Jordan

Jordan is a country in Middle East that is almost land-locked save for a small 28km outlet on the Red Sea in the Gulf of Aqaba and a frontage on the Dead Sea.

For most of its history since independence from British administration in 1946, Jordan was ruled by King Hussein (1953-99). A pragmatic ruler, he successfully navigated competing pressures from the major powers of the US, USSR and UK, various Arab states, Israel, and a large internal Palestinian population, through several wars and coup attempts. In 1989 he resumed parliamentary elections and gradually permitted political liberalization; in 1994 a formal peace treaty was signed with Israel. King Abdullah II – the eldest son of King Hussein and Princess Muna – assumed the throne following his father’s death in February 1999. Since then, he has consolidated his power and established his domestic priorities, including an aggressive economic reform program. Jordan acceded to the World Trade Organization in January 2000, and signed free trade agreements with the United States in 2000, and with the European Free Trade Association in 2001. There is no hostility between Muslims and Christians, and Jordan is one of the friendliest, most modern and liberal nations in the region yet, at the same time, it has maintained an authentic feel of being in the heart of the Middle East.

Jordanian culture is fairly homogeneous, but you will probably notice a fairly distinct social difference between the Bedouin areas, particularly in the South and urban West Ammanites, for example.

Jordan has a hot, dry climate characterized by long, hot, dry summers and short, cool winters. The climate is influenced by Jordan’s location between the subtropical aridity of the Arabian desert areas and the subtropical humidity of the eastern Mediterranean area.

  • Amman — largest city and the cultural, economic and political capital of the kingdom
  • Aqaba — beach resort located on the Gulf of Aqaba, with links to the Sinai and the Red Sea
  • Irbid — university city that is second largest metropolitan area in the north of the kingdom
  • Jerash — boasts one of the largest and best preserved Roman ruins in the Middle East
  • Karak
  • Madaba — cosy town known for its mosaics and churches
  • Zarqa — third largest metropolitan area of the kingdom

Other destinations

  • Dana Nature Reserve — Stay in a village little changed since the 15th century, enjoy unforgettable hiking in an offshoot of the Great Rift.
  • Dead Sea — The lowest point on earth and the most saline sea
  • Bethany beyond the Jordan — the [Baptism Site of Jesus Christ][6], where 2000 years ago Jesus came to be baptised by John. The place is also known as Bethabara.
  • Mount Nebo — the place mentioned in the Bible as the place where Moses was granted a view of the Promised Land.
  • Desert Castles — Castles spanned in the desert or near small towns. These castles once were getaway for Kaliffs from the Omayyad Period. These castles include the small areas of Ajlun and Kerak.
  • Petra — Jordan’s top attraction, an ancient city carved out of sandstone and one of the new 7 Wonders.
  • Wadi Rum — barren, isolated and beautiful, granite cliffs contrasting with desert sand
  • Ajlun — lush green rolling hills and a castle built by Saladin during the Crusades
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