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About Jordan

he Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a constitutional monarchy, ruled since 1952 by His Majesty King Hussein. With the passing of the monarch in February of 1999, the King’s eldest son, His Majesty King Abdullah, ascended the throne. In Jordan, executive power is vested in the Council of Ministers which is appointed by the King, and which is accountable to a two house parliament. The 40 members of the Upper House are appointed by the King, while the 80 deputies of the Lower House are elected by popular vote. Constitutional provisions define the rights and duties of Jordanian citizens, while guaranteeing the right of free…

Since 1989 all elements of the Jordanian political spectrum have demonstrated commitment to increased democracy, liberalization and consensus building. These reforms, which have been guided by the late King Hussein, have placed Jordan on an irreversible path toward democratization.

The result has been greater empowerment and involvement of everyday citizens in Jordan’s civic life, contributing to increased stability and institutionalization, which will benefit the county far into the future.

The remarkably stable political and social climate that Jordan has enjoyed for decades under the Hashemite Dynasty continues to thrive under His Majesty King Abdullah’s leadership. The new King has undertaken his father’s legacy of reform, committing his country to the goals of privatization, economic liberalization, and modernization of the law.

Geography & History

Strategically positioned at the convergence of Europe, Asia and Africa, Jordan’s 89,342 square kilometers present a diversity of landscapes. From the hills and mountains of the geographic center of Jordan, the Badia Plains extend in an eastward direction into Saudi Arabia. The Jordan River, flowing through the fertile Rift Valley, forms Jordan’s western boundary and terminates in the Dead Sea. This body of water lies at the lowest point on earth, 400 meters below sea level. To the south, the Port of Aqaba provides Jordan with a gateway to the Red Sea.


Jordan’s population of 10.2 million is 92% Jordanian and 8% non-Jordanian. Gender distribution is fairly even at 52% male, 48% female. The country is young, with 40% of the population under the age of 15, and only 3% over the age of 65. Islam is the predominant religion.


Arabic is the official language, but English is spoken widely, especially in business. Currency The unit of currency is the Jordanian Dinar (JD), and the rate of exchange is JOD1=US$1.42


Time is GMT + 2 (in winter, +3 in summer), or 7 hours ahead of US Eastern Standard Time. Summer time is observed from April through September.


Tourism is a very important sector of the Jordanian economy, contributing between 10 percent and 12 percent to the country’s Gross National Product in 2006. In addition to the country’s political stability, the geography offered makes Jordan an attractive tourism destination. Jordan’s major tourist activities include numerous ancient places, its unique desert castles and unspoiled natural locations to its cultural and religious sites. The best known attractions include:

Petra in Ma’an, 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.

Ajun, famous for the Al-Rabad Castle. Jerash, famous for its ancient Roman architecture, including the colonnaded streets, arches, Roman theaters, and the Oval Plaza.

Amman contains the Roman theater, in addition to several museums, where one may find remains of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Al Karak contains an important castle from the times of Salah al-Din, known as Al-Karak Castle.

Madaba, well known for its mosaics.

The River Jordan, which is the river 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.

The Dead Sea, It is the lowest point on earth, 402 meters below sea level.

Aqaba, a city on the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba with numerous shopping centers, hotels and access to water sports.

Wadi Rum, a desert 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. Fuheis, a beautiful city about 20 minutes north-west of Amman.