority civic status is regulated by respective religious courts. Judicial review of legislative acts occurs in a special High Tribunal. It has not accepted International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands...

 jurisdiction.

Jordan has multi-party politics. There are over 30 political parties in the Jordan from a wide range of positions ranging from extreme left (Jordanian Communist Party
Jordanian Communist Party
The Jordanian Communist Party is a communist political party in Jordan, founded in 1948. Its current general secretary is Dr. Munir Hamarana...

) to extreme right (Islamic Action Front
Islamic Action Front
The Islamic Action Front is a political party in Jordan. It is the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan....

).

Article 97 of Jordan's constitution guarantees the independence of the judicial branch, clearly stating that judges are 'subject to no authority but that of the law.' While the king must approve the appointment and dismissal of judges, in practice these are supervised by the Higher Judicial Council.

The Jordanian legal system draws upon civil traditions as well as Islamic law and custom. Article 99 of the Constitution divides the courts into three categories: civil, religious and special. The civil courts deal with civil and criminal matters in accordance with the law, and they have jurisdiction over all persons in all matters, civil and criminal, including cases brought against the government. The civil courts include Magistrate Courts, Courts of First Instance, Courts of Appeal, High Administrative Courts and the Supreme Court.

The religious courts include shari’a (Islamic law) courts and the tribunals of other religious communities, namely those of the Christian minority. Religious courts have primary and appellate courts and deal only with matters involving personal law such as marriage, divorce, inheritance and child custody. Shari’a courts also have jurisdiction over matters pertaining to the Islamic waqfs. In cases involving parties of different religions, regular courts have jurisdiction.

Despite being traditionally dominated by men the number of women involved as lawyers in the Jordan legal system has been increasing. As of mid-2006 Jordan had 1,284 female lawyers, out of a total number of 6,915, and 35 female judges from a total of 630.
In Jordan, between 15 and 20 women are murdered annually in the name of "honour" and at least eight such killings have been reported in 2008, according to Jordanian authorities. In 2007 17 such murders were recorded. These killings, despite popular belief, are neither legal nor limited to any one community; nonetheless it is difficult to seek justice for them.

Police


Jordan ranked 24th in the world, 4th in the Middle East, in terms of police services' reliability in the Global Competitiveness Report. Jordan also ranked 13th in the world and 3rd in the Middle East in terms of prevention of organized crime, making it one of the safest countries in the world.

Foreign relations


Jordan has consistently followed a pro-Western foreign policy and traditionally has had close relations with the United States and the United Kingdom. These relations were damaged by Jordan's neutrality and maintaining relations with Iraq during the first Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 even though it was negotiating a peace settlement to end the conflict. Jordan has a reputation for usually following a pragmatic and non-confrontational foreign policy, leading to good relations with its neighbours.

Jordan has always been a mediator during times of high tension. During the 1970s, King Hussein negotiated with Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 to halt the military buildup to annex the small Persian Gulf nation of Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

. In the 1990s, King Hussein also tried to mediate the conflict between the United States and Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and tried to bring an end to hostilities while still condemning the Iraqi annexation of Kuwait. Jordan has historically been at the forefront of negotiating peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. King Abdullah II is the mediator between Israel and the Arab League's negotiations for peace and normalization of bilateral ties.

Following the Gulf War, Jordan largely restored its relations with Western countries through its participation in the Southwest Asia peace process and enforcement of UN sanctions against Iraq. Relations between Jordan and the Persian Gulf countries improved substantially after King Hussein's death. Following the fall of the Iraqi regime, Jordan has played a pivotal role in supporting the restoration of stability and security to Iraq. The Government of Jordan signed a memorandum of understanding with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq to facilitate the training of up to 30,000 Iraqi police cadets at a Jordanian facility.

Jordan signed a non-belligerency agreement with Israel (the Washington Declaration) in Washington, D.C., on 25 July 1994. King Hussein
Hussein of Jordan
Hussein bin Talal was the third King of Jordan from the abdication of his father, King Talal, in 1952, until his death. Hussein's rule extended through the Cold War and four decades of Arab-Israeli conflict...

 and Yitzhak Rabin
Yitzhak Rabin
' was an Israeli politician, statesman and general. He was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms in office, 1974–77 and 1992 until his assassination in 1995....

 negotiated this treaty. Jordan and Israel signed a historic peace treaty
Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace
The Israel–Jordan Treaty of Peace was signed in 1994. The treaty normalized relations between the two countries and resolved territorial disputes. The conflict had cost roughly US$18.3 billion...

 on 26 October 1994, witnessed by President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

, accompanied by US Secretary, Warren Christopher
Warren Christopher
Warren Minor Christopher was an American lawyer, diplomat and politician. During Bill Clinton's first term as President, Christopher served as the 63rd Secretary of State. He also served as Deputy Attorney General in the Lyndon Johnson administration, and as Deputy Secretary of State in the Jimmy...

. The US has participated with Jordan and Israel in trilateral development discussions in which key issues have been water-sharing and security; cooperation on Jordan Rift Valley development; infrastructure projects; and trade, finance, and banking issues.
Jordan and Israel had generally close relations even before the signing of the 1994 Peace Treaty. On more than one occasion, Jordan warned Israel of an impending attack by Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

. Also, during the Black September
Black September in Jordan
September 1970 is known as the Black September in Arab history and sometimes is referred to as the "era of regrettable events." It was a month when Hashemite King Hussein of Jordan moved to quash the militancy of Palestinian organizations and restore his monarchy's rule over the country. The...

 conflict in Jordan, Israel warned Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 that any Syrian intervention on the side of the PLO against the Jordanian monarchy would result in an Israeli attack. Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and Jordan along with Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 were already negotiating a peace treaty as early as the 1950s but a string of assassinations including Jordanian and Lebanese
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 ambassadors and the King of Jordan himself, stopped such an attempt at peace. However, this friendship has been damaged several times due to the worsening situation in the Palestinian territories and the slow peace process with the Palestinians. In Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 in 2009, several Likud
Likud
Likud is the major center-right political party in Israel. It was founded in 1973 by Menachem Begin in an alliance with several right-wing and liberal parties. Likud's victory in the 1977 elections was a major turning point in the country's political history, marking the first time the left had...

 lawmakers proposed a bill that called for a Palestinian state on both sides of the Jordan River, presuming that Jordan should be the alternative homeland for the Palestinians. Later, following similar remarks by the Israeli Speaker of the Knesset, twenty Jordanian lawmakers proposed a bill in the Jordanian Parliament
Parliament of Jordan
The Parliament of Jordan is the bicameral Jordanian National Assembly: "Majlis al-Umma". Established by the 1952 Constitution, the legislature consists of two houses: the Assembly of Senators and the Chamber of Deputies .The Assembly of Senators has 60 members, all of whom are directly appointed...

 in which the peace treaty between Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and Jordan would be frozen. The Israeli Foreign Ministry disavowed the original proposal.

Jordan's relations with the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 have traditionally been close. However, the relationship between the two countries reached new heights during the reign of King Abdullah II. The Jordanian General Intelligence Department is reportedly the CIA's closest partner after Britain's MI6. Also, the release classified US cables on Wikileaks proved the depth of US-Jordan relations. Over 4,000 military cables were sent from Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

, the fifth most popular origin of US military cables worldwide, higher than from London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 or Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

. Regionally, only Ankara
Ankara
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of , and as of 2010 the metropolitan area in the entire Ankara Province had a population of 4.4 million....

 and Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 surpassed Amman. Jordan provides extensive strategic and logistic support to US military forces in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

. However, the leaked military cables show that America had kept Jordan's involvement in the War on Terror quiet whether it be its rendition program or Jordan's leading of counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Jordan also participates in the multilateral peace talks. Jordan belongs to the UN and several of its specialized and related agencies, including the World Trade Organization
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

 (WTO), the International Meteorological Organization
International Meteorological Organization
The International Meteorological Organization was the first organization formed with the purpose of exchanging weather information among the countries of the world. It was born from the realization that weather systems move across country boundaries and knowledge of pressure, temperature,...

 (IMO), Food and Agriculture Organization
Food and Agriculture Organization
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is a specialised agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and...

 (FAO), International Atomic Energy Agency
International Atomic Energy Agency
The International Atomic Energy Agency is an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons. The IAEA was established as an autonomous organization on 29 July 1957...

 (IAEA), and the World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

 (WHO). Jordan also is a member of the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

, International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

 (IMF), Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Nonaligned Movement (NAM), and Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

.

Military





Jordan has a strong defensive army with strong support and aid from the United States, the United Kingdom and France. This is due to its critical position between Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 with very close proximity to Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 and Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

. The development of the special forces has been particularly significant, enhancing the capability of the forces to react rapidly to threats to state security, as well as training special forces from the region and beyond.
The Royal Special Forces
Royal Special Forces
The Royal Special Forces of the Jordanian Armed Forces were founded in 1963 on the orders of the late King Hussein Bin Talal. In the early 1970s Jordan's Special Forces were developed and assigned the tasks of reconnaissance, counter-terrorism, search and evacuation, combat, and the protection of...

is a unit of the armed forces of Jordan. The Commander was
Brigadier-General His Royal Highness Prince Abdullah (now King Abdullah II of Jordan
Abdullah II of Jordan
Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein is the reigning King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. He ascended the throne on 7 February 1999 after the death of his father King Hussein. King Abdullah, whose mother is Princess Muna al-Hussein, is a member of the Hashemite family...

), 1993–1996.
In 2007, these forces received training from Blackwater Worldwide
Blackwater Worldwide
Xe Services LLC, better known by its former names, Blackwater USA and Blackwater Worldwide, is a private military company founded in 1997 by Erik Prince and Al Clark.. Xe is currently the largest of the U.S. State Department's three private security contractors...

.

The Royal Naval Force
Royal Naval Force
The Royal Naval Force is the Naval entity of the Jordanian Armed Forces. As Jordan is landlocked except at its southern extremity, with only of shoreline along the Gulf of Aqaba providing access to the Red Sea, its Naval Force comprises only 17 patrol boats, and has a total complement of about 300...

is the Naval entity of the Jordanian Armed Forces
Jordanian Armed Forces
The Jordanian Armed Forces , also referred to as The Arab Army , with all of it branches, is under direct control of the King of Jordan...

.

The Royal Jordanian Air Force
Royal Jordanian Air Force
The Royal Jordanian Air Force is the air force branch of the Jordanian Armed Forces.-Early days:...

 (RJAF)
(Arabic: سلاح الجو الملكي الأردني, transliterated: Silah al-Jaw Almalaki al-Urduni) is the aviation
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

 branch of the Jordanian Armed Forces
Jordanian Armed Forces
The Jordanian Armed Forces , also referred to as The Arab Army , with all of it branches, is under direct control of the King of Jordan...

 and includes the Royal Jordanian Air Defence.

Peacekeeping abroad


There are about 50,000 Jordanian troops working with the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 in peacekeeping
Peacekeeping
Peacekeeping is an activity that aims to create the conditions for lasting peace. It is distinguished from both peacebuilding and peacemaking....

 missions across the world. These soldiers provide everything from military defense, training of native police, medical help, and charity. Jordan ranks third internationally in taking part in UN peacekeeping missions.

Jordan has dispatched several field hospitals to conflict zones and areas affected by natural disasters across the world such as Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, the West Bank, Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, Afghanistan, Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

, Indonesia, Congo, Liberia
Liberia
Liberia , officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Sierra Leone on the west, Guinea on the north and Côte d'Ivoire on the east. Liberia's coastline is composed of mostly mangrove forests while the more sparsely populated inland consists of forests that open...

, Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

, Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

, Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone , officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Guinea to the north and east, Liberia to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and southwest. Sierra Leone covers a total area of and has an estimated population between 5.4 and 6.4...

 and Pakistan. The Kingdom's field hospitals extended aid to more than one million people in Iraq, some one million in the West Bank and 55,000 in Lebanon. According to the military, there are Jordanian peacekeeping forces in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. Jordanian Armed Forces field hospital in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 has since 2002 provided assistance to some 750,000 persons and has significantly reduced the suffering of people residing in areas where the hospital operates.In some missions, the number of Jordanian troops was the second largest, the sources said. Jordan also provides extensive training of security forces in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, the Palestinian territories
Palestinian territories
The Palestinian territories comprise the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, the region is today recognized by three-quarters of the world's countries as the State of Palestine or simply Palestine, although this status is not recognized by the...

, and the GCC
Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf
The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf , also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council , is a political and economic union of the Arab states bordering the Persian Gulf and constituting the Arabian Peninsula, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates...

.

Politics


Jordan's most executive power is the King and it is a constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 with an appointed government. The King traditionally has held substantial power, however the democratically elected Parliament holds significant influence and power in national governance.

Political parties


The reforms of 1989 legalized political parties and opposition movements. The result is over 30 political parties, but the only political party that plays a role in the legislature is the Islamic Action Front
Islamic Action Front
The Islamic Action Front is a political party in Jordan. It is the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan....

 (IAF). Political parties can be seen to represent four sections: Islamists, leftists, Arab nationalists and liberals. Some other political parties in Jordan including the Jordanian Arab Democratic Party, Jordanian Socialist Party, and Muslim Centre Party, but these have little impact on the political process because of lack of organization and clear platforms on key domestic issues as well as differences and factions within these political parties.

Administrative Divisions


Jordan is divided into 12 provinces named Governorates, which are subdivided into 54 departments.
Governorate Capital Region
Ajloun Governorate
Ajloun Governorate
Ajlun Governorate is one of the governorates of Jordan, located north of Amman the capital of Jordan. Ajlun Governorate has the fourth highest population density in the kingdom of Jordan with a population density of 335 ppkm2...

 
Ajloun
Ajloun
Ajloun also written Ajlun is the capital town of the Ajloun Governorate . A hilly town in the north of Jordan, located 76 kilometers north west of Amman. It is noted for its impressive ruins the 12th century castle which known nowadays as Ajlun Castle...

 
North
Aqaba Governorate
Aqaba Governorate
Aqaba is one of the governorates of Jordan, located south of Amman, capital of Jordan. Its capital is Aqaba. It is the fourth largest governorate in Jordan by area and is ranked 10th by population....

 
Aqaba
Aqaba
Aqaba is a coastal city in the far south of Jordan, the capital of Aqaba Governorate at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. Aqaba is strategically important to Jordan as it is the country's only seaport. Aqaba is best known today as a diving and beach resort, but industrial activity remains important...

 
South
Balqa Governorate  Salt
Salt, Jordan
Salt is an ancient agricultural town and administrative centre in west-central Jordan. It is on the old main highway leading from Amman to Jerusalem. Situated in the Balqa highland, about 790–1100 metres above sea level, the town is built in the crook of three hills, close to the Jordan River...

 
Central
Capital Governorate
Amman Governorate
Officially known as Muhafazat al-Asima , Amman Governorate is one of the governorates - locally known as muhafazat - in Jordan. This governorate's capital is the City of Amman, It is also Jordan's capital...

 
Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

 
Central
Irbid Governorate
Irbid Governorate
Irbid or Irbed is one of the governorates of Jordan. It is located north of Amman, Jordan's capital. The capital of the governorate of Irbid is the city of Irbid...

 
Irbid
Irbid
Irbid , known in ancient times as Arabella or Arbela , is the capital and largest city of the Irbid Governorate. It also has the second largest metropolitan population in Jordan after Amman, with a population of around 660,000, and is located about 70 km north of Amman on the northern ridge of...

 
North
Jerash Governorate
Jerash Governorate
Jerash is one of the governorates of Jordan; it is located north of Amman, Jordan's capital. It carrys the name of its capital and largest city, Jerash City....

 
Jerash
Jerash
Jerash, the Gerasa of Antiquity, is the capital and largest city of Jerash Governorate , which is situated in the north of Jordan, north of the capital Amman towards Syria...

 
North
Governorate Capital Location
Kerak Governorate  Al Karak
Al Karak
Karak is a city in Jordan that is known for the famous crusader castle Kerak. The castle is one of the three largest castles in the region, the other two being in Syria...

 
South
Ma'an Governorate
Ma'an Governorate
Ma'an is one of the governorates of Jordan, it is located south of Amman, Jordan's capital. Its capital is the city of Ma'an. This governorate is the largest in the kingdom of Jordan by area.-History:...

 
Ma'an
Ma'an
Ma'an is a town in southern Jordan 218 km away from the capital Amman. It is the capital of Ma'an Governorate. Ma'an has a population of around 50,000. The city had a population of 22,989 in the 1992 census and is estimated as being about 50,000 as of 2007 according to the Ma'an Municipality...

 
South
Madaba Governorate
Madaba Governorate
Madaba, is one of the governorates of Jordan, it is located south west of Amman, capital of Jordan. Its capital is Madaba. The governorate is ranked eighth by population and by area in Jordan...

 
Madaba
Madaba
Madaba , is the capital city of Madaba Governorate of Jordan, which has a population of about 60,000. Madaba is the fifth most populous town in Jordan. It is best known for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, especially a large Byzantine-era mosaic map of The Holy Land...

 
Central
Mafraq Governorate
Mafraq Governorate
Mafraq is one of the governorates of Jordan, located to the north-east of Amman, capital of Jordan. It has a population of 254,219 with a percentage of 4.5% of Jordan's population...

 
Mafraq
Mafraq
Mafraq is the capital city of Mafraq Governorate, Jordan, located 80 Km to the north from the Jordanian capital Amman in crossroad to Syria to the north and Iraq to the east. It has 58,954 inhabitants...

 
North
Tafilah Governorate
Tafilah Governorate
Tafilah is one of the governorates of Jordan, located about 180 km south-west of Amman, Jordan's capital.Tafilah Governorate is bordered by Karak Governorate to the north, Ma'an Governorate to the east and south, Aqaba Governorate to the south, and by Israel to the west. The area of this...

 
Tafilah
Tafilah
At-Tafilah is a town with a population of 39,000 people in southern Jordan, located southwest of Amman. It is the capital of Tafilah Governorate. It is well-known for having green gardens which contain olive and fig trees, and grape-vines...

 
South
Zarqa Governorate
Zarqa Governorate
Zarqa Governorate is the third largest governorate in Jordan by population. The capital of Zarqa governorate is Zarqa City, which is the largest city in the governorate. It is located 25 km east of the Jordanian capital Amman...

 
Zarqa
Zarqa
Az-Zarqāʔ is a city in Jordan located to the northeast of Amman. With a population of more than one million 1000,000. It is the country's second largest city after Amman. Zarqa is the capital of Zarqa Governorate . Its name means "the blue one".- Overview :Zarqa is Jordan's industrial centre, home...

 
Central

Human rights


The 2010 Arab Democracy Index from the Arab Reform Initiative ranked Jordan first in the state of democratic reforms out of fifteen Arab countries.

Jordan ranked 141 out of 196 countries worldwide, earning "Not Free" status in Freedom House
Freedom House
Freedom House is an international non-governmental organization based in Washington, D.C. that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights...

's 2011 Freedom of the Press 2011 report
Freedom of the Press (report)
Freedom of the Press is a yearly report by US-based non-governmental organization Freedom House, measuring the level of freedom and editorial independence enjoyed by the press in every nation and significant disputed territories around the world. Levels of freedom are scored on a scale from 1 to 100...

. Jordan had the 5th freest press of 19 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Civil liberties and political rights scored 5 and 6 respectively in Freedom House's Freedom in the World 2011 report, where 1 is most free and 7 is least free. This earned Jordan "Not Free" status. Jordan ranked ahead of 6, behind 4, and the same as 8 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region.

In the 2010 Press Freedom Index
Press Freedom Index
The Press Freedom Index is an annual ranking of countries compiled and published by Reporters Without Borders based upon the organization's assessment of their press freedom records. Small countries, such as Andorra, are excluded from this report...

 maintained by Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders is a France-based international non-governmental organization that advocates freedom of the press. It was founded in 1985, by Robert Ménard, Rony Brauman and the journalist Jean-Claude Guillebaud. Jean-François Julliard has served as Secretary General since 2008...

, Jordan ranked 120th out of 178 countries listed, 5th out of the 20 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region. Jordan's score was 37 on a scale from 0 (most free) to 105 (least free).

Jordan ranked 6th among the 19 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region, and 50th out of 178 countries worldwide in the 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index
Corruption Perceptions Index
Since 1995, Transparency International publishes the Corruption Perceptions Index annually ranking countries "by their perceived levels of corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys." The CPI generally defines corruption as "the misuse of public power for private...

 (CPI) issued by Transparency International
Transparency International
Transparency International is a non-governmental organization that monitors and publicizes corporate and political corruption in international development. It publishes an annual Corruption Perceptions Index, a comparative listing of corruption worldwide...

. Jordan's 2010 CPI score was 4.7 on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 10 (very clean). Jordan ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption
United Nations Convention against Corruption
The United Nations Convention against Corruption is the first legally binding international anti-corruption instrument. In its 8 Chapters and 71 Articles, the UNCAC obliges its States Parties to implement a wide and detailed range of anti-corruption measures affecting their laws, institutions and...

 (UNCAC) in February 2005 and has been a regional leader in spearheading efforts to promote the UNCAC and its implementation.

Areas where the government of Jordan was praised in its human rights efforts were in its protection of minority groups and freedom of religion. Christians are well integrated in Jordanian society and they are members of the country's political and economic elite. There are usually two cabinet posts held by Christians. A survey by a Western embassy in Amman found that nearly half of Jordan's leading business families are Christian despite being a minority group. Christians have established good relations with the royal family and many hold senior positions in the military. Jordanian Christians are equally represented in the Parliament.

Areas of concern with respect to human rights in Jordan include:
  • limitations on the right of citizens to change their government peacefully;
  • a newly drafted electoral law that perpetuates significant under representation of urban areas and citizens of Palestinian origin in leadership positions;
  • cases of arbitrary deprivation of life, torture, poor prison conditions, impunity, arbitrary arrest and denial of due process through administrative detention, and prolonged detention;
  • breaches of fair trial standards and external interference in judicial decisions;
  • infringements on privacy rights;
  • limited freedoms of speech and press, and government interference in the media and threats of fines and detention that encourage self-censorship;
  • restricted freedoms of assembly and association;
  • legal and societal discrimination and harassment of women remain a concern, although there have been significant improvements in recent years;
  • legal and societal discrimination and harassment of religious minorities and converts from Islam are a concern, although Jordan is widely acknowledged as being a strong supporter of religious freedoms;
  • legal and societal discrimination of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community;
  • loss of Jordanian nationality by some citizens of Palestinian origin;
  • restricted labor rights; and
  • abuse of foreign domestic workers.


In response to domestic and regional unrest, in February 2011 King Abdallah replaced his prime minister and formed a National Dialogue Commission with a reform mandate. The King told the new prime minister to "take quick, concrete and practical steps to launch a genuine political reform process", "to strengthen democracy," and provide Jordanians with the "dignified life they deserve." The King called for an "immediate revision" of laws governing politics and public freedoms. Initial reports say that this effort has started slowly and that several "fundamental rights" are not being addressed.

Demographics





The Jordan National Census for the year 2004 was released on October 1 of the same year, According to the census, Jordan had a population of 5,100,981. The census estimated that there are another 190,000 who were not counted. National growth rate was 2.5% (at maximum) compared to 3.3% of the 1994 census. Males made up 51.5% of Jordan's population (2,628,717), while females constituted 2,472,264 (48.5%). Jordanian citizens made up 93% of the population (4,750,463), non-Jordanian citizens made up 7% (349,933). However, it is estimated that most of those who did not turn in their forms were immigrants from neighboring countries, There were 946,000 households in Jordan in 2004, with an average of 5.3 persons/household (compared to 6 persons/household for the census of 1994).
The next census is scheduled to take place in 2014.

Jordan's Arab population mainly consists of Jordanians, Palestinians and Iraqis. In addition, there are sizable immigrant communities from Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 residing in Jordan.
Of the non-Arab population which comprises 2% to 5% of Jordan's population, most are Circassians, Chechen
Chechen people
Chechens constitute the largest native ethnic group originating in the North Caucasus region. They refer to themselves as Noxçi . Also known as Sadiks , Gargareans, Malkhs...

s, Armenians
Armenians
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

, Turkmans
Turkmen people
The Turkmen are a Turkic people located primarily in the Central Asian states of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and northeastern Iran. They speak the Turkmen language, which is classified as a part of the Western Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages family together with Turkish, Azerbaijani, Qashqai,...

, and Romanis, all of which have maintained separate ethnic identities, but have integrated into mainstream Jordanian culture. Also, Jordan is home to a relatively large American and European expatriate population concentrated mainly in the capital as the city is home to many international organizations and diplomatic missions that base their regional operations in Amman. Since the Iraq War many Christians (Assyrians/Chaldeans
Assyrian people
The Assyrian people are a distinct ethnic group whose origins lie in ancient Mesopotamia...

) from Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 have settled permanently or temporarily in Jordan. They could number as many as 500,000.

During the years 2004–2007, Jordan saw a rapid increase in its population due to the heavy migration of Iraqi refugees, an independent census carried in 2007, estimated that there are 700,000 Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

is residing in Jordan, other estimates put them as high as one million Iraqis
Refugees of Iraq
Throughout the past 100 years, there have been a growing number of refugees fleeing Iraq and settling throughout the world, peaking recently with the latest Iraq War. Most of Iraqi Jews, some 120,000, fled the country in mass exodus of 1950-1952. Tens of thousands of Kurds turned displaced and fled...

. Estimates put the population of Jordan slightly over 6,300,000 as of the year 2009 (increasing from 5,100,000 in 2004).

UNRWA indicates that as many as 1,951,603 persons are registered as Palestinian refugees in 2008 mostly as Jordanian citizens. 338,000 of which reside in UNRWA administered refugee camps scattered across Jordan.

There are is no exact number detailing the extent of migrant workers in Jordan, however they are believed to form between 20–30% of the labor force in Jordan.. The population of migrant workers including domestic workers in Jordan are believed to be as high as one million. Many are Egyptians
Egyptians
Egyptians are nation an ethnic group made up of Mediterranean North Africans, the indigenous people of Egypt.Egyptian identity is closely tied to geography. The population of Egypt is concentrated in the lower Nile Valley, the small strip of cultivable land stretching from the First Cataract to...

 who number at around 500,000 laborers and the remaining workers are mostly from Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, and Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

. Jordan is home to one of the world's largest population of migrant domestic workers according to the Human Rights Watch. Domestic workers in Jordan number around 300,000, according to estimates, and they mainly come from the countries of Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, and Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

. Furthermore, there are thousands of foreign women working in nightclubs and bars across Jordan, mostly from Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

 and North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

.

Genetics


Jordan was often at the crossroads of civilizations, and so has diverse genetic remnants. Recent genetic studies have shown strong links between the modern Jordanian people and the core populations of the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

 and the fertile crescent
Fertile Crescent
The Fertile Crescent, nicknamed "The Cradle of Civilization" for the fact the first civilizations started there, is a crescent-shaped region containing the comparatively moist and fertile land of otherwise arid and semi-arid Western Asia. The term was first used by University of Chicago...

. A study published by Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza
Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza
Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza is an Italian population geneticist born in Genoa, who has been a professor at Stanford University since 1970 .-Books:...

 found that the Jordanian genetics are closest to the Assyrians among all other nations of Western Asia, but also links to the ancient tribes of Arabia and Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

.

Language


The official language is Arabic. English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, though without an official status, is widely spoken throughout the country and is the de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

 language of commerce
Commerce
While business refers to the value-creating activities of an organization for profit, commerce means the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological systems that are in operation in any...

 and banking, as well as a co-official status in the education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 sector. The spoken language is Jordanian Levantine
Jordanian Arabic
Jordanian Arabic is a set of dialects of Levantine Arabic that are originated in the Jordanian Kingdom and are spoken by Jordanians. Jordanian Arabic has a Semitic language structure, with lexical influence of English, Turkish and French. It is spoken by more than 6 million people, and understood...

. Modern Standard Arabic and English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 are obligatory learnt at public and most private schools with French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 being a less popular elective. Radio Jordan offers radio services in Arabic, English,and French. Armenian
Armenian language
The Armenian language is an Indo-European language spoken by the Armenian people. It is the official language of the Republic of Armenia as well as in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The language is also widely spoken by Armenian communities in the Armenian diaspora...

 as well as Caucasian languages like Circassian
Northwest Caucasian languages
The Northwest Caucasian languages, also called Abkhazo-Adyghean, or sometimes Pontic as opposed to Caspian for the Northeast Caucasian languages, are a group of languages spoken in the Caucasus region, chiefly in Russia , the disputed territory of Abkhazia, and Turkey, with smaller communities...

 and Chechen
Chechen language
The Chechen language is spoken by more than 1.5 million people, mostly in Chechnya and by Chechen people elsewhere. It is a member of the Northeast Caucasian languages.-Classification:...

, are understood and spoken by small communities residing in Jordan, with several schools teaching them.

Religion



Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 is the predominant religion in Jordan, and it is the majority religion among both Arabs and non-Arabs. It is the official religion of the country, and approximately 92% of the population is Muslim by religion, primarily of the Sunni branch of Islam. Islamic and Christian studies are offered to students but are not mandatory and do not factor into the University entry school exams. Jordan has laws promoting religious freedom, but they fall short of protecting all minority groups. Muslims who convert to another religion as well as missionaries face societal and legal discrimination.

According to the 2010 Legatum Prosperity Index, less than half of Jordanians regularly attend religious services, a moderate percentage in comparison to industrialized countries. However, this rate is the lowest among all the Arab countries and it is one of the lowest in the entire Muslim World
Muslim world
The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

.

Jordan has an indigenous Christian minority. Christians are a religious minority both among the Arab and non-Arab segment. Christians of all ethnic backgrounds permanently residing in Jordan form approximately 6% of the population and are allocated respective seats in parliament (The Department of Statistics released no information about the religion distribution from the census of 2004). Christians made up 30% of the Jordanian population in 1950. However, emigration
Emigration
Emigration is the act of leaving one's country or region to settle in another. It is the same as immigration but from the perspective of the country of origin. Human movement before the establishment of political boundaries or within one state is termed migration. There are many reasons why people...

 to Europe, Canada and the United States and lower birth rates compared to Muslims has significantly decreased the ratio of the Christian population, coupled with the fact that the majority of people that have come to Jordan as refugees were Muslim.

Indigenous Jordanians of the Christians faith, are, like their counterpart indigenous Jordanians of the Muslim faith, an Arab people in language, culture and identity. Jordanian Arab Christians hold services in the Arabic language, and share the culture of Jordan, and share the broader Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

ine Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 identity. Most Jordanian Christians belong to the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem. The remainder include members of the Syriac Orthodox Church
Syriac Orthodox Church
The Syriac Orthodox Church; is an autocephalous Oriental Orthodox church based in the Eastern Mediterranean, with members spread throughout the world. The Syriac Orthodox Church claims to derive its origin from one of the first Christian communities, established in Antioch by the Apostle St....

, Latin Rite Catholic Church, Melkite Greek Catholic Church
Melkite Greek Catholic Church
The Melkite Greek Catholic Church is an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See as part of the worldwide Catholic Church. The Melkites, Byzantine Rite Catholics of mixed Eastern Mediterranean and Greek origin, trace their history to the early Christians of Antioch, Syria, of...

, Syriac Catholic Church
Syriac Catholic Church
The Syriac Catholic Church is a Christian church in the Levant having practices and rites in common with the Syriac Orthodox Church. They are one of the Eastern Catholic Churches following the Antiochene rite, the Syriac tradition of Antioch, along with the Maronites and Syro-Malankara Christians...

, Chaldean Catholic Church
Chaldean Catholic Church
The Chaldean Catholic Church , is an Eastern Syriac particular church of the Catholic Church, maintaining full communion with the Bishop of Rome and the rest of the Catholic Church...

, Assyrian Church of the East
Assyrian Church of the East
The Assyrian Church of the East, officially the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East ʻIttā Qaddishtā w-Shlikhāitā Qattoliqi d-Madnĕkhā d-Āturāyē), is a Syriac Church historically centered in Mesopotamia. It is one of the churches that claim continuity with the historical...

, Maronite Church
Maronite Church
The Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch is an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See of Rome . It traces its heritage back to the community founded by Maron, a 4th-century Syriac monk venerated as a saint. The first Maronite Patriarch, John Maron, was elected in the late 7th...

, Ancient Church of the East
Ancient Church of the East
The Ancient Church of the East was established in 1968. It follows the traditions of one of the oldest Christian churches, the Church of the East, whose origins trace back to the See of Seleucia-Ctesiphon in central Mesopotamia...

, and Anglican Communion
Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion is an international association of national and regional Anglican churches in full communion with the Church of England and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury...

.

Among the Christian non-Arab population, significant part is made up of Armenians in Jordan
Armenians in Jordan
Armenians in Jordan are ethnic Armenians living within the current Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. There are an estimated 3,000 Armenians living within the country today. An estimated 2,500 of these are members of the Armenian Apostolic Church, and predominantly speak the Western dialect of the...

; the Armenian Apostolic Church
Armenian Apostolic Church
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the world's oldest National Church, is part of Oriental Orthodoxy, and is one of the most ancient Christian communities. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD, in establishing this church...

 and Armenian Catholic Church
Armenian Catholic Church
|- |The Armenian Catholic Church is an Eastern Catholic Church sui juris in union with the other Eastern Rite, Oriental Rite and Latin Rite Catholics who accept the Bishop of Rome as spiritual leader of the Church. It is regulated by Eastern canon law...

 (and some in other churches). Others include expatriate Christians in Jordan from various countries, as evinced, for example, by some Catholic masses held in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Sinhala. With Protestant services in English (4 Churches), Tagalog, Tamil, and German. Many Iraqi Christians have recently moved to Jordan with the turmoil in neighboring Iraq, and they are composed mostly of Iraqi Assyrian Christians.

Other religious minorities groups in Jordan include adherents to the Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

 and Bahá'í Faith
Bahá'í Faith
The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

. The Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

 are mainly located in the Eastern Oasis
Oasis
In geography, an oasis or cienega is an isolated area of vegetation in a desert, typically surrounding a spring or similar water source...

 Town of Azraq, some villages on the Syrian border and the city of Zarka, while the Village of Adassiyeh bordering the Jordan Valley
Jordan Rift Valley
The Jordan Rift Valley is an elongated depression located in modern-day Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories. This geographic region includes the Jordan River, Jordan Valley, Hula Valley, Lake Tiberias and the Dead Sea, the lowest land elevation on Earth...

 is home to Jordan's Bahá'í
Bahá'í Faith
The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

 community.

Health


Jordan has a rather advanced healthcare system, although services remain highly concentrated in Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

. Government figures have put total health spending in 2002 at some 7.5% of Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 (GDP), while international health organizations place the figure even higher, at approximately 9.3% of GDP. The country's health care system is divided between public and private institutions. In the public sector, the Ministry of Health operates 1,245 primary health-care centers and 27 hospitals, accounting for 37% of all hospital beds in the country; the military's Royal Medical Services runs 11 hospitals, providing 24% of all beds; and the Jordan University Hospital accounts for 3% of total beds in the country. The private sector provides 36% of all hospital beds, distributed among 56 hospitals. In 1 June 2007, Jordan Hospital (as the biggest private hospital) was the first general specialty hospital who gets the international accreditation JCAHO.

According to 2003 estimates, the rate of prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) was less than 0.1%. According to a United Nations Development Program report, Jordan has been considered malaria
Malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

-free since 2001; cases of tuberculosis
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

 declined by half during the 1990s, but tuberculosis remains an issue and an area needing improvement. Jordan experienced a brief outbreak of bird flu in March 2006. Noncommunicable diseases such as cancer
Cancer
Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

 also are a major health issue in Jordan. Childhood immunization
Immunization
Immunization, or immunisation, is the process by which an individual's immune system becomes fortified against an agent ....

 rates have increased steadily over the past 15 years; by 2002 immunizations and vaccine
Vaccine
A vaccine is a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism, and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe or its toxins...

s reached more than 95% of children under five.

About 86% of Jordanians had medical insurance in 2009, the Jordanian government plans to reach 100% in 2011.

The King Hussein Cancer Center is the only specialized cancer treatment facility in the Middle East. It is one of the top cancer treatment facilities in the world. Jordan was ranked by the World Bank to be the number one health care services provider in the region and among the top 5 in the world. In 2008, 250,000 patients sought treatment in the Kingdom including Iraqis, Palestinians, Sudanese, Syrians, GCC
Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf
The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf , also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council , is a political and economic union of the Arab states bordering the Persian Gulf and constituting the Arabian Peninsula, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates...

 citizens, Americans, Canadians, and Egyptians. Jordan earned almost $1 billion dollars in medical tourism revenues according to the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

.

According to the CIA World Factbook
The World Factbook
The World Factbook is a reference resource produced by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States with almanac-style information about the countries of the world. The official paper copy version is available from the National Technical Information Service and the Government Printing Office...

, the life expectancy in Jordan is 80.05 years, the second highest in the region (after Israel). There were 203 physicians per 100,000 people in the years 2000–2004, a proportion comparable to many developed countries and higher than most of the developing world.

Water and sanitation, available to only 10% of the population in 1950, now reach 99% of Jordanians, according to government statistics. They also show that electricity reaches 99% of the population, as compared to less than 10% in 1955.
See: Medical education in Jordan
Medical education in Jordan
Medical education in Jordan includes educational activities involved in the education and training of Bachelors of Medicine and Surgery in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, from entry-level training through to continuing education of qualified specialists.The history of Jordanian medical education...

.

Quality of life


Jordan is consistently ranked as having a superior quality of life in comparison to the region and developing countries as a whole. Jordan has one of the highest standards of living in the developing world with a highly educated population with access to advanced healthcare services in urban and rural areas. Jordan ranked as having the 11th highest standard of living in the developing world and the second highest standard of living in the Arab and Muslim World as measured by the Human Poverty Index-2. Jordan is a noticeably clean country with an extremely low crime rate by both regional and international standards. Decades of political stability and security and strict law enforcement make Jordan one of the top 10 countries worldwide in security. In the 2010 Newsweek "World's Best Countries" list, Jordan ranked as the third best Arab country to live in (53rd worldwide), after Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

 and the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

. Globally, it ranks higher than China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 and South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

. According to the index, its standard of living is on par with Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 and Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

. In addition, Jordan is one of the most liberal countries in the Middle East with a pro-secular government. In the 2010 Human Development Index, Jordan was placed in the "high human development" bracket and came 7th among Arab countries, behind the oil-rich states and one place behind Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

. In the HDI index score excluding income, Jordan came in second in the Arab world, higher than most of the affluent Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 states, showing the huge emphasis the Jordanian government has placed on human capital in its development process. Furthermore, in the Inequality-adjusted HDI, Jordan came first among all the Arab countries showing that the average Jordanian was better off than the average citizen of any Arab country listed in the index.
The 2010 Quality of Life Index prepared by International Living Magazine ranked Jordan as having almost the highest quality of life in the Middle East and North Africa Region. To produce this annual Index, International Living considers, for each of these countries, nine categories: Cost of Living, Culture and Leisure, Economy, Environment, Freedom, Health, Infrastructure, Safety and Risk and Climate. Jordan ranked second in the MENA with 55.0 points after Israel and followed by Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

 with 54.47 points, Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 with 54.45 points, and Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 with 54.3 points. Only 3.5 percent of Jordanians earn less than $2 a day, one of the lowest rates in the developing world and the lowest among the Arab states, according to the UN Human Development Report. Furthermore, Jordan hosts one of the highest percentages of immigrants in the world in comparison to its total population, with more than 40% of its residents being born in another country, a rate even higher than the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, according to a 2005 UN Report.

Access to adequate food and shelter in Jordan is the sixth highest rate in the world, and a relatively high 72%* of Jordanians are satisfied with their living standards. Despite high levels of perceived corruption in politics and business, Jordanians have relatively high confidence in the government. Over eight in 10 people approve of their government which is the 13th highest level in the 2010 Legatum Prosperity Index. Levels of support for the country’s policies to preserve the environment and address poverty are also among the top 25 nations. Jordanians are highly enthusiastic about their other civil institutions: 96% support the military, the seventh highest rate overall, and 70% have confidence in the judiciary, the 25th highest rate. Jordanians also enjoy high levels of safety in their personal lives. In a 2009 survey, just 2.8%* of respondents said they had been assaulted in the last 12 months, and less than 7%* had experienced theft: these figures are the 21st and 10th lowest in the world, respectively. Jordan is also among the top ten countries whose citizens feel safest walking the streets at night.

Jordan spends 4.2% of its GDP to guarantee the well being of its citizens- more than any other country in the region. Life expectancy and public health levels in Jordan are comparable to the West with 88% of the population on medical insurance, one of the highest rates in the world. The remaining 12% are covered under Royal makruma. Also, the Social Security Corporation (SSC) is working to increase social security subscribers across the Kingdom with public sector
Public sector
The public sector, sometimes referred to as the state sector, is a part of the state that deals with either the production, delivery and allocation of goods and services by and for the government or its citizens, whether national, regional or local/municipal.Examples of public sector activity range...

 workers currently covered and working to include private sector employees as well. After employees in the Kingdom receive coverage, the SSC is now expanding to include Jordanian expatriates in the Persian Gulf states and students, housewives, business owners, and the unemployed. As of 2011, 63% of working Jordanians are insured with the Social Security Corporation, as well as 120,000 foreigners. The corporation plans to have 85% of the population covered under the social security umbrella by the end of the year.

In 2008, the Jordanian government launched the "Decent Housing for a Decent Living" project aimed at giving poor people and even Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugees or Palestine refugees are the people and their descendants, predominantly Palestinian Arabic-speakers, who fled or were expelled from their homes during and after the 1948 Palestine War, within that part of the British Mandate of Palestine, that after that war became the...

s the chance at owning their own house. Approximately 120,000 affordable housing units will be constructed within the next 5 years, and an additional 100,000 housing units can be built if the need arises.

Jordan was ranked as the 19th most expensive country in the world to live in 2010 and the most expensive Arab country to live in.

Despite these positive indicators, Jordan remains marred by chronic high unemployment rates, 11.9% in the fourth quarter of 2010. Also, an estimated 13.3% of citizens live under the poverty line of 680 dinars per month ($960). Wide disaparities in wealth are evident between urban and rural areas and even between the Western and Eastern districts of the capital Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

. Currently, there are over 700,000 highly skilled college graduates working temporarily in GCC
Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf
The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf , also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council , is a political and economic union of the Arab states bordering the Persian Gulf and constituting the Arabian Peninsula, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates...

 nations like the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

 and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

. These white-collar workers send home more than three billion dollars in remittances to Jordan each year, a vital part of the Jordanian economy. High cost of living and lower wages push thousands of fresh college graduates to seek their fortunes in the oil-rich gulf. According to the 2010 Middle East Salary Survey conducted by Bayt.com, Jordanians earn more than their counterparts in other Arab countries with the exception of the oil-rich Gulf:
  • 27% of Jordanian workers earn less than $500 a month,
  • 28% earn between $  500 and $1000 a month,
  • 21% earn between $1000 and $2000 a month,
  • 10% earn between $2000 and $3000 a month,
  •   6% earn between $3000 and $5000 a month,
  •   2% earn between $5000 and $8000 a month, and
  •   2% earn above $8000 a month.


Around 97 percent of Jordanians have more than one source of income with 26.7 percent having two incomes, 38 percent have three incomes, 22 percent have four incomes, and 10.6 have five sources of income or more, according to the Department of Statistics.

Several aspects of Jordan's quality of life include:
  • Good health infrastructure, see: Health in Jordan
    Health in Jordan
    Jordan has quite an advanced health care system, although services remain highly concentrated in Amman. Government figures have put total health spending in 2002 at some 7.5 percent of Gross domestic product , while international health organizations place the figure even higher, at approximately...

  • Relatively open socio-political environment, see: Politics of Jordan
    Politics of Jordan
    Politics of Jordan takes place in a framework of a parliamentary monarchy, whereby the Prime Minister of Jordan is head of government, and of a multi-party system. Jordan is a constitutional monarchy based on the constitution promulgated on January 8, 1952...

     and Human rights in Jordan
    Human rights in Jordan
    Human rights in Jordan continues to be a matter of concern for many in and outside of the country, including international human rights groups.-Overview:...

  • Reliable infrastructure, see: Communications in Jordan
    Communications in Jordan
    Jordan has a highly developed communications infrastructure. Jordan's telecom infrastructure is growing at a very rapid pace and continually being updated and expanded. Jordan's telecom industry remains the most competitive in the Middle East...

     and Transport in Jordan
    Transport in Jordan
    With the exception of a railway system, Jordan has a developed public and private transportation system. There are three international airports in Jordan. Railways are not commonly used for passenger transport in Jordan, the only passenger railway is that connecting Amman to Damascus in Syria.-...

  • A moderate climate, see: Climate of Jordan and Geography of Jordan
    Geography of Jordan
    Jordan is situated geographically in Southwest Asia, south of Syria, west of Iraq northwest of Saudi Arabia and east of Israel and the West Bank; politically, the area has also been referred to in the West as the Middle or Near East. The territory of Jordan now covers about 91,880 square kilometers...

  • A growing economy, see: Economy of Jordan
    Economy of Jordan
    The economy of Jordan is robust and growing. Its GDP per capita soared by 351% in the 1970s, and after only a slight decline of 30% in the 1980s, grew once again by 36% in the 1990s. Jordan is classified as an emerging market...

  • Diverse ethnic and religious background, see: Demographics of Jordan
    Demographics of Jordan
    This article is about the demographic features of the population of Jordan, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population....

  • Political stability, see: History of Jordan
    History of Jordan
    The History of Jordan starts with evidence of human activity in Transjordan in the Paleolithic period , continues with the Muslim empires starting in the19th century, the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century, the Great Arab Revolt and the British mandate of Transjordan in the early 20th century, and...


Education



Jordan has given great attention to education in particular. The literacy rate in Jordan is 93%. In addition, the role played by a good education system has been significant in the development of Jordan from a predominantly agrarian to an industrialized nation. Jordan's education system ranks number one in the Arab World and is one of the highest in the developing world. UNESCO ranked Jordan's education system 18th worldwide for providing gender equality in education. 20.5% of Jordan's total government expenditures goes to education compared to 2.5% in Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 and 3.86% in Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

.

Jordan ranked 14th out of 110 countries for the number of engineers and scientists according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2004–2005 (WEF). Jordan has a higher proportion of university graduates in technological fields than any other country in the region. There are over 200,000 Jordanian students enrolled in universities each year. An additional 20,000 Jordanians pursue higher education abroad primarily in Western
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 countries like the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

.

There is a primary school enrollment rate of 98.2% in Jordan. Secondary school enrollment has increased from 63% to 97% of high school aged students in Jordan and between 79% and 85% of high school students in Jordan move on to higher education, an extremely high rate for a middle income nation.

According to the Global Innovation Index 2011, Jordan is considered the 3rd most innovative economy in the Middle East, only behind Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

 and the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

. Worldwide, Jordan ranked 41st beating global economic powerhouses like India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, and Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

.

Jordan is the top contributor among all Arab countries in terms of internet content. 75% of all Arabic online content originates from Jordan.

In scientific research generally, Jordan is ranked number one in the region and 30th worldwide. Nature Journal reported Jordan having the highest number of researchers per million people among all the 57 countries members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC); the average of OIC countries is 500 researchers per million people. In Jordan there are 2,000 researchers per million people, higher than Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

.

School education


The illiteracy rate in Jordan was 6.9% in 2010, one of the lowest in the region. School education in Jordan could be categorized into two sections:
  • Secondary education
    Secondary education
    Secondary education is the stage of education following primary education. Secondary education includes the final stage of compulsory education and in many countries it is entirely compulsory. The next stage of education is usually college or university...

    , which consists of two years of school study, for students who have completed the 10-year basic cycle. It comprises two major tracks:
  1. Secondary education, which can either be academic or vocational. At the end of the two-year period, students sit for the general secondary examination (Tawjihi
    Tawjihi
    Tawjihi is the general secondary examination in Jordan, West Bank and Gaza, part of education in Jordan and education in Palestine.Upon graduation, the ministry of Higher Education, through a system similar to that of the United Kingdom tariff points, transforms the Grades/Marks of these foreign...

    ) in the appropriate branch and those who pass are awarded the Tawjihi (General Secondary Education Certificate). The academic stream qualifies students for university
    University
    A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

     entrance, whereas the vocational or technical type qualifies for entrance to Community college
    Community college
    A community college is a type of educational institution. The term can have different meanings in different countries.-Australia:Community colleges carry on the tradition of adult education, which was established in Australia around mid 19th century when evening classes were held to help adults...

    s or universities or the job market, provided they pass the two additional subjects.
  2. Vocational secondary education, which provides intensive vocational training and apprenticeship
    Apprenticeship
    Apprenticeship is a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a skill. Apprentices or protégés build their careers from apprenticeships...

    , and leads to the award of a Certificate (not the Tawjihi). This type of education is provided by the Vocational Training Corporation, under the control of the Ministry of Labour / Technical and Vocational Education and Training Higher Council.


After completing the 8, 9 or 10 years of basic education, Jordanians are free to choose any foreign secondary education program instead of the Tawjihi
Tawjihi
Tawjihi is the general secondary examination in Jordan, West Bank and Gaza, part of education in Jordan and education in Palestine.Upon graduation, the ministry of Higher Education, through a system similar to that of the United Kingdom tariff points, transforms the Grades/Marks of these foreign...

 examinations (8 for IGCSE, 10 for SAT and IB). Such programmes are usually offered by private school
Private school
Private schools, also known as independent schools or nonstate schools, are not administered by local, state or national governments; thus, they retain the right to select their students and are funded in whole or in part by charging their students' tuition, rather than relying on mandatory...

s. These programmes include:
  • IGCSE
    IGCSE
    The International General Certificate of Secondary Education is an internationally recognised qualification for school students, typically in the 14–16 age group. It is similar to the GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Standard Grade in Scotland or Junior Certificate in the Republic of...

  • SAT
    SAT
    The SAT Reasoning Test is a standardized test for college admissions in the United States. The SAT is owned, published, and developed by the College Board, a nonprofit organization in the United States. It was formerly developed, published, and scored by the Educational Testing Service which still...

  • International Baccalaureate


Private schools in Jordan also offer IGCSE examinations. About 25% of school-aged students in Jordan are enrolled in private schools. The following is a list of the most prominent private schools in the kingdom:
  • Amman Academy: which offers Tawjihi, and International Baccalaureate (IGCSE examinations are no longer administered).
  • The International School of Choueifat which only offers external examinations, and which is known as one of the toughest schools world wide, whose students take honors world wide in external examinations.
  • College De La Salle which is a school with only male students, no females.
  • Amman Baccalurate School which only offers IB.
  • New English School which offers IGCSE examinations.
  • Modern Montessori School which only offers IB.
  • Amman National School which supplies both tawjihi and externals.
  • Amman Baptist school which offers both tawjihi and externals.
  • Kings Academy
    King's Academy
    King’s Academy is a co-educational private boarding school that opened in August 2007 in Madaba-Manja, Jordan. It is named in honour of Abdullah II of Jordan...

     which only gives American Externals.
  • The National Orthodox School which give both externals and tawjihi.


Upon graduation, the ministry of Higher Education, through a system similar to UK tariff
Tariff
A tariff may be either tax on imports or exports , or a list or schedule of prices for such things as rail service, bus routes, and electrical usage ....

 points, transforms the grades/marks of these foreign educational programmes into the same marks used in grading Tawjihi students. This system is controversial, both as to the conversion process and the number of places allocated to non-Tawjihi applicants.

Higher education


Access to higher education is open to holders of the General Secondary Education Certificate or Tawjihi
Tawjihi
Tawjihi is the general secondary examination in Jordan, West Bank and Gaza, part of education in Jordan and education in Palestine.Upon graduation, the ministry of Higher Education, through a system similar to that of the United Kingdom tariff points, transforms the Grades/Marks of these foreign...

 who can then apply to private community colleges, public community colleges or universities (public and private), the admission to public universities is very competitive. The kingdom has 10 public and 16 private universities, in addition to some 54 community colleges, of which 14 are public, 24 private and others affiliated with the Jordan Armed Forces
Jordanian Armed Forces
The Jordanian Armed Forces , also referred to as The Arab Army , with all of it branches, is under direct control of the King of Jordan...

, the Civil Defence Department, the ministry of health and UNRWA. The first university established in the kingdom was the University of Jordan
University of Jordan
The University of Jordan , is a government-supported University located in Amman, Jordan...

. A United Nations-supported research nuclear reactor
Nuclear reactor
A nuclear reactor is a device to initiate and control a sustained nuclear chain reaction. Most commonly they are used for generating electricity and for the propulsion of ships. Usually heat from nuclear fission is passed to a working fluid , which runs through turbines that power either ship's...

 and a synchrotron-light scientific facility (International Centre for Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science Applications in the Middle East
International Centre for Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science Applications in the Middle East
The International Centre for Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East is an independent laboratory formally created under the auspices of UNESCO on 30 May 2002...

) are currently being built on campus of Jordan University of Science and Technology
Jordan University of Science and Technology
The Jordan University of Science and Technology , often abbreviated JUST, is a comprehensive, state-supported university located on the outskirts of Irbid at Ar Ramtha region, in northern Jordan....

 and the Hashemite University
Hashemite University
The Hashemite University is a university in Zarqa, Jordan. It is named after the Jordanian royal family — the Hashemites — and was established by royal decree in 1992.- History :...

 to establish the first nuclear facilities for academic research in the kingdom. All post-secondary education is the responsibility of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research
Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (Jordan)
The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research is the government body that is responsible for maintaining and implementing government policies in higher education in Jordan...

.

Jordan is home to campuses of many distinguished foreign universities such as NYIT, DePaul University
DePaul University
DePaul University is a private institution of higher education and research in Chicago, Illinois. Founded by the Vincentians in 1898, the university takes its name from the 17th century French priest Saint Vincent de Paul...

, Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

 and the American University at Madaba. George Washington University
George Washington University
The George Washington University is a private, coeducational comprehensive university located in Washington, D.C. in the United States...

 is also planning to establish a medical university in Jordan as well, with plans to make it a regional hub for the training of medical personnel in the Middle East and North Africa.

Economy





Jordan is a small country with limited natural resources
Natural Resources
Natural Resources is a soul album released by Motown girl group Martha Reeves and the Vandellas in 1970 on the Gordy label. The album is significant for the Vietnam War ballad "I Should Be Proud" and the slow jam, "Love Guess Who"...

. The country is currently exploring ways to expand its limited water supply and use its existing water resources more efficiently, including through the good regional cooperation it has with Israel. The country depends on external sources for the majority of its energy requirements. During the 1990s, its crude petroleum needs were met through imports from Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and neighboring countries. Since early 2003, oil has been provided by some Gulf Cooperation Council member countries. In addition, the Arab Gas Pipeline
Arab Gas Pipeline
The Arab Gas Pipeline is a natural gas pipeline in the Middle East. It exports Egyptian natural gas to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, with a separate line to Israel. It has a total length of at a cost of US$1.2 billion.-Arish–Aqaba section:...

 from Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 to the southern port city of Aqaba
Aqaba
Aqaba is a coastal city in the far south of Jordan, the capital of Aqaba Governorate at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. Aqaba is strategically important to Jordan as it is the country's only seaport. Aqaba is best known today as a diving and beach resort, but industrial activity remains important...

 was completed in 2003. The government plans to extend this pipeline north to the Amman area and beyond.

Since King Abdullah II's accession to the throne in 1999, liberal economic policies have been introduced which has resulted in a boom lasting for a decade continuing even through 2009. Jordan is the 4th freest economy in the Middle East and North Africa, beating traditionally free economies like Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

 and Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

. Jordan's developed and modern banking sector is becoming the investment destination of choice due to its conservative bank policies that helped Jordan escape the worst of the global financial crisis of 2009. With instability across the region in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, Jordan is emerging as the "business capital of the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

" and "the next Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

". Jordan's economy has been growing at an annual rate of 7% for a decade. Jordan's economy is undergoing a major shift from an aid-dependent, rentier economy to one of the most robust, open and competitive economies in the region. In recent years, there has been shift to knowledge-intensive industries, i.e ICT
Information and communication technologies
Information and communications technology or information and communication technology, usually abbreviated as ICT, is often used as an extended synonym for information technology , but is usually a more general term that stresses the role of unified communications and the integration of...

, and a rapidly growing trade sector benefiting from regional instability.

Jordan has more free trade agreements than any other Arab country. Jordan has FTA's with the United States, Canada, Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, Malaysia, the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

, Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

, Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 and Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

. More FTA's are planned with the Palestinian Authority, the GCC
Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf
The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf , also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council , is a political and economic union of the Arab states bordering the Persian Gulf and constituting the Arabian Peninsula, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates...

, Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, and Pakistan. Jordan is a member of the Greater Arab Free Trade Agreement, the Euro-Mediterranean free trade agreement, and the Agadir Agreement. Increased investment and exports are the main sources of Jordan's growth. Continued close integration into the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 and GCC markets will reap vast economic rewards for the Kingdom in the coming years. However, the main obstacles to Jordan's economy are scarce water supplies, complete reliance on oil imports for energy, and regional instability.

Rapid privatization of previously state-controlled industries and liberalization of the economy is spurring unprecedented growth in Jordan's urban centers like Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

 and especially Aqaba
Aqaba
Aqaba is a coastal city in the far south of Jordan, the capital of Aqaba Governorate at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. Aqaba is strategically important to Jordan as it is the country's only seaport. Aqaba is best known today as a diving and beach resort, but industrial activity remains important...

. Jordan has six special economic zones that attract significant amount of investment amounting in the billions: Aqaba, Mafraq, Ma'an, Ajloun, the Dead Sea, and Irbid. Jordan also has a plethora of industrial zones producing goods in the textile
Textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

, aerospace
Aerospace
Aerospace comprises the atmosphere of Earth and surrounding space. Typically the term is used to refer to the industry that researches, designs, manufactures, operates, and maintains vehicles moving through air and space...

, defense
Defense (military)
Defense has several uses in the sphere of military application.Personal defense implies measures taken by individual soldiers in protecting themselves whether by use of protective materials such as armor, or field construction of trenches or a bunker, or by using weapons that prevent the enemy...

, ICT
Information and communication technologies
Information and communications technology or information and communication technology, usually abbreviated as ICT, is often used as an extended synonym for information technology , but is usually a more general term that stresses the role of unified communications and the integration of...

, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic
Cosmetics
Cosmetics are substances used to enhance the appearance or odor of the human body. Cosmetics include skin-care creams, lotions, powders, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail and toe nail polish, eye and facial makeup, towelettes, permanent waves, colored contact lenses, hair colors, hair sprays and...

 sectors.

The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States that went into effect in December 2001 will phase out duties on nearly all goods and services by 2010. The agreement also provides for more open markets in communications, construction, finance, health, transportation, and services, as well as strict application of international standards for the protection of intellectual property. In 1996, Jordan and the United States signed a civil aviation agreement that provides for open skies
Open skies
Open skies is an international policy concept which calls for the liberalization of rules and regulations on international aviation industry most specially commercial aviation - opening a free market for the airline industry...

 between the two countries, and a U.S.-Jordan treaty for the protection and encouragement of bilateral investment entered into force in 2003. Jordan has been a member of the World Trade Organization
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

 since 2000.

In the 2000 Competitive Industrial Performance (CIP) Index, Jordan ranked as the third most industrialized economy in the Middle East and North Africa, behind Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 and Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

. Jordan was in the upper bracket of nations scored by the CIP index. In the 2009 Global Trade Enabling Report, Jordan ranked 4th in the Arab World behind the UAE, Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

, and Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

. The report analyzes the country's market access, the country's transport and communications infrastructure, border administration, and the business environment of the country Textile
Textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

 and clothing
Clothing
Clothing refers to any covering for the human body that is worn. The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic and is a feature of nearly all human societies...

 exports from Jordan to the United States shot up 2,000% from 2000 to 2005, following introduction of the FTA. According to the National Labor Committee, a U.S.-based NGO (Non-Governmental Organization), Jordan has experienced sharp increases in sweatshop
Sweatshop
Sweatshop is a negatively connoted term for any working environment considered to be unacceptably difficult or dangerous. Sweatshop workers often work long hours for very low pay, regardless of laws mandating overtime pay or a minimum wage. Child labour laws may be violated. Sweatshops may have...

 conditions in its export
Export
The term export is derived from the conceptual meaning as to ship the goods and services out of the port of a country. The seller of such goods and services is referred to as an "exporter" who is based in the country of export whereas the overseas based buyer is referred to as an "importer"...

-oriented manufacturing
Manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

 sector.
The proportion of skilled workers in Jordan is among the highest in the region. The services sector dominates the Jordanian economy. Tourism is a rapidly growing industry in Jordan with revenues over one billion. Industries such as pharmaceuticals are emerging as very profitable products in Jordan. The Real Estate economy and construction sectors continue to flourish with mass amounts of investments pouring in from the Persian Gulf and Europe. Foreign Direct Investment is in the billions. The stock market capitalization of Jordan is worth nearly $40 billion.

Jordan is classified by the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 as an "upper middle income country." Per-capita GDP was approximately US$5,100 for 2007 and 14.5% of the economically active population, on average, was unemployed in 2003. Education and literacy rates and measures of social well-being are very high compared to other countries with similar incomes. Jordan's population growth rate is high, but has declined in recent years, to approximately 2.8% currently. One of the most important factors in the government's efforts to improve the well-being of its citizens is the macroeconomic stability that has been achieved since the 1990s. However, unemployment rates remain high, with the official figure standing at 12.5%, and the unofficial around 30%. The currency has been stable with an exchange rate fixed to the US dollar since 1995.

Jordan is pinning its hopes on tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

, future uranium
Uranium
Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element in the actinide series of the periodic table, with atomic number 92. It is assigned the chemical symbol U. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons...

 and oil shale
Oil shale
Oil shale, an organic-rich fine-grained sedimentary rock, contains significant amounts of kerogen from which liquid hydrocarbons called shale oil can be produced...

 exports, trade
Trade
Trade is the transfer of ownership of goods and services from one person or entity to another. Trade is sometimes loosely called commerce or financial transaction or barter. A network that allows trade is called a market. The original form of trade was barter, the direct exchange of goods and...

, and ICT
Information and communication technologies
Information and communications technology or information and communication technology, usually abbreviated as ICT, is often used as an extended synonym for information technology , but is usually a more general term that stresses the role of unified communications and the integration of...

 for future economic growth.

Amman was ranked as the Arab World's most expensive city in 2006 by the Economist Intelligence Unit, beating Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

. In 2009, Amman ranked as the 4th most expensive city in the Arab World, behind Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

, Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

, and Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

.

Jordan is an importer of low skilled and semi-skilled laborers from Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

, Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, and the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. There are a range of estimates of the size of the migrant workforce in Jordan from conservative estimates of 300,000 foreign workers to almost one million foreigners working in Jordan. They constitute about 20–30% of the labor force in Jordan and they are consistently cited when discussing Jordan's chronic unemployment problem. These migrant workers often work in construction
Construction
In the fields of architecture and civil engineering, construction is a process that consists of the building or assembling of infrastructure. Far from being a single activity, large scale construction is a feat of human multitasking...

, the textile
Textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

 factories in Jordan's Qualified Industrial Zones, municipal maintenance services, and as domestic workers. Recently, these migrant workers were incorporated into the Kingdom's labor laws giving them a wide range of benefits and rights and access to legal protection, the first Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 country to do so.

In relation to the population size, Jordan is also one of the largest suppliers of skilled labour and human capital in the world. An estimated 600,000 Jordanians or one fourth of the labour force are earning their living in foreign countries working primarily in high paying white-collar jobs. Between 1968 and 2003, the accumulated net number of emmigrants amounted to over 1.1 million persons. Most of the skilled labor that left Jordan emigrated on a temporary basis to the oil producing Persian Gulf states. Since the mid 1970s, migrants’ remittances are Jordan’s most important source of foreign exchange, and a decisive factor in the country’s economic development and the rising standard of living of the population.

Jordan has the headquarters of several large-scale global corporations despite its small size. Some of these include Arab Bank
Arab Bank
Arab Bank is one of the largest financial institutions in the Middle East. Established in Jerusalem in Palestine in 1930 as a small bank, it has evolved into a group with the largest worldwide Arab network with over 500 branches in 30 countries on five continents, participating in financial markets...

, Aramex
Aramex
Aramex is a global transportation and logistics services company providing a variety of express, logistics, freight forwarding and domestic distribution services. The company was established in 1982 and is headquartered in Amman, Jordan...

, Maktoob
Maktoob
Maktoob Inc. is an Arab Internet services company, founded in Amman, Jordan known for being the first Arabic/English email service provider. "Maktoob" in Arabic means "letter", "written", or "Destiny". Maktoob today has more than 280 employees with offices in Amman, Dubai, Cairo, Riyadh, and...

, and Kurdi Group
Kurdi Group
Al Kurdi Group is a large business group based in Jordan's capital, Amman. The group owns a group of different successful businesses, mostly shopping malls, including Mecca Mall, Abdoun Mall and Shahba Mall. Kurdi is currently building Green Land, a residential project in Marj al-Hamam....

. Since 2009, there are 2 Jordanian companies listed in the Forbes Global 2000 list, Arab Bank (Rank 708) and Arab Potash (Rank 1964).
In addition, Jordan has several billionaires as well like Ziad Manasir and Eyhab Jumean.

Agriculture



Agriculture in Jordan contributed substantially to the economy at the time of Jordan's independence, but it subsequently suffered a decades-long steady decline. In the early 1950s
1950s
The 1950s or The Fifties was the decade that began on January 1, 1950 and ended on December 31, 1959. The decade was the sixth decade of the 20th century...

, agriculture constituted almost 40 percent of GNP; on the eve of the June 1967 War, it was 17 percent. By the mid-1980s, agriculture's share of GNP
GNP
Gross National Product is the market value of all products and services produced in one year by labor and property supplied by the residents of a country...

 in Jordan was only about 6 percent.

The main irrigated area in Jordan is focused in fertile lands of Jordan Valley. However, other non-irrigated lands which depends on the seasonal rain are also available. Most of these lands are in the northern region in the provinces of Jerash
Jerash
Jerash, the Gerasa of Antiquity, is the capital and largest city of Jerash Governorate , which is situated in the north of Jordan, north of the capital Amman towards Syria...

, Ajloun
Ajloun
Ajloun also written Ajlun is the capital town of the Ajloun Governorate . A hilly town in the north of Jordan, located 76 kilometers north west of Amman. It is noted for its impressive ruins the 12th century castle which known nowadays as Ajlun Castle...

 and Irbid
Irbid
Irbid , known in ancient times as Arabella or Arbela , is the capital and largest city of the Irbid Governorate. It also has the second largest metropolitan population in Jordan after Amman, with a population of around 660,000, and is located about 70 km north of Amman on the northern ridge of...

.
Yet, some other lands are also available in the mid-western regions of Karak and Madaba. Recently, some desert land in the east of Mafraq
Mafraq
Mafraq is the capital city of Mafraq Governorate, Jordan, located 80 Km to the north from the Jordanian capital Amman in crossroad to Syria to the north and Iraq to the east. It has 58,954 inhabitants...

 have witnessed a large scale of irrigation projects, however, the sustainability of these projects is still in doubt, due to their dependency on groundwater.

Jordan is a producer of a wide variety of agricultural products which covers most of the local market, and sell its exports to its neighbouring countries, the Gulf and Europe which are including citruses, fruits and vegetables e.g. olives as will as other products including Orange, lemon, apple, grapes, figs, peaches, pears, plums, apples, apricots, almonds, and cherries, etc.

Natural resources



Although Jordan is a generally resource-poor country, Jordan does contain significant deposits of both oil shale
Oil shale
Oil shale, an organic-rich fine-grained sedimentary rock, contains significant amounts of kerogen from which liquid hydrocarbons called shale oil can be produced...

 and sources of uranium
Uranium
Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element in the actinide series of the periodic table, with atomic number 92. It is assigned the chemical symbol U. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons...

; these potential sources of indigenous energy have been the focus of renewed interest in recent years.

Jordan, however, is one of the most water-scarce countries in the world and considerable water is required to develop these resources, particularly oil shale. There are very limited resources of timber and forestry products and timbering is strictly limited by Jordan's environmentalists.

Phosphate mines at the south of the kingdom enable Jordan to be one of the largest producers and exporters of this mineral in the world. Potassium, salt, natural gas and stone are the most important other substances extracted. Phosphates are carried by rail from the mines to the port of Aqaba
Aqaba
Aqaba is a coastal city in the far south of Jordan, the capital of Aqaba Governorate at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. Aqaba is strategically important to Jordan as it is the country's only seaport. Aqaba is best known today as a diving and beach resort, but industrial activity remains important...

 where it is shipped via cargo ship to other ports.

Jordan has one of the largest uranium reserves in the world. Jordan's reserves account for 2% of the world's total uranium. It's estimated that Jordan can extract 80,000 tons of uranium from its uranic ores, and the country's phosphate reserves also contain some 100,000 tons of uranium. Jordan plans that by 2035, 60% of the country's total energy consumption will be from nuclear energy. Four nuclear power plants are planned to be built in Jordan with the first one to be operational in 2019.

Since the beginning of 2010, the government of Jordan has been seeking approval from the US for producing nuclear fuel from Jordan's uranium for use in nuclear power plants that Jordan plans to build. Jordan is not required to obtain US approval since, as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Jordan has every right to produce nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes. However, in view of the U.S.-led sanctions against Iran over Iran's nuclear program, despite Iran being a signatory of the NPT, Jordan is first seeking US approval to avoid a fate similar to that of Iran. The government of Israel, not a signatory of the NPT, has made clear to Washington its objection to Jordan's nuclear energy program. According to Haaretz
Haaretz
Haaretz is Israel's oldest daily newspaper. It was founded in 1918 and is now published in both Hebrew and English in Berliner format. The English edition is published and sold together with the International Herald Tribune. Both Hebrew and English editions can be read on the Internet...

, Jordan learned that the US position is essentially the Israeli position, and the US has rejected Jordan's request for approval.

Natural gas was discovered in Jordan in 1987, and the estimated size of the reserve discovered was about 230 billion cubic feet, and quantities are very modest compared with its neighbours. It was the development of the Risha field in the Eastern Desert beside the Iraqi border, and the field produces nearly 30 million cubic feet of gas a day, to be sent to a nearby power plant to produce nearly 10% of the Jordan's Electric needs.

Despite the fact that reserves of crude oil are non-commercial, Jordan possesses one of the world's richest stockpiles of oil shale where there are huge quantities that could be commercially exploited in the central and northern regions west of the country. The extent the World Energy Council reserves Jordan approximately 40 billion tons, which established it as the second richest state in rock oil reserves after Canada (estimated), and first at the world's level of proven discoveries at a rate of extraction of oil up to between 8% and 12% of content, and could be the production of 4 billion tons of oil from the current reserve, which puts the quality of Jordanian oil on the one hand extraction, on an equal footing with their counterparts in western Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

 in the United States, which its estimated amount may rise to 20 billion tons. The moisture content and ash within is relatively low. And the total thermal value is 7.5 megajoules/kg, and the content of ointments reach 9% of the weight of the organic content. Jordan recently signed a deal with Royal Dutch Shell
Royal Dutch Shell
Royal Dutch Shell plc , commonly known as Shell, is a global oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the fifth-largest company in the world according to a composite measure by Forbes magazine and one of the six...

 to extract and exploit shale oil reserves in central Jordan. It is expected Jordan will produce its first commercial quantities of oil in the year 2020, with an estimated production of 50,000 barrels of oil a day, 35 per cent of the Kingdom's energy consumption in "less than 10 years". Previous NRA studies have revealed that 40 billion tonnes of oil shale exist in 21 sites concentrated near the Yarmouk River, Buweida, Beit Ras, Rweished, Karak, Madaba and Maan.

A switch to power plants operated by oil shale has the potential to reduce Jordan's energy bill by at least 40–50 per cent, according to the National Electric Power Company.

Currency and exchange rates


The official currency in Jordan is the Jordanian dinar
Jordanian dinar
The dinar is the currency of Jordan. The dinar is divided into 10 dirham, 100 qirsh or 1000 fils....

 and divides into 100 qirsh (also called piastres) or 1000 fils. In 1949, banknotes were issued by the government in denominations of 500 fils, 1, 5,10 dinar. From 1959, the Central Bank of Jordan
Central Bank of Jordan
The Central Bank of Jordan is the central bank of Jordan whose main duties include the release and distribution of the Jordanian currency and the maintenance of a national reserve of gold and foreign currencies...

 took over note production. 20 dinar notes were introduced in 1977, followed by 50 dinar in 1999. ½ dinar notes were replaced by coins in 1999. Coins were introduced in 1949 in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 fils. The first issue of 1 fils were mistakenly minted with the denomination given as "1 fil". 20 fils coins were minted until 1965, with 25 fils introduced in 1968 and ¼ dinar coins in 1970. The 1 fils coin was last minted in 1985. In 1996, smaller ¼ dinar coins were introduced alongside ½ and 1 dinar coins. Since October 23, 1995, the dinar has been officially pegged to the IMF's Special Drawing Rights
Special Drawing Rights
Special Drawing Rights are supplementary foreign exchange reserve assets defined and maintained by the International Monetary Fund . Not a currency, SDRs instead represent a claim to currency held by IMF member countries for which they may be exchanged...

 (SDRs). In practice, it is fixed at 1 US dollar
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

 = 0.709 dinar, which translates to approximately 1 dinar = 1.41044 dollars. The Central Bank buys US dollars at 0.708 dinar, and sell US dollars at 0.7125 dinar,Exchangers buys US dollars at 0.708 and sell US dollars at 0.709.

Tourism


Tourism is a very important sector of the Jordanian economy, contributing between 10% and 12% to the country's Gross National Product in 2006. In addition to the country's political stability, the geography offered makes Jordan an attractive tourism destination. In 2010, there were about 8 million tourists that visited Jordan. The result was $3.4 billion in tourism revenues. Opodo and Travel Guides named Jordan as the Top Emerging Destination for 2009. Jordan's major tourist activities include numerous ancient places, its unique desert castles and unspoiled natural locations to its cultural and religious sites.

Jordan also offers a variety of nightlife options with nightclubs, discothèques, bars, and raves in Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

, Irbid
Irbid
Irbid , known in ancient times as Arabella or Arbela , is the capital and largest city of the Irbid Governorate. It also has the second largest metropolitan population in Jordan after Amman, with a population of around 660,000, and is located about 70 km north of Amman on the northern ridge of...

, Aqaba
Aqaba
Aqaba is a coastal city in the far south of Jordan, the capital of Aqaba Governorate at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. Aqaba is strategically important to Jordan as it is the country's only seaport. Aqaba is best known today as a diving and beach resort, but industrial activity remains important...

, and in 4 and 5-star hotels across the kingdom including in the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
The Dead Sea , also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface. The Dead Sea is deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world...

 and Petra
Petra
Petra is a historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that is famous for its rock cut architecture and water conduits system. Established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited...

 areas. However, Jordan's best options for nightlife and clubbing are in West Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

. More traditional nightlife options like shisha lounges and late-night street cafes are available around Jordan. In addition, Jordan has played host to numerous raves and concerts like the Petra Prana Festival in 2007 which celebrated Petra's win as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World with world-renowned DJ's like Tiesto
Tiësto
Tijs Michiel Verwest, , known as Tiësto , is a Dutch musician, DJ and record producer of electronic dance music. Although he has used many aliases in the past, he is best known for his work as DJ Tiësto...

 and Sarah Main
Sarah Main
Sarah Main is an Australian-born DJ working in Ibiza,most prominently associated with the club Pacha.She appeared as herself in the film It's All Gone Pete Tong.She got help from her friend when she was 18 on the basics of DJ'ing.-External links:...

. Also, the annual Distant Heat festival held in Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum also known as The Valley of the Moon is a valley cut into the sandstone and granite rock in south Jordan at to the east of Aqaba. It is the largest wadi in Jordan. The name Rum most likely comes from an Aramaic root meaning 'high' or 'elevated'. To reflect its proper Arabic...

 and Aqaba
Aqaba
Aqaba is a coastal city in the far south of Jordan, the capital of Aqaba Governorate at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. Aqaba is strategically important to Jordan as it is the country's only seaport. Aqaba is best known today as a diving and beach resort, but industrial activity remains important...

, which was ranked as one of the world's top 10 raves, brings local, regional, and international DJ's to play nonstop for two whole days. The best known tourist attractions include:
  • Ancient sightseeing
    • Petra
      Petra
      Petra is a historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that is famous for its rock cut architecture and water conduits system. Established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited...

       in Wadi Musa
      Wadi Musa
      Wadi Musa, , is the name of a town located in the Ma'an Governorate in southern Jordan east of Petra at latitude 30.317N and longitude 35.483E....

      , the home of the Nabateans, is a complete city carved in a mountain. The huge rocks are colorful, mostly pink, and the entrance to the ancient city is through a 1.25 km narrow gorge in the mountain—called the Siq
      Siq
      al-Siq is the main entrance to the ancient city of Petra in southern Jordan. The dim, narrow gorge winds its way approximately one mile and ends at Petra's most elaborate ruin, Al Khazneh .The Siq is a natural geological fault produced by tectonic forces and worn smooth by water erosion...

      . In the city are various structures, all (except 2) are carved into rock, including al Khazneh – known as the Treasury – which has been designated as one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World
      New Seven Wonders of the World
      New7Wonders of the World was an initiative started in 2001 by the Swiss corporation New7Wonders Foundation to choose Wonders of the World from a selection of 200 existing monuments. A popularity poll was led by Canadian-Swiss Bernard Weber and organized by the New7Wonders Foundation based in...

      " by the for-profit New Open World Corporation. Other major sites of interest in Petra include the Monastery, the Roman theater, the Royal Tombs, the High Place of Sacrifice. Petra was rediscovered for the western world by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt
      Johann Ludwig Burckhardt
      Johann Ludwig Burckhardt was a Swiss traveller and orientalist. He wrote his letters in French and signed Louis...

       in 1812.
    • Umm Qais
      Umm Qais
      Umm Qais is a town in Jordan located on the site of the ruined Hellenistic-Roman city of Gadara . The town was also called Antiochia or Antiochia Semiramis and Seleucia...

      , a town located on the site of the ruined Hellenistic–Roman
      Ancient Rome
      Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

       city of Gadara amongst the few in the Hellenistic world to have black basalt
      Basalt
      Basalt is a common extrusive volcanic rock. It is usually grey to black and fine-grained due to rapid cooling of lava at the surface of a planet. It may be porphyritic containing larger crystals in a fine matrix, or vesicular, or frothy scoria. Unweathered basalt is black or grey...

       facades .

    • Ajlun, famous for the Ajlun Castle
      Ajlun Castle
      Ajloun Castle ; transliterated: Qal'at Ajloun; transliterated: is an Ayyubid castle that stands atop Jabal Auf, near Ajloun, in northern Jordan. -History :...

       called in Arabic Al-Rabad Castle.
    • Jerash
      Jerash
      Jerash, the Gerasa of Antiquity, is the capital and largest city of Jerash Governorate , which is situated in the north of Jordan, north of the capital Amman towards Syria...

      , famous for its ancient Roman architecture
      Roman architecture
      Ancient Roman architecture adopted certain aspects of Ancient Greek architecture, creating a new architectural style. The Romans were indebted to their Etruscan neighbors and forefathers who supplied them with a wealth of knowledge essential for future architectural solutions, such as hydraulics...

      , with colonnaded streets, Corinth
      Corinth
      Corinth is a city and former municipality in Corinthia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Corinth, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit...

      ian arches, outdoor Roman
      Ancient Rome
      Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

       Theaters and the Oval Plaza. Outside Jerash proper, the countryside is amongst the most scenic in the country with ancient olive groves and oak
      Oak
      An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...

       and pine
      Pine
      Pines are trees in the genus Pinus ,in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authorities accept between 105 and 125 species.-Etymology:...

       woodland
      Woodland
      Ecologically, a woodland is a low-density forest forming open habitats with plenty of sunlight and limited shade. Woodlands may support an understory of shrubs and herbaceous plants including grasses. Woodland may form a transition to shrubland under drier conditions or during early stages of...

      s.

    • Amman
      Amman
      Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

      , Jordan's cosmopolitan capital, contains the Roman theater
      Roman theater (Jordan)
      The Roman Theatre is an ancient Roman theater in Amman, Jordan.-History:The theatre was built during the reign of Antonius Pius . The large and steeply raked structure could seat about 6,000 people: built into the hillside, it was oriented north to keep the sun off the spectators.It was divided...

      , in addition to several museums, where one may find remains of the Dead Sea Scrolls
      Dead Sea scrolls
      The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 972 texts from the Hebrew Bible and extra-biblical documents found between 1947 and 1956 on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, from which they derive their name...

      . Amman
      Amman
      Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

       is one of the world's oldest cities however the city is surprisingly modern and very prosperous. It is considered to be one of the most westernized and sophisticated cities in the Arab World
      Arab world
      The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

      . Jordan's capital city boasts plenty of historical sites, a thriving nightlife scene, a rapidly growing culinary scene with restaurants serving a plethora of international dishes including anything from regional dishes to Western dishes and even Asian cuisine like sushi, a plethora of modern shopping malls and cultural events from around the world. The city has become a favourite destination among affluent Arab vacationers in recent years due to its rather temperate climate, its lavish shopping and fine dining scene, and ample nightlife entertainment.


Discothèques, music bars and shisha lounges have sprouted across Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

, changing the city's old image as the conservative capital of the kingdom. Jordan's young population is helping shape this new burgeoning nightlife scene turning this once "staid" capital into one of the region's most vibrant clubbing destinations. It has drastically changed so much that partying is becoming a cultural lifestyle for Jordanians. Driving expensive cars and sporting the latest fashions, many of these young, affluent Jordanians gather almost every night at the chic new spots. Furthermore, Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

 has developed one of the Middle East's very few homosexual partying scenes that is mostly concentrated around liberal, affluent nightclubs like Fame and Drop in addition to the popular hangout spot Books@Cafe, attesting to the rapid opening and westernization of Jordanian society over the past decade.
The main centers for clubbing in the city are Abdun, Jabal Amman
Jabal Amman
Jabal Amman is one of the seven hills that originally made up Amman, Jordan. Today, Jabal Amman is near the old downtown area.-History:Along with the rest of old Amman, Jabal Amman was first settled during the Neolithic period. But unlike nearby hills, particularly Jabal al-Qal'a, Jabal Amman was...

, and Sweifieh
Sweifieh
Swéfiéh is a district located in the western area of the Jordanian Capital Ammān. Even though the district is large enough to qualify for becoming a city itself, it's considered officially part of the Valley of The Orchards area.-Life:Swéfiéh is notorious for its night-life and its shopping...

, Amman's unofficial red light district. Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

 along with, Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

 and Jeddah
Jeddah
Jeddah, Jiddah, Jidda, or Jedda is a city located on the coast of the Red Sea and is the major urban center of western Saudi Arabia. It is the largest city in Makkah Province, the largest sea port on the Red Sea, and the second largest city in Saudi Arabia after the capital city, Riyadh. The...

, had the highest hotel occupancy rates in the region in 2009.
Although not quite as popular as Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

 or Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

, Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

 has emerged as a major shopping destination in the Middle East. There are over a dozen malls in the Amman area alone including City Mall
City Mall, Jordan
City Mall is one of the biggest shopping malls in the Jordanian capital, Amman. It has a total floor area of 160,000m², of which 55,000m² is leasable. Distributed over four floors are a range of international fashion brands, restaurants, coffee shops, a ten screen Cineplex, a large family...

, Mecca Mall
Mecca Mall
Mecca Mall is one of the biggest shopping malls in the Jordanian capital, Amman. It is located on Mecca Street, and this is the reason the mall was named Mecca Mall...

, Abdoun Mall
Abdoun Mall
Abdoun Mall is a commercial building Abdoun, Amman, Jordan. Opened in 2001, it has an area of 25,000m²....

, Amman Mall, Al Baraka Mall
Al Baraka Mall
Al Baraka Mall was opened on March 24, 2008 and it is positioned as medium to high end fashion destination in Jordan with 40,000 sqm of buildable area and 18,000 sqm of GLA....

, Sweifieh Avenue Mall, Istikal Mall, Mukhtar Mall, and the Zara Shopping Center. In addition, there are several mega malls under construction like the ultra luxurious Taj Mall in Abdoun
Abdoun (Amman)
Abdoun is a residential area of Amman, Jordan. Abdoun is considered by many to be the most affluent district of the city, and is located towards the south of the city. Some of Jordan's most expensive real estate is located in the district....

, the Abdali Mall, the Abdali Boulevard and the Atrium. Wakalat Street
Wakalat Street
Wakalat Street sometimes spelled as Al-Wakalat Street, is a street in Amman, Jordan, in the district of Sweifieh. The street was rehabilitated in 2007. The project included paving the street, planting trees, and regulating commercial signs...

 and the Sweifieh
Sweifieh
Swéfiéh is a district located in the western area of the Jordanian Capital Ammān. Even though the district is large enough to qualify for becoming a city itself, it's considered officially part of the Valley of The Orchards area.-Life:Swéfiéh is notorious for its night-life and its shopping...

 area in general are also popular shopping destinations.
    • Al Karak
      Al Karak
      Karak is a city in Jordan that is known for the famous crusader castle Kerak. The castle is one of the three largest castles in the region, the other two being in Syria...

       is built around an important Crusader castle
      Castle
      A castle is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble...

       from around the times of Salah al-Din
      Saladin
      Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb , better known in the Western world as Saladin, was an Arabized Kurdish Muslim, who became the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria, and founded the Ayyubid dynasty. He led Muslim and Arab opposition to the Franks and other European Crusaders in the Levant...

      , "Crac des Moabites" now known as Al-Karak Castle.
  • Religious sites
    • Madaba
      Madaba
      Madaba , is the capital city of Madaba Governorate of Jordan, which has a population of about 60,000. Madaba is the fifth most populous town in Jordan. It is best known for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, especially a large Byzantine-era mosaic map of The Holy Land...

      , well known for its Byzantine
      Byzantine
      Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

       mosaics, as well as important religious sites such as:
      • The "terra Santa" Madaba Map
        Madaba Map
        The Madaba Map is part of a floor mosaic in the early Byzantine church of Saint George at Madaba, Jordan. The Madaba Map is a map of the Middle East. Part of it contains the oldest surviving original cartographic depiction of the Holy Land and especially Jerusalem...

         of the Holyland
        Holy Land
        The Holy Land is a term which in Judaism refers to the Kingdom of Israel as defined in the Tanakh. For Jews, the Land's identifiction of being Holy is defined in Judaism by its differentiation from other lands by virtue of the practice of Judaism often possible only in the Land of Israel...

        .
      • The River Jordan, Bethany Beyond the Jordan the biblical Bethabara
        Bethabara
        This entry incorporates text from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia with some modernisation.Bethabara , in modern-day Jordan: According to the King James Version This entry incorporates text from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia with some modernisation.Bethabara...

         where Jesus
        Jesus
        Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

         of Nazareth
        Nazareth
        Nazareth is the largest city in the North District of Israel. Known as "the Arab capital of Israel," the population is made up predominantly of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel...

         was baptized
        Baptism
        In Christianity, baptism is for the majority the rite of admission , almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also membership of a particular church tradition...

        , by John the Baptist
        John the Baptist
        John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

        .
      • Mount Nebo
        Mount Nebo (Jordan)
        Mount Nebo is an elevated ridge that is approximately 817 meters above sea level, in what is now western Jordan. The view from the summit provides a panorama of the Holy Land and, to the north, a more limited one of the valley of the River Jordan...

        , where Moses
        Moses
        Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

         was said to have gone to get a view of the Promised Land before he died.
  • Seaside
    • The Dead Sea
      Dead Sea
      The Dead Sea , also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface. The Dead Sea is deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world...

       – It is the lowest point on earth, 402 meters below sea level
      Sea level
      Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

      , and becomes 1 meter lower each year. It is the only depository of River Jordan and was part of the biblical kingdoms of Midianites and later the Moabites. The Dead Sea area is home to numerous world-class resorts such as the Kempinski
      Kempinski
      Kempinski Hotels S.A. is a luxury hotel group. Kempinski Hotels, the trading name for Kempinski Hotels S.A., is an independent Swiss delisted S.A., which is involved in a number of luxury hotel and hospitality related businesses, including conference, catering and hotel supplies.Kempinski Hotels...

      , Mövenpick
      Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts
      Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts is an upscale international Swiss hotel chain. The hotels are primarily 5-star resort hotels and business/airport hotels....

       and Marriott
      Marriott International
      Marriott International, Inc. is a worldwide operator and franchisor of a broad portfolio of hotels and related lodging facilities. Founded by J. Willard Marriott, the company is now led by son J.W. Marriott, Jr...

      . In addition, there are water parks, a public beach and international restaurants. The ultra-chic destination in the area, however, is the O-Beach which is home to cabanas, bars, international restaurants, and a beach club.

    • Aqaba
      Aqaba
      Aqaba is a coastal city in the far south of Jordan, the capital of Aqaba Governorate at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. Aqaba is strategically important to Jordan as it is the country's only seaport. Aqaba is best known today as a diving and beach resort, but industrial activity remains important...

       is a town on the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba
      Gulf of Aqaba
      The Gulf of Aqaba is a large gulf located at the northern tip of the Red Sea. In pre twentieth-century and modern sources it is often named the Gulf of Eilat, as Eilat is its predominant Israeli city ....

       with numerous shopping centers, hotel
      Hotel
      A hotel is an establishment that provides paid lodging on a short-term basis. The provision of basic accommodation, in times past, consisting only of a room with a bed, a cupboard, a small table and a washstand has largely been replaced by rooms with modern facilities, including en-suite bathrooms...

      s and access to various water sports and protected coral reefs and marine life. It has the ruins of the mediaeval town of Ayla
      Aqaba
      Aqaba is a coastal city in the far south of Jordan, the capital of Aqaba Governorate at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. Aqaba is strategically important to Jordan as it is the country's only seaport. Aqaba is best known today as a diving and beach resort, but industrial activity remains important...

       and other Edomite ruins. Aqaba also has a vibrant nightlife scene especially on holiday weekends when hordes of wealthy Jordanians visit the coastal city. Numerous raves and concerts are held by international DJ's and artists at the major resorts and beach clubs. Aqaba is seeing nearly $20 billion worth of developments centered on tourism and real estate projects transforming the city into a "new Dubai
      Dubai
      Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

      ".
  • Other sites
    • as-Salt, was the administrative capital east of the river Jordan during the Ottoman era. It still boasts architecture from the 17th century upwards and is famous for its old vineyards. It is considered today as the most ancient of the urban centers east of the river Jordan.
    • Wadi Rum
      Wadi Rum
      Wadi Rum also known as The Valley of the Moon is a valley cut into the sandstone and granite rock in south Jordan at to the east of Aqaba. It is the largest wadi in Jordan. The name Rum most likely comes from an Aramaic root meaning 'high' or 'elevated'. To reflect its proper Arabic...

       is a desert
      Desert
      A desert is a landscape or region that receives an extremely low amount of precipitation, less than enough to support growth of most plants. Most deserts have an average annual precipitation of less than...

       full of mountains and hills located south of Jordan. It is popular for its sights in addition to a variety of sports that are practiced there, such as rock-climbing. It is also known for its association with Lawrence of Arabia
      T. E. Lawrence
      Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO , known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British Army officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18...

      .
    • Fuheis, a town about 20 minutes north-west of Amman known for its traditional 18th and 19th century churches and turn of the century provincial Jordanian architecture.
    • Mahis
      Mahis
      Mahis is a Jordanian town located in the Balqa Governorate north west from the governorate's capital citySalt, and 10 km west of Amman. Its population exceeds 14,000. Most of the population of Mahis descends from the Al-Abbadi tribe...

       with important religious sites, and wonderful landscape.
    • Irbid
      Irbid
      Irbid , known in ancient times as Arabella or Arbela , is the capital and largest city of the Irbid Governorate. It also has the second largest metropolitan population in Jordan after Amman, with a population of around 660,000, and is located about 70 km north of Amman on the northern ridge of...

      , Jordan's second largest city, is home to several museums and malls as well. However, the main reason for foreigners visiting the city is the plethora of universities that the cities host with Jordan University of Science and Technology
      Jordan University of Science and Technology
      The Jordan University of Science and Technology , often abbreviated JUST, is a comprehensive, state-supported university located on the outskirts of Irbid at Ar Ramtha region, in northern Jordan....

       and Yarmouk University
      Yarmouk University
      Yarmouk University is a university in Jordan. It was established in 1976. Located in the northern town of Irbid, it has a student body of roughly 31,000.The university has several international partnerships with overseas universities...

       being the two most prominent. The city hosts a large student population from all across Jordan, the Middle East and further afield. Irbid's University Street is home to the most internet cafes per mile in the world.
    • Shoubak
      Shoubak
      Shoubak is a municipality that lies at the north western edge of the Ma'an Governorate, bordered with Tafilah Governorate and Aqaba Governorate. It has a population of 12500...

       with its Crusader Castle
      Castle
      A castle is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble...

       "Crac de Montreal", Marking both the eastern and southern frontier of Crusader expansion.
    • Muwakir (Arabic
      Arabic language
      Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

       for Machaerus
      Machaerus
      Machaerus is a fortified hilltop palace located in Jordan fifteen miles southeast of the mouth of the Jordan river on the eastern side of the Dead Sea...

      ) was the hilltop stronghold of Herod the Great
      Herod the Great
      Herod , also known as Herod the Great , was a Roman client king of Judea. His epithet of "the Great" is widely disputed as he is described as "a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis." He is also known for his colossal building projects in Jerusalem and elsewhere, including his...

      . Upon Herod's death, his son Herod Antipas
      Herod Antipas
      Herod Antipater , known by the nickname Antipas, was a 1st-century AD ruler of Galilee and Perea, who bore the title of tetrarch...

       inhabited the fortress, and ordered John the Baptist
      John the Baptist
      John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

       to be beheaded there and where the fabled Salomé
      Salome
      Salome , the Daughter of Herodias , is known from the New Testament...

       daughter of Herodias
      Herodias
      Herodias was a Jewish princess of the Herodian Dynasty. Asteroid 546 Herodias is named after her.-Family relationships:*Daughter of Aristobulus IV...

       is said to have danced the famous Dance of the Seven Veils
      Dance of the Seven Veils
      In several notable works of Western culture, the Dance of the Seven Veils is one of the elaborations on the biblical tale of the execution of John the Baptist...

       thus asking for John the Baptists' head.

Medical tourism


Jordan has been an established medical tourism
Medical tourism
Medical tourism is a term initially coined by travel agencies and the mass media to describe the rapidly-growing practice of travelling across international borders to obtain health care...

 destination in the Middle East since the 1970s. A study conducted by Jordan's Private Hospitals Association (PHA)
Private Hospitals Association (Jordan)
Private Hospitals Association, often abbreviated as PHA, is a private, voluntary, non-profit organization that was established in 1984, representing the private hospitals in Jordan. Its membership is open to all private hospitals in Jordan....

 found that 210,100 patients from 48 countries received treatment in the kingdom in 2008, compared to 190,000 in 2007, bringing over $1 billion in revenue. It is the region's top medical tourism destination as rated by the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

, and fifth in the world overall.

There are about 60 private health care institutions in the kingdom, four of which have been accredited by US-based Joint Commission International, which is considered the gold standard for international accreditation in the healthcare industry.

Also, most of Jordan's doctors speak proficient English and many have been trained or are affiliated with top US hospitals such as the Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical practice and medical research group specializing in treating difficult patients . Patients are referred to Mayo Clinic from across the U.S. and the world, and it is known for innovative and effective treatments. Mayo Clinic is known for being at the top of...

 and Johns Hopkins
Johns Hopkins
Johns Hopkins was a wealthy American entrepreneur, philanthropist and abolitionist of 19th-century Baltimore, Maryland, now most noted for his philanthropic creation of the institutions that bear his name, namely the Johns Hopkins Hospital, and the Johns Hopkins University and its associated...

. Although Jordan's medical institutions are of high standards, its costs are relatively low compared to the developed world but relatively high for the developing world. Healthcare costs in Jordan typically are just one-tenth of the price of treatments in the US, and less than a third of the cost of medical services in the UK. Other features that make Jordan a popular healthcare destination are sight-seeing attractions such as Petra
Petra
Petra is a historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that is famous for its rock cut architecture and water conduits system. Established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited...

 and the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
The Dead Sea , also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface. The Dead Sea is deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world...

.

The most common procedures requested by patients from the US and UK at the hospital are plastic surgery
Plastic surgery
Plastic surgery is a medical specialty concerned with the correction or restoration of form and function. Though cosmetic or aesthetic surgery is the best-known kind of plastic surgery, most plastic surgery is not cosmetic: plastic surgery includes many types of reconstructive surgery, hand...

, in-vitro fertilization, and orthopaedic care. Regional Patients travelling to Jordan usually seek cardiac surgery
Cardiac surgery
Cardiovascular surgery is surgery on the heart or great vessels performed by cardiac surgeons. Frequently, it is done to treat complications of ischemic heart disease , correct congenital heart disease, or treat valvular heart disease from various causes including endocarditis, rheumatic heart...

, vascular surgery
Vascular surgery
Vascular surgery is a specialty of surgery in which diseases of the vascular system, or arteries and veins, are managed by medical therapy, minimally-invasive catheter procedures, and surgical reconstruction. The specialty evolved from general and cardiac surgery...

, neurosurgery
Neurosurgery
Neurosurgery is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of disorders which affect any portion of the nervous system including the brain, spine, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and extra-cranial cerebrovascular system.-In the United States:In...

, and cancer
Cancer
Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

-related procedures.

The main barrier to further growth for Jordan's medical tourism industry is visa restrictions placed on some countries due to the fear of permanent illegal settlement in Jordan. Jordan's main focus of attention in its marketing effort are the ex-Soviet states, Europe, and America. Top institutions that work in this industry include JORDICURE for medical tourism, King Hussein Cancer Center
King Hussein Cancer Center
The King Hussein Cancer Center is a medical center in Amman, Jordan. It treats both adult and pediatric patients...

, Khalidi Hospital, Jordan Hospital and the Specialty Hospital
Specialty Hospital, Jordan
Specialty Hospital is a medical center in Amman, Jordan, established in 1993 under royal patronage. A 250-bed multispecialty equipped facility, it was the first hospital to attain the OHSAS 18001 certification and is also the owner of several other international and national accreditations and...

 among others.

Nature reserves



Jordan has a number of nature reserves including:
  • Dana Biosphere Reserve
  • The Azraq Wetland Reserve
  • The Shaumari Wildlife Reserve
  • The Mujib Nature Reserve
    Wadi Mujib
    Wadi Mujib is a gorge in Jordan which enters the Dead Sea at 410 meters below sea level.The Mujib Reserve of Wadi Mujib is the lowest nature reserve in the world, located in the mountainous landscape to the east of the Dead Sea, approximately 90 km south of Amman...


Transportation


Being that Jordan is a transit country for goods and services to the Palestinian territories
Palestinian territories
The Palestinian territories comprise the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, the region is today recognized by three-quarters of the world's countries as the State of Palestine or simply Palestine, although this status is not recognized by the...

 and Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, Jordan maintains a well-developed transportation infrastructure.

There are three commercial airports, all receiving and sending international commercial flights, two of them in Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

 and the third is located in the city of Aqaba
Aqaba
Aqaba is a coastal city in the far south of Jordan, the capital of Aqaba Governorate at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. Aqaba is strategically important to Jordan as it is the country's only seaport. Aqaba is best known today as a diving and beach resort, but industrial activity remains important...

. The largest airport in the country is Queen Alia International Airport
Queen Alia International Airport
Queen Alia International Airport is Jordan's largest airport that is situated in Zizya area, 20 miles south of Amman. The airport has three terminals: two passenger terminals and one cargo terminal. It is the home hub of Royal Jordanian Airlines, the national flag carrier, as well as being a...

 in Amman that serves as the hub of the regional airline Royal Jordanian
Royal Jordanian
Royal Jordanian Airlines is the flag carrier of Jordan with its head office in Amman, Jordan, operating scheduled international services over four continents from its main base at Queen Alia International Airport at Amman Jordan. Royal Jordanian is a member of the Arab Air Carriers Organization...

. The airport is currently under significant expansion in a bid to make it the hub for the Levant. Marka International Airport
Marka International Airport
Amman Civil Airport at Marka, is a one-terminal airport situated in East Amman, Jordan. It was the home hub of Royal Jordanian Airlines, the national flag carrier, until Queen Alia International Airport was opened in 1983....

 was the country's main airport before it was replaced by Queen Alia Airport but it still serves several regional routes. King Hussein International Airport serves Aqaba
Aqaba
Aqaba is a coastal city in the far south of Jordan, the capital of Aqaba Governorate at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. Aqaba is strategically important to Jordan as it is the country's only seaport. Aqaba is best known today as a diving and beach resort, but industrial activity remains important...

 with connections to Amman and several regional and international cities.

Jordan has a well-developed road infrastructure with 7,999 kilometres of paved highways. The road system is centralized around Amman, which connects the capital to major cities and surrounding countries.

A National Rail System was approved by the Jordanian Government which will connect all major cities and towns by passenger and cargo rail. There are two lines to be constructed. The North-South Line passing through Mafraq, Zarqa, Amman, Maan, and Aqaba with international connections to Syria and Saudi Arabia. The East-West Line will run from Mafraq, Irbid, and Azraq with international connections to Iraq and possibly Israel. The national rail system will be completed by 2013. These routes are planned to be electrified. There are also plans for a light rail system operating between Amman and Zarqa and a funicular and a three line metro system for Amman.
Two connected but non-contiguously operated sections of the Hedjaz Railway exist:
  • from Amman
    Amman
    Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

     in Jordan to Syria
    Syria
    Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

    , as the "Hedjaz Jordan Railway."
  • from phosphate
    Phosphate
    A phosphate, an inorganic chemical, is a salt of phosphoric acid. In organic chemistry, a phosphate, or organophosphate, is an ester of phosphoric acid. Organic phosphates are important in biochemistry and biogeochemistry or ecology. Inorganic phosphates are mined to obtain phosphorus for use in...

     mines near Ma'an
    Ma'an
    Ma'an is a town in southern Jordan 218 km away from the capital Amman. It is the capital of Ma'an Governorate. Ma'an has a population of around 50,000. The city had a population of 22,989 in the 1992 census and is estimated as being about 50,000 as of 2007 according to the Ma'an Municipality...

     to the Gulf of Aqaba
    Gulf of Aqaba
    The Gulf of Aqaba is a large gulf located at the northern tip of the Red Sea. In pre twentieth-century and modern sources it is often named the Gulf of Eilat, as Eilat is its predominant Israeli city ....

     as the "Aqaba Railway."

Jordan shares the longest common borders with the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

, there are two border crossings between Jordan and Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 in the Bisan merge (King Hussein Bridge) in the north in the Wadi Araba in the south.

The Port of Aqaba is Jordan's sole outlet to the sea. It handles all cargo bound to Jordan, Iraq,and in some cases the West Bank. The Main Port is being relocated further south and being expanded. An Abu Dhabi consortium will handle the $5 billion dollar deal. The project is set to be completed in 2013.

Defense industry


Jordan is a recent entrant to the domestic defense industry with the establishment of King Abdullah Design and Development Bureau
King Abdullah Design and Development Bureau
The King Abdullah Design and Development Bureau is a Jordanian defence company. The King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau was established by Royal Decree on 24 August 1999 to provide an indigenous capability for the supply of scientific and technical services to the Jordanian Armed Forces...

 (KADDB) in 1999. The defense industrial initiative is intended to jumpstart industrialization across a range of sectors. With the Jordanian defense expenditures at 8.7% of GDP, the Jordanian authorities created the defense industry to utilize defense budget spending power and to assist in economic growth without placing additional demands on the national budget. Jordan also hosts SOFEX
Special Operations Forces Exhibition
The Special Operations Forces Exhibition and Conference is a special operations and homeland security event that is held every two years at the King Abdullah I airbase in Marka, Jordan...

, the world's fastest growing and region’s only special operations and homeland security exhibition and conference. Jordan is a regional and international provider of advanced military goods and services.

A KADDB Industrial Park was opened in September 2009 in Mafraq. It is an integral industrial free zone specialized in defense industries and vehicles and machinery manufacturing. By 2015, the park is expected to provide around 15,000 job opportunities whereas the investment volume is expected to reach JD500 million.

Influence of the Southwest Asian conflict


The ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict, the Persian Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

, and other conflicts in Southwest Asia
Southwest Asia
Western Asia, West Asia, Southwest Asia or Southwestern Asia are terms that describe the westernmost portion of Asia. The terms are partly coterminous with the Middle East, which describes a geographical position in relation to Western Europe rather than its location within Asia...

 have made huge impacts on the economy of Jordan. The fact that Jordan has peace
Peace treaty
A peace treaty is an agreement between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or governments, that formally ends a state of war between the parties...

 with the surrounding countries, combined with its stability, has made it a preference for many Palestinians
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

, Lebanese
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, and Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 immigrants and refugee
Refugee
A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until...

s. Though this may have resulted in a more active economy, it has also damaged it by substantially decreasing the amount of resources available for each person. Jordan has a law that states that any Palestinian may immigrate and obtain Jordanian citizenship, but must remit his/her Palestinian claim. Palestinians are not allowed to purchase land unless they give up their Palestinian citizenship. In November 2005, King Abdullah called for a "war on extremism" in the wake of three suicide bombings in Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

.

Opportunity cost of the conflict


A report by Strategic Foresight Group
Strategic Foresight Group
Strategic Foresight Group is a think tank based in India that works on issues of global importance and relevance. It was established in 2002 to create new forms of intellectual capital. It identifies emerging trends across sectors at regional and global levels and enables policy-makers to respond...

 has calculated the opportunity cost of conflict
Cost of conflict
Cost of Conflict is a tool which attempts to calculate the price of conflict to the human race. The idea is to examine this cost, not only in terms of the deaths and casualties and the economic costs borne by the people involved, but also the social, developmental, environmental and strategic costs...

 for the Middle East from 1991 to 2010 at a whopping $12 trillion (12,000,000,000,000). Jordan's share in this is almost $84 billion. Every Jordanian family will also have the opportunity to increase their annual income by more than $1,250 if peace is established in the region and the Arab-Israeli boycott is lifted in full.

The report also outlines how an extremely significant cost to Jordan is that the country is host to millions of refugees who make up 40% of their population and are a drain on 7% of the GDP. Jordan also spends over 5% of its GDP on defense, and has one of the highest numbers of military personnel in the region, 23,500 military personnel per million people.

Culture


The culture of Jordan, as in its spoken language, values, beliefs, ethnicities is Arab as the Kingdom is in the heart of Southwest Asia
Southwest Asia
Western Asia, West Asia, Southwest Asia or Southwestern Asia are terms that describe the westernmost portion of Asia. The terms are partly coterminous with the Middle East, which describes a geographical position in relation to Western Europe rather than its location within Asia...

. Although many people from different regions of the world have come to settle in Jordan, Europeans like the (Circassians and the Chechens) or the Armenians
Armenians
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

, they have long been assimilated in the society and added their richness to the society that subsequently developed.
Jordan has a very diverse cultural scene with many different artists, religious sects, and ethnic groups residing in the small country because of Jordan's reputation for stability and tolerance.

Despite that Jordan music, cinema, and other forms of entertainment are influenced by other countries most specifically other Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 countries like Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 and Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 as well as by the West
West
West is a noun, adjective, or adverb indicating direction or geography.West is one of the four cardinal directions or compass points. It is the opposite of east and is perpendicular to north and south.By convention, the left side of a map is west....

 primarily the United States. However, there has been a rise of home-grown songs, music, art, movies and television, but they pale in comparison to the amount imported from abroad.
See:
  • Music of Jordan
    Music of Jordan
    The traditional music of Jordan has a long history. Rural zajal songs, with improvised poetry played with a Mijwiz, Tablah, Arghul, Oud, rabab and reed pipe ensemble accompanying is popular...

  • Sports in Jordan
    Sports in Jordan
    -Sports:The gardens of Al-Hussein in Amman, the city of Al-Hassan for youth in Irbid and the city of Prince Mohammad youth in Zarqa helped partnerships. Jordanian, Arab, regional and many international championships received high turnout and much attention from Jordanian youth; in particular for...

  • Cuisine of Jordan
  • Art in Jordan
    Art in Jordan
    There are many forms of Jordanian art. Art in Jordan is plentiful, there are many local artists, as well as Arab and those who live abroad frequently have exhibitions in different art galleries in Jordan. In addition to an art museum in Jabal Luwiebdeh, there is Darat Al Funun, a very prestigious...

  • Public holidays in Jordan
    Public holidays in Jordan
    Public holidays in Jordan.Note: Holidays in Jordan are often flexible. It is common for the government to change the day which a holiday is supposed to be celebrated on to another day — usually to prolong weekend....


Globalization


In the 2007 A.T. Kearney
A.T. Kearney
A.T. Kearney is a global management consulting firm, focusing on strategic and operational CEO-agenda concerns. It was founded in 1926, and its head office is in Chicago, Illinois...

 Globalization Index, Jordan was ranked as the 9th most globalized nation in the world. The 2010 AOF Index of Globalization ranked Jordan as the most globalized country in the Middle East and North Africa region as well. Jordan ranked in the top 10 for the economic, social, and political components of the index. Jordan scored high on the trade tables with high investment rates, large amounts of expatriate remittances, and a liberal trade regime. Jordan also had one of the most political engagements, organization and treaty memberships in the world. High technology penetration rates and its fast growing ICT industry earned Jordan high marks in the technology connectivity rankings. For example, Jordan has a 112% mobile phone penetration rate and a 40% internet penetration rate. Furthermore, 52% of Jordanians, 15 years old and above, own a desktop computer and another 15 per cent own a laptop at home. Also, Jordan has one of the highest levels of peacekeeping troop contributions of all U.N. member states.

Jordan ranked as the 9th best outsourcing destination worldwide. Amman was ranked as one of the "Top 10 Aspirants", cities in this ranking have a good chance in making the top 50 outsourcing cities in the next ranking. The report said that Jordan had one of the region's most favourable business climates, a well-educated population, solid capabilities in the ICT industry, and Jordan was home to numerous outsourcing companies that compete successfully internationally.

See also


  • International rankings
  • Jund al-Urdunn
    Jund al-Urdunn
    Jund al-Urdunn was one of the five districts of Bilad ash-Sham during the period of the Arab Caliphates. It was established under the Rashidun and its capital was Tiberias throughout its rule by the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates. It encompassed southern Mount Lebanon, the Galilee, the southern...

    , one of the five districts of Syria during the period of the Arab Caliphates


Further reading

  • El-Anis, Imad. Jordan and the United States: The Political Economy of Trade and Economic Reform in the Middle East (I.B. Tauris, distributed by Palgrave Macmillan; 2011) 320 pages; case studies of trade in textiles, pharmaceuticals, and financial services.
  • Robins, Philip. A History of Jordan (2004)
  • Salibi, Kamal S. The Modern History of Jordan (1998)
  • Teller, Matthew. The Rough Guide to Jordan (4th ed. 2009)

External links