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The Hashemite
Hashemite
Kingdom of Jordan المملكة الأردنية الهاشمية (Arabic) Al-Mamlakah Al-Urdunnīyah Al-Hāshimīyah

Flag

Coat of arms

Motto: "God, Country, King" الله، الوطن ، الملك" "Allah, Al-Waṭan, Al-Malik"[1]

Anthem: The Royal Anthem of Jordan السلام الملكي الأردني Al-Salam Al-Malaki Al-Urdunni

Capital and largest city Amman 31°57′N 35°56′E / 31.950°N 35.933°E / 31.950; 35.933

Official languages Arabic

Ethnic groups

98% Arab 1% Circassians 1% Armenians

Religion

95% Islam 4% Christianity 1% Druze, Baha'i

Demonym Jordanian

Government Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy

• Monarch

Abdullah II

• Prime Minister

Hani Al-Mulki

Legislature Parliament

• Upper house

Senate

• Lower house

House of Representatives

Independence from the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
mandate

• Emirate

11 April 1921

• Independence

25 May 1946

• Constitution

11 January 1952

Area

• Total

89,341 km2 (34,495 sq mi) (110th)

• Water (%)

0.6

Population

• 2017 estimate

10,011,820[2] (90th)

• 2015 census

9,531,712

• Density

107/km2 (277.1/sq mi) (100th)

GDP (PPP) 2016 estimate

• Total

$86.193 billion[3] (87th)

• Per capita

$11,124[3] (86th)

GDP (nominal) 2016 estimate

• Total

$39.453 billion[3] (92nd)

• Per capita

$5,092[3] (95th)

Gini (2011) 35.4[4] medium

HDI (2014)  0.748[5] high · 80th

Currency Jordanian dinar
Jordanian dinar
(JOD)

Time zone EET (UTC+2)

• Summer (DST)

EEST (UTC+3)

Drives on the right

Calling code +962

ISO 3166 code JO

Internet TLD .jo .الاردن‎

Website jordan.gov.jo

This article contains Arabic
Arabic
text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols.

Jordan
Jordan
(/ˈdʒɔːrdən/; Arabic: الْأُرْدُنّ‎ Al-‘Urdunn [al.ʔur.dunn]), officially The Hashemite
Hashemite
Kingdom of Jordan
Jordan
(Arabic: المملكة الأردنية الهاشمية‎ Al-Mamlakah Al-Urdunnīyah Al-Hāshimīyah), is a sovereign Arab
Arab
state in western Asia, on the East Bank of the Jordan
Jordan
River. Jordan
Jordan
is bordered by Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
to the south, Iraq
Iraq
to the north-east, Syria to the north, Israel
Israel
and Palestine to the west. The Dead Sea
Dead Sea
lies along its western borders and the country has a small shoreline on the Red Sea
Red Sea
in its extreme south-west, but is otherwise landlocked.[6] Jordan
Jordan
is strategically located at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe.[7] The capital, Amman, is Jordan's most populous city as well as the country's economic, political and cultural centre.[8] What is now Jordan
Jordan
has been inhabited by humans since the Paleolithic period. Three stable kingdoms emerged there at the end of the Bronze Age: Ammon, Moab
Moab
and Edom. Later rulers include the Nabataean Kingdom, the Roman Empire, and the Ottoman Empire.[9] After the Great Arab Revolt against the Ottomans in 1916 during World War I, the Ottoman Empire was partitioned by Britain and France. The Emirate of Transjordan was established in 1921 by the Hashemite, then Emir, Abdullah I, and the emirate became a British protectorate. In 1946, Jordan
Jordan
became an independent state officially known as The Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, but was renamed in 1949 to The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Jordan
after the country captured the West Bank
West Bank
during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War
1948 Arab–Israeli War
and annexed it until it was lost to Israel
Israel
in 1967. Jordan
Jordan
renounced its claim to the territory in 1988, and became one of two Arab
Arab
states to have signed a peace treaty with Israel
Israel
in 1994.[10] Jordan
Jordan
is a founding member of the Arab
Arab
League and the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation. The country is a constitutional monarchy, but the king holds wide executive and legislative powers. Jordan
Jordan
is a relatively-small, semi-arid, almost-landlocked country with an area of 89,342 km2 (34,495 sq mi) and a population numbering 10 million, making it the 11th-most populous Arab country. Sunni Islam, practiced by around 95% of the population, is the dominant religion in Jordan
Jordan
that coexists with an indigenous Christian minority. Jordan
Jordan
remains to be considered as among the safest of countries in the Middle East, even after the deteriorating situation of the region following the Arab
Arab
spring in 2010s. Jordan prides itself on being an "oasis of stability" in a turbulent region.[11] In the midst of surrounding turmoil, it has been greatly hospitable, accepting refugees from almost all surrounding conflicts as early as 1948. An estimated 2.1 million Palestinian and 1.4 million Syrian refugees
Syrian refugees
are present.[12] The kingdom is also a refuge to thousands of Iraqi Christians
Iraqi Christians
fleeing persecution by ISIL.[13] While Jordan
Jordan
continues to accept refugees, the recent large influx from Syria
Syria
placed substantial strain on national resources and infrastructure.[14] Jordan
Jordan
is classified as a country of "high human development" with an "upper middle income" economy. The Jordanian economy, one of the smallest economies in the region, is attractive to foreign investors based upon a skilled workforce.[15] The country is a major tourist destination, also attracting medical tourism due to its well developed health sector.[16] Nonetheless, a lack of natural resources, large flow of refugees and regional turmoil have hampered economic growth.[17]

Contents

1 Etymology 2 History

2.1 Ancient period 2.2 Classical period 2.3 Islamic era 2.4 Modern era 2.5 Post-independence

3 Geography

3.1 Climate 3.2 Ecology

4 Politics and government

4.1 Largest cities 4.2 Administrative divisions 4.3 Foreign relations 4.4 Military, crime and law enforcement

5 Economy

5.1 Transportation 5.2 Tourism 5.3 Natural resources 5.4 Industry

6 Science
Science
and technology 7 Demographics

7.1 Immigrants and refugees 7.2 Religion and languages

8 Culture

8.1 Arts, cinema, museums and music 8.2 Sports 8.3 Cuisine

9 Health and education 10 See also 11 References 12 Further reading 13 External links

Etymology[edit] Jordan
Jordan
is named after the Jordan
Jordan
River, where Jesus
Jesus
is said to have been baptised.[18] The origin of the river's name is debated, but the most common explanation is that it derives from the word "yarad" (the descender, "Yarden" is the Hebrew name for the river), found in Hebrew, Aramaic, and other Semitic languages.[18] Others regard the name as having an Indo-Aryan origin, combining the words "yor" (year) and "don" (river), reflecting the river's perennial nature.[18] Another theory is that it is from the Arabic
Arabic
root word "wrd" (to come to), as in people coming to a major source of water.[18] The first recorded use of the name Jordan
Jordan
appears in Anastasi I, an ancient Egyptian papyrus that dates back to around 1000 BC.[19] The lands of modern-day Jordan
Jordan
were historically called Transjordan, meaning "beyond the Jordan
Jordan
River".[20] The name was Arabized into Al-Urdunn during the 636 Muslim conquest of the Levant.[20] During crusader rule in the beginning of the second millennium, it was called Oultrejordain.[20] In 1921, the Emirate of Transjordan
Emirate of Transjordan
was established and after it gained its independence in 1946, it became The Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan.[20] The name was changed in 1949 to The Hashemite
Hashemite
Kingdom of Jordan.[20] Hashemite
Hashemite
is the house name of the royal family.[20] History[edit] Main article: History of Jordan Ancient period[edit]

The 7250 BC 'Ain Ghazal Statues
'Ain Ghazal Statues
found in Amman, are some of the oldest human statues ever found.

Jordan
Jordan
is rich in Paleolithic
Paleolithic
remains, holding evidence of inhabitance by Homo erectus, Neanderthal
Neanderthal
and modern humans.[21] The oldest evidence of human habitation dates back around 250,000 years.[22] The Kharanah area in eastern Jordan
Jordan
has evidence of human huts from about 20,000 years ago.[23] Other Paleolithic
Paleolithic
sites include Pella
Pella
and Al-Azraq.[24] In the Neolithic
Neolithic
period, several settlements began to develop, most notably an agricultural community called 'Ain Ghazal
'Ain Ghazal
in what is now Amman,[25] one of the largest known prehistoric settlements in the Near East.[26] Plaster statues estimated to date back to around 7250 BC were uncovered there, and are among the oldest large human statues ever found.[27][28] Villages of Bab edh-Dhra
Bab edh-Dhra
in the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
area, Tal Hujayrat Al-Ghuzlan
Tal Hujayrat Al-Ghuzlan
in Aqaba
Aqaba
and Tulaylet Ghassul in the Jordan
Jordan
Valley all date to the Chalcolithic
Chalcolithic
period.[29] The prehistoric period of Jordan
Jordan
ended at around 2000 BC when the Semitic nomads known as the Amorites
Amorites
entered the region.[30] During the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
and Iron Age, present-day Jordan
Jordan
was home to several ancient kingdoms, whose populations spoke Semitic languages
Semitic languages
of the Canaanite group.[30] Among them were Ammon, Edom
Edom
and Moab, which are described as tribal kingdoms rather than states.[30] They are mentioned in ancient texts such as the Old Testament.[30] Archaeological finds have shown that Ammon
Ammon
was in the area of the modern city of Amman, Moab
Moab
in the highlands east of the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
and Edom
Edom
in the area around Wadi Araba.[31]

The 840 BC Mesha Stele
Mesha Stele
recorded the glory of Mesha, the Dibonite King of Moab.[32]

These Transjordanian kingdoms were in continuous conflict with the neighbouring Hebrew kingdoms of Israel
Israel
and Judah, centered west of the Jordan
Jordan
River, though the former was known to have at times controlled small parts east of the River.[33] Frequent confrontations ensued and tensions between them increased.[34] One record of this is the Mesha Stele erected by the Moabite king Mesha
Mesha
in around 840 BC on which he lauds himself for the building projects that he initiated in Moab
Moab
and commemorates his glory and victory against the Israelites.[34] The stele constitutes one of the most important direct accounts of Biblical history.[32] Subsequently, the Assyrian Empire reduced these kingdoms to vassals.[35] When the region was later under the influence of the Babylonians, the Old Testament
Old Testament
mentions that these kingdoms aided them in the 597 BC sack of Jerusalem.[35] These kingdoms are believed to have existed throughout fluctuations in regional rule and influence.[9] They were under the control of several distant empires, including the Akkadian Empire
Akkadian Empire
(2335–2193 BC), Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
(1500–1300 BC), the Hittite Empire
Hittite Empire
(1400–1300 BC), the Middle Assyrian Empire
Middle Assyrian Empire
(1365–1020 BC), the Neo-Assyrian Empire (911–605 BC), the Neo-Babylonian Empire
Neo-Babylonian Empire
(604–539 BC), the Achaemenid Empire
Achaemenid Empire
(539–332 BC) and the Hellenistic Empire of Macedonia.[9] However, by the time of Roman rule in the Levant
Levant
around 63 BC, the people of Ammon, Edom
Edom
and Moab
Moab
had lost their distinct identities, and were assimilated into Roman culture.[31] Classical period[edit] Main article: Transjordan (region) Alexander the Great's conquest of the Achaemenid Empire
Achaemenid Empire
in 332 BC introduced Hellenistic culture to the Middle East.[36] After Alexander's death in 323 BC, his empire split among his generals and in the end, much of the land of modern-day Jordan
Jordan
was disputed between the Ptolemies based in Egypt
Egypt
and the Seleucids
Seleucids
based in Syria.[37] In the south and east, the Nabataeans
Nabataeans
had an independent kingdom.[37] The Nabataeans
Nabataeans
were nomadic Arabs
Arabs
who derived wealth from their capital Petra, whose proximity to major trade routes led to it becoming a regional trading hub.[36] Campaigns by different Greek generals aspiring to annex the Nabataean Kingdom
Nabataean Kingdom
were unsuccessful.[36]

Al-Khazneh
Al-Khazneh
(the treasury) in the ancient city of Petra, carved into the rock in 312 BC by the Arab
Arab
Nabataeans.

The Ptolemies were eventually displaced from the region by the Seleucid Empire.[37] The conflict between these two groups enabled the Nabataeans
Nabataeans
to extend their kingdom northwards well beyond Petra
Petra
in Edom.[37] The Nabataeans
Nabataeans
are known for their great ability in constructing efficient water collecting methods in the barren desert and their talent in carving structures into solid rocks — notably the Khazneh (treasury).[36] These nomads spoke Arabic
Arabic
and wrote in Nabataean alphabets, which were developed from Aramaic script during the 2nd century BC, and are regarded by scholars to have evolved into the Arabic
Arabic
alphabet around the 4th century AD.[38] The Greeks founded new cities in Jordan
Jordan
including Philadelphia (Amman), Gerasa (Jerash), Gedara (Umm Qays), Pella
Pella
(Tabaqat Fahl) and Arbila (Irbid).[39] Later under Roman rule, these cities joined other Hellenistic cities in Palestine and Syria
Syria
to form the Decapolis League, a loose confederation linked by economic and cultural interests: Scythopolis, Hippos, Capitolias, Canatha
Canatha
and Damascus
Damascus
were among its members.[39] The most remarkable Hellenistic site in Jordan is Qasr Al-Abd
Qasr Al-Abd
at Iraq
Iraq
Al-Amir, just west of modern-day Amman.[9] Roman legions under Pompey
Pompey
conquered much of the Levant
Levant
in 63 BC, inaugurating a period of Roman rule that lasted for centuries.[9] In 106 AD, Emperor Trajan
Trajan
annexed the nearby Nabataean Kingdom
Nabataean Kingdom
without any opposition, and rebuilt the King's Highway which became known as the Via Traiana Nova
Via Traiana Nova
road.[40] During Roman rule the Nabataeans continued to flourish and replaced their local gods with Christianity.[41] Roman remains in Amman
Amman
include: the Temple of Hercules at the Amman
Amman
Citadel and the Roman theater.[41] Jerash contains a well-preserved Roman city that had 15,000 inhabitants at its zenith.[42] Jerash
Jerash
was visited by Emperor Hadrian
Hadrian
during his journey to Palestine.[41] In 324 AD, the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
split, and the Eastern Roman Empire
Roman Empire
(later known as the Byzantine Empire) continued to control or influence the region until 636 AD.[41] Christianity
Christianity
had become legal within the empire in 313 AD and the official state religion in 390 AD, after Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity.[41] Ayla city (modern day Aqaba) in southern Jordan
Jordan
also came under Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
rule.[41] The Aqaba
Aqaba
Church was built around 300 AD, and is considered to be the world's first purpose built Christian church.[43] The Byzantines built 16 churches just south of Amman
Amman
in Umm ar-Rasas.[44] Administratively the area of Jordan
Jordan
fell under the Diocese of the East, and was divided between the provinces of Palaestina Secunda
Palaestina Secunda
in the north-west and Arabia Petraea
Arabia Petraea
in the south and east.[45] Palaestina Salutaris
Palaestina Salutaris
in the south was split off from Arabia Petraea
Arabia Petraea
in the late 4th century.[45] The Sassanian Empire
Sassanian Empire
in the east became the Byzantines' rivals, and frequent confrontations sometimes led to the Sassanids controlling some parts of the region, including Transjordan.[46] Islamic era[edit] Main article: Jund Al-Urdunn Muslims under the Rashidun Caliphate
Rashidun Caliphate
from what is now Saudi Arabia, invaded the region from the south.[41] The Arab
Arab
Christian Ghassanids, clients of the Byzantines, were defeated despite imperial support.[47] While the Muslim forces lost to the Byzantines in their first direct engagement during the Battle of Mu'tah in 629, in what is now the Karak Governorate, the Byzantines lost control of the Levant
Levant
when they were defeated by the Rashidun army in 636 at the Battle of Yarmouk just north of modern-day Jordan.[41] Transjordan was an essential territory for the conquest of nearby Damascus.[48] The first, or Rashidun, caliphate was followed by that of the Ummayad (661–750). Under Umayyads rule, several desert castles were constructed, such as: Qasr Al-Mshatta, Qasr Al-Hallabat, Qasr Al-Kharanah, Qasr Tuba, Qasr Amra, and a large administrative palace in Amman.[49] The Abbasid campaign to take over the Umayyad empire began in the region of Transjordan.[48] After the decline of the Abbasid Caliphate, the area was ruled by the Fatimid Caliphate, then by the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem
Kingdom of Jerusalem
(1115–1189).[48]

Ajloun Castle
Ajloun Castle
in Ajloun
Ajloun
built by the Ayyubid Muslim leader Saladin
Saladin
in the 12th century AD used for defence against the Crusades.

The Crusaders constructed about nine Crusader castles as part of the lordship of Oultrejordain, including those of Montreal, Al-Karak
Al-Karak
and Wu'ayra (in Petra).[49] In the 12th century, the Crusaders were defeated by Saladin, the founder of the Ayyubids dynasty (1189–1260).[49] The Ayyubids built a new castle at Ajloun
Ajloun
and rebuilt the former Roman fort of Qasr Azraq.[49] Several of these castles were used and expanded by the Mamluks (1260–1516), who divided Jordan
Jordan
between the provinces of Karak and Damascus.[49] During the next century Transjordan experienced Mongol attacks, but the Mongols were ultimately repelled by the Mamluks after the Battle of Ain Jalut (1260).[49] In 1516, Ottoman forces conquered Mamluk territory.[50] Agricultural villages in Jordan
Jordan
witnessed a period of relative prosperity in the 16th century, but were later abandoned.[51] For the next centuries, Ottoman rule in the region, at times, was virtually absent and reduced to annual tax collection visits.[51] This led to a short-lived occupation by the Wahhabi
Wahhabi
forces (1803–1812), an ultra-orthodox Islamic movement that emerged in Najd in modern-day Saudi Arabia.[37] Ibrahim Pasha, son of the governor of the Egypt Eyalet
Egypt Eyalet
under the request of the Ottoman sultan, rooted out the Wahhabis between 1811 and 1818.[37] In 1833 Ibrahim Pasha turned on the Ottomans and established his rule over the Levant.[52] His oppressive policies led to the unsuccessful peasants' revolt in Palestine in 1834.[52] The cities of Al-Salt
Al-Salt
and Al-Karak
Al-Karak
were destroyed by Ibrahim Pasha's forces for harbouring a peasants' revolt leader. Egyptian rule was later forcibly ended, with Ottoman rule restored.[52] Russian persecution of Sunni Muslim Circassians
Circassians
and Chechens
Chechens
led to their immigration into the region in 1867, where today they form a small part of the country's ethnic fabric.[53] Overall population however declined due to oppression and neglect.[54] Urban settlements with small populations included: Al-Salt, Irbid, Jerash
Jerash
and Al-Karak.[55] The under-development of urban life in Jordan
Jordan
was exacerbated by the settlements being sometimes raided.[22] Ottoman oppression provoked the region's both non-Bedouin and Bedouin tribes to revolt, Bedouin tribes like: Adwan, Bani Hassan, Bani Sakhr
Bani Sakhr
and the Howeitat.[53] The most notable revolts were the Shoubak Revolt
Shoubak Revolt
(1905) and the Karak Revolt
Karak Revolt
(1910), which were brutally suppressed.[53] Jordan's location lies on a pilgrimage route taken by Muslims going to Mecca, which helped the population economically when the Ottomans constructed the Hejaz Railway
Hejaz Railway
linking Mecca
Mecca
with Istanbul
Istanbul
in 1908.[53] Before the construction of the railway, the Ottomans built fortresses along the Hajj route to secure pilgrims' caravans.[56] Modern era[edit] Main articles: Great Arab
Arab
Revolt and Emirate of Transjordan

Soldiers of the Hashemite-led Arab
Arab
Army holding the flag of the Great Arab
Arab
Revolt against the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
in 1916.

Four centuries of stagnation during Ottoman rule came to an end during World War I
World War I
by the 1916 Arab
Arab
Revolt; driven by long-term Arab resentment towards the Ottoman authorities,[54] and growing Arab nationalism.[57] The revolt was launched by Sharif Hussein of Mecca, a member of the Hashemite
Hashemite
clan of Hejaz
Hejaz
who claim descent from Muhammad.[58] Locally, the revolt garnered the support of the Transjordanian tribes, including Bedouins, Circassians
Circassians
and Christians.[59] The Allies of World War I, including Britain and France, offered support.[60] The Great Arab
Arab
Revolt started on 5 June 1916 from Medina
Medina
and pushed northwards until the fighting reached Transjordan in the Battle of Aqaba
Aqaba
on 6 July 1917.[37] By 1918, the revolt — with the Allies' support — successfully gained control of most of the territories of the Hejaz
Hejaz
and the Levant, including Damascus.[37] However, it failed to gain international recognition as an independent state, due mainly to the secret 1916 Sykes–Picot Agreement
Sykes–Picot Agreement
and the 1917 Balfour Declaration.[37] This was seen by the Hashemites
Hashemites
and the Arabs
Arabs
as a betrayal of their previous agreements with the British, including the 1915 McMahon–Hussein Correspondence, in which the British stated their willingness to recognise the independence of a unified Arab state stretching from Aleppo
Aleppo
to Aden
Aden
under the rule of the Hashemites.[37] The region was divided into French and British spheres of influence.[37] Abdullah I, the second son of Sharif Hussein arrived from Hejaz
Hejaz
by train in Ma'an
Ma'an
in southern Jordan
Jordan
on 11 November 1920, where he was greeted by Transjordanian leaders.[37] Abdullah established the Emirate of Transjordan
Emirate of Transjordan
on 11 April 1921, which then became a British protectorate.[61]

Al-Salt
Al-Salt
city residents gather during the British Mandate High Commissioner's first visit to Transjordan, 20 August 1920.

In September 1922, the Council of the League of Nations
League of Nations
recognised Transjordan as a state under the British Mandate for Palestine and the Transjordan memorandum, and excluded the territories east of the Jordan River
Jordan River
from the provisions of the mandate dealing with Jewish settlement.[62] Transjordan remained a British mandate until 1946, but it had been granted a greater level of autonomy than the region west of the Jordan
Jordan
River.[63] The first organised army in Jordan
Jordan
was established on 22 October 1920, and was named the " Arab
Arab
Legion".[37] The Legion grew from 150 men in 1920 to 8,000 in 1946.[64] Multiple difficulties emerged upon the assumption of power in the region by the Hashemite
Hashemite
leadership.[37] In Transjordan, small local rebellions at Kura in 1921 and 1923 were suppressed by Emir
Emir
Abdullah with the help of British forces.[37] Wahhabis from Najd regained strength and repeatedly raided the southern parts of his territory in (1922–1924), seriously threatening the Emir's position.[37] The Emir
Emir
was unable to repel those raids without the aid of the local Bedouin tribes and the British, who maintained a military base with a small RAF detachment close to Amman.[37] Post-independence[edit] Main article: Timeline of the Hashemite
Hashemite
Kingdom of Jordan

King Abdullah I declaring the end of the British Mandate and the independence of the Hashemite
Hashemite
Kingdom of Jordan, 25 May 1946.

The Treaty of London, signed by the British Government and the Emir
Emir
of Transjordan on 22 March 1946, recognised the independence of Transjordan upon ratification by both countries' parliaments.[65] On 25 May 1946, the Emirate of Transjordan
Emirate of Transjordan
became The Hashemite
Hashemite
Kingdom of Transjordan, as the ruling Emir
Emir
was re-designated as King by the parliament of Transjordan on the day it ratified the Treaty of London.[66] The name was changed to The Hashemite
Hashemite
Kingdom of Jordan
Jordan
in 1949.[10] Jordan
Jordan
became a member of the United Nations
United Nations
on 14 December 1955.[10] On 15 May 1948, as part of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Jordan
Jordan
invaded Palestine together with other Arab
Arab
states.[67] Following the war, Jordan
Jordan
controlled the West Bank
West Bank
and on 24 April 1950 Jordan
Jordan
formally annexed these territories.[68] In response, some Arab
Arab
countries demanded Jordan's expulsion from the Arab
Arab
League.[68] On 12 June 1950, the Arab
Arab
League declared that the annexation was a temporary, practical measure and that Jordan
Jordan
was holding the territory as a "trustee" pending a future settlement.[69] King Abdullah was assassinated at the Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque
in 1951 by a Palestinian militant, amid rumours he intended to sign a peace treaty with Israel.[70] Abdullah was succeeded by his son Talal, who would soon abdicate due to illness in favour of his eldest son Hussein.[71] Talal established the country's modern constitution in 1952.[71] Hussein ascended to the throne in 1953 at the age of 17.[70] Jordan
Jordan
witnessed great political uncertainty in the following period.[72] The 1950s were a period of political upheaval, as Nasserism
Nasserism
and Pan-Arabism
Pan-Arabism
swept the Arab World.[72] On 1 March 1956, King Hussein Arabized the command of the Army by dismissing a number of senior British officers, an act made to remove remaining foreign influence in the country.[73] In 1958, Jordan and neighbouring Hashemite
Hashemite
Iraq
Iraq
formed the Arab
Arab
Federation as a response to the formation of the rival United Arab
Arab
Republic between Nasser's Egypt
Egypt
and Syria.[74] The union lasted only six months, being dissolved after Iraqi King Faisal II (Hussein's cousin) was deposed by a bloody military coup on 14 July 1958.[74]

King Hussein after checking an abandoned Israeli tank in the aftermath of the Battle of Karameh, 21 March 1968.

Jordan
Jordan
signed a military pact with Egypt
Egypt
just before Israel
Israel
launched a preemptive strike on Egypt
Egypt
to begin the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
in June 1967, where Jordan
Jordan
and Syria
Syria
joined the war.[75] The Arab
Arab
states were defeated and Jordan
Jordan
lost control of the West Bank
West Bank
to Israel.[75] The War of Attrition
War of Attrition
with Israel
Israel
followed, which included the 1968 Battle of Karameh
Karameh
where the combined forces of the Jordanian Armed Forces
Jordanian Armed Forces
and the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
(PLO) repelled an Israeli attack on the Karameh
Karameh
camp on the Jordanian border with the West Bank.[75] Despite the fact that the Palestinians had limited involvement against the Israeli forces, the events at Karameh
Karameh
gained wide recognition and acclaim in the Arab
Arab
world.[76] As a result, the time period following the battle witnessed an upsurge of support for Palestinian paramilitary elements (the fedayeen) within Jordan
Jordan
from other Arab countries.[76] The fedayeen activities soon became a threat to Jordan's rule of law.[76] In September 1970, the Jordanian army targeted the fedayeen and the resultant fighting led to the expulsion of Palestinian fighters from various PLO groups into Lebanon, in a civil war that became known as Black September.[76] In 1973, Egypt
Egypt
and Syria
Syria
waged the Yom Kippur War
Yom Kippur War
on Israel, and fighting occurred along the 1967 Jordan River
Jordan River
cease-fire line.[76] Jordan
Jordan
sent a brigade to Syria
Syria
to attack Israeli units on Syrian territory but did not engage Israeli forces from Jordanian territory.[76] At the Rabat summit conference in 1974, Jordan
Jordan
agreed, along with the rest of the Arab
Arab
League, that the PLO was the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people".[76] Subsequently, Jordan
Jordan
renounced its claims to the West Bank
West Bank
in 1988.[76] At the 1991 Madrid Conference, Jordan
Jordan
agreed to negotiate a peace treaty sponsored by the US and the Soviet Union.[76] The Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace was signed on 26 October 1994.[76] In 1997, Israeli agents entered Jordan
Jordan
using Canadian passports and poisoned Khaled Meshal, a senior Hamas
Hamas
leader.[76] Israel
Israel
provided an antidote to the poison and released dozens of political prisoners, including Sheikh Ahmed Yassin after King Hussein threatened to annul the peace treaty.[76]

A Jordanian Bedouin forces officer in Petra
Petra
2004.

On 7 February 1999, Abdullah II ascended the throne upon the death of his father Hussein.[77] Abdullah embarked on aggressive economic liberalisation when he assumed the throne, and his reforms led to an economic boom which continued until 2008.[78] Abdullah II has been credited with increasing foreign investment, improving public-private partnerships and providing the foundation for Aqaba's free-trade zone and Jordan's flourishing information and communication technology (ICT) sector.[78] He also set up five other special economic zones.[78] However, during the following years Jordan's economy experienced hardship as it dealt with the effects of the Great Recession and spillover from the Arab
Arab
Spring.[79] Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
under Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's leadership launched coordinated explosions in three hotel lobbies in Amman
Amman
on 9 November 2005, resulting in 60 deaths and 115 injured.[80] The bombings, which targeted civilians, caused widespread outrage among Jordanians.[80] The attack is considered to be a rare event in the country, and Jordan's internal security was dramatically improved afterwards.[80] No major terrorist attacks have occurred since then.[81] Abdullah and Jordan
Jordan
are viewed with contempt by Islamic extremists for the country's peace treaty with Israel
Israel
and its relationship with the West.[82] The Arab
Arab
Spring were large-scale protests that erupted in the Arab World in 2011, demanding economic and political reforms.[83] Many of these protests tore down regimes in some Arab
Arab
nations, leading to instability that ended with violent civil wars.[83] In Jordan, in response to domestic unrest, Abdullah replaced his prime minister and introduced a number of reforms including: reforming the Constitution, and laws governing public freedoms and elections.[83] Proportional representation was re-introduced to the Jordanian parliament in the 2016 general election, a move which he said would eventually lead to establishing parliamentary governments.[84] Jordan
Jordan
was left largely unscathed from the violence that swept the region despite an influx of 1.4 million Syrian refugees
Syrian refugees
into the natural resources-lacking country and the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq
Iraq
and the Levant (ISIL).[84] Geography[edit] Main article: Geography of Jordan

Wadi Rum's resemblance to the surface of Mars
Mars
has made it a popular filming and tourist attraction, including scenes in The Martian (2015).

Jordan
Jordan
sits strategically at the crossroads of the continents of Asia, Africa and Europe,[7] in the Levant
Levant
area of the Fertile Crescent, a cradle of civilization.[85] It is 89,341 square kilometres (34,495 sq mi) large, and 400 kilometres (250 mi) long between its northernmost and southernmost points; Umm Qais
Umm Qais
and Aqaba respectively.[86] The kingdom lies between 29° and 34° N, and 34° and 40° E. The east is an arid plateau irrigated by oases and seasonal water streams.[86] Major cities are overwhelmingly located on the north-western part of the kingdom due to its fertile soils and relatively abundant rainfall.[87] These include Irbid, Jerash
Jerash
and Zarqa
Zarqa
in the northwest, the capital Amman
Amman
and Al-Salt
Al-Salt
in the central west, and Madaba, Al-Karak
Al-Karak
and Aqaba
Aqaba
in the southwest.[87] Major towns in the eastern part of the country are the oasis towns of Azraq
Azraq
and Ruwaished.[85] In the west, a highland area of arable land and Mediterranean evergreen forestry drops suddenly into the Jordan
Jordan
Rift Valley.[85] The rift valley contains the Jordan River
Jordan River
and the Dead Sea, which separates Jordan
Jordan
from Israel
Israel
and the Palestinian Territories.[85] Jordan
Jordan
has a 26 kilometres (16 mi) shoreline on the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea, but is otherwise landlocked.[6] The Yarmouk River, an eastern tributary of the Jordan, forms part of the boundary between Jordan
Jordan
and Syria
Syria
(including the occupied Golan Heights) to the north.[6] The other boundaries are formed by several international and local agreements and do not follow well-defined natural features.[85] The highest point is Jabal Umm al Dami, at 1,854 m (6,083 ft) above sea level, while the lowest is the Dead Sea −420 m (−1,378 ft), the lowest land point on earth.[85]

The Dead Sea
Dead Sea
located along Jordan's western border with Palestine and Israel, is the saltiest waterbody and the lowest point on earth.[85]

Jordan
Jordan
has a diverse range of habitats, ecosystems and biota due to its varied landscapes and environments.[88] The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature was set up in 1966 to protect and manage Jordan's natural resources.[89] Nature reserves in Jordan
Nature reserves in Jordan
include the Dana Biosphere Reserve, the Azraq
Azraq
Wetland Reserve, the Shaumari Wildlife Reserve and the Mujib Nature Reserve.[89] Climate[edit] Main article: Climate of Jordan The climate in Jordan
Jordan
varies greatly. Generally, the further inland from the Mediterranean, greater contrasts in temperature occur and the less rainfall there is.[86] The country's average elevation is 812 m (2,664 ft) (SL).[86] The highlands above the Jordan Valley, mountains of the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
and Wadi Araba
Wadi Araba
and as far south as Ras Al-Naqab are dominated by a Mediterranean climate, while the eastern and northeastern areas of the country are arid desert.[90] Although the desert parts of the kingdom reach high temperatures, the heat is usually moderated by low humidity and a daytime breeze, while the nights are cool.[91] Summers, lasting from May to September, are hot and dry, with temperatures averaging around 32 °C (90 °F) and sometimes exceeding 40 °C (104 °F) between July and August.[91] The winter, lasting from November to March, is relatively cool, with temperatures averaging around 13 °C (55 °F).[90] Winter also sees frequent showers and occasional snowfall in some western elevated areas.[90] Ecology[edit] Main articles: Wildlife of Jordan, List of mammals of Jordan, and List of birds of Jordan

A forest in Ajloun, northern Jordan.

Over 2,000 plant species have been recorded in Jordan.[92] Many of the flowering plants bloom in the spring after the winter rains and the type of vegetation depends largely on the levels of precipitation. The mountainous regions in the northwest are clothed in forests, while further south and east the vegetation becomes more scrubby and transitions to steppe-type vegetation.[93] Forests cover 1.5 million dunums (1,500 km2), less than 2% of Jordan, making Jordan
Jordan
among the world's least forested countries, the international average being 15%.[94] Plant species include, Aleppo
Aleppo
pine, Sarcopoterium, Salvia dominica, black iris, Tamarix, Anabasis, Artemisia, Acacia, Mediterranean cypress and Phoenecian juniper.[95] The mountainous regions in the northwest are clothed in natural forests of pine, deciduous oak, evergreen oak, pistachio and wild olive.[96] Mammal and reptile species include, the long-eared hedgehog, Nubian ibex, wild boar, fallow deer, Arabian wolf, desert monitor, honey badger, glass snake, caracal, golden jackal and the roe deer, among others.[97][98][99] Bird include the hooded crow, Eurasian jay, lappet-faced vulture, barbary falcon, hoopoe, pharaoh eagle-owl, common cuckoo, Tristram's starling, Palestine sunbird, Sinai
Sinai
rosefinch, lesser kestrel, house crow and the white-spectacled bulbul.[100] Politics and government[edit] Main article: Politics of Jordan Jordan
Jordan
is a unitary state under a constitutional monarchy. Jordan's constitution, adopted in 1952 and amended a number of times since, is the legal framework that governs the monarch, government, bicameral legislature and judiciary.[101] The king retains wide executive and legislative powers from the government and parliament.[102] The king exercises his powers through the government that he appoints for a four-year term, which is responsible before the parliament that is made up of two chambers: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The judiciary is independent according to the constitution.[101]

The current King of Jordan
King of Jordan
is Abdullah II who assumed the throne in 1999.

The king is the head of state and commander-in-chief of the army. He can declare war and peace, ratify laws and treaties, convene and close legislative sessions, call and postpone elections, dismiss the government and dissolve the parliament.[101] The appointed government can also be dismissed through a majority vote of no confidence by the elected House of Representatives. After a bill is proposed by the government, it must be approved by the House of Representatives then the Senate, and becomes law after being ratified by the king. A royal veto on legislation can be overridden by a two-thirds vote in both houses. The parliament also has the right of interpellation.[101] The 65 members of the upper Senate are directly appointed by the king, the constitution mandates that they be veteran politicians, judges and generals who previously served in the government or in the House of Representatives.[103] The 130 members of the lower House of Representatives are elected through party-list proportional representation in 23 constituencies for a 4-year term.[104] Minimum quotas exist in the House of Representatives for women (15 seats, though they won 20 seats in the 2016 election), Christians
Christians
(9 seats) and Circassians
Circassians
and Chechens
Chechens
(3 seats).[105] Courts are divided into three categories: civil, religious, and special.[106] The civil courts deal with civil and criminal matters, including cases brought against the government.[106] The civil courts include Magistrate Courts, Courts of First Instance, Courts of Appeal,[106] High Administrative Courts which hear cases relating to administrative matters,[107] and the Constitutional Court which was set up in 2012 in order to hear cases regarding the constitutionality of laws.[108] Although Islam
Islam
is the state religion, the constitution preserves religious and personal freedoms. Religious law only extends to matters of personal status such as divorce and inheritance in religious courts, and is partially based on Islamic Sharia
Sharia
law.[109] The special court deals with cases forwarded by the civil one.[110] The capital city of Jordan
Jordan
is Amman, located in north-central Jordan.[8] Jordan
Jordan
is divided into 12 governorates (muhafazah) (informally grouped into three regions: northern, central, southern). These are subdivided into a total of 52 nawahi, which are further divided into neighbourhoods in urban areas or into towns in rural ones.[111] The current monarch, Abdullah II, ascended to the throne in February 1999 after the death of his father Hussein. Abdullah re-affirmed Jordan's commitment to the peace treaty with Israel
Israel
and its relations with the United States. He refocused the government's agenda on economic reform, during his first year. King Abdullah's eldest son, Prince Hussein, is the current Crown Prince of Jordan.[112] The current prime minister is Hani Al-Mulki
Hani Al-Mulki
who received his position on 29 May 2016.[113] Abdullah had announced his intentions of turning Jordan
Jordan
into a parliamentary system, where the largest bloc in parliament forms a government. However, the underdevelopment of political parties in the country have hampered such moves.[114] Jordan has around 50 political parties representing nationalist, leftist, Islamist, and liberal ideologies.[115] Political parties contested a fifth of the seats in the 2016 elections, the remainder belonging to independent politicians.[116] According to Freedom House, Jordan
Jordan
is ranked as the 3rd freest Arab country, and as "partly free" in the Freedom in the World
Freedom in the World
2017 report.[117] The 2010 Arab
Arab
Democracy Index from the Arab
Arab
Reform Initiative ranked Jordan
Jordan
first in the state of democratic reforms out of 15 Arab
Arab
countries.[118] Jordan
Jordan
ranked first among the Arab
Arab
states and 78th globally in the Human Freedom Index in 2015,[119] and ranked 55th out of 175 countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index
Corruption Perceptions Index
(CPI) issued by Transparency International
Transparency International
in 2014, where 175th is most corrupt.[120] In the 2016 Press Freedom Index
Press Freedom Index
maintained by Reporters Without Borders, Jordan
Jordan
ranked 135th out of 180 countries worldwide, and 5th of 19 countries in the Middle East
Middle East
and North Africa region. Jordan's score was 44 on a scale from 0 (most free) to 105 (least free). The report added "the Arab
Arab
Spring and the Syrian
Syrian
conflict have led the authorities to tighten their grip on the media and, in particular, the Internet, despite an outcry from civil society".[121] Jordanian media consists of public and private institutions. Popular Jordanian newspapers include Al Ghad and the Jordan
Jordan
Times. The two most-watched local TV stations are Ro'ya TV and Jordan
Jordan
TV.[122] Internet penetration in Jordan
Jordan
reached 76% in 2015.[123] Largest cities[edit]

 

v t e

Largest cities or towns in Jordan [1]

Rank Name Governorate Pop.

Amman

Zarqa 1 Amman Amman
Amman
Governorate 1,349,260

Irbid

Russeifa

2 Zarqa Zarqa
Zarqa
Governorate 502,900

3 Irbid Irbid
Irbid
Governorate 313,800

4 Russeifa Zarqa
Zarqa
Governorate 289,800

5 Al Quwaysimah Amman
Amman
Governorate 176,400

6 Wadi as-Ser Amman
Amman
Governorate 158,900

7 Tilā' al-'Alī Amman
Amman
Governorate 147,400

8 Ajloun Ajloun
Ajloun
Governorate 125,000

9 Aqaba Aqaba
Aqaba
Governorate 111,600

10 Khuraybat as-Sūq Amman
Amman
Governorate 110,600

Administrative divisions[edit]

The 1st century AD Oval Forum of ancient Jerash
Jerash
which was once part of the 10-city Greco-Roman league, the Decapolis.

The first level subdivision in Jordan
Jordan
is the muhafazah or governorate. The governorates are divided into liwa or districts, which are often further subdivided into qda or sub-districts.[124] Control for each administrative unit is in a "chief town" (administrative centre) known as a nahia.[124]

Map

Governorate Capital Population

Syria Iraq Israel Saudi Arabia Palestine Irbid Jerash Ajloun Mafraq Zarqa Amman Balqa Madaba Karak Tafilah Ma'an Aqaba

Northern region

1 Irbid Irbid 1,770,158

2 Ajloun Ajloun 176,080

3 Jerash Jerash 237,059

4 Mafraq Mafraq 549,948

Central region

5 Balqa Al-Salt 491,709

6 Madaba Madaba 189,192

7 Amman Amman 4,007,256

8 Zarqa Zarqa 1,364,878

Southern region

9 Karak Al-Karak 316,629

10 Tafila Tafila 96,291

11 Ma'an Ma'an 144,083

12 Aqaba Aqaba 188,160

Foreign relations[edit] Main article: Foreign relations of Jordan

King Abdullah II shows his son, Crown Prince Hussein, a photo given to them by the then United States
United States
secretary of state John Kerry.

The kingdom has followed a pro-Western foreign policy and maintained close relations with the United States
United States
and the United Kingdom. During the first Gulf War
Gulf War
(1990), these relations were damaged by Jordan's neutrality and its maintenance of relations with Iraq. Later, Jordan restored its relations with Western countries through its participation in the enforcement of UN sanctions against Iraq
Iraq
and in the Southwest Asia
Asia
peace process. After King Hussein's death in 1999, relations between Jordan
Jordan
and the Persian Gulf countries greatly improved.[125] Jordan
Jordan
is a key ally of the USA and UK and, together with Egypt, is one of only two Arab
Arab
nations to have signed peace treaties with Israel, Jordan's direct neighbour.[126] Jordan
Jordan
views an independent Palestinian state with the 1967 borders, as part of the two-state solution and of supreme national interest.[127] The ruling Hashemite dynasty has had custodianship over holy sites in Jerusalem since 1924, a position re-inforced in the Israel– Jordan
Jordan
peace treaty. Turmoil in Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa
Al-Aqsa
mosque between Israelis and Palestinians created tensions between Jordan
Jordan
and Israel
Israel
concerning the former's role in protecting the Muslim and Christian sites in Jerusalem.[128] Jordan
Jordan
is a founding member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and of the Arab
Arab
League.[129][130] It enjoys "advanced status" with the European Union
European Union
and is part of the European Neighbourhood Policy
European Neighbourhood Policy
(ENP), which aims to increase links between the EU and its neighbours.[131] Jordan
Jordan
and Morocco
Morocco
tried to join the Gulf Cooperation Council
Gulf Cooperation Council
(GCC) in 2011, but the Gulf countries offered a five-year development aid programme instead.[132] Military, crime and law enforcement[edit] Main articles: Jordanian Armed Forces
Jordanian Armed Forces
and Law enforcement in Jordan The first organised army in Jordan
Jordan
was established on 22 October 1920, and was named the " Arab
Arab
Legion". Jordan's capture of the West Bank during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
1948 Arab-Israeli War
proved that the Arab
Arab
Legion, known today as the Jordan
Jordan
Armed Forces, was the most effective among the Arab
Arab
troops involved in the war.[64] The Royal Jordanian
Royal Jordanian
Army, which boasts around 110,000 personnel, is considered to be among the most professional in the region, due to being particularly well-trained and organised.[64] The Jordanian military enjoys strong support and aid from the United States, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and France. This is due to Jordan's critical position in the Middle East.[64] The development of Special
Special
Operations Forces has been particularly significant, enhancing the capability of the military to react rapidly to threats to homeland security, as well as training special forces from the region and beyond.[133] Jordan
Jordan
provides extensive training to the security forces of several Arab
Arab
countries.[134] There are about 50,000 Jordanian troops working with the United Nations in peacekeeping missions across the world. Jordan
Jordan
ranks third internationally in participation in U.N. peacekeeping missions,[135] with one of the highest levels of peacekeeping troop contributions of all U.N. member states.[136] Jordan
Jordan
has dispatched several field hospitals to conflict zones and areas affected by natural disasters across the region.[137]

An Amman
Amman
City Centre Police patrol.

In 2014, Jordan
Jordan
joined an aerial bombardment campaign by an international coalition led by the United States
United States
against the Islamic State as part of its intervention in the Syrian
Syrian
Civil War.[138] In 2015, Jordan
Jordan
participated in the Saudi Arabian-led military intervention in Yemen
Yemen
against the Shia Houthis
Houthis
and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was deposed in the 2011 uprising.[139] Jordan's law enforcement is under the purview of the Public Security Directorate (which includes approximately 50,000 persons) and the General Directorate of Gendarmerie, both of which are subordinate to the country's Ministry of Interior. The first police force in the Jordanian state was organised after the fall of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
on 11 April 1921.[140] Until 1956 police duties were carried out by the Arab
Arab
Legion and the Transjordan Frontier Force. After that year the Public Safety Directorate was established.[140] The number of female police officers is increasing. In the 1970s, it was the first Arab country to include females in its police force.[141] Jordan's law enforcement was ranked 37th in the world and 3rd in the Middle East, in terms of police services' performance, by the 2016 World Internal Security and Police Index.[11][142] Economy[edit] Main article: Economy of Jordan

A proportional representation of Jordan's exports.

Jordan
Jordan
is classified by the World Bank
World Bank
as an "upper-middle income" country.[143] However, approximately 14.4% of the population lives below the national poverty line on a longterm basis (as of 2010[update]),[143] while almost a third fell below the national poverty line during some time of the year—known as transient poverty.[144] The economy, which boasts a GDP of $39.453 billion (as of 2016[update]),[3] grew at an average rate of 8% per annum between 2004 and 2008, and around 2.6% 2010 onwards.[86] GDP per capita rose by 351% in the 1970s, declined 30% in the 1980s, and rose 36% in the 1990s—currently $5,092 per capita.[145] The Jordanian economy is one of the smallest economies in the region, and the country's populace suffers from relatively high rates of unemployment and poverty.[86] Jordan's economy is relatively well diversified. Trade and finance combined account for nearly one-third of GDP; transportation and communication, public utilities, and construction account for one-fifth, and mining and manufacturing constitute nearly another fifth. Despite plans to expand the private sector, the state remains the dominant force in Jordan's economy.[17] Net official development assistance to Jordan
Jordan
in 2009 totalled USD 761 million; according to the government, approximately two-thirds of this was allocated as grants, of which half was direct budget support.[146] The official currency is the Jordanian dinar, which is pegged to the IMF's special drawing rights (SDRs), equivalent to an exchange rate of 1 US$ ≡ 0.709 dinar, or approximately 1 dinar ≡ 1.41044 dollars.[147] In 2000, Jordan
Jordan
joined the World Trade Organization
World Trade Organization
and signed the Jordan– United States
United States
Free Trade Agreement, thus becoming the first Arab
Arab
country to establish a free trade agreement with the United States. Jordan
Jordan
enjoys advanced status with the EU, which has facilitated greater access to export to European markets.[148] Due to slow domestic growth, high energy and food subsidies and a bloated public-sector workforce, Jordan
Jordan
usually runs annual budget deficits.[149]

View of a part of the capital Amman.

The Great Recession
Great Recession
and the turmoil caused by the Arab
Arab
Spring have depressed Jordan's GDP growth, damaging trade, industry, construction and tourism.[86] Tourist arrivals have dropped sharply since 2011.[150] Since 2011, the natural gas pipeline in Sinai
Sinai
supplying Jordan
Jordan
from Egypt
Egypt
was attacked 32 times by Islamic State affiliates. Jordan
Jordan
incurred billions of dollars in losses because it had to substitute more expensive heavy-fuel oils to generate electricity.[151] In November 2012, the government cut subsidies on fuel, increasing its price.[152] The decision, which was later revoked, caused large scale protests to break out across the country.[149][150] Jordan's total foreign debt in 2012 was $22 billion, representing 72% of its GDP.[152] In 2016, the debt reached $35.1 billion representing 90.6% of its GDP. This substantial increase is attributed to effects of regional instability causing: decrease in tourist activity; decreased foreign investments; increased military expenditure; attacks on Egyptian pipeline; the collapse of trade with Iraq
Iraq
and Syria; expenses from hosting Syrian refugees
Syrian refugees
and accumulated interests from loans.[79] According to the World Bank, Syrian refugees
Syrian refugees
have cost Jordan
Jordan
more than $2.5 billion a year, amounting to 6% of the GDP and 25% of the government's annual revenue.[153] Foreign aid covers only a small part of these costs, 63% of the total costs are covered by Jordan.[154] An austerity programme was adopted by the government which aims to reduce Jordan's debt-to-GDP ratio to 77 percent by 2021.[155] The proportion of well-educated and skilled workers in Jordan
Jordan
is among the highest in the region in sectors such as ICT and industry, due to a relatively modern educational system. This has attracted large foreign investments to Jordan
Jordan
and has enabled the country to export its workforce to Persian Gulf countries.[15] Flows of remittances to Jordan
Jordan
grew rapidly, particularly during the end of the 1970s and 1980s, and remains an important source of external funding.[156] Remittances
Remittances
from Jordanian expatriates were $3.8 billion in 2015, a notable rise in the amount of transfers compared to 2014 where remittances reached over $3.66 billion listing Jordan
Jordan
as fourth largest recipient in the region.[157] Transportation[edit] Main article: Transport in Jordan

Queen Alia International Airport
Queen Alia International Airport
near Amman
Amman
was chosen as the best airport in the Middle East
Middle East
for 2014 and 2015 by ASQ and the third best airport of its size worldwide in 2016.

Jordan
Jordan
is ranked as having the 35th best infrastructure in the world, one of the highest rankings in the developing world, according to the 2010 World Economic Forum's Index of Economic Competitiveness. This high infrastructural development is necessitated by its role as a transit country for goods and services to Palestine and Iraq. Palestinians use Jordan
Jordan
as a transit country due to the Israeli restrictions and Iraqis use Jordan
Jordan
due to the instability in Iraq.[158] According to data from the Jordanian Ministry of Public Works and Housing, as of 2011[update], the Jordanian road network consisted of 2,878 km (1,788 mi) of main roads; 2,592 km (1,611 mi) of rural roads and 1,733 km (1,077 mi) of side roads. The Hejaz Railway
Hejaz Railway
built during the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
which extended from Damascus
Damascus
to Mecca
Mecca
will act as a base for future railway expansion plans. Currently, the railway has little civilian activity; it is primarily used for transporting goods. A national railway project is currently undergoing studies and seeking funding sources.[159] Jordan
Jordan
has three commercial airports, all receiving and dispatching international flights. Two are in Amman
Amman
and the third is in Aqaba, King Hussein International Airport. Amman
Amman
Civil Airport serves several regional routes and charter flights while Queen Alia International Airport is the major international airport in Jordan
Jordan
and is the hub for Royal Jordanian, the flag carrier. Queen Alia International Airport expansion was completed in 2013 with new terminals costing $700 million, to handle over 16 million passengers annually.[160] It is now considered a state-of-the-art airport and was awarded 'the best airport by region: Middle East' for 2014 and 2015 by Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey, the world's leading airport passenger satisfaction benchmark programme.[161] The Port of Aqaba
Aqaba
is the only port in Jordan. In 2006, the port was ranked as being the "Best Container Terminal" in the Middle East
Middle East
by Lloyd's List. The port was chosen due to it being a transit cargo port for other neighbouring countries, its location between four countries and three continents, being an exclusive gateway for the local market and for the improvements it has recently witnessed.[162] Tourism[edit] Main article: Tourism in Jordan

Al-Maghtas
Al-Maghtas
ruins on the Jordanian side of the Jordan
Jordan
River, long accepted by many Christian denominations to have been the location of the Baptism of Jesus
Jesus
and the ministry of John the Baptist.

The tourism sector is considered a cornerstone of the economy, being a large source of employment, hard currency and economic growth. In 2010, there were 8 million visitors to Jordan. The majority of tourists coming to Jordan
Jordan
are from European and Arab
Arab
countries.[16] The tourism sector in Jordan
Jordan
has been severely affected by regional turbulence.[59] The most recent blow to the tourism sector was caused by the Arab
Arab
Spring, which scared off tourists from the entire region. Jordan
Jordan
experienced a 70% decrease in the number of tourists from 2010 to 2016.[163] Tourist numbers started to recover as of 2017.[163] According to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Jordan
Jordan
is home to around 100,000 archaeological and tourist sites.[164] Some very well preserved historical cities include Petra
Petra
and Jerash, the former being Jordan's most popular tourist attraction and an icon of the kingdom.[163] Jordan
Jordan
is part of the Holy Land
Holy Land
and has several biblical attractions that attract pilgrimage activities. Biblical sites include: Al-Maghtas—a traditional location for the Baptism of Jesus, Mount Nebo, Umm ar-Rasas, Madaba
Madaba
and Machaerus.[165] Islamic sites include shrines of the prophet Muhammad's companions such as 'Abd Allah ibn Rawahah, Zayd ibn Harithah
Zayd ibn Harithah
and Muadh ibn Jabal.[166] Ajlun Castle built by Muslim Ayyubid leader Saladin
Saladin
in the 12th century AD during his wars with the Crusaders, is also a popular tourist attraction.[7]

The Dana Biosphere Reserve
Dana Biosphere Reserve
in southern Jordan
Jordan
lies along the Jordan Trail, a hiking path that is gaining popularity.

Modern entertainment and recreation in urban areas, mostly in Amman, also attract tourists. Recently, the nightlife in Amman, Aqaba
Aqaba
and Irbid
Irbid
has started to emerge and the number of bars, discos and nightclubs is on the rise.[167] Alcohol is widely available in tourist restaurants, liquor stores and even some supermarkets.[168] Valleys like Wadi Mujib
Wadi Mujib
and hiking trails in different parts of the country attract adventurers. Moreover, seaside recreation is present on the shores of Aqaba
Aqaba
and the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
through several international resorts.[169] Jordan
Jordan
has been a medical tourism destination in the Middle East
Middle East
since the 1970s. A study conducted by Jordan's Private Hospitals Association found that 250,000 patients from 102 countries received treatment in Jordan
Jordan
in 2010, compared to 190,000 in 2007, bringing over $1 billion in revenue. Jordan
Jordan
is the region's top medical tourism destination, as rated by the World Bank, and fifth in the world overall.[170] The majority of patients come from Yemen, Libya
Libya
and Syria
Syria
due to the ongoing civil wars in those countries. Jordanian doctors and medical staff have gained experience in dealing with war patients through years of receiving such cases from various conflict zones in the region.[171] Jordan
Jordan
also is a hub for natural treatment methods in both Ma'in Hot Springs
Ma'in Hot Springs
and the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea
Dead Sea
is often described as a 'natural spa'. It contains 10 times more salt than the average ocean, which makes it impossible to sink in. The high salt concentration of the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
has been proved as being therapeutic for many skin diseases. The uniqueness of this lake attracts several Jordanian and foreign vacationers, which boosted investments in the hotel sector in the area.[172] The Jordan
Jordan
Trail, a 650 km (400 mi) hiking trail stretching the entire country from north to south, crossing several of Jordan's attractions was established in 2015.[173] The trail aims to revive the Jordanian tourism sector.[173] Natural resources[edit] See also: Energy in Jordan

A phosphate train at Ram station.

Jordan
Jordan
is the world's second poorest country in terms of water resources per capita, and scarce water resources were aggravated by the influx of Syrian
Syrian
refugees.[174] Water from Disi aquifer and ten major dams historically played a large role in providing Jordan's need for fresh water.[175] The Jawa Dam in northeastern Jordan
Jordan
is the world's oldest dam.[176] The Dead Sea
Dead Sea
is receding at an alarming rate. Multiple canals and pipelines were proposed to reduce its recession, which had begun causing many problems. The Red Sea– Dead Sea
Dead Sea
Water Conveyance project, carried out by Jordan, will provide water to neighbouring countries, while the brine will be carried to the Dead Sea to help stabilise its levels. The first phase of the project is scheduled to begin in 2018 and to be completed in 2021.[177] Phosphate mines in the south have made Jordan
Jordan
one of the largest producers and exporters of this mineral in the world.[178] Despite the fact that reserves of crude oil are non-commercial, Jordan has the 5th largest oil-shale reserves in the world, which could be commercially exploited in the central and northwestern regions of the country.[179] Official figures estimate the kingdom's oil shale reserves at more than 70 billion tonnes. Attarat Power Plant, which started construction in late 2017, is a $2.2 billion oil shale-dependent power plant that will be completed in 2020 with a total capacity of 470 megawatts. The project is part of the kingdom's visionary plan that aims to diversify its energy resources by 2025.[180] The extraction of shale oil had been delayed by a couple of years due to: the advanced level of technology that is required for extraction; and the relatively higher cost.[181] Jordan
Jordan
aims to benefit from its large uranium reserves with two nuclear plants, 1000 MW each, scheduled for completion in 2025.[182] Natural gas was discovered in Jordan
Jordan
in 1987. The estimated size of the reserve discovered was about 230 billion cubic feet, a modest quantity compared with its other Arab
Arab
neighbours. The Risha field, in the eastern desert beside the Iraqi border, produces nearly 35 million cubic feet of gas a day, which is sent to a nearby power plant to produce a minimal amount of Jordan's electricity needs.[183] Jordan receives 330 days of sunshine per year, and wind speeds reach over 7 m/s in the mountainous areas.[184] King Abdullah inaugurated several large-scale projects like the 117 MW Tafila
Tafila
Wind Farm and the 53 MW Shams Ma'an
Ma'an
Power Plant in the 2010s. In May 2017, it was announced that more than 200 MW of solar energy projects had been completed, which contributed to 5% of Jordan's electrical consumption.[185] The government plans to increase this percentage to 20% by 2020, which amounts to a total of around 1800 MW.[186] A report by pv magazine described Jordan
Jordan
as the "Middle East’s solar powerhouse".[187] Industry[edit]

The Aqaba
Aqaba
Flagpole in the southernmost city of Aqaba, Jordan's only coastal outlet

Jordan's well developed industrial sector, which includes mining, manufacturing, construction, and power, accounted for approximately 26% of the GDP in 2004 (including manufacturing, 16.2%; construction, 4.6%; and mining, 3.1%). More than 21% of Jordan's labor force was employed in industry in 2002. In 2014, industry accounted for 6% of the GDP.[188] The main industrial products are potash, phosphates, cement, clothes, and fertilisers. The most promising segment of this sector is construction. Petra
Petra
Engineering Industries Company, which is considered to be one of the main pillars of Jordanian industry, has gained international recognition with its air-conditioning units reaching NASA.[189] Jordan
Jordan
is now considered to be a leading pharmaceuticals manufacturer in the MENA region led by Jordanian pharmaceutical company Hikma.[190] Jordan's military industry thrived after the King Abdullah Design and Development Bureau (KADDB) defence company was established by King Abdullah II in 1999, to provide an indigenous capability for the supply of scientific and technical services to the Jordanian Armed Forces, and to become a global hub in security research and development. It manufactures all types of military products, many of which are presented at the bi-annually held international military exhibition SOFEX. In 2015, KADDB exported $72 million worth of industries to over 42 countries.[191] Science
Science
and technology[edit] Main article: Science
Science
and technology in Jordan

Partial view of the 117 MW Tafila
Tafila
Wind Farm in southern Jordan
Jordan
is the first and largest onshore wind farm in the Middle East.[192]

Science
Science
and technology is the country's fastest developing economic sector. This growth is occurring across multiple industries, including information and communications technology (ICT) and nuclear technology. Jordan
Jordan
contributes 75% of the Arabic
Arabic
content on the Internet.[193] In 2014, the ICT sector accounted for more than 84,000 jobs and contributed to 12% of the GDP. More than 400 companies are active in telecom, information technology and video game development. There are 600 companies operating in active technologies and 300 start-up companies.[193] Nuclear science and technology is also expanding. The Jordan
Jordan
Research and Training Reactor, which was inaugurated in 2016, is a 5MW training reactor located at the Jordan
Jordan
University of Science
Science
and Technology
Technology
in Ar Ramtha.[194] The facility is the first nuclear reactor in the country and will provide Jordan
Jordan
with radioactive isotopes for medical usage and provide training to students to produce a skilled workforce for the country's planned commercial nuclear reactors.[194] Jordan signed a contract with Russian company Rosatom
Rosatom
in 2014 for the construction of two $5 billion nuclear reactors which are currently at the planning stage and are expected to start delivering electricity in 2025.[182] Jordan
Jordan
was also selected as the location for the Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science
Science
and Applications in the Middle East
Middle East
(SESAME) facility, supported by UNESCO
UNESCO
and CERN.[195] This particle accelerator, which was inaugurated in 2017, will allow collaboration between scientists from various rival Middle Eastern countries.[195] The facility is the only particle accelerator in the Middle East, and one of only 60 synchrotron radiation facilities in the world.[195] Demographics[edit] Main article: Demographics of Jordan

Historical populations

Year Pop. ±% p.a.

1500s 35,000 —    

1920 200,000 +0.42%

1922 225,000 +6.07%

1948 400,000 +2.24%

1952 586,200 +10.03%

1961 900,800 +4.89%

1979 2,133,000 +4.91%

1994 4,139,500 +4.52%

2004 5,100,000 +2.11%

2015 9,531,712 +5.85%

Source: Department of Statistics[196]

The 2015 census showed Jordan's population to be 9,531,712 (Female: 47%; Males: 53%). Around 2.9 million (30%) were non-citizens, a figure including refugees, and illegal immigrants.[197] There were 1,977,534 households in Jordan
Jordan
in 2015, with an average of 4.8 persons per household (compared to 6.7 persons per household for the census of 1979).[197] The capital and largest city of Jordan
Jordan
is Amman, which is one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities and one of the most liberal in the Arab
Arab
world.[198] The population of Amman
Amman
was 65,754 in 1946, but came to be over 4 million in 2015. Arabs
Arabs
make up about 98% of the population. The rest 2% is attributed to other ethnic groups such as Circassians, and Armenians
Armenians
and other minorities.[86] About 84.1% of the population live in urban towns and cities.[86] Immigrants and refugees[edit] Jordan
Jordan
is a home to 2,175,491 Palestinian refugees
Palestinian refugees
as of Dec-2016; most of them, but not all, were granted Jordanian citizenship.[199] The first wave of Palestinian refugees
Palestinian refugees
arrived during the 1948 Arab Israeli war and peaked in the 1967 Six Day War
Six Day War
and the 1990 Gulf War. In the past, Jordan
Jordan
had given many Palestinian refugees
Palestinian refugees
citizenship, however recently Jordanian citizenship is given only in rare cases. 370,000 of these Palestinians live in UNRWA refugee camps.[199] Following the capture of the West Bank
West Bank
by Israel
Israel
in 1967, Jordan revoked the citizenship of thousands of Palestinians to thwart any attempt to permanently resettle from the West Bank
West Bank
to Jordan. West Bank Palestinians with family in Jordan
Jordan
or Jordanian citizenship were issued yellow cards guaranteeing them all the rights of Jordanian citizenship if requested.[200]

An aerial view of a portion of the Zaatari refugee camp
Zaatari refugee camp
which contains a population of 80,000 Syrian
Syrian
refugees.

Up to 1,000,000 Iraqis came to Jordan
Jordan
following the Iraq
Iraq
War in 2003,[201] and most of them have returned. In 2015, their number in Jordan
Jordan
was 130,911. Many Iraqi Christians
Iraqi Christians
(Assyrians/Chaldeans) however settled temporarily or permanently in Jordan.[202] Immigrants also include 15,000 Lebanese who arrived following the 2006 Lebanon War.[203] Since 2010, over 1.4 million Syrian refugees
Syrian refugees
have fled to Jordan
Jordan
to escape the violence in Syria.[12] The kingdom has continued to demonstrate hospitality, despite the substantial strain the flux of Syrian refugees
Syrian refugees
places on the country. The effects are largely affecting Jordanian communities, as the vast majority of Syrian refugees do not live in camps. The refugee crisis effects include competition for job opportunities, water resources and other state provided services, along with the strain on the national infrastructure.[14] In 2007, there were up to 150,000 Assyrian Christians; most are Eastern Aramaic speaking refugees from Iraq.[204] Kurds
Kurds
number some 30,000, and like the Assyrians, many are refugees from Iraq, Iran
Iran
and Turkey.[205] Descendants of Armenians
Armenians
that sought refuge in the Levant during the 1915 Armenian Genocide
Armenian Genocide
number approximately 5,000 persons, mainly residing in Amman.[206] A small number of ethnic Mandeans
Mandeans
also reside in Jordan, again mainly refugees from Iraq.[207] Around 12,000 Iraqi Christians
Iraqi Christians
have sought refuge in Jordan
Jordan
after the Islamic State took the city of Mosul
Mosul
in 2014.[208] Several thousand Libyans, Yemenis and Sudanese have also sought asylum in Jordan
Jordan
to escape instability and violence in their respective countries.[14] The 2015 Jordanian census recorded that there were 1,265,000 Syrians, 636,270 Egyptians, 634,182 Palestinians, 130,911 Iraqis, 31,163 Yemenis, 22,700 Libyans and 197,385 from other nationalities residing in the country.[12] There are around 1.2 million illegal, and 500,000 legal, migrant workers in the kingdom.[209] Thousands of foreign women, mostly from the Middle East
Middle East
and Eastern Europe, work in nightclubs, hotels and bars across the kingdom.[210][211][212] American and European expatriate communities are concentrated in the capital, as the city is home to many international organizations and diplomatic missions.[168] Religion and languages[edit] Main article: Religion in Jordan Sunni Islam
Islam
is the dominant religion in Jordan. Muslims make up about 95% of the country's population; in turn, 93% of those self-identify as Sunnis.[213] There are also a small number of Ahmadi Muslims,[214] and some Shiites. Many Shia are Iraqi and Lebanese refugees.[215] Muslims who convert to another religion as well as missionaries from other religions face societal and legal discrimination.[216]

Marsa Zayed mosque in Aqaba.

An eastern Orthodox church during a snowstorm in Amman.

Jordan
Jordan
contains some of the oldest Christian communities in the world, dating as early as the 1st century AD after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.[217] Christians
Christians
today make up about 3.68% of the population,[218] down from 20% in 1930, though their absolute number has grown.[13] This is due to high immigration rates of Muslims into Jordan, higher emigration rates of Christians
Christians
to the west and higher birth rates for Muslims.[219] Jordanian Christians
Jordanian Christians
number around 250,000, all of whom are Arabic-speaking, according to a 2014 estimate by the Orthodox Church. The study excluded minority Christian groups and the thousands of western, Iraqi and Syrian
Syrian
Christians
Christians
residing in Jordan.[218] Christians
Christians
are exceptionally well integrated in the Jordanian society and enjoy a high level of freedom, though they are not free to evangelize Muslims.[220] Christians
Christians
traditionally occupy two cabinet posts, and are reserved 9 seats out of the 130 in the parliament.[221] The highest political position reached by a Christian is deputy prime minister, held by Marwan al-Muasher
Marwan al-Muasher
in 2005.[222] Christians
Christians
are also influential in media.[223] Smaller religious minorities include Druze
Druze
and Bahá'ís. Most Jordanian Druze
Druze
live in the eastern oasis town of Azraq, some villages on the Syrian
Syrian
border, and the city of Zarqa, while most Jordanian Bahá'ís live in the village of Adassiyeh bordering the Jordan
Jordan
Valley.[224] The official language is Modern Standard Arabic, a literary language taught in the schools.[225] Most Jordanians natively speak one of the non-standard Arabic
Arabic
dialects known as Jordanian Arabic. Jordanian Sign Language is the language of the deaf community. English, though without 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; almost all university-level classes are held in English and almost all public schools teach English along with Standard Arabic.[225] Chechen, Circassian, Armenian, Tagalog, and Russian are popular among their communities.[226] French is offered as an elective in many schools, mainly in the private sector.[225] German is an increasingly popular language; it has been introduced at a larger scale since the establishment of the German-Jordanian University
German-Jordanian University
in 2005.[227] Culture[edit] Main article: Culture of Jordan Arts, cinema, museums and music[edit] Main articles: Jordanian art, Cinema of Jordan, and Music of Jordan

Jordanian military marching band playing bagpipes in Jerash.

Many institutions in Jordan
Jordan
aim to increase cultural awareness of Jordanian Art and to represent Jordan's artistic movements in fields such as paintings, sculpture, graffiti and photography.[228] The art scene has been developing in the past few years[229] and Jordan
Jordan
has been a haven for artists from surrounding countries.[230] In January 2016, for the first time ever, a Jordanian film called Theeb
Theeb
was nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.[231] The largest museum in Jordan
Jordan
is The Jordan
Jordan
Museum. It contains much of the valuable archaeological findings in the country, including some of the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
Scrolls, the Neolithic
Neolithic
limestone statues of 'Ain Ghazal and a copy of the Mesha
Mesha
Stele.[232] Most museums in Jordan
Jordan
are located in Amman
Amman
including The Children's Museum Jordan, The Martyr's Memorial and Museum and the Royal Automobile Museum. Museums outside Amman include the Aqaba
Aqaba
Archaeological Museum.[233] The Jordan
Jordan
National Gallery of Fine Arts is a major contemporary art museum located in Amman.[233] Music in Jordan
Jordan
is now developing with a lot of new bands and artists, who are now popular in the Middle East. Artists such as Omar Al-Abdallat, Toni Qattan, Diana Karazon
Diana Karazon
and Hani Metwasi have increased the popularity of Jordanian music.[234] The Jerash
Jerash
Festival is an annual music event that features popular Arab
Arab
singers.[234] Pianist and composer Zade Dirani has gained wide international popularity.[235] There is also an increasing growth of alternative Arabic
Arabic
rock bands, who are dominating the scene in the Arab
Arab
World, including: El Morabba3, Autostrad, JadaL, Akher Zapheer
Akher Zapheer
and Aziz Maraka.[236] Sports[edit] Main article: Sport in Jordan Football is the most popular sport in Jordan.[168] The national football team has improved in recent years, though it has yet to qualify for the World Cup.[233] In 2013, Jordan
Jordan
spurned the chance to play at the 2014 World Cup when they lost to Uruguay during inter-confederation play-offs. This was the highest that Jordan
Jordan
had advanced in the World Cup qualifying rounds since 1986.[237] The women's football team is also gaining reputation,[238] and in March 2016 ranked 58th in the world.[239] Jordan
Jordan
hosted the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, the first women's sports tournament in the Middle East.[240] Less common sports are gaining popularity. Rugby is increasing in popularity, a Rugby Union is recognised by the Jordan
Jordan
Olympic Committee which supervises three national teams.[241] Although cycling is not widespread in Jordan, the sport is developing rapidly as a lifestyle and a new way to travel especially among the youth.[242] In 2014, a NGO Make Life Skate Life completed construction of the 7Hills Skatepark, the first skatepark in the country located in Downtown Amman.[243] Jordan's national basketball team is participating in various international and Middle Eastern tournaments. Local basketball teams include: Al-Orthodoxi Club, Al-Riyadi, Zain, Al-Hussein and Al-Jazeera.[244] Cuisine[edit] Main article: Jordanian cuisine

Mansaf, the traditional dish of Jordan. Inspired from Bedouin culture, it is a symbol of Jordanian hospitality.

As the 8th largest producer of olives in the world, olive oil is the main cooking oil in Jordan.[245] A common appetiser is hummus, which is a puree of chick peas blended with tahini, lemon, and garlic. Ful medames is another well-known appetiser. A typical worker's meal, it has since made its way to the tables of the upper class. A typical Jordanian meze often contains koubba maqliya, labaneh, baba ghanoush, tabbouleh, olives and pickles.[246] Meze
Meze
is generally accompanied by the Levantine alcoholic drink arak, which is made from grapes and aniseed and is similar to ouzo, rakı and pastis. Jordanian wine
Jordanian wine
and beer are also sometimes used. The same dishes, served without alcoholic drinks, can also be termed "muqabbilat" (starters) in Arabic.[168] The most distinctive Jordanian dish is mansaf, the national dish of Jordan. The dish is a symbol for Jordanian hospitality and is influenced by the Bedouin culture. Mansaf
Mansaf
is eaten on different occasions such as funerals, weddings and on religious holidays. It consists of a plate of rice with meat that was boiled in thick yogurt, sprayed with nuts and sometimes herbs. As an old tradition, the dish is eaten using one's hands, but the tradition is not always used.[246] Simple fresh fruit is often served towards the end of a Jordanian meal, but there is also dessert, such as baklava, hareeseh, knafeh, halva and qatayef, a dish made specially for Ramadan. In Jordanian cuisine, drinking coffee and tea flavoured with na'na or meramiyyeh is almost a ritual.[247] Health and education[edit] Main articles: Health in Jordan
Health in Jordan
and Education in Jordan

Jordanian school girls pictured reading in a public school. Jordan's total youth female literacy rate (15 – 24 years) was 99.37% in 2015.[248]

Life expectancy in Jordan
Jordan
was around 74.8 years in 2017.[86] The leading cause of death is cardiovascular diseases, followed by cancer.[249] Childhood immunization rates have increased steadily over the past 15 years; by 2002 immunisations and vaccines reached more than 95% of children under five.[250] In 1950, Water and sanitation was available to only 10% of the population, while in 2015 reached 98% of Jordanians.[251] Jordan
Jordan
prides itself on its health services, some of the best in the region.[252] Qualified medics, favourable investment climate and Jordan's stability has contributed to the success of this sector.[253] The country's health care system is divided between public and private institutions. On 1 June 2007, Jordan Hospital
Jordan Hospital
(as the biggest private hospital) was the first general specialty hospital to gain the international accreditation JCAHO.[250] The King Hussein Cancer Center is a leading cancer treatment center.[254] 66% of Jordanians have medical insurance.[12] The Jordanian educational system comprises 2 years of pre-school education, 10 years of compulsory basic education, and two years of secondary academic or vocational education, after which the students sit for the General Certificate of Secondary Education Exam (Tawjihi) exams.[255] Scholars may attend either private or public schools. According to the UNESCO, the literacy rate in 2015 was 98.01% and is considered to be the highest in the Middle East
Middle East
and the Arab
Arab
world, and one of the highest in the world.[248] UNESCO
UNESCO
ranked Jordan's educational system 18th out of 94 nations for providing gender equality in education.[256] Jordan
Jordan
has the highest number of researchers in research and development per million people among all the 57 countries that are members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). In Jordan
Jordan
there are 8060 researchers per million people, while the world average is 2532 per million.[257] Education is not free in Jordan.[258] Jordan
Jordan
has 10 public universities, 19 private universities and 54 community colleges, of which 14 are public, 24 private and others affiliated with the Jordanian Armed Forces, the Civil Defense Department, the Ministry of Health and UNRWA.[259] There are over 200,000 Jordanian students enrolled in universities each year. An additional 20,000 Jordanians pursue higher education abroad primarily in the United States
United States
and Europe.[260] According to the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, the top-ranking universities in the country are the University of Jordan
University of Jordan
(UJ) (1,220th worldwide), Jordan University of Science
Science
& Technology
Technology
(JUST) (1,729th) and Hashemite University (2,176th).[261] UJ and JUST occupy 8th and 10th between Arab
Arab
universities.[262] Jordan
Jordan
has 2,000 researchers per million people.[263] See also[edit]

Jordan
Jordan
portal Middle East
Middle East
portal

Human rights in Jordan List of World Heritage Sites in Jordan Index of Jordan-related articles Outline of Jordan

References[edit]

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Network. 21 October 2009. Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2016.  ^ "RESEARCH AND SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENT IN OIC COUNTRIES" (PDF).  ^ Alayan, Samira; Rohde, Achim; Dhouib, Sarhan (15 June 2015). The Politics of Education Reform in the Middle East: Self and Other in Textbooks and Curricula. Berghahn Books. p. 61. ISBN 9780857454614. Retrieved 13 March 2016.  ^ " Jordan
Jordan
raises admission scores for private universities". AMEinfo.com. Archived from the original on 1 March 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2016.  ^ Cantini, Daniele (27 January 2011). Youth and Education in the Middle East: Assessing the Performance and Practice of Urban Environments. I.B.Tauris. p. 45. ISBN 9780857729378. Retrieved 16 June 2016.  ^ "Jordan". Ranking Web of Universities. 1 January 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2018.  ^ "2014 QS University Rankings – Arab
Arab
Region". 1 January 2016. Archived from the original on 18 November 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2016.  ^ Butler, D. (2006). " Islam
Islam
and Science: The data gap". Nature. 444 (7115): 26–7. Bibcode:2006Natur.444...26B. doi:10.1038/444026a. PMID 17080058. 

Further reading[edit]

El-Anis, Imad. Jordan
Jordan
and the United States: The Political Economy of Trade and Economic Reform in the Middle East
Middle East
(I.B. Tauris, distributed by Palgrave Macmillan; 2011) 320 pages; case studies of trade in textiles, pharmaceuticals, and financial services. Goichon, Amélie-Marie. Jordanie réelle. Paris: Desclée de Brouwer (1967–1972). 2 vol., ill. Robins, Philip. A History of Jordan
History of Jordan
(2004). Ryan, Curt. Jordan
Jordan
in Transition: From Hussein to Abdullah (2002). Salibi, Kamal S. The Modern History of Jordan
History of Jordan
(1998). Teller, Matthew. The Rough Guide to Jordan
Jordan
(4th ed., 2009).

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1 As the "Turkish Cypriot State".

 

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Largest cities or towns in Jordan [2]

Rank Name Governorate Pop.

Amman

Zarqa 1 Amman Amman
Amman
Governorate 1,349,260

Irbid

Russeifa

2 Zarqa Zarqa
Zarqa
Governorate 502,900

3 Irbid Irbid
Irbid
Governorate 313,800

4 Russeifa Zarqa
Zarqa
Governorate 289,800

5 Al Quwaysimah Amman
Amman
Governorate 176,400

6 Wadi as-Ser Amman
Amman
Governorate 158,900

7 Tilā' al-'Alī Amman
Amman
Governorate 147,400

8 Ajloun Ajloun
Ajloun
Governorate 125,000

9 Aqaba Aqaba
Aqaba
Governorate 111,600

10 Khuraybat as-Sūq Amman
Amman
Governorate 110,600

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 156488025 LCCN: n79072819 GND: 4028750-6 SELIBR: 149447 HDS: 3414 NDL: 00574344

Coordinates: 31°14′N 36°31′E / 31.24°N 36.51°E

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