By: Alison Monefeldt
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.
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.
Economy of Jordan
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.