(Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, اَلمَمْلَكَة اَلأُرْدُنِيَّة اَلهَاشِمِيَّة, al-Mamlakah al-ʾUrdunniyyah al-Hāšimiyyah)
- Location: Southwest Asia
- Capital: Amman
- Language(s): Arabic, French, English
- Population: 6,523,432
- Total Area: 92,300 sq km
- Currency: Jordanian Dinar
- Curious Alcohol Fact: There is a local drink called araq and is made with anis.
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 0.70 liter
- Most Popular Drink(s): Fruit juices, locally-produced beers
Jordan is one of the exciting monarchies of the Middle East. The country is located on the banks of the River Jordan and that is to say that the name is not only apt, it is self-descriptive. The capital of the country is Amman, and the neighboring countries are Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq and Israel. The hot but beautiful Arabian Desert covers a significant portion of the country. The country was once colonized by Britain and it was then called the Emirate of Transjordan. Independence came in 1946 and the name was changed to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Apart from the Jordan River, the other prominent geographical feature in the country is the Great Rift Valley, which stretches all the way to the nations of East Africa. Jordan is not a young country in the sense that the nation has been the sites of various ancient civilizations.
Most of the citizens in the desert kingdom are Arabs (mainly Jordanians and those from Palestine and Iraq). Other ethnic groups are the Bedouins, Circassian (Jarkas), Turkmen and Armenians. The most widely used and official language in the country is Arabic while the other languages are Circassian and Armenian. As far as religion is concerned, an overwhelming proportion of Jordanians are Muslims (more than 90%). Christianity and the Baha’i faiths are other beliefs in the country. The standard of living in the kingdom is high and the people are very warm and hospitable. The reigning monarch is King Abdullah II and his consort, Queen Rania is a popular face across the globe and well-known for her charitable projects and advocacy for human rights.
In terms of beauty and splendor, the Kingdom of Jordan is in a class of its own. There are some breath-taking structures that you can see in Jordan only. One place that keeps attracting millions of tourists from all over the world is Petra, and is a place where the Nabateans have built some of the most impressive stone buildings on the planet. Petra, which is a city in the southern region of the country, is full of buildings carved in red stone. You need to see these imposing structures especially the one called the Treasury (or al-Khazneh) to actually appreciate the beauty and grace of the buildings. Apart from the stone buildings in Petra, there are some other sites that you have to visit. These include the Roman ruins in Amman and Umm Qais. Visit Jordan once and you will be tempted to go again.
The meals in Jordan have the distinctive flavor of the Arabs and there is no way you will not salivate upon seeing the dishes alone. The most popular dish in the country is called mansaf, and it is prepared from rice and mutton. In Jordan, there are various local drinks and spirits, which are sold in various bars and restaurants.
Being a country of diverse landscape, one can enjoy an array of sports in Jordan. In the areas close to the water bodies, one can engage in various water sports such as swimming, surfing and diving. Rock climbing and hiking are popular among the tourists. Football and desert racing enjoy huge followership in the country.
- The rulers of the country are said to have descended from the tribe of the Prophet Muhammad (Banu Hashim), hence the name Hashemite Kingdom.
- The Queen of Jordan, Queen Rania is seen as one of the most influential women in the world.
- The ancient city of Petra in the country has some of the most breath-taking structures in the world.
- Jordan has one of the highest living standards in the Middle East.
- Olives are widely cultivated in the country.
Story By World By Shotglass
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Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).
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