Jordan

 

History of Jordan

Jordan Flag
Flag

The emergence of Jordan as a nation started when Nabataens built Petra as the capital of the ancient Arab kingdom between the period 400 B.C.E. and 160 C.E. Mount Nebo which was located in western Jordan was believed by people as the Promised Land prophesied by Moses. Four hundred years of rule of Ottoman Empire collapsed and Britain sought the event to divide the Crescent Land which later on gave birth to modern Jordan.

Among the many Arab countries, Jordan is the only one that allows Palestinians to become citizens. However, there is still a clear differentiation in the society among its people: Bedouins, Palestinians, and Jordanians. To determine one's national identity, each is defined. Jordanians are known as the residents who have lived in the eastern part of the Jordan River prior to 1948. Palestinians are classified as the residents whose birthright can be traced back to western part of the Jordan River while the Bedouins are regarded as the purest Arab residents.

The Bedouins have managed to live in the most traditional way for centuries coping with the reality that they were living in deserts where there was limited source of vegetation and water. They became nomads who were not really concerned about crossing borders. However, their political influence eventually diminished even though they possessed key positions. The rise of Jordanians can be linked to their being hardworking and they put great emphasis on education. It will be no long when Jordan turned into a richer and global economy as they start to play important roles in the modern Arab world.

Geography

Jordan Map Jordan Map - Click for larger view

Jordan is a relatively small country located at the junction of the Levantine and Arabian areas of the Middle East. The country is bordered on the north by Syria, to the east by Iraq, and by Saudi Arabia on the east and south. To the west are Israel and the occupied West Bank, while Jordan's only outlet to the sea, the Gulf of Aqaba, is to the south. Jordan occupies an area of approximately 96,188 square kilometers including the Dead Sea, making it similar in size to Austria or Portugal. However, Jordan's diverse terrain and landscape belie its actual size, demonstrating a variety usually found only in large countries.

Western Jordan has essentially a Mediterranean climate with a hot, dry summer, a cool, wet winter and two short transitional seasons. However, about 75% of the country can be described as having a desert climate with less than 200 mm. of rain annually. Jordan can be divided into three main geographic and climatic areas: the Jordan Valley, the Mountain Heights Plateau, and the eastern desert, or Badia region.

People & Culture

Every country has its own facets and idiosyncrasies and Jordan is no different when it comes to countries that make the Arab world's still Arab. Its neighboring countries have their own stories to tell and Jordan has many. Jordan culture is very integrated and full of complexities. People from different regions like Circassians and Chechens have assimilated their own culture to the richness of Jordan's culture. It is important to note that Jordan is a country that is known for stability and tolerance.

Egypt, Lebanon, the United States and other western countries have greatly influenced the music, cinema, and other forms of entertainment. The quantity of imported movies and music as compared to home-grown movies and TV series in Jordan is still higher.

Alcohol in the streets is strictly forbidden in this part of the world. The local Muslim conservatism should be respected at all times like the way women dress. They are better respected if they wear clothes that cover their shoulders and legs. If you are a tourist, it is polite to ask for permission before photographing the locales. Also, shopping is fun and bargaining can be done in local Arab markets.

The month of Ramadan is celebrated and during this period it is a polite thing to do to be discreet in drinking, eating, and smoking's how Muslims should be respected. If drinking should be discreet in the month of Ramadan, homosexuality is completely unacceptable. Finally, when offered with a meal or a glass of tea the best exchanges, giving of a small gift for instance is required, to respect such customary practice.

Weather and Climate

Jordan Climate
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Jordan has a hot, dry climate characterized by long, hot, dry summers and short, cool winters. The climate is influenced by Jordan's location between the subtropical aridity of the Arabian desert areas and the subtropical humidity of the eastern Mediterranean area.

Public Holidays

Jordan Public Holidays Year 2015
New Year January 1, 2015 Thursday
Memory of Prophet's Birthday (Islamic Holiday) January 3, 2015 Saturday
Labor Day May 1, 2015 Friday
Independence Day May 25, 2015 Monday
Eid El-Fitr (Islamic Holiday, 4 days) July 17, 2015 Friday
Eid El-Adha (Islamic Holiday, 5 days ) September 22, 2015 Tuesday
Islamic New Year October 14, 2015 Wednesday
Christmas Day December 25, 2015 Friday

Travel Advisory

There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Jordan. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution due to civil unrest and demonstrations.