Jordan, is a country in the Middle East. Its territory is bordered to the west by Israel and the West Bank along the Jordan River, south by Saudi Arabia, east by Iraq and the north by Syria, with further access to the Dead Sea and the Red Sea through the Gulf of Aqaba.

With 14 other countries, Jordan is part of what is considered the "cradle of humanity".

Many civilizations and kingdoms have succeeded on Jordanian soil, which straddles the Fertile Crescent and the Arabian desert. Some historical peoples have established their capitals as the Ammonites, the Edomites, Moabites. Other civilizations have also dominated this region, including the Akkadians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, and Pharaonic Egypt or the Hasmonean dynasty of the Maccabees. Civilization best known in Jordan was probably the Nabataean civilization that has left a rich archaeological remains as Petra. The Arabic alphabet seems to have been born at Petra.

Western civilizations were also ruled Jordan as Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans. From the seventh century, the region was culturally Muslim and Arab, with the exception of a brief period of domination by the Crusaders and under the British mandate.

Jordan is a Middle East bordered by Syria to the north, Iraq to the northeast, Saudi Arabia to the east and south, and finally Israel and the West Bank to the west. All these border 1619 km. Jordan also has 26 km of coastline along the Gulf of Aqaba and the Dead Sea. The main cities are Amman (1,181,000 inhabitants in 2001), Irbid and Zarqa, all located in the northwest of the country.

Jordan consists mostly of arid desert plateau to the east and a mountainous region in the west. The Great Rift Valley and the Jordan River separates Jordan from Israel. The country's highest point is Jabal Ramm at 1,754 m, while the Dead Sea is the lowest point. The climate is dry and hot, especially on the largest part of the territory occupied by the Arabian desert. However, the country has a rainy season to the west from November to April.

Jordan continues the policy of economic modernization begun by King Hussein in the late 1980s and amplified by his successor, his son, King Abdullah II. In a particularly difficult regional environment, the performance of the Jordanian economy was above expectations. Among the achievements to be recorded as assets of the authorities: improving public sector management, management of privatization, the creation of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone (its port is one of the most effective because of its location ) and special industrial zones (QIZ).

These elements have helped bring the country's economic growth (7.5% in 2005), which is also supported by the position of refuge that knows Jordan for the Iraqi capital, Palestinian or Syrian as well as by external assistance ( primarily American). The Kingdom has welcomed the end of May 2005 for the third consecutive year, the meeting of World Economic Forum on the shores of the Dead Sea.

Jordan has a foreign debt of 7.483 billion dollars in 2008 according and a significant budget deficit. Its tourism sector is sensitive to regional crises. A significant proportion of the population is poor. Jordan also had to suffer the consequences of higher oil prices since the beginning of Year 1.

In addition, Jordan was not affected by the economic crisis of 2008. It has only slowed down in 2009. This has boosted the economy and declining costs of raw materials and basic food production. One consequence of this crisis exportartions lower.

The population of Jordan is estimated at 6,342,948 (2009). About 98% of the population are Arabs. Before the occupation of the West Bank in 1967, about 70% thereof were Palestinians, Currently, there are 1,951,603 Palestinians refugees in the country. Circassians up the bulk of the remaining 2%. Other minority ethnic groups are the Chechens, Turkmen, Kurds and Bosnians.

Islam is the state religion.
According to official estimates, 92% are Sunnis and Christians make up 6% of the population. Christians are mostly Greek Orthodox, but there are also Greek Catholics, Orthodox Copts, Armenian Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox and of a small number of Protestants and Catholics.

The country is also home to Shiites and Druze.

* The site of Petra is a World Heritage by UNESCO since 1985.

Festivals and holidays are set by the Muslim lunar calendar:

* New Year (or Ras al-Am, 1 Muharram)
* Ramadan
* Id al-Fitr: marks the end of Ramadan
* Id al-Adha: the Feast of Sacrifice
* Al-Mawlid al-Nabawi: celebrates the birth of Mohammed

See also Mesopotamia


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