ABOUT JORDAN

 

Jordan, officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing control of the Dead Sea. Jordan's only port is at its south-western tip, at the Gulf of Aqaba, which is shared with Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. Over half of Jordan is covered by the Arabian Desert. However, the western part of Jordan is arable land and forests. Jordan is part of the Fertile Crescent. The capital city is Amman.
 
Modern Jordan was founded in 1921, and it was recognized by the League of Nations as a state under the British mandate in 1922 known as The Emirate of Transjordan. In 1946, Jordan joined the United Nations as an independent sovereign state officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
 
In 1516, It became part of the Ottoman Empire and it remained so until 1918, when the Army of the Great Arab Revolt took over, and secured the present day Jordan with the help and support of Jordan local tribes.
 

Geography

Jordan lies between latitudes 29° and 34° N, and longitudes 35° and 40° E (a small area lies west of 35°). It consists of 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 of the Jordan River separates Jordan, the west bank and Israel. The highest point in the country is Jabal Umm al Dami, it is 1,854 m (6,083 ft) above sea level, its top is also covered with snow, while the lowest is the Dead Sea−420 m (−1,378 ft). 
 

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 around13 °C (55 °F). 
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 occurs, the country has a Mediterranean-style climate.  The country's long summer reaches a peak during August. January is usually the coldest month. 
 

History of Jordan

Ancient history
Jordan's roots as a sovereign independent state go back to the ancient kingdoms of the Nabatean Petra, Edom, Ammon, and Moab 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 was one of the most prominent states in the region. The amazing ruins of its capital, Petra, bear witness to their unique architecture, civilization, and prosperity. In 2007 Petra was selected as one of the new seven wonders of the world.
 
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 across its different Caliphates' stages, including the Rashidun Empire, Umayyad Empire and Abbasid Empire. After the decline of the Abbasid, It was ruled by several conflicting powers including the Mongols, the Crusaders, the Ayyubids and the Mamluks until it became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1516. 
 

Modern history

The Great Arab Revolt
During World War I, the Jordanian tribes fought, along with other tribes of Hijaz and Levant regions, as part of the Arab Army of the Great Arab Revolt. The revolt was launched by Hashemites and led by Sherif Hussein of Mecca against the Ottoman Empire. The chronicle of the revolt was written by T. E. Lawrence who, as a young British Army officer, played a liaison role during the revolt. He published the chronicle in London, 1922 under the title "Seven Pillars of Wisdom", which was the base for the iconic Hollywood movie "Lawrence of Arabia".
 

Independence

On May 25, 1946 the United Nations approved the end of the British Mandate and recognized Jordan as an independent sovereign kingdom. The Parliament of Jordan proclaimed King Abdullah as the first King. Abdullah I continued to rule until he was assassinated in 1951 as he was leaving the al-Aqsa Mosque inJerusalem. Jordan became a founding member of the Arab League in 1945 and, as an independent country, it joined the United Nations in 1955. 
 

1967 War with Israel

Jordan signed a military pact with Egypt in May 1967, and following an Israeli air attack on Egypt in June 1967, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq continued the Six Day War against Israel. During the war, Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In 1988, Jordan renounced all claims to the territory now occupied by Israel but its 1994 treaty with Israel allowed for a continuing Jordanian role in Muslim and Christian holy places in Jerusalem. The severance of administrative ties with theWest Bank halted the Jordanian government's paying of civil servants and public sector employees' salaries in the West Bank.
 

Government

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a constitutional monarchy with representative 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.
 

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. 
 

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's 2011 Freedom of the Press 2011 report. Jordan had the 5th freest press of 19 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region.
 

Language

The official language is Arabic. English, though without an official status, is widely spoken throughout the country and is the de facto language of commerce and banking, as well as a co-official status in the education sector. 
 

Religion

Islam 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 theSunni 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 is an advocate for religious freedom in the region and the world. Other religious minorities groups in Jordan include adherents to the Druze and Bahá'í Faith. The Druze are mainly located in the Eastern Oasis Town of Azraq, some villages on the Syrian border and the city of Zarka, while the Village of Adassiyeh bordering the Jordan Valley is home to Jordan's Bahá'í community.
 

Natural resources

Although Jordan is a generally resource-poor country, Jordan does contain significant deposits of both oil shale and sources of uranium; 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.
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. 4 nuclear power plants are planned to be built in Jordan with the first one to be operational in 2017.
 

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. Jordan also offers a variety of nightlife options with nightclubs, discothèques, bars, and raves in Amman, Irbid, Aqaba, and in 4 and 5-star hotels across the kingdom including in the Dead Sea and Petra areas. The best known tourist attractions include:
 
Ancient sightseeing
  • Petra in Wadi Musa, 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. 
  • Umm Qais, a town located on the site of the ruined Hellenistic–Roman city of Gadara amongst the few in the Hellenisticworld to have black basalt facades .
  • Ajlun, famous for the Ajlun Castle called in Arabic Al-Rabad Castle.
  • Jerash, famous for its ancient Roman architecture, with colonnaded streets, Corinthian arches, outdoor Roman Theaters and the Oval Plaza. Outside Jerash proper, the countryside is amongst the most scenic in the country with ancient olive groves and oak and pine woodlands.
  • Amman, Jordan's cosmopolitan capital, contains the Roman theater, in addition to several museums, where one may find remains of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  
  • Al Karak is built around an important Crusader castle from around the times of Salah al-Din, "Crac des Moabites" now known as Al-Karak Castle.

Religious sites

  • Madaba, well known for its Byzantine mosaics, as well as important religious sites such as:
  • The "terra Santa" Madaba Map of the Holyland.
  • The River Jordan, Bethany Beyond the Jordan the biblical Bethabara where Jesus of Nazareth was baptized, by John the Baptist.
  • Mount Nebo, where Moses was said to have gone to get a view of the Promised Land before he died.

Seaside

  • The Dead Sea – It is the lowest point on earth, 402 meters below sea level,[158] 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. 
  • Aqaba is a town on the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba with numerous shopping centers, hotels and access to various water sports and protected coral reefsand marine life. It has the ruins of the mediaeval town of Ayla and otherEdomite ruins. 
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 is a desert 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.
 

Medical tourism

Jordan has been an established medical tourism destination in the Middle East since the 1970s. A study conducted by Jordan's Private Hospitals Association (PHA) 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, and fifth in the world overall.