Jordan

By: Alison Monefeldt

Jordan Basics

The capital of Jordan is Amman. The white in the flag stands for the Ummayyad Caliphate. The red stands for the Great Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire in World War I. The black stands for the Abbasid Caliphate. The green stands for the Fatimid Caliphate and the Islam as it is believed to be a favorite color of Prophet Muhammad and his daughter, Fatima. Green is also mentioned several times in the Qur'an, in relation to paradise. The seven-pointed star originally represented the seven districts of erstwhile Syria (Aleppo, Beirut, Damascus, Deirez-Zor, Lebanon, Palestine, and Transjordan) but changed national, identities changed the interpretations. The seven-pointed star currently symbolizes the seven verses of the first surah (Al-Fatima) in the Qur'an - faith in one God, humanity, national spirit, humility, social justice, virtue, and aspirations.
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Geography of Jordan

Jordan is located in Asia, surrounded by Israel, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The major landforms of Jordan are the Syrian and Ard as Sawwan deserts, the Great Rift Valley, and the Jordan River. The major landmarks of Jordan are Petra, Mount Nebo, Madaba Map, Qasr Amra, Amman Citadel, Roman Theater, Montreal, Royal Automobile Museum, Ajlun Castle, King Abdullah I Mosque, Jordan Archaeological Museum, Temple of Artemis, Mango House, Mount Pisgah, and the Intercontinental Jordan Hotel. The major bodies of water in Jordan are the Jordan River, Dead Sea, Gulf of Aqaba, and the Sea of Galilee.

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Government of Jordan

The government of Jordan is a constitutional monarchy. The leader of Jordan is King Abdullah II ibnal-Hussein. When the king dies, the new leader will be the king's oldest son.

Jordanians do not have many personal rights. Although the Government respected human rights in some areas, its overall record continued to reflect many problems. Reported continuing abuses included police abuse and mistreatment of detainees, allegations of torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, lack of transparent investigations, denial of due process of law, infringements on citizens' privacy rights, harassment of members of opposition political parties, and significant restrictions on freedom of speech, press, assembly, and association. Citizens did not have the right to change their government. Citizens may participate in the political system through their elected representatives to Parliament; however, the King has discretionary authority to appoint and dismiss the Prime Minister, members of the cabinet and upper house of Parliament, to dissolve Parliament, and to establish public policy. The Government imposed some limits on freedom of religion. There were some restrictions on freedom of movement. Violence against women, restrictions on women's rights, and societal discrimination against women persisted. "Honor" crimes continued. Child abuse remains a problem.

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Economy of Jordan

Jordan is an average nation. The GDP was $82.99 billion in 2015 which the 87th rank in the world. For money, they use Jordanian dinars. Their main imports are crude oil, refined petroleum products, machinery, transport equipment, iron and cereals. Their main exports are clothing, fertilizers, potash, phosphates, vegetables, and pharmaceuticals. The life expectancy is 74.35 years, the birth rate is 25.37 births per 1000 population, the literacy rate is 95.4%, and the drinking water source is 96.9% improved.
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Culture of Jordan

Everyday Jordanian clothing is generally conservative, particularly for women. Very religious women wear an outfit called the libis shar'i or jilbab. This is a floor-length, long-sleeved, button-front dress worn with the hair covered by a scarf. Men dress in modern Western clothing. The major language of Jordan is Arabic. People among upper and middle classes also understand English. The main religion is Sunni Muslim. Muslim beliefs include Shahadah: the declaration of faith, Salah: prayer, Zakat: giving a fixed proportion to charity, Saum: fasting during the month of Ramadan, and Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca. Popular dishes in Jordan are meats such as camel, beef and poultry but pork is strictly forbidden. Dairy foods such as cream, milk and especially yogurt are enjoyed. To round out the diet, grains, rice, fruits and vegetables are also eaten. One unique dish is mansaf, chunks of stewed lamb in a yogurt based sauce served with rice.

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Climate of Jordan

Jordan has three distinct zones, the Jordan River valley which is green and fertile; mountainous regions in the north and south, which have a cool, Mediterranean climate and the majority of the country is an arid desert. The average yearly rainfall in Amman is about 11 inches. The average yearly temperature in Amman is 63 degrees. Jordan has a long summer climate in the desert regions. At times, there are very strong winds that can destroy all their crops in a few days.

History of Jordan

Following World War I and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the League of Nations awarded Britain the mandate to govern much of the Middle East. Britain demarcated a semi-autonomous region of Transjordan from Palestine in the early 1920s. The area gained its independence in 1946 and thereafter became The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The country's long-time ruler, King HUSSEIN (1953-99), successfully navigated competing pressures from the major powers (US, USSR, and UK), various Arab states, Israel, and a large internal Palestinian population. Jordan lost the West Bank to Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. King HUSSEIN in 1988 permanently relinquished Jordanian claims to the West Bank; in 1994 he signed a peace treaty with Israel. King ABDALLAH II, King HUSSEIN's eldest son, assumed the throne following his father's death in 1999.

Compare and Contrast

The food of Jordan is similar to the food here because Americans eat dairy products, grains, fruit, vegetables, beef, and poultry. People in Jordan also really like sweets as well as Americans. One main difference that Jordanians and Americans have is the fact that people in Jordan that are Muslim do not eat pork and pork is one of many foods that Americans eat. The clothing in Jordan is similar to the clothing here because the men in Jordan wear modern, western clothing as do some of the men here. The difference in the clothing in Jordan and in America is that women in Jordan can not wear tight clothing, shorts, short skirts, or low-cut backs on shirts unlike how the women here can wear what ever they chose.