Jordan (GPS: 31 00 N, 36 00 E) located in Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia, between Israel (to the west) and Iraq. The country’s area measurements are total: 89,342 sq km; land: 88,802 sq km, water: 540 sq km. This sovereign state is about three-quarters the size of Pennsylvania, slightly smaller than Indiana. The total irrigated land is 964 sq km (2012).
One of the important features of Jordan: Strategic location at the Gulf of Aqaba and as the Arab country that shares the longest border with Israel and the occupied West Bank. The Dead Sea, the lowest point in Asia, and the second saltiest body of water in the world (after Lac Assal in Djibouti), lie on Jordan’s western border with Israel and the West Bank. Jordan is almost landlocked but does have a 26 km southwestern coastline with a single port, Al ‘Aqabah (Aqaba).
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Amman’s GPS coordinates are 31 57 N 35 56 E. Amman’s local time is 7 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+2, note; Daylight saving time: +1hr begins last Friday in March; ends last Friday in October.
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, after that, 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 the 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. He has implemented modest political reforms, including the passage of a new electoral law in early 2016 and an effort to devolve some authority to governorate- and municipal-level councils following subnational elections in 2017. In 2016, the Islamic Action Front, which is the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, returned to the National Assembly with 15 seats after boycotting the previous two elections in 2010 and 2013.
Jordan’s names conventional long form: the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, conventional short form: Jordan, local long way: Al Mamlakah al Urduniyah al Hashimiyah, local short state: Al Urdun, former: Transjordan, etymology: named for the Jordan River, which makes up part of Jordan’s northwest border. It is named for the Jordan River, which makes up part of Jordan’s northwest border.
Jordan’s terrain is typically mostly desert plateau in east, highland area in the west; Great Rift Valley separates eastern and western banks of the Jordan River. The country’s mean elevation: 812 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: the Dead Sea -408 m, highest point: Jabal Umm ad Dami 1,854 m.
The country’s general climate is mostly arid desert: rainy season in the west (November to April).
The total number of border countries is 5, Iraq 179 km, Israel 307 km, Saudi Arabia 731 km, Syria 379 km, West Bank 148 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Jordan’s coastline is 26 km, while its marital claims are: territorial sea: 3 nautical miles. Waterways: N/A. Land use: agricultural land: 11.4%; arable land 2%; permanent crops 1%; permanent pasture 8.4%; forest: 1.1%; other: 87.5% (2011 estimate).
The population in Jordan 10,458,413 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 83.7% of total population (2015), major metropolitan area’s population: AMMAN (capital) 1.155 million (2015), while Jordan has a population heavily concentrated in the west, and particularly the northwest, in and around the capital of Amman; a sizeable, but the smaller community is located in the southwest along the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba. Their spoken languages are Arabic (official language), English (widely understood among upper and middle classes).
Main religions in Jordan are Muslim 97.2% (official; predominantly Sunni), Christian 2.2% (majority Greek Orthodox, but some Greek and Roman Catholics, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and Protestant denominations), Buddhist 0.4%, Hindu 0.1%, Jewish. The nation uses hybrid system developed from codes instituted by the Ottoman Empire (based on French law), British common law, and Islamic law. It is a(n) parliamentary constitutional monarchy, National holiday(s) Independence Day, 25 May (1946).
Economic overview for the country: Jordan’s economy is among the smallest in the Middle East, with insufficient water, oil, and other natural resources, underlying the government’s heavy reliance on foreign assistance. Other economic challenges for the government include chronic high unemployment and underemployment, budget and current account deficits, and government debt. During the first decade of the 2000s, King ABDALLAH implemented significant economic reforms, such as expanding foreign trade and privatizing state-owned companies that attracted foreign investment and contributed to the average annual economic growth of 8% for 2004 through 2008. The global economic slowdown and regional turmoil contributed to slower growth from 2010 to 2017 – with growth averaging about 2.5% per year – and hurt export-oriented sectors, construction/real estate, and tourism.
Since the onset of the civil war in Syria and resulting refugee crisis, one of Jordan’s most pressing socioeconomic challenges has been managing the influx of approximately 660,000 UN-registered refugees, more than 80% of whom live in Jordan’s urban areas. Jordan’s official census estimated the refugee number at 1.3 million Syrians as of early 2016. Jordan is nearly wholly dependent on imported energy, mostly natural gas, and energy consistently makes up 25-30% of Jordan’s imports. To diversify its energy mix, Jordan has secured several contracts for liquefied and pipeline natural gas, developed several major renewables projects, and is currently exploring nuclear power generation and exploitation of abundant oil shale reserves. In August 2016, Jordan and the IMF agreed to a $723 million Extended Fund Facility that aims to build on the three-year, $2.1 billion IMF program that ended in August 2015 to help Jordan correct budgetary and balance payments imbalances.
Natural resources of Jordan: phosphates, potash, shale oil.
Main export partners for Jordan, Middle East are US 21%, Saudi Arabia 16.5%, Iraq 10.3%, India 8.7%, UAE 4.8%, Kuwait 4.4% (2015) for textiles, fertilizers, potash, phosphates, vegetables, pharmaceuticals, while the main import partners for the country are: Saudi Arabia 15.4%, China 12.8%, US 6.2%, Germany 4.7%, UAE 4.2% (2015) for crude oil, refined petroleum products, machinery, transport equipment, iron, cereals.
When you visit this country in the Middle East, consider the natural hazards in Jordan: Droughts, periodic earthquakes, while infectious diseases are N/A. Also, note that Jordan faces the following environmental issues: Limited natural freshwater resources, Declining water table, Salinity, Deforestation, Overgrazing, Soil erosion, Desertification, Biodiversity, and ecosystem damage/loss.