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currency: Jordanian dinar (JOD)
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Jordan profile
strategic location at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba and as the Arab country that shares the longest border with Israel and the occupied West Bank

Jordan history
Following World War I and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the UK received a mandate to govern much of the Middle East. Britain separated out a semi-autonomous region of Transjordan from Palestine in the early 1920s, and the area gained its independence in 1946; it adopted the name of The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1950. The country's long-time ruler was King HUSSEIN (1953-99). A pragmatic leader, he successfully navigated competing pressures from the major powers (US, USSR, and UK), various Arab states, Israel, and a large internal Palestinian population. Jordan lost the West Bank to Israel in the 1967 war and defeated Palestinian rebels who attempted to overthrow the monarchy in 1970. King HUSSEIN in 1988 permanently relinquished Jordanian claims to the West Bank - called "The 1988 Disengagement Decision." In 1989, he reinstituted parliamentary elections and initiated a gradual political liberalization and legalized political parties in 1992. 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 February 1999. Since then, he has consolidated his power and implemented some economic and political reforms. Jordan acceded to the World Trade Organization in 2000, and began to participate in the European Free Trade Association in 2001. In 2003, Jordan staunchly supported the Coalition ouster of SADDAM Husayn in Iraq and, following the outbreak of insurgent violence in Iraq, absorbed thousands of displaced Iraqis. Municipal elections were held in July 2007 under a system in which 20% of seats in all municipal councils were reserved by quota for women. Beginning in January 2011 in the wake of unrest in Tunisia and Egypt, as many as several thousand Jordanians staged weekly demonstrations and marches in Amman and other cities throughout Jordan to push for political reforms and to protest against government corruption, rising prices, rampant poverty, and high unemployment. In response, King ABDALLAH replaced his prime minister four times and formed two commissions - one to propose specific reforms to Jordan's electoral and political party laws and the other to consider limited constitutional amendments. In a televised speech in June 2011, King ABDULLAH announced plans to work toward transferring authority for appointing future prime ministers and cabinet ministers to parliament; in a subsequent announcement, he outlined a revised political parties law intended to encourage greater political participation. Protesters and opposition elements generally acknowledged those measures as steps in the right direction, but many continue to push for greater limits on the king's authority and to fight against government corruption. A royal decree issued in September 2011 approved constitutional amendments passed by the parliament aimed at strengthening a more independent judiciary and established a constitutional court and independent election commission to oversee municipal and parliamentary elections. In October 2011, King ABDALLAH dismissed the Jordanian cabinet and replaced the prime minister in response to widespread public dissatisfaction with government performance and escalating criticism of the premier because of public concerns over his reported involvement in corruption. Parliamentary elections held in January 2013 were overseen by the newly established Independent Electoral Commission and resulted in the election of 150 members to the Lower House of Parliament.

interesting Jordan facts
Conventional long form: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Conventional short form: Jordan
Local long form: Al Mamlakah al Urduniyah al Hashimiyah
Local short form: Al Urdun
Formerly known as: Transjordan
fun Jordan facts for kids
Jordan's capital city is Amman
amazing Jordan facts
Jordan Constitution:
1 January 1952; amended many times
Jordan facts for kids
Jordan population growth rate: -0.965%
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Jordan highest point: Jabal Umm ad Dami 1,854 m
interesting Jordan facts for kids
Jordan lowest point: Dead Sea -408 m
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About 2% of Jordan's land is arable.
Jordan fun facts for kids
Jordan River is the Longest River in Jordan
Jordan fun facts for kids
Jordan birth rate is 27 births/1,000 population
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Jordan infant mortality rate is 16 deaths/1,000 live births
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Jordan fertility rate is 3.32 children born/woman
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Jordan climate:
mostly arid desert; rainy season in west (November to April)
interesting Jordan facts
Top 10 cities of Jordan with populations (2012 est.) are:
1. Amman: 1,275,857
2. Zarqa: 792,665
3. Irbid: 307,480
4. Russeifa: 268,237
5. Wadi as Sir: 181,212
6. Ajloun: 125,557
7. Aqaba: 95,048
8. Madaba: 82,335
9. As Salt: 80,189
10. Ar Ramtha: 74,901
Jordan fun facts for kids
Jordan ethnic groups:
Arab 98%, Circassian 1%, Armenian 1%
interesting Jordan facts
Jordan Exports:
clothing, fertilizers, potash, phosphates, vegetables, pharmaceuticals
interesting Jordan facts
Jordan Imports:
crude oil, machinery, transport equipment, iron, cereals
interesting Jordan facts
bicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-'Umma consists of the Senate, also called the House of Notables or Majlis al-Ayan (60 seats; members appointed by the monarch to serve four-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies, also called the House of Representatives or Majlis al-Nuwaab (150 seats; 123 members elected using the single, non-transferable vote system in multi-member districts, and 27 seats elected using a closed national list system based on proportional representation; all legislators serve four-year terms); note - the new electoral law enacted in July 2012 allocated an additional 10 seats (6 seats added to the number reserved for women, bringing the total to 15; 2 additional seats for Amman; and 1 seat each for the cities of Zarqa and Irbid; unchanged are 9 seats reserved for Christian candidates, 9 for Bedouin candidates, and 3 for Jordanians of Chechen or Circassian descent

Administrative Divisions:
12 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah)

1. Ajlun
2. Al 'Aqabah
3. Al Balqa'
4. Al Karak
5. Al Mafraq
6. 'Amman
7. At Tafilah
8. Az Zarqa'
9. Irbid
10. Jarash
11. Ma'an
12. Madaba
Political parties and leaders:
Ahl al-Himma


Al-Hayah Jordanian Pary - Zahier AMR

Arab Ba'ath Socialist Party - Akram al-HIMSI

Ba'ath Arab Progressive Party - Fuad DABBOUR





Democratic People's Party - Ablah ABU ULBAH

Democratic Popular Unity Party - Sa'id DIAB


Du'a Party - Muhammed ABU BAKR

Free Voice

Islamic Action Front (IAF) - Hamzah MANSOUR

Islamic Centrist Party - Muhammad al-HAJ

Jordanian Communist Party - Munir HAMARNAH

Jordanian National Party - Muna ABU BAKR

Jordanian United Front - Amjad al-MAJALI

Labor and Trade


National Accord Youth Block

National Action

National Constitution Party - Ahmad al-SHUNAQ

National Current Party - Abd al-Hadi al-MAJALI

National Movement for Direct Democracy - Muhammad al-QAQ

National Union

National Unity

Nobel Jerusalem

Risalah Party - Hazem QASHOU


Stronger Jordan

The Direct Democratic Nationalists Movement Party - Nash'at KHALIFAH

The People

Unified Front

United Front

Voice of the Nation