The Monastery at Petra © Can Stock Photo Inc. / markussevcik
Jordan is officially known since 1946 as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and is named after the River Jordan.
It is bordered by Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Israel. The Arabian Desert blankets the eastern half of Jordan and is nearly uninhabitable.
Jordan has access to the Red Sea via the city of Aqaba at the Gulf of Aqaba.
The population of the country is around 6 million and its capital is Amman.
Today the red and white checkered keffiyeh headgear worn by men is symbolic of Jordan.
In the past, Jordan has been controlled by a number of civilizations including the Pharaohs of Egypt, Babylonia, the Nabataean Kingdom of Petra, the Hittites, the Greeks, the Persians and the Romans.
Jordan is now a constitutional monarchy. King Hussein was the well respected leader of Jordan until his death from cancer in 1999.
He strove for peace in the Middle East throughout his reign and maintained the respect of Arab countries.
His legacy is carried on by his American born wife, Queen Noor, and his eldest son Abdullah, who succeeded him.
Jordan’s climate is semi-arid with summer temperatures in the 30C (80F) range. Temperatures in the winter are around 10C (50F).
Snowfall is possible in winter in Amman. Jordan’s two big tourist attractions are the Dead Sea and Petra, which is one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
Jordan in a larger map
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