Jordan

3.4369863013822 (1460)
Posted by pompos 02/25/2009 @ 12:19

Tags : jordan, middle east, world

News headlines
Jordan sizes up Henderson, Williams ahead of draft - USA Today
By Mike Cranston, AP Sports Writer CHARLOTTE, NC — Terrence Williams was so nervous at seeing Michael Jordan he was sweating profusely -- while stretching. Gerald Henderson was drier, but had to endure relentless grief about being a Duke guy....
For Pete's sake Jordan, shut it - The Sun
By ALEX WEST A KIDS' charity yesterday blasted Jordan over her X-rated rant about hubby Peter Andre. Callous Jordan brazenly defended her raunchy antics in Ibiza and launched a foul-mouthed attack on Pete as she flew home yesterday....
A fresh start for Jordan Smith - ESPN
Jordan Smith had one of those stories. Smith, 27, dropped out of college at 21 years old to play poker professionally. He made poor decisions and relied on others, including his parents, to help him out financially. After his victory in Event 36,...
Nike, Basketball Hall of Fame Sued Over Michael Jordan Apparel Line - Wall Street Journal
By NICHOLAS CASEY A small sports-licensing company is suing Nike Inc. and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Inc., alleging fraud and breach of contract, over a proposed Nike line of Michael Jordan sportswear. SportsFuzion Inc., of Westwood,...
China, Jordan eye stronger trade cooperation - Xinhua
AMMAN, June 23 (Xinhua) -- A Communist Party of China (CPC) senior leader has aired satisfaction over China-Jordan trade ties and called for stronger cooperation. In a meeting late Monday with Jordan's Minister of Planning and International Cooperation...
After split, Jordan braces for new chapter - Salt Lake Tribune
By Kirsten Stewart Jordan School District Superintendent Barry Newbold checks his office one more time before he turns off the lights to his office Monday morning, as he's the last to move from Jordan's old offices to new digs on Monday....
Minnesota Timberwolves eyeing Arizona forward Jordan Hill - JOCKlife Sports
Everyone is wondering who each team will take and any team that takes on Arizona forward Jordan Hill should be satisfied. Hill started all 34 games his junior year as a Wildcat and received numerous awards including Honorable Mention All-America and a...
South Jordan city leaders excited to have 2 LDS temples - KSL-TV
By Mary Richards SOUTH JORDAN -- Economists say when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints builds a temple it often increases property values around it. Now South Jordan is the only city in the world to have two LDS temples, and city leaders...
Ex-NFL star Jim Brown rips Tiger, Jordan - Newsday
BY NEIL BEST | neil.best@newsday.com Michael Jordan plays the Bethpage Black course, where the US Open was held this weekend in Bethpage, New York. (Photo by Howard Schnapp / June 21, 2009) Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown blasts Michael Jordan and...

Jordan River

Jordan river.jpg

The Jordan River (Hebrew: נהר הירדן nehar hayarden, Arabic: نهر الأردن‎ nahr al-urdun) is a river in Southwest Asia which flows into the Dead Sea. It is considered to be one of the world's most sacred rivers. It is 251 kilometers (156 miles) long.

The river drops rapidly in a 75 kilometer run to swampy Lake Hula, which is slightly below sea level in the Galilee sea. Exiting the lake, it drops much more in about 25 kilometers to the Sea of Galilee. The last section has less gradient, and the river begins to meander before it enters the Dead Sea, which is about 400 meters below sea level and has no outlet. Two major tributaries enter from the east during this last phase: the Yarmouk River and Jabbok River.

Its section north of the Sea of Galilee (Hebrew: כינרת kinneret, Arabic: Bohayrat Tabaraya, meaning Lake of Tiberias) is within the boundaries of Israel, and forms the western boundary of the Golan Heights. South of the lake, it forms the border between the Kingdom of Jordan (to the east) and Israel and the West Bank (to the west).

In 1964, Israel began operating a dam that diverts water from the Sea of Galilee, a major Jordan River water provider, to the National Water Carrier. Also in 1964, Jordan constructed a channel that diverted water from the Yarmouk River, another main tributary of the Jordan River. Syria has also built reservoirs that catch the Yarmouk's waters. Environmentalists blame Israel, Jordan and Syria for extensive damage to the Jordan River ecosystem.

In modern times, the waters are 70% to 90% used for human purposes and the flow is much reduced. Because of this and the high evaporation rate of the Dead Sea, the sea is shrinking. All the shallow waters of the southern end of the sea have been drained in modern times and are now salt flats.

In September 2006, a problem arose with contamination: just downstream, raw sewage began flowing into the water. Small sections of the Jordan's upper portion, near the Sea of Galilee, have been kept pristine for baptisms. Most polluted is the 60-mile downstream stretch - a meandering stream from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea. Environmentalists say the practice has almost destroyed the river's ecosystem. Rescuing the river could take decades, according to environmentalists. In 2007, Friends of the Earth Middle East named the Jordan River as one of the world's 100 most endangered ecological sites, due in part to lack of cooperation between Israel and the neighboring Arab states.

The waters of the Jordan River are an extremely important resource to the dry lands of the area and are a bone of contention among Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinians.

Route 90 connects the northern and southern tips of Israel and parallels the Jordan River on the western side.

In the Bible the Jordan is referred to as the source of fertility to a large plain ("Kikkar ha-Yarden"), and it is said to be like "the garden of God" (Genesis 13:10). There is no regular description of the Jordan in the Bible; only scattered and indefinite references to it are given. Jacob crossed it and its tributary, the Jabbok (the modern Al-Zarqa), in order to reach Haran (Genesis 32:11, 32:23-24). It is noted as the line of demarcation between the "two tribes and the half tribe" settled to the east (Numbers 34:15) and the "nine tribes and the half tribe of Manasseh" that, led by Joshua, settled to the west (Joshua 13:7, passim).

Opposite Jericho, it was called "the Jordan of Jericho" (Numbers 34:15; 35:1). The Jordan has a number of fords, and one of them is famous as the place where many Ephraimites were slain by Jephthah (Judges 12:5-6). It seems that these are the same fords mentioned as being near Beth-barah, where Gideon lay in wait for the Midianites (Judges 7:24). In the plain of the Jordan, between Succoth and Zarthan, is the clay ground where Solomon had his brass-foundries (1 Kings 7:46).

In biblical history, the Jordan appears as the scene of several miracles, the first taking place when the Jordan, near Jericho, was crossed by the Israelites under Joshua (Joshua 3:15-17). Later the two tribes and the half tribe that settled east of the Jordan built a large altar on its banks as "a witness" between them and the other tribes (Joshua 22:10, 22:26, et seq.). The Jordan was crossed by Elijah and Elisha on dry ground (2 Kings 2:8, 2:14). Elisha performed two other miracles at the Jordan: he healed Naaman by having him bathe in its waters, and he made the axe head of one of the "children of the prophets" float, by throwing a piece of wood into the water (2 Kings 5:14; 6:6).

The Jordan was crossed by Judas Maccabeus and his brother Jonathan Maccabaeus during their war with the Nabatæans (1 Maccabees 5:24). A little later the Jordan was the scene of the battle between Jonathan and Bacchides, in which the latter was defeated (1 Maccabees 9:42-49).

The New Testament states that John the Baptist baptized unto repentance in the Jordan (Matthew 3:5-6; Mark1:5; Luke 3:3; John1:28). This is recounted as having taken place at Bethabara (John 1:28).

Jesus came to be baptized by him there (Matthew 3:13; Mark 1:9; Luke 3:21, 4:1). The Jordan is also where John the Baptist bore record of Jesus as the Son of God and Lamb of God (John 1:29-36).

The prophesy of Isaiah regarding the Messiah which names the Jordan (Isaiah 9:1-2) is recounted in Matthew 4:15.

The New Testament speaks several times about Jesus crossing the Jordan during his ministry (Matthew 19:1; Mark 10:1), and of believers crossing the Jordan to come hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases (Matthew 4:25; Mark 3:7-8). When his enemies sought to capture him, Jesus took refuge at Jordan in the place John had first baptized (John 10:39-40).

The Jordan is a frequent symbol in folk, gospel, and spiritual music, or in poetic or literary works.

Because the Israelites made a difficult and hazardous journey from slavery in Egypt to freedom in The Promised Land, the Jordan can refer to freedom. The actual crossing is the final step of the journey, which is then complete. The Jordan also can signify death itself, with the crossing from life into Paradise or Heaven.

To the top



Jordan

Coat of arms of Jordan

Jordan (Arabic: الأردنّ‎ al-'Urdunn), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is an Arab country in Southwest Asia spanning the southern part of the Syrian Desert down to the Gulf of Aqaba. It shares borders with Syria to the north, Iraq to the north-east, Israel to the west, and Saudi Arabia to the east and south. It shares control of the Dead Sea with the State of Israel, and the coastline of the Gulf of Aqaba with the State of Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. Much of Jordan is covered by desert, particularly the Arabian Desert; however the north-western area, with the Jordan River, is regarded as part of the Fertile Crescent. The capital city of Amman is in the north-west.

During its history, Jordan has seen numerous civilizations, including such ancient eastern civilizations as the Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Mesopotamian, and Persian empires. Jordan was for a time part of Pharaonic Egypt, and spawned the native Nabatean civilization who left rich archaeological remains at Petra. Cultures from the west also left their mark, such as the Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Turkish empires. Since the seventh century the area has been under Muslim and Arab cultures, with the exception of a brief period under British rule.

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a constitutional monarchy with representative government. The reigning monarch is the head of state, the chief executive and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The king exercises his executive authority through the prime ministers and the Council of Ministers, or cabinet. The cabinet, meanwhile, is responsible before the elected House of Deputies which, along with the House of Notables (Senate), constitutes the legislative branch of the government. The judicial branch is an independent branch of the government.

The earlier roots of Jordan as an independent state can be traced back to The Kingdom of Petra, which was founded by The Nabataeans (Arabic: الأنباط, Al-Anbāt) an ancient Arabic Semitic people who invented the North Arabic Script that evolved into the Modern Arabic script. The Nabataeans Kingdom during its glory controlled the world trade lines by dominating a large area extended from the whole of modern Jordan to the south of Syria and the north of the Arabian Peninsula. As a result, Petra enjoyed prosperity, wealth and independence hundreds of years until it was occupied by the emerging Roman empire. Beside the Nabataeans, Jordan witnessed many other smaller ancient kingdoms including the Kingdom of Edom, the Kingdom of Ammon and the Kingdom of Moab, all of which are mentioned in the Bible as well as in many other old scriptures. During the Greco-Roman influence a number of semi-independent city-states also appeared in Jordan under the umbrella of the Decapolis including: Gerasa (Jerash), Philadelphia (Amman), Raphana (Abila), Dion (Capitolias), Gadara (Umm Qays), and Pella (Irbid). Later, Jordan became part of the Arabic Islamic Empire across its different Caliphates stages including Rashidun Empire, Umayyad Empire and Abbasid Empire. After the decline of the Abbasid, Jordan was ruled by several conflicting powers including the Mongols, the Crusades, the Ayyubid and the Mamluk until it became part of the Ottoman Empire.

With the break-up of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I, the League of Nations and the occupying powers chose to redraw the borders of Southwest Asia. The ensuing decisions, most notably the Sykes–Picot Agreement gave birth to the French Mandate of Syria and British Mandate of Palestine. More than 70% of the British Mandate of Palestine was east of the Jordan river and was known as "Transjordan".

Abdullah I continued to rule until a Palestinian Arab assassinated him in 1951 as he was departing from the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. At first he ruled "Transjordan", under British supervision until after World War II. In 1946, the British requested that the United Nations approve an end to British Mandate rule in Transjordan. Following this approval, the Jordanian Parliament proclaimed King Abdullah as the first ruler of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

In 1950, Jordan annexed the area now called the West Bank (also referred to by Israelis after their occupation of the territory in 1967 as Judea and Samaria), which had been under its control since the armistice that followed the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. This fulfilled a pact that had been made between the Jordanian king and the Jewish Agency, whereby they didn't fight each other in 1948 (except in Jerusalem), but divided Palestine among themselves instead of allowing the independent Palestinian state mandated by the United Nations partition of Palestine.

In 1965, there was an exchange of land between Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Jordan gave up a relatively large area of inland desert in return for a small piece of sea-shore near Aqaba.

Jordan signed a military pact with Egypt in May 1967, and together in June 1967 waged the Six Day War against Israel along with Syria, Egypt and Iraq, launching attacks against west Jerusalem. During the war, Jordan lost the West Bank and east Jerusalem to Israel. In 1988, Jordan renounced all claims to the territory now occupied by Israel, but retained an administrative role pending a final settlement, and its 1994 treaty with Israel allowed for a continuing Jordanian role in Muslim and Christian holy places in Jerusalem.

The period following the 1967 war saw an upsurge in the activity and numbers of Arab Palestinian paramilitary elements (fedayeen) within the state of Jordan. These distinct, armed militias were becoming a "state within a state", threatening Jordan's rule of law. King Hussein's armed forces targeted the fedayeen, and open fighting erupted in June 1970. The battle in which Palestinian fighters from various Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) groups were expelled from Jordan is commonly known as Black September.

The heaviest fighting occurred in northern Jordan and Amman. The Syrian army invaded Jordan, and attacked the Jordanian army in Amman and other urban areas in Jordan. In the ensuing heavy fighting, a Syrian tank force invaded northern Jordan to back the fedayeen fighters, but subsequently retreated. King Hussein urgently asked "the United States and Great Britain to intervene in the war in Jordan, asking the United States, in fact, to attack Syria, and some transcripts of diplomatic communiques show that Hussein requested Israeli intervention against Syria." Consequently, Israel performed mock air strikes on the Syrian column at the Americans' request. Possibly concerned at the prospect of an armed conflict with Israel, Syria's president at the time, Nureddin Atassi, ordered a hasty retreat from Jordanian soil. By 22 September, Arab foreign ministers meeting at Cairo had arranged a cease-fire beginning the following day. Sporadic violence continued, however, until Jordanian forces, led by Habis Al-Majali, with the help of Iraqi forces, won a decisive victory over the fedayeen on July 1971, expelling them, and ultimately the PLO's Yasser Arafat, from Jordan.

At the Rabat summit conference in 1974, Jordan was now in a more secure position to agree, along with the rest of the Arab League, that the PLO was the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people", thereby relinquishing to that organization its role as representative of the West Bank.

In 1973, allied Arab League forces attacked Israel in the Yom Kippur War, and fighting occurred along the 1967 Jordan River cease-fire line. Jordan sent a brigade to Syria to attack Israeli units on Syrian territory but did not engage Israeli forces from Jordanian territory. Jordan did not directly participate in the Gulf War of 1990–91, following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, but did support Saddam Hussein. As a result of that support, the United States and Arab countries cut off monetary aid to Jordan, and 700,000 Jordanians who had been working in Arab countries were forced to return to Jordan. In 1991, Jordan agreed, along with Syria, Lebanon, and Arab Palestinian fedayeen representatives, to participate in direct peace negotiations with Israel at the Madrid Conference, sponsored by the U.S. and Russia. It negotiated an end to hostilities with Israel and signed a declaration to that effect on 25 July 1994 (see Washington Declaration). As a result, an Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty was concluded on 26 October 1994. King Hussein was later honored when his picture appeared on an Israeli postage stamp in recognition of the good relations he established with his neighbor. Since the signing of the peace treaty with Israel, the United States not only contributes hundreds of millions of dollars in an annual foreign aid stipend to Jordan, but also has allowed it to establish a free trade zone in which to manufacture goods that will enter the US without paying the usual import taxes as long as a percentage of the material used in them is purchased in Israel. Following the outbreak of Palestinian Authority-led fighting against Israel in September 2000, the Jordanian government offered its good offices to both parties. Jordan has since sought to remain at peace with all of its neighbors. Particularly good relations have been maintained between the Jordanian royal family and Israel, with Jordan's government quickly dispersing rallies or jailing demonstrators protesting against Israel and applying strict censorship to keep anti-Israel views out of the Jordanian news media. The last major strain in Jordan's relations with Israel occurred in September, 1997, when two Israeli agents entered Jordan using Canadian passports and poisoned Khaled Meshal, a senior leader of the Palestinian group Hamas. Under threat of cutting off diplomatic relations, Kind Hussein forced Israel to provide an antidote to the poison and to release dozens of Jordanians and Palestinians from its prisons, including the spiritual leader of Hamas, Sheik Ahmed Yassin. While Meshal is alive today, several years after Yassin's release, Israel assassinated him in a bombing raid that destroyed an apartment building in Palestine.

On 9 November 2005 Jordan experienced three simultaneous terrorist bombings at hotels in Amman. At least 57 people died and 115 were wounded. "Al-Qaeda in Iraq", a group led by terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a native Jordanian, claimed responsibility.

Jordan is a Southwest Asian country, bordered by Syria to the north, Iraq to the northeast, Saudi Arabia to the east and south and Israel to the west. All these border lines add up to 1,619 km (1,006 mi). The Gulf of Aqaba and the Dead Sea also touch the country, and thus Jordan has a coastline of 26 km (16 mi).

Jordan consists of arid forest plateau in the east irrigated by oasis and seasonal water streams, with highland area in the west of arable land and Mediterranean evergreen forestry. The Great Rift Valley of the Jordan River separates Jordan, the west bank and Israel. The highest point in the country is Jabal Ram, it is 2,734 m (8,970 ft) above sea level, its top is also covered with snow, while the lowest is the Dead Sea -420 m (−1,378 ft). Jordan is part of a region considered to be "the cradle of civilization", the Levant region of the Fertile Crescent.

Major cities include the capital Amman in the northwest, Irbid and Az Zarqa, both in the north. Karak and Aqaba in the south.

The climate in Jordan is semidry in summer with average temperature in the mid-30°C (mid-90°F) and relatively cold in winter averaging around the −1.3 °C (30 °F). The western part of the country receives greater precipitation during the winter season from November to March and snowfall in Amman (756 m (2,480 ft) ~ 1,280 m (4,199 ft) above sea-level) and Western Heights of 500 m (1,640 ft). Excluding the rift valley the rest of the country is entirely above 300 m (984 ft)(SL).

The major characteristic of the climate is the contrast between a very rainy season from November to march and semi dry weather for the rest of the year. With hot, dry, uniform summers and cool, freezing variable winters during which practically all of the precipitation occurs, the country has a Mediterranean-style climate. In general, the farther inland from the Mediterranean Sea a given part of the country lies, the greater are the seasonal contrasts in temperature and the less rainfall. Atmospheric pressures during the summer months are relatively uniform, whereas the winter months bring a succession of marked low pressure areas and accompanying cold fronts. These cyclonic disturbances generally move eastward from over the Mediterranean Sea several times a month and result in sporadic precipitation.

Most of the East Bank receives less than 620 millimeters of rain a year and may be classified as a semi dry region. Where the ground rises to form the highlands east of the Jordan Valley, precipitation increases to around 300 millimeters in the south and 500 or more millimeters in the north. The Jordan Valley, lying in the lee of high ground on the West Bank, forms a narrow climatic zone that annually receives up to 900 millimeters of rain in the northern reaches; rain dwindles to less than 120 millimeters at the head of the Dead Sea.

The country's long summer reaches a peak during August. January is usually the coolest month. The fairly wide ranges of temperature during a twenty-four-hour period are greatest during the summer months and have a tendency to increase with higher elevation and distance from the Mediterranean seacoast. Daytime temperatures during the summer months frequently exceed 29 °C and average about 32 °C. In contrast, the winter months — september to march — bring moderately cool and sometimes very cold weather, averaging about 3.2 °C. Except in the rift depression, frost is fairly common during the winter, it may take the form of snow at the higher elevations of the north western highlands. Usually it snows a couple of times in winter in western Amman.

For a month or so before and after the summer dry season, hot, dry air from the desert, drawn by low pressure, produces strong winds from the south or southeast that sometimes reach gale force. Known in the Middle East by various names, including the khamsin, this dry, sirocco-style wind is usually accompanied by great dust clouds. Its onset is heralded by a hazy sky, a falling barometer, and a drop in relative humidity to about 10 percent. Within a few hours there may be a 10 °C to 15 °C rise in temperature. These windstorms ordinarily last a day or so, cause much discomfort, and destroy crops by desiccating them.

The shammal, another wind of some significance, comes from the north or northwest, generally at intervals between June and September. Remarkably steady during daytime hours but becoming a breeze at night, the shammal may blow for as long as nine days out of ten and then repeat the process. It originates as a dry continental mass of polar air that is warmed as it passes over the Eurasian landmass. The dryness allows intense heating of the earth's surface by the sun, resulting in high daytime temperatures that moderate after sunset.

Jordan has a number of natural reserves.

Dana Nature Reserve covers 308 square kilometres and is a world of natural treasures. It is composed of a chain of valleys and mountains which extend from the top of the Jordan Rift Valley down to the desert lowlands of Wadi Araba. The visitor to this area will be awed by the beauty of the Rummana mountain, the mystery of the ancient archaeological ruins of Feinan, the timeless serenity of Dana Village and the grandeur of the red and white sandstone cliffs of Wadi Dana. The Reserve contains a remarkable diversity of landscapes, which range from wooded highlands to rocky slopes and from gravel plains to dunes of sand. Moreover, Dana supports diverse wildlife which includes a variety of rare species of plants and animals; Dana is home to about 600 species of plants, 37 species of mammals and 190 species of birds.

Azraq is a unique wetland oasis located in the heart of the semi-arid Jordanian eastern desert, one of several beautiful nature reserves managed by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN). Its attractions include several natural and ancient built pools, a seasonally flooded marshland, and a large mudflat know as Qa'a Al-Azraq. A wide variety of birds stop at the reserve each year for a rest during their arduous migration routes between Asia and Africa. Some stay for the winter or breed within the protected areas of the wetland.

Shawmari Wildlife Reserve jordan bird The Shawmari Reserve was created in 1975 by the RSCN as a breeding centre for endangered or locally extinct wildlife. Today, following breeding programmes with some of the world's leading wildlife parks and zoos, this small, 22-square-kilometre reserve is a thriving protected environment for some of the most rare species in the Middle East. Oryx, ostriches, gazelles and onagers, which are depicted on many 6th century Byzantine mosaics, are rebuilding their populations and reasserting their presence in this safe haven, protected from the hunting and habitat destruction that nearly wiped them out.

The Mujib Reserve is the lowest nature reserve in the world, with a spectacular array of scenery near the east cost of the Dead Sea. The reserve is located within the deep Wadi Mujib gorge, which enters the Dead Sea at 410 metres below sea level. The Reserve extends to the Kerak and Madaba mountains to the north and south, reaching 899 metres above sea level in some places. This 1,300 metre variation in elevation, combined with the valley's year-round water flow from seven tributaries, means that Wadi Mujib enjoys a magnificent bio-diversity that is still being explored and documented today. Over 300 species of plants, 10 species of carnivores and numerous species of permanent and migratory birds have been recorded. Some of the remote mountain and valley areas are difficult to reach, and thus offer safe havens for rare species of cats, goats and other mountain animals. Mujib's sandstone cliffs are an ideal habitat for one of the most beautiful mountain goats in the world, the horned Ibex.

The Governorates are subdivided into approximately fifty-two nahias.

1. As of October 1st 2004, Jordan had a population of 5,100,981. The census estimated that there are another 190,000 who were not counted (for being out of the country at the time the census was taken, or did not turn in their forms).

2. The census showed that the national growth rate was 2.5% (at maximum) compared to 3.3% of the 1994 census.

3. The census of 2004 also shows that males made up 51.5% of Jordan's population (2,628,717). Females: 2,472,264 (48.5%).

4. Jordanian citizens made up 93% of the population (4,750,463), while non Jordanins made up 7% (349,933). However, it is estimated that most of those who did not turn in their forms were immigrants from neighboring countries, or non Arabic-speaking foreigners.

5. There were 946,000 families in Jordan in 2004, with an average of 5.3 persons/family (compared to 6 persons/family for the census of 1994). The next census is scheduled to take place in 2014.

During the years 2004-2007, Jordan saw a rapid increase in its population due to the heavy migration of Iraqi refugees, an independent census carried in 2007, estimated that there are 700,000 Iraqis residing in Jordan. Most estimates put the population of Jordan slightly over 6,000,000 as of the year 2007.

95-98% of Jordan's population are Arabs (60-80% of the population is Syro-Palestinian), the remaining non-Arabs of the population are mainly Circassians, Chechens, Armenians (13th largest Armenian diaspora in the world),Kurds and Gypsies, but have integrated into the Jordanian and Arab cultures in the country.

The number of Lebanese permanently settling in Jordan since the 2006 Lebanon War has not been established, and is estimated to be very little. According to Labour Ministry figures, the number of guest workers in the country now stands just over 300,000, most are Egyptians who makeup 227,000 of the foreign labor, and the remaining 36,150 workers are mostly from Bangladesh, China, Sri Lanka and India. Since the Iraq War many Christians (Assyrians and Chaldeans) from Iraq have settled permanently or temporarily in Jordan.

Jordanian Christians permanently residing in Jordan form approximately 6% of the population and are allocated respective seats in parliament (The Department of Statistics released no information about the religion distribution from the census of 2004). Most Christians belong to the Greek Orthodox church (called "Ruum Urthudux" in Arabic). The rest are Roman Catholics (called "Lateen"), Eastern Catholics who are Melkites (called "Ruum Katoleek" to distinguish them from "Western Catholics"), and various Protestant communities including Baptists. Christians in Jordan are of many nationalities, as evinced, for example, by the Catholic mass being celebrated in Arabic, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Tagalog and Sinhala, as well as in Iraqi dialects of Arabic. However, Jordanian Christians are indigenous Arabs that share the Greater culture of Jordan and the Broader East Mediterranean Levantine Arab Identity.

Other Jordanians belonging to religious minorities include adherents to the Druze and Bahá'í Faith. The Druze are mainly located in the Eastern Oasis Town of Azraq and the city of Zarka, while the Village of Adassiyeh bordering the Jordan Valley is home to Jordan's Bahá'í community.

The official language is Arabic, but English is used widely in commerce and government and among educated people. Arabic and English are obligatory learning at public and private schools. French is taught at some public and private schools but is not obligatory. However, a vibrant Francophone community has emerged in modern Jordan. Radio Jordan offers radio services in Arabic, English and French.

A portion of the people are registered as Palestinian refugees and displaced persons reside in Jordan, most as citizens. Since 2003 many Iraqis fleeing the Iraq War have settled in Jordan; latest estimates indicate between 700,000 and 1.7 million Iraqis living in Jordan; mainly in Amman, the capital.

Jordan is a constitutional monarchy based on the constitution promulgated on 8 January 1952. Executive authority is vested in the king and his council of ministers. The king signs and executes all laws. His veto power may be overridden by a two-thirds vote of both houses of the National Assembly. He appoints and may dismiss all judges by decree, approves amendments to the constitution, declares war, and commands the armed forces. Cabinet decisions, court judgments, and the national currency are issued in his name. The council of ministers, led by a prime minister, is appointed by the king, who may dismiss other cabinet members at the prime minister's request. The cabinet is responsible to the Chamber of Deputies on matters of general policy and can be forced to resign by a two-thirds vote of "no confidence" by that body.

The constitution provides for three categories of courts: civil, religious, and special. Administratively, Jordan is divided into twelve governorates, each headed by a governor appointed by the king. They are the sole authorities for all government departments and development projects in their respective areas.

Jordan's legal system is based on Islamic law and French codes. Judicial review of legislative acts occurs in a special High Tribunal. It has not accepted compulsory International Court of Justice jurisdiction.

Article 97 of Jordan’s constitution guarantees the independence of the judicial branch, clearly stating that judges are 'subject to no authority but that of the law.' While the king must approve the appointment and dismissal of judges, in practice these are supervised by the Higher Judicial Council.

The Jordanian legal system draws upon civil traditions as well as Islamic law and custom. Article 99 of the Constitution divides the courts into three categories: civil, religious and special. The civil courts deal with civil and criminal matters in accordance with the law, and they have jurisdiction over all persons in all matters, civil and criminal, including cases brought against the government. The civil courts include Magistrate Courts, Courts of First Instance, Courts of Appeal, High Administrative Courts and the Supreme Court.

The religious courts include Sharia (Islamic law) courts and the tribunals of other religious communities. Religious courts deal only with matters involving personal law such as marriage, divorce and inheritance. Sharia courts also have jurisdiction over matters regarding Islamic waqfs (a religious endowment such as an area of land). In cases involving parties of different religions regular courts have jurisdiction.

Specialized courts involve various bodies. One such body is the Supreme Council which will interpret the Constitution if requested by either the National Assembly or the prime minister, according to Dew et al.: "...such courts are usually created in areas that the legislator deems should be governed by specialized courts with more experience and knowledge in specific matters than other regular courts." Other examples of special courts include the Court of Income Tax and the Highest Court of Felonies.

Prior to 2002 Jordan’s legal system only allowed men to file for divorce, however, during this year the first Jordanian woman successfully filed for divorce; this was made possible from a proposal by a royal human rights commission which had been established by King Abdullah who had vowed to improve the status of women in Jordan.

Despite being traditionally dominated by men the number of women involved as lawyers in the Jordan legal system has been increasing. As of mid-2006 Jordan had 1,284 female lawyers, out of a total number of 6,915, and 35 female judges from a total of 630.

King Abdullah I ruled Jordan after independence from Britain. After the assassination of King Abdullah I in 1951, his son King Talal ruled briefly. King Talal's major accomplishment was the Jordanian constitution. King Talal was removed from the throne in 1952 due to mental illness. At that time his son, Hussein, was too young to rule, and hence a committee ruled over Jordan.

After Hussein reached 18, he ruled Jordan as king from 1953 to 1999, surviving a number of challenges to his rule, drawing on the loyalty of his military, and serving as a symbol of unity and stability for both the Bedouin-related and Palestinian communities in Jordan. King Hussein ended martial law in 1991 and legalized political parties in 1992. In 1989 and 1993, Jordan held free and fair parliamentary elections. Controversial changes in the election law led Islamist parties to boycott the 1997 elections.

King Abdullah II succeeded his father Hussein following the latter's death in February 1999. Abdullah moved quickly to reaffirm Jordan's peace treaty with Israel and its relations with the United States. Abdullah, during the first year in power, refocused the government's agenda on economic reform.

Jordan's continuing structural economic difficulties, burgeoning population, and more open political environment led to the emergence of a variety of political parties. Moving toward greater independence, Jordan's parliament has investigated corruption charges against several regime figures and has become the major forum in which differing political views, including those of political Islamists, are expressed. While King abdullah remains the ultimate authority in Jordan, the parliament plays an important role.

The population consists of 92 percent Muslims, 6 percent Christian (majority Greek Orthodox, but some Greek and Roman Catholics, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and Protestant denominations), and 2 percent other (several small Shia Muslim and Druze populations).

The 1952 Constitution provided for the establishment of the bicameral Jordanian National Assembly (‘Majlis al-Umma’). The Parliament consists of two Chambers: The Chamber of Deputies (‘Majlis al-Nuwaab’) and the Senate (‘Majlis al-Aayan’; literally, ‘Assembly of Notables’). The Senate has 55 Senators, all of whom are directly appointed by the King, whilst the Chamber of Deputies/House of Representatives has 80 elected members representing 12 constituencies. Of the 80 members of the Lower Chamber, 71 must be Muslim and 9 Christians, with six seats held back specifically for women. The Constitution ensures that the Senate cannot be more than half the size of the Chamber of Deputies.

The constitution does not provide a strong system of checks and balances within which the Jordanian Parliament can assert its role in relationship to the monarch. During the suspension of Parliament between 2001 and 2003, the scope of King Abdullah II’s power was demonstrated with the passing of 110 temporary laws. Two of such laws dealt with election law and were seen to reduce the power of Parliament.

Senators have terms of four years and are appointed by the King and can be reappointed. Prospective Senators must be at least forty years old and have held senior positions in either the government or military. Appointed Senators have included former Prime Ministers and Members of the Chamber of Deputies. Deputies are elected to also serve a four year term. Candidates must be older than thirty-five, cannot have blood ties to the King, and must not have any financial interests in government contracts.

Despite the reforms of 1989, multi-party politics has yet to develop in Jordan. The only political party that plays a role in the legislature is the Islamic Action Front (IAF). Political parties can be seen to represent four sections: Islamists, leftists, Arab nationalists and conservative. There are over 30 other political parties in Jordan including the Jordanian Arab Democratic Party, Jordanian Socialist Party, Muslim Centre Party, but these have little impact on the political process.

Jordan is a small country with limited natural resources. The country is currently exploring ways to expand its limited water supply and use its existing water resources more efficiently, including through regional cooperation. Although Jordan has large oil shale reserves, the country depends on external sources for the majority of its energy requirements. During the 1990s, its crude petroleum needs were met through imports from Iraq and neighboring countries. Since early 2003, oil has been provided by some Gulf Cooperation Council member countries. In addition, the Arab Gas Pipeline from Egypt to the southern port city of Aqaba was completed in 2003. The government plans to extend this pipeline north to the Amman area and beyond. Since 2000, exports of light manufactured products, principally textiles and garments manufactured in the Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ) that enter the United States tariff and quota free, have been driving economic growth. Jordan exported €5.6 million ($6.9 million) in goods to the U.S. in 1997, when two-way trade was €321 million ($395 million); it exported €538 million ($661 million) in 2002 with two-way trade at €855 million ($1.05 billion). Similar growth in exports to the United States under the bilateral US-Jordan Free Trade Agreement that went into effect in December 2001, to the European Union under the bilateral Association Agreement, and to countries in the region, holds considerable promise for diversifying Jordan's economy away from its traditional reliance on exports of phosphates and potash, overseas remittances, and foreign aid. The government has emphasized the information technology (IT) and tourism sectors as other promising growth sectors. The low tax and low regulation Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZA) is considered a model of a government-provided framework for private sector-led economic growth.

The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States that went into effect in December 2001 will phase out duties on nearly all goods and services by 2010. The agreement also provides for more open markets in communications, construction, finance, health, transportation, and services, as well as strict application of international standards for the protection of intellectual property. In 1996, Jordan and the United States signed a civil aviation agreement that provides for open skies between the two countries, and a U.S.-Jordan treaty for the protection and encouragement of bilateral investment entered into force in 2003. Jordan has been a member of the World Trade Organization since 2000.

Textile and clothing exports from Jordan to the United States shot up 2,000 percent from 2000 to 2005, following introduction of the FTA. According to the National Labor Committee, a U.S.-based NGO (Non-Governmental Organization), Jordan has experienced sharp increases in sweatshop conditions in its export-oriented manufacturing sector.

The proportion of skilled workers in Jordan is among the highest in the region. The services sector dominates the Jordanian economy. Tourism is a rapidly growing industry in Jordan with revenues over one billion. Industries such as pharmaceuticals are emerging as very profitable products in Jordan. The Real Estate economy and construction sectors continue to flourish with mass amounts of investments pouring in from the Gulf and Europe. Foreign Direct Investment is in the billions. The stock market capitalization of Jordan is worth nearly $40 billion.

Jordan is classified by the World Bank as a "lower middle income country." The per-capita GDP was approximately USD $5,100 for 2007 and 14.5% of the economically active population, on average, was unemployed in 2003. Education and literacy rates and measures of social well-being are very high compared to other countries with similar incomes. Jordan's population growth rate is high, but has declined in recent years, to approximately 2.8% currently. One of the most important factors in the government’s efforts to improve the well-being of its citizens is the macroeconomic stability that has been achieved since the 1990s. However, unemployment rates remain high, with the official figure standing at 12.5%, and the unofficial around 30%. Rates of price inflation are low, at 2.3% in 2003, and the currency has been stable with an exchange rate fixed to the U.S. dollar since 1995.

By 2003 onwards following the invasion and occupation of Iraq, Jordan lost its vital oil grants provided by the regime of Saddam Hussein. This, combined with soaring world oil prices resulted in an acceleration of inflation and further pressures a gradual undermining of real income. So far the government of Jordan has not found means to reduce dependence on oil (with the exception of gas imports from Egypt).

While pursuing economic reform and increased trade, Jordan's economy will continue to be vulnerable to external shocks and regional unrest. Without calm in the region, economic growth seems destined to stay below potential. On the positive side, however, there is huge potential in the solar energy falling on Jordan's deserts, not only for the generation of pollution-free electricity but also for such spin-offs as desalination of sea water (see Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation (TREC)).

Machaerus (Mukawir in Arabic) was the hilltop stronghold of Herod the Great. Upon Herod's death, his son Herod Antipas inhabited the fortress, and it is here that he ordered John the Baptist to be beheaded.

Umm al-Jimal - the so-called "Black Gem of the Desert" – was once a town on the margins of the Decapolis. Rural and well to do, it was a fitting contrast to the surrounding busy cities. Its black basalt mansions and towers, some still standing three stories high, have long inspired poets. Directions : By car or taxi: Allow one and a half hours to get to Umm al-Jimal, which is approximately 120km away from the capital.

A lonely reminder of former Crusader glory is esh-Shobak Castle, less than an hour north of Petra. Once called "Mont Real", Shobak dates from the same turbulent period as Karak. It is perched on the side of a mountain, with a grand sweep of fruit trees below. The castle's exterior is impressive, with a forbidding gate and encircling triple wall. Despite the precautions of its builder, the fortress fell to Saladin only 75 years after it was raised. Inscriptions by his proud successors appear on the castle wall.

Qusair Amra, one of the best preserved Umayyad Islamic period monuments and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its interior walls and ceilings are covered with unique frescoes, and two of the rooms are paved with colourful mosaics.

The ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict, the Gulf War, and other conflicts in Southwest Asia have made huge impacts on the economy of Jordan. The fact that Jordan has peace with the surrounding countries, combined with its stability, has made it a preference for many Palestinians, Lebanese, and people from the Persian Gulf immigrants and refugees. Though this may have resulted in a more active economy, it has also damaged it by substantially decreasing the amount of resources each person is entitled to. Jordan has a law that states that any Palestinian may immigrate and obtain Jordanian citizenship, but must remit his/her Palestinian claim. Palestinians are not allowed to purchase land unless they give up their Palestinian citizenship. In November 2005, King Abdullah called for a "war on extremism" in the wake of three suicide bombings in Amman.

A report by Strategic Foresight Group has calculated the opportunity cost of conflict for the Middle East from 1991-2010 at a whopping $12 trillion (12,000,000,000,000). Jordan’s share in this is almost $84 billion. In other words had there been peace since 1991, every Jordanian citizen would be earning $4,500 instead of the $2,700 he or she will earn in 2010. Every Jordanian family will also have the opportunity to increase their annual income by more than $1,250 if peace is established in the region and the Arab-Israeli boycott is lifted in full.

The report also outlines how an extremely significant cost to Jordan is that the country is host to millions of refugees who make up 40% of their population and are a drain on 7% of the GDP. Jordan also spends over 5% of its GDP on defence, and has one of the highest numbers of military personnel in the region, 23,500 military personnel per million people.

Jordan has consistently followed a pro-Western foreign policy and traditionally has had close relations with the United States and the United Kingdom. These relations were damaged by Jordan's neutrality and maintaining relations with Iraq during the first Gulf War. Jordan has a well earned reputation for usually following a pragmatic and non-confrontational foreign policy, leading to fair relations with its neighbours.

Following the Gulf War, Jordan largely restored its relations with Western countries through its participation in the Southwest Asia peace process and enforcement of UN sanctions against Iraq. Relations between Jordan and the Gulf countries improved substantially after King Hussein's death. Following the fall of the Iraqi regime, Jordan has played a pivotal role in supporting the restoration of stability and security to Iraq. The Government of Jordan signed a memorandum of understanding with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq to facilitate the training of up to 30,000 Iraqi police cadets at a Jordanian facility.

Jordan signed a non-belligerency agreement with Israel (the Washington Declaration) in Washington, D.C., on 25 July 1994. King Hussein and Yitzhak Rabin negotiated this treaty. Jordan and Israel signed a historic peace treaty on 26 October 1994, witnessed by President Bill Clinton, accompanied by U.S. Secretary, Warren Christopher. The U.S. has participated with Jordan and Israel in trilateral development discussions in which key issues have been water-sharing and security; cooperation on Jordan Rift Valley development; infrastructure projects; and trade, finance, and banking issues. Jordan also participates in the multilateral peace talks. Jordan belongs to the UN and several of its specialized and related agencies, including the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the World Health Organization (WHO). Jordan also is a member of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Nonaligned Movement (NAM), and Arab League.

The culture of Jordan, as in its spoken language, values, beliefs, ethnicities is Arab as the Kingdom is in the heart of Southwest Asia. Although many people from different regions of the world have come to settle in Jordan, like Circassians and Chechens, they have long been assimilated in the society and added their richness to the society that subsequently developed.

Arabic is the official language of Jordan. English is widely understood among most Jordanians, although the degree to which varies with educational level and demographic concentration. Middle and upper class citizens tend to be fluent and consider English as their second language. French is understood by some, especially graduates of the handful of French schools in Jordan. Armenian and other Caucasian languages such as Circassian and Chechen are understood and spoken by their respective communities residing in Jordan with minority schools teaching these languages, alongside Arabic and English.

Jordan has given great attention to education in particular. Its educational system is of international standards and its secondary education program is accepted in world-class universities. It is ranked 89th in the world at 91.1% according to literacy rate.

Private schools in Jordan also used to offer GCSE examinations, but they have now been replaced by IGCSE examinations.

Upon graduation, the ministry of Higher Education, through a system similar to UK tariff points, transforms the grades/marks of these foreign educational programmes into the same marks used in grading Tawjihi students. This system is controversial, both as to the conversion process and the number of places allocated to non-Tawjihi applicants.

Another source of trouble is the system used to transform exam results of foreign education programmes into the Tawjihi scale, which is expressed as a percentage. Again, some see the system as fair or overly lenient to non-Tawjihi graduates, while others see it as unfair.

Access to higher education is open to holders of the General Secondary Education Certificate who can then apply to private community colleges, public community colleges or universities (public and private), the admission to public universities is very competitive. The credit-hour system, which entitles students to select courses according to a study plan, is implemented at universities. At present, there are eight public universities plus two newly licensed ones, and thirteen private universities plus four newly licensed ones. All post-secondary education is the responsibility of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. The Ministry includes the Higher Education Council and the Accreditation Council.

For dependent and other territories, see Dependent territory.

1 Partly or significantly in Europe.  2 The Republic of China (Taiwan) is not officially recognized by the United Nations; see Political status of Taiwan. 3 Partly or significantly in Africa.  4 Partly or wholly reckoned in Oceania.

1Occupied jointly with the United States 2In 1931, Canada and other British dominions obtained self-government through the Statute of Westminster. see Canada's name. 3Gave up self-rule in 1934, but remained a de jure Dominion until it joined Canada in 1949.

To the top



Joe Jordan (footballer)

Joseph "Joe" Jordan (born 15 December 1951 in Carluke) is a Scottish football coach, currently working as one of Harry Redknapp's assistants at Premier League team Tottenham Hotspur. He is also a former professional football forward, who played for Leeds United, Manchester United, and Milan, among others. He and Kenny Dalglish are the only Scottish players to score in three World Cups (1974, 1978 and 1982).

Jordan commenced playing junior football for Blantyre Victoria F.C. at the age of 15. As an apprentice, Jordan combined playing with working as a draughtsman. Jordan eventually moved to Greenock Morton, where he was spotted by a Leeds scout. Jordan moved to Leeds for £15,000 in 1970.

Jordan was an imposing figure throughout his career, as his four upper front teeth had been knocked out whilst playing football for Leeds. He subsequently had dentures fitted which, for safety reasons, he would remove prior to every game, therefore giving him a fearsome toothless grin.

Initially, there was little prospect of Jordan getting first team football, as the partnership of Allan Clarke and Mick Jones was a well established and successful duo.

In 1973, he appeared in the first team on a regular basis, managing 16 League starts and scoring nine goals. However, he was left out of the team which contested the FA Cup final against Sunderland which Leeds lost 1–0. Days later, Don Revie selected him for the European Cup Winners Cup final on 16 May against Milan, which again ended in a 1–0 defeat. In the same month, Jordan played his first game for Scotland, a 1–0 defeat to England at Wembley on 19 May.

Jordan was a regular in the following season, as Leeds coasted to the League title. He scored seven goals in 25 League games and earned nine more Scotland caps by the end of the season, scoring two goals on the way (including one against England at Hampden Park). This ensured his inclusion in the Scotland squad for the 1974 World Cup finals in West Germany.

At the World Cup, Jordan scored the second goal in a 2–0 win over Zaire in the first group game, and a last minute equaliser in a 1–1 draw with Yugoslavia. Scotland finished the group unbeaten, but went out of the competition at the group stage on goal difference.

At Leeds, Mick Jones was fighting a losing battle with a knee injury, and in the 1974–75 season Jordan was finally able to establish himself as the club's main target man. He was in the Leeds team which contested the 1975 European Cup, which Leeds lost 2–0 to Bayern Munich. The match signalled the end of Revie's side; older players began to leave the club, and Jordan found himself at a club in slow decline.

Jordan was still a regular for Scotland, and in 1977 he caused controversy during the decisive World Cup qualifying match between Scotland and Wales. Late in the game, with the scores level, Scotland were attacking in the Wales penalty area when Jordan allegedly handled the ball. The referee, believing the ball to have been handled by a Welsh player, awarded a penalty, from which Scotland scored. The victory meant that Scotland qualified for the World Cup at Wales' expense.

He was selected by Ally MacLeod in the Scotland squad for the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, scoring in the opening 3–1 defeat against Peru. Scotland again failed to qualify beyond the group stage.

In 1978, Leeds agreed a £350,000 pounds fee from rivals Manchester United, and Jordan left for Old Trafford. Jordan had made 135 League appearances and scored 39 goals for Leeds.

Jordan helped Manchester United reach the FA Cup final in 1979, which they lost 3–2 to Arsenal. He remained at Old Trafford until 1981, when he moved to Milan.

In 1982, Jordan was again in the Scotland squad for the World Cup. Scotland once again failed to progress beyond the group stages; however, a personal milestone was achieved when he scored in the 2–2 draw against the USSR. Unfortunately he was injured in the same match, missed the rest of the tournament and never played for his country again. His international career ended with 52 appearances and 11 goals. As a player with more than 50 caps, he holds a permanent place in the Scotland Hall of Fame.

After leaving Milan, he went on to play for Hellas Verona before returning to England to join Southampton in 1984.

He spent three years there as his career wound down, finishing his playing days at Bristol City, for whom he was briefly player-manager.

After an impressive spell at Bristol City which saw the club reach the semi-finals of the League cup, Jordan returned to Scotland afterwards to coach Hearts. He then worked for a time at Celtic, before returning for a second spell in charge of Bristol City, and from there Huddersfield Town and Stoke City. From December 2000 until May 2002, he was assistant to his former Manchester United team-mate Lou Macari at Huddersfield Town.

Jordan was part of Harry Redknapp's backroom team at Portsmouth and continued to coach the team under the management of Velimir Zajec and Alain Perrin. He took over as caretaker manager for two games in November 2005 after Perrin's departure, before Redknapp returned after resigning from Southampton. Jordan left Portsmouth on 7 November 2008 following Redknapp's departure to become manager of Tottenham Hotspur. Jordan followed Redknapp to the club, signing on November 8, 2008.

His son, Tom plays for Eastleigh F.C..

To the top



Source : Wikipedia