Jordan (; Arabic: الْأُرْدُنّ Al-ʾUrdunn [al.ʔur.dunn]), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (Arabic: المملكة الأردنية الهاشمية Al-Mamlakah Al-Urdunnīyah Al-Hāshimīyah), is a sovereign Arab state in Western Asia, on the East Bank of the Jordan River. Jordan is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north, Israel and Palestine to the west. The Dead Sea lies along its western borders and the country has a small shoreline on the Red Sea in its extreme south-west, but is otherwise landlocked. Jordan is strategically located at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe. The capital, Amman, is Jordan's most populous city as well as the country's economic, political and cultural centre.
What is now Jordan has been inhabited by humans since the Paleolithic period. Three stable kingdoms emerged there at the end of the Bronze Age: Ammon, Moab and Edom. Later rulers include the Nabataean Kingdom, the Roman Empire, and the Ottoman Empire. After the Great Arab Revolt against the Ottomans in 1916 during World War I, the Ottoman Empire was partitioned by Britain and France. The Emirate of Transjordan was established in 1921 by the Hashemite, then Emir, Abdullah I, and the emirate became a British protectorate. In 1946, Jordan became an independent state officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, but was renamed in 1949 to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan after the country captured the West Bank during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War and annexed it until it was lost to Israel in 1967. Jordan renounced its claim to the territory in 1988, and became one of two Arab states to have signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994. Jordan is a founding member of the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation. The country is a constitutional monarchy, but the king holds wide executive and legislative powers.
The ancient city of Petra
is an archaeological site in Jordan
, lying in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Wadi Araba
, the great valley running from the Dead Sea
to the Gulf of Aqaba
. It is famous for having many stone structures carved into the rock.
Petra was built by the Nabataeans, an ancient Semetic people, and is best known for the impressive stone structures such as the treasury (pictured) and the monastery which are carved into the rock in the ancient city. Petra today is a popular tourist site, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
Picture of Amman, the capital of Jordan at nighttime. Amman was named one of the MENA's best cities according to economic, labour, environmental, and socio-cultural factors. It is a major tourist destination in the region and the capital is especially popular among Gulf tourists. Amman is considered one of the richest and most Western-oriented cities in the Middle East.
: عبدالله التل
, 1918 – 1973) served in the Transjordanian Arab Legion
during the 1948 war in Palestine
rising from the rank of company commander to become Military Governor of the Old City of Jerusalem
. He was later accused of being involved in the assassination of King Abdullah I
and spent many years in Egypt before returning to Jordan
El-Tell was born into a wealthy family in Irbid just as the Ottoman army were retreating from the town. His mother held him up to the window to witness the soldiers leaving. His secondary education was in Egypt. When he was 18 years old he was jailed for demonstrating against the British.
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||"Jordan itself is a beautiful country. It is wild, with limitless deserts where the Bedouin roam, but the mountains of the north are clothed in green forests, and where the Jordan River flows it is fertile and warm in winter. Jordan has a strange, haunting beauty and a sense of timelessness. Dotted with the ruins of empires once great, it is the last resort of yesterday in the world of tomorrow."
|— King Hussein
Cities of Jordan