Jordan -- Geography --
Official Name: Jordan
Capital City: Amman
Official Currency: Jordanian dinar (JOD)
Religions: Sunni Muslim (92%),Christian (6%), Other (2%)
Land Area: 92,300 sq km
Landforms: mostly desert plateau in east, highland area in west; Great Rift Valley separates East and West Banks of the Jordan River.
Jordan -- History --
The earlier roots of Jordan as an independent state can be traced back to The Kingdom of Petra, which was founded by The Nabataeans - 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 Syraia and the north of Arabian Peninsula. Beside the Nabataeans, Jordan witnessed many other smaller Ancient kingdoms including Kingdom of Edom, Kingdom of Ammon and Kingdom of Moab which are mentioned in the Bible as well as in many other old scriptures.Jordan has been a part of the Arabic Islamic Empire across its different Caliphates satges including Rashidun Empire, Umayyad Empire and Abbasid Empire. After the declining of The Abbasid, Jordan ruled by several many conflicting powers including Mongol, Crusades, Ayyubid and 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 were required to redraw the borders of the Middle East. 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".
Jordan -- Economy --
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. Jordan also depends on external sources for the majority of its energy requirements. 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. Jordan is classified by the World Bank as a "lower middle income country." The per-capita GDP was approximately $1,817 (€1,479) for 2003 and 14.5% of the economically active population, on average, was unemployed in 2003. The GDP per capita in 2005 is at $USD 4,200.
Jordan -- Culture --
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.
Jordan -- Political system, law and government --
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.