The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is an Arab country in the Middle East bordered by Syria to the north, Iraq to the north-east, Saudi Arabia to the east and south, and Israel and the West Bank to the west. It has two coastlines, one on the Dead Sea, which it shares with Israel, and one on the Gulf of Aqaba, which it shares with Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
In 2012, Jordan was rated number four in Lonely Planet's list of top 10 countries to visit.
In March 2014, CNN published the following article:
Jordan: 10 Reasons to visit the Middle East's most easygoing country
The ethnic groups of Jordan are composed of an Arab majority and small communities of Circassians, Armenians and Kurds. The religious groups represented in Jordan are Sunni Muslims (95 percent) and Christians (4 percent). The population of Jordan is estimated to be 5.47 million (published, 2005). Amman, the capital and largest city in Jordan, has an estimated population of 1.9 million.
Arabic is the official language, but English is commonly used in education, government and business. Jordan is classified by the World Bank as a “lower middle income country.” With literacy rates at 90 percent, however, Jordan ranks highly against other countries with similar incomes.
Jordan's standard time is Greenwich Mean Time +2 (GMT+2). It is seven hours ahead of New York City, one hour ahead of Paris, France and Cape Town, South Africa.
Jordan's currency is the Jordanian Dinar (JD). Notes are in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 JD. Denominations for coins are 1 piaster, 5 piasters, 10 piasters, 0.25 dinar and 0.5 dinar.
|Currency||Amount in JD*|
|1 US Dollar ($)||0.709|
|1 EUR (€)||0.97|
|1 GBP (£)||1.19|
Jordan’s independence was established in 1946 by the League of Nations according to a mandate administered by the United Kingdom. Before that, Jordan was known as “Transjordan” and was part of the British Mandate Palestine, established in 1921. Prince Abdullah I, who had semi-autonomous control during the British Mandate, became the first King of Jordan. HM King Abdullah II, Jordan’s current king, is King Abdullah I’s great-grandson.
Jordan is a constitutional monarchy governed by the King, his council of minsters and the National Assembly. The latter is composed of the Chamber of Deputies, whose 110 members are elected by universal suffrage and by the Senate, which is appointed by the King. Jordan’s legal system is based on Islamic Law and French codes. Jordan has close relations with the United States and is a member of the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.