The small Kingdom of Jordan occupies a strategic location in the Middle East. This arid and ancient land (of biblical fame) has witnessed centuries of conquests and invading armies.
After World War I ended, the Ottoman Turks were finally driven out, and the British influence began.
Jordan gained its independence in 1946, and following the death of King Hussein in 1999, his eldest son, King Abdallah II assumed the throne.
The King subsequently began a very aggressive and progressive economic reform program, and Jordan now participates in the World Trade Organization, the European Free Trade Association and other economic associations.
The modern (and historic) city of Amman, the capital city, is only five hours driving time from anywhere in the country, and it serves as the administrative and commercial center.
The country’s major tourist attraction is the rose-red city of Petra, founded around 1000 BC.
Facts and Figures
(long form) Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Capital City Amman (1.3 mil ) metro (2.8 mil)
Currency Jordanian Dinar (JOD)
Languages Arabic (official), English
National Day May 25
Religions Sunni Muslim (92%), Christian (6%)
Latitude/Longitude (Capital City)
31� 57′ N, 35� 56′ E
Relative Location Jordan is in both the northern and eastern hemispheres. Positioned in the Middle East, a recognized geographical region of southwestern Asia, the country is bordered by Israel, Syria (Golan Heights), Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Coastline 16 miles (26 km)
(land) 35,510 sq miles (91,971 sq km)
(water) 127 sq miles (329 sq km)
(TOTAL) 35,637 sq miles (92,300sq km)
Landforms Jordan is generally a flat desert plateau, east and west, as the western edges of the Syrian and Ard As Sawwan deserts stretch across the land.
In the west, the Great Rift Valley (high hills and mountains) separates the East and West Banks of the Jordan River.
Significant bordering bodies of water include the Dead Sea, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Sea of Galilee.
Highest Point Jabal Ram – 5,689 ft. (1,734 m)
Lowest Point Dead Sea – (-1,349 ft.) (-411 m) below sea level
Land Divisions 12 governorates, including: Ajlun, Al ‘Aqabah, Al Balqa’, Al Karak, Al Mafraq, ‘Amman, At Tafilah, Az Zarqa’, Irbid, Jarash, Ma’an and Madaba.