عبد الله الأول بن الحسين VINTAGE KING ABDULLAH I JORDAN 1948 PRESS PHOTO KILLED For Sale


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A vintage photo from 1948 measuring 7 X 8 inches ofAbdullah I bin Al-Husseinعبد الله الأول بن الحسينAbd Allāh Al-Awal ibn Al-Husayn, February 1882 – 20 July 1951 reigned as Emir of Transjordan from 21 April 1921, and as King of Jordan from 25 May 1946, until his assassination. According to Abdullah, he was a 38th-generation direct descendant of Muhammad as he belongs to the Hashemite family.
Born in Mecca, Hejaz, Ottoman Empire, Abdullah was the second of three sons of Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca and his first wife Abdiyya bint Abdullah. He was educated in Istanbul and Hejaz. From 1909 to 1914, Abdullah sat in the Ottoman legislature, as deputy for Mecca, but allied with Britain during World War I. Between 1916 and 1918, he played a key role as architect and planner of the Great Arab Revolt against Ottoman rule that was led by his father Sharif Hussein. Abdullah personally lead guerrilla raids on garrisons.[3]
Abdullah became emir to the Emirate of Transjordan in April 1921, which he established by his own initiative, and became king to its successor state, Jordan, after it gained its independence in 1948. Abdullah ruled until 1951 when he was assassinated in Jerusalem while attending Friday prayers at the entrance of the Al-Aqsa mosque by a Palestinian who feared that the King was going to make peace with Israel.[4] He was succeeded by his son Talal.King Abdullah of Jordan was assassinated at the entrance to the El Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem. His assailant, who was shot dead by the bodyguard, was an Arab who had been a member of a military force associated with the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem.Assassin a follower of the ex-Mufti
King Abdullah of Jordan was assassinated by an Arab yesterday at the entrance to the El Aqsa Mosque, in the Old City of Jerusalem. The assassin, who had hidden behind the main gate of the mosque, shot at close range and was himself immediately shot dead by the King's bodyguard.
The King, who was 69, died instantly. His elder son, the Emir Talal, is undergoing medical treatment abroad, and in his absence the younger son, Prince Naif, took the oath of allegiance as Regent at a meeting of the Council of Ministers. The King's body was flown to the capital, Amman, and will be buried in the Royal Cemetery on Monday. A state of emergency has been proclaimed throughout the country.
The assassin is reported to have been identified as Mustafa Shukri Ashshu, a 21-year-old tailor in the Old City. During the Arab-Jewish war he was a member of the "dynamite squad" attached to the Arab irregular forces which were associated with the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem and became bitter enemies of Abdullah. Information was received at the Jordan Legation in London last night that several men were concerned in the crime.
Search for accomplices
Jordan guards stopped all traffic between the Jordan and Israel sectors of Jerusalem and closed the frontier at noon, fifteen minutes after the assassination. A search was made in the Old City for accomplices. The Aqsa Mosque, where the King was murdered as he was about to attend noon prayers, is within half a mile of the Israeli border.
Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League, said in Alexandria yesterday that he was going to Amman immediately to express the regret of the Arab world. "King Abdullah served the Arab States all his life and the assassination is a crime condemned by every religion." The Regent of Iraq and the Jordan Minister in London will fly to Amman to-day.
Messages of condolence have been sent from the Middle Eastern capitals to the Jordan Royal Family. At the United Nations headquarters in New York, Dr. Ralph Bunche, the former Acting Mediator in Palestine, said: "King Abdullah was a unique personality in the modern world. He was a philosopher and poet, but he was also a realist and politically very astute. He was one of the most c harming men I have ever known. In all my dealings with him in connection with the Palestine dispute, I found him always friendly and reasonable and one whose word could be fully trusted."
General William Riley, Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Commission in Palestine, said: "I regret exceedingly the loss of a very fine individual with whom I have been associated with both personally and officially, on matters pertaining the Palestine problems over the past three years. I have lost a good friend."
A French Foreign Office spokesman said the assassination was seen as an alarming sign of increasing tension and instability in the Middle East. This was more especially so as it followed the killing of Riad Bey es Sohl, the former Premier of the Lebanon, who was assassinated at Amman four days ago.
Four assassinations
King Abdullah is the fourth Moslem leader to be assassinated in four months. General Razmara, the Persian Prime Minister, like King Abdullah, was shot while entering a mosque by a member of the Fidiyan Islam sect on March 7. Twelve days later his close friend Dr Abdul Hamid Zanganeh, a Minister of Education, was shot on the steps of Tehran University, also by a member of Fidiyan Islam.
The third murder was that of Riad es Sohl, in Jordan. He had visited King Abdullah and was on his way to the airport to return to Beirut. His murderers were said to be members of the Syrian Nationalist party.
The Crown Prince Talal, who is 40, is now undergoing medical treatment following a "general health deterioration which has produced nerve weakness." Prince Naif, the new Regent, went to Sandhurst after spending some time in the desert with a nomad tribe. Prince Talal's son, the 14-year-old Prince Hussein, is now studying at Victoria College, Alexandria.
The young King Feisal of Iraq, who is now at school in Britain, is Abdullah's great-nephew. Abdullah's father, King Hussein, was deposed as ruler of the Hejaz by King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, beginning a feud between the two families which ended after 25 years when Abdullah paid a state visit to Saudi Arabia in 1948.
Abdullah's part in stabilising Middle East
The news of the assassination of King Abdullah of Jordan has been received with profound distress and horror in London. A message of sympathy has been sent by the King to the family of King Abdullah.
The kingdom of Jordan was one of the stabilising elements in the Middle East. For this Abdullah was himself primarily responsible. He leaves behind him, however, a strong Government headed by an energetic and competent Prime Minister. It may be hoped, therefore, that the immediate effects on law and order in Jordan may not prove as disastrous as they would probably be in other Arab countries.
The assassin is stated to be an Arab tailor, formerly a member of forces associated with the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem. This might give some indication of the purpose which lay behind the act. The ex-Mufti, who spent part of the war in Berlin giving such assistance as he could to the Germans, has long been a bitter political enemy of King Abdullah. After Britain surrendered the mandate over Palestine the ex-Mufti put himself at the head of a movement to create an Arab State in Palestine.
In 1950, after the fighting between the Arab States and Israel had been brought to an end, King Abdullah formally incorporated within his kingdom that part of Palestine which bordered on Jordan and which was still occupied by his troops. This step was subsequently recognised by the British and American Governments. It naturally provoked the bitter enmity of the ex-Mufti, whose movement for an Arab Palestine State has steadily been losing support ever since. No information has, however, yet reached London connecting the assassination of King Abdullah directly with the ex-Mufti's movement. The ex-Mufti is believed to be in Syria at present.
Mr Churchill said to-day, after learning of the assassination: "I deeply regret the murder of this wise and faithful Arab ruler, who never deserted the cause of Britain and held out the hand of reconciliation to Israel." The Israeli Minister in London commented: "The assassination of King Abdullah has not only deprived the people of Jordan of their monarch but constitutes a serious blow to peace and stability in the Middle East. King Abdullah was a man who worked hard for understanding and peace between Israel and Jordan and whose efforts, if successful, would have contributed much to the welfare and progress of the entire area."
RITTEN BY: The Editors of Encyclopaedia BritannicaSee Article HistoryAlternative Title: ʿAbd Allāh ibn al-ḤusaynʿAbdullāh I, in full ʿAbd Allāh ibn al-Ḥusayn, (born 1882, Mecca—died July 20, 1951, Jerusalem), statesman who became the first ruler (1946–51) of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
ʿAbdullāh, the second son of Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī, the ruler of the Hejaz, was educated in Istanbul in what was then the Ottoman Empire. After the Young Turk Revolution of 1908, he represented Mecca in the Ottoman parliament. Early in 1914 he joined the Arab nationalist movement, which sought independence for Arab territories in the Ottoman Empire. In 1915–16 he played a leading role in clandestine negotiations between the British in Egypt and his father that led to the proclamation (June 10, 1916) of the Arab revolt against the Ottomans.
ʿAbdullāh, the first king of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.ʿAbdullāh, the first king of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.King ʿAbdullāh I of Jordan (left) with his younger son, Nāʾif.King ʿAbdullāh I of Jordan (left) with his younger son, Nāʾif.Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.On March 8, 1920, the Iraqi Congress, an organization of questionable legitimacy, proclaimed ʿAbdullāh constitutional king of Iraq. But he declined the Iraqi throne, which was given to his brother Fayṣal I, whom French troops had driven out of Damascus a year earlier (July 1920). Upon Fayṣal’s ascent to the throne, ʿAbdullāh occupied Transjordan and threatened to attack Syria. He gradually negotiated the legal separation of Transjordan from Britain’s Palestine mandate.
ʿAbdullāh aspired to create a united Arab kingdom encompassing Syria, Iraq, and Transjordan. During World War II (1939–45), he actively sided with the United Kingdom, and his army, the Arab Legion—the most effective military force in the Arab world—took part in the British occupation of Syria and Iraq in 1941. In 1946 Transjordan became independent, and ʿAbdullāh was crowned in Amman on May 25, 1946. He was the only Arab ruler prepared to accept the United Nations’ partitioning of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states (1947). In the war with Israel in May 1948, his armies occupied the region of Palestine due west of the Jordan River, which came to be called the West Bank, and captured east Jerusalem, including much of the Old City. Two years later he annexed the West Bank territory into the kingdom—thereupon changing the name of the country to Jordan. That annexation angered his former Arab allies, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, all of which wanted to see the creation of a Palestinian Arab state on the West Bank. ʿAbdullāh’s popularity at home declined, and he was assassinated by a Palestinian nationalist. The reign of his son Ṭalāl, who suffered from severe mental illness, was brief. A second son, Nāʾif, was passed over, and the throne soon went to Ṭalāl’s son Ḥussein.
Abdullah I bin Al-Hussein (Arabic: عبد الله الأول بن الحسين‎, Abd Allāh Al-Awal ibn Al-Husayn, February 1882 – 20 July 1951) reigned as Emir of Transjordan from 21 April 1921, and as King of Jordan from 25 May 1946, until his assassination. According to Abdullah, he was a 38th-generation direct descendant of Muhammad as he belongs to the Hashemite family.
Born in Mecca, Hejaz, Ottoman Empire, Abdullah was the second of three sons of Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca and his first wife Abdiyya bint Abdullah. He was educated in Istanbul and Hejaz. From 1909 to 1914, Abdullah sat in the Ottoman legislature, as deputy for Mecca, but allied with Britain during World War I. Between 1916 and 1918, he played a key role as architect and planner of the Great Arab Revolt against Ottoman rule that was led by his father Sharif Hussein. Abdullah personally lead guerrilla raids on garrisons.[3]
Abdullah became emir to the Emirate of Transjordan in April 1921, which he established by his own initiative, and became king to its successor state, Jordan, after it gained its independence in 1948. Abdullah ruled until 1951 when he was assassinated in Jerusalem while attending Friday prayers at the entrance of the Al-Aqsa mosque by a Palestinian who feared that the King was going to make peace with Israel.[4] He was succeeded by his son Talal.Contents1 Early political career2 Founding of the Emirate of Transjordan3 Expansionist aspirations4 Assassination5 Marriages and children6 Ancestry7 Titles and honours8 Gallery9 Notes10 References11 External linksEarly political careerIn their Revolt and their Awakening, Arabs never incited sedition or acted out of greed, but called for justice, liberty and national sovereignty.Abdullah's about the Great Arab Revolt [5]In 1910, Abdullah persuaded his father to stand, successfully, for Grand Sharif of Mecca, a post for which Hussein acquired British support. In the following year, he became deputy for Mecca in the parliament established by the Young Turks, acting as an intermediary between his father and the Ottoman government.[6] In 1914, Abdullah paid a clandestine visit to Cairo to meet Lord Kitchener to seek British support for his father's ambitions in Arabia.[7]
Abdullah maintained contact with the British throughout the First World War and in 1915 encouraged his father to enter into correspondence with Sir Henry McMahon, British high commissioner in Egypt, about Arab independence from Turkish rule. (see McMahon-Hussein Correspondence).[6] This correspondence in turn led to the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans.[1] During the Arab Revolt of 1916–18, Abdullah commanded the Arab Eastern Army.[7] Abdullah began his role in the Revolt by attacking the Ottoman garrison at Ta'if on 10 June 1916.[8] The garrison consisted of 3,000 men with ten 75-mm Krupp guns. Abdullah led a force of 5,000 tribesmen but they did not have the weapons or discipline for a full attack. Instead, he laid siege to town. In July, he received reinforcements from Egypt in the form of howitzer batteries manned by Egyptian personnel. He then joined the siege of Medina commanding a force of 4,000 men based to the east and north-east of the town.[9] In early 1917, Abdullah ambushed an Ottoman convoy in the desert, and captured £20,000 worth of gold coins that were intended to bribe the Bedouin into loyalty to the Sultan.[10] In August 1917, Abdullah worked closely with the French Captain Muhammand Ould Ali Raho in sabotaging the Hejaz Railway.[11] Abdullah's relations with the British Captain T. E. Lawrence were not good, and as a result, Lawrence spent most of his time in the Hejaz serving with Abdullah's brother, Faisal, who commanded the Arab Northern Army.[7]
Founding of the Emirate of Transjordan
Abdullah I of Transjordan during the visit to Turkey with Turkish President Mustafa KemalWhen French forces captured Damascus at the Battle of Maysalun and expelled his brother Faisal, Abdullah moved his forces from Hejaz into Transjordan with a view to liberating Damascus, where his brother had been proclaimed King in 1918.[6] Having heard of Abdullah's plans, Winston Churchill invited Abdullah to a famous "tea party" where he convinced Abdullah to stay put and not attack Britain's allies, the French. Churchill told Abdullah that French forces were superior to his and that the British did not want any trouble with the French. On 8 March 1920, Abdullah was proclaimed King of Iraq by the Iraqi Congress but he refused the position. After his refusal, his brother who had just been defeated in Syria, accepted the position.[1]
Although Abdullah established a legislative council in 1928, its role remained advisory, leaving him to rule as an autocrat.[6] Prime Ministers under Abdullah formed 18 governments during the 23 years of the Emirate.
Abdullah set about the task of building Transjordan with the help of a reserve force headed by Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick Peake, who was seconded from the Palestine police in 1921.[6] The force, renamed the Arab Legion in 1923, was led by John Bagot Glubb between 1930 and 1956.[6] During World War II, Abdullah was a faithful British ally, maintaining strict order within Transjordan, and helping to suppress a pro-Axis uprising in Iraq.[6] The Arab Legion assisted in the occupation of Iraq and Syria.[1]
Abdullah negotiated with Britain to gain independence. On 25 May 1946, the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan (renamed the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on 26 April 1949) was proclaimed independent and Abdullah crowned king in Amman.[1]
Expansionist aspirations
King Abdullah declaring the end of the British Mandate and the independence of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, 25 May 1946.Abdullah, alone among the Arab leaders of his generation, was considered a moderate by the West.[citation needed] It is possible that he might have been willing to sign a separate peace agreement with Israel, but for the Arab League's militant opposition. Because of his dream for a Greater Syria within the borders of what was then Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, and the British Mandate for Palestine under a Hashemite dynasty with "a throne in Damascus," many Arab countries distrusted Abdullah and saw him as both "a threat to the independence of their countries and they also suspected him of being in cahoots with the enemy" and in return, Abdullah distrusted the leaders of other Arab countries.[12][13][14]
Abdullah supported the Peel Commission in 1937, which proposed that Palestine be split up into a small Jewish state (20 percent of the British Mandate for Palestine) and the remaining land be annexed into Transjordan. The Arabs within Palestine and the surrounding Arab countries objected to the Peel Commission while the Jews accepted it reluctantly.[15] Ultimately, the Peel Commission was not adopted. In 1947, when the UN supported partition of Palestine into one Jewish and one Arab state, Abdullah was the only Arab leader supporting the decision.[1]
In 1946–48, Abdullah actually supported partition in order that the Arab allocated areas of the British Mandate for Palestine could be annexed into Transjordan. Abdullah went so far as to have secret meetings with the Jewish Agency (future Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir was among the delegates to these meetings) that came to a mutually agreed upon partition plan independently of the United Nations in November 1947.[16] On 17 November 1947, in a secret meeting with Meir, Abdullah stated that he wished to annex all of the Arab parts as a minimum, and would prefer to annex all of Palestine.[17][18] This partition plan was supported by British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin who preferred to see Abdullah's territory increased at the expense of the Palestinians rather than risk the creation of a Palestinian state headed by the Mufti of Jerusalem Mohammad Amin al-Husayni.[6][19]
No people on earth have been less "anti-Semitic" than the Arabs. The persecution of the Jews has been confined almost entirely to the Christian nations of the West. Jews, themselves, will admit that never since the Great Dispersion did Jews develop so freely and reach such importance as in Spain when it was an Arab possession. With very minor exceptions, Jews have lived for many centuries in the Middle East, in complete peace and friendliness with their Arab neighbours.Abdullah's essay titled "As the Arabs see the Jews" in The American Magazine, six months before the onset of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War[20]The claim has, however, been strongly disputed by Israeli historian Efraim Karsh. In an article in Middle East Quarterly, he alleged that "extensive quotations from the reports of all three Jewish participants [at the meetings] do not support Shlaim's account...the report of Ezra Danin and Eliahu Sasson on the Golda Meir meeting (the most important Israeli participant and the person who allegedly clinched the deal with Abdullah) is conspicuously missing from Shlaim's book, despite his awareness of its existence".[21] According to Karsh, the meetings in question concerned "an agreement based on the imminent U.N. Partition Resolution, [in Meir's words] "to maintain law and order until the UN could establish a government in that area"; namely, a short-lived law enforcement operation to implement the UN Partition Resolution, not obstruct it".[21]
On 4 May 1948, Abdullah, as a part of the effort to seize as much of Palestine as possible, sent in the Arab Legion to attack the Israeli settlements in the Etzion Bloc.[17] Less than a week before the outbreak of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Abdullah met with Meir for one last time on 11 May 1948.[17] Abdullah told Meir, "Why are you in such a hurry to proclaim your state? Why don't you wait a few years? I will take over the whole country and you will be represented in my parliament. I will treat you very well and there will be no war".[17] Abdullah proposed to Meir the creation "of an autonomous Jewish canton within a Hashemite kingdom," but "Meir countered back that in November, they had agreed on a partition with Jewish statehood."[22] Depressed by the unavoidable war that would come between Jordan and the Yishuv, one Jewish Agency representative wrote, "[Abdullah] will not remain faithful to the 29 November [UN Partition] borders, but [he] will not attempt to conquer all of our state [either]."[23] Abdullah too found the coming war to be unfortunate, in part because he "preferred a Jewish state [as Transjordan's neighbor] to a Palestinian Arab state run by the mufti."[22]King Abdullah welcomed by Palestinian Christian in East Jerusalem on 29 May 1948, the day after his forces took control over the city.The Palestinian Arabs, the neighboring Arab states, and the promise of the expansion of territory and the goal to conquer Jerusalem finally pressured Abdullah into joining them in an "all-Arab military intervention" against the newly created State of Israel on 15 May 1948, which he used to restore his prestige in the Arab world, which had grown suspicious of his relatively good relationship with Western and Jewish leaders.[22][24] Abdullah was especially anxious to take Jerusalem as compensation for the loss of the guardianship of Mecca, which had traditionally been held by the Hashemites until Ibn Saud seized the Hejaz in 1925.[25] Abdullah's role in this war became substantial. He distrusted the leaders of the other Arab nations and thought they had weak military forces; the other Arabs distrusted Abdullah in return.[26][27] He saw himself as the "supreme commander of the Arab forces" and "persuaded the Arab League to appoint him" to this position.[28] His forces under their British commander Glubb Pasha did not approach the area set aside for the new Israel, though they clashed with the Yishuv forces around Jerusalem, intended to be an international zone. According to Abdullah el-Tell it was the King's personal intervention that led to the Arab Legion entering the Old City against Glubb's wishes.
After conquering the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, at the end of the war, King Abdullah tried to suppress any trace of a Palestinian Arab national identity. Abdullah annexed the conquered Palestinian territory and granted the Palestinian Arab residents in Jordan Jordanian citizenship.[1][29] In 1949, Abdullah entered secret peace talks with Israel, including at least five with Moshe Dayan, the Military Governor of West Jerusalem and other senior Israelis.[30] News of the negotiations provoked a strong reaction from other Arab States and Abdullah agreed to discontinue the meetings in return for Arab acceptance of the West Bank's annexation into Jordan.[31]
King Abdullah with Glubb Pasha, the day before his assassination, 19 July 1951.On 16 July 1951, Riad Bey Al Solh, a former Prime Minister of Lebanon, had been assassinated in Amman, where rumours were circulating that Lebanon and Jordan were discussing a joint separate peace with Israel.
96 hours later, on 20 July 1951, while visiting Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Abdullah was shot dead by a Palestinian from the Husseini clan,[24] who had passed through apparently heavy security. Contemporary media reports attributed the assassination to a secret order based in Jerusalem known only as "the Jihad".[32] Abdullah was in Jerusalem to give a eulogy at the funeral and for a prearranged meeting with Reuven Shiloah and Moshe Sasson.[33] He was shot while attending Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque in the company of his grandson, Prince Hussein. The Palestinian gunman fired three fatal bullets into the King's head and chest. Abdullah's grandson, Prince Hussein, was at his side and was hit too. A medal that had been pinned to Hussein's chest at his grandfather's insistence deflected the bullet and saved his life.[34] Once Hussein became king, the assassination of Abdullah was said to have influenced Hussein not to enter peace talks with Israel in the aftermath of the Six-Day War in order to avoid a similar fate.[35]
The assassin, who was shot dead by the king's bodyguards, was a 21-year-old tailor's apprentice named Mustafa Shukri Ashu.[36][37] According to Alec Kirkbride, the British Resident in Amman, Ashu was a "former terrorist", recruited for the assassination by Zakariyya Ukah, a livestock dealer and butcher.[38]
Ashu was killed; the revolver used to kill the king was found on his body, as well as a talisman with "Kill, thou shalt be safe" written on it in Arabic. The son of a local coffeeshop owner named Abdul Qadir Farhat identified the revolver as belonging to his father. On August 11, the Prime Minister of Jordan announced that ten men would be tried in connection with the assassination. These suspects included Colonel Abdullah at-Tell, who has been Governor of Jerusalem, and several others including Musa Ahmad al-Ayubbi, a Jerusalem vegetable merchant who had fled to Egypt in the days following the assassination. General Abdul Qadir Pasha Al Jundi of the Arab Legion was to preside over the trial, which began on August 18. Ayubbi and at-Tell, who had fled to Egypt, were tried and sentenced in absentia. Three of the suspects, including Musa Abdullah Husseini, were from the prominent Palestinian Husseini family, leading to speculation that the assassins were part of a mandate era opposition group.[39]
The Jordanian prosecutor asserted that Colonel el-Tell, who had been living in Cairo since January 1950, had given instructions that the killer, made to act alone, be slain at once thereafter, to shield the instigators of the crime. Jerusalem sources added that Col. el-Tell had been in close contact with the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husayni, and his adherents in the Kingdom of Egypt and in the All-Palestine protectorate in Gaza. El-Tell and Husseini, and three co-conspirators from Jerusalem, were sentenced to death. On 6 September 1951, Musa Ali Husseini, 'Aoffer and Zakariyya Ukah, and Abd-el-Qadir Farhat were executed by hanging.[40]
Abdullah is buried at the Royal Court in Amman.[41] He was succeeded by his son Talal; however, since Talal was mentally ill, Talal's son Prince Hussein became the effective ruler as King Hussein at the age of seventeen. In 1967, el-Tell received a full pardon from King Hussein.
Marriages and childrenAbdullah married three times.[42]
In 1904, Abdullah married his first wife, Musbah bint Nasser (1884 – 15 March 1961), at Stinia Palace, İstinye, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire. She was a daughter of Emir Nasser Pasha and his wife, Dilber Khanum. They had three children:
Princess Haya (1907–1990). Married Abdul-Karim Ja'afar Zeid Dhaoui.King Talal I (26 February 1909 – 7 July 1972).Princess Munira (1915–1987). Never married.In 1913, Abdullah married his second wife, Suzdil Khanum (d. 16 August 1968), at Istanbul, Turkey. They had two children:
Prince Nayef bin Abdullah (14 November 1914 – 12 October 1983; A Colonel of the Royal Jordanian Land Force. Regent for his older half-brother, Talal, from 20 July to 3 September 1951). Married in Cairo or Amman on 7 October 1940 Princess Mihrimah Selcuk Sultan (11 November 1922 – March 2000, Amman, and buried in Istanbul on 2 April 2000), daughter of Prince Şehzade Mehmed Ziyaeddin (1873–1938) and his fifth wife, Neshemend Hanım (1905–1934), and paternal granddaughter of Mehmed V through his first wife.Princess Maqbula (6 February 1921 – 1 January 2001); married Hussein bin Nasser, Prime Minister of Jordan (terms 1963–64, 1967).In 1949, Abdullah married his third wife, Nahda bint Uman, a lady from Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, in Amman. They had one child:
Princess Naifeh (1950–000[when?]); married Samer Ashour.Ancestryvte Hashemites[43][44]
Titles and honours
This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (May 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)Styles ofKing Abdullah I of Jordanformerly Emir of TransjordanCoat of arms of Jordan.svgReference style His MajestySpoken style Your MajestyAlternative style SirHis Royal Highness Prince Abdullah of Mecca and Hejaz (1882–1921)His Highness the Emir of Transjordan (1921–46)His Majesty the King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (1946–51)
Postage stamp, Transjordan, 1930.Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE), 1920UK OBE 1917 civil BAR.svgGrand Cordon of the Order of the Two Rivers, 1922Ord.2River-ribbon.gifGrand Master of the Order of the Hashemites, 1932Order of the Hashemites (Iraq) - ribbon bar.gifFounding Grand Master of the Order of al-Hussein bin AliJOR Al-Hussein ibn Ali Order BAR.svgGrand Master of the Supreme Order of the RenaissanceJordan004.gifGrand Master of the Order of IndependenceOrder of Independence Jordan.svgOrder of Faisal I, 1st Class, 1932Order of Faisal I (Iraq) - ribbon bar.gifHonorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG), 1935 (KCMG-1927)UK Order St-Michael St-George ribbon.svgKing George V Silver Jubilee Medal, George VI Coronation Medal, 1937GeorgeVICoronationRibbon.pngCollar of the Order of Muhammad Ali of the Kingdom of Egypt, 1948Order of Muhammad Ali (Egipt) - ribbon bar.gifGrand Collar of the Order of Pahlavi of the Empire of Iran, 1949Order of Pahlavi (Iran).gifGrand Cross of the Order of Military Merit (with white distinctive) of Francoist Spain, 6 September 1949[45]ESP Gran Cruz Merito Militar (Distintivo Blanco) pasador.svgGrand Cordon of the Order of Umayyad of Syria, 1950Order Of Ummayad (Syria) - ribbon bar.gif
Jordan (Arabic: الأردن; tr. Al-ʾUrdunn [al.ʔur.dunː]), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,[a] is a country in Western Asia. It is situated at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe,[8] within the Levant region, on the East Bank of the Jordan River. Jordan is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south and east, Iraq to the northeast, Syria to the north, and the Palestinian West Bank, Israel, and the Dead Sea to the west. It has a 26 km (16 mi) coastline on the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea to the southwest. The Gulf of Aqaba separates Jordan from Egypt.[9] Amman is Jordan's capital and largest city, as well as its economic, political, and cultural centre.[10]
Modern-day 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 Assyrian Empire, Babylonian Empire, Nabataean Kingdom, the Persian Empire, the Roman Empire, the Rashidun, Umayyad, and Abbasid Caliphates, 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 it 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 the second Arab state to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1994.[11] Jordan is a founding member of the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation. The sovereign state is a constitutional monarchy, but the king holds wide executive and legislative powers.
Jordan is a semi-arid country, covering an area of 89,342 km2 (34,495 sq mi), with a population of 10 million, making it the eleventh-most populous Arab country. The dominant majority, or around 95% of the country's population, is Sunni Muslim, with a mostly Arab Christian minority. Jordan has been repeatedly referred to as an "oasis of stability" in the turbulent region of the Middle East. It has been mostly unscathed by the violence that swept the region following the Arab Spring in 2010.[12] From as early as 1948, Jordan has accepted refugees from multiple neighbouring countries in conflict. An estimated 2.1 million Palestinian and 1.4 million Syrian refugees are present in Jordan as of a 2015 census.[4] The kingdom is also a refuge to thousands of Christian Iraqis fleeing persecution by the Islamic State.[13][14] While Jordan continues to accept refugees, the recent large influx from Syria placed substantial strain on national resources and infrastructure.[15]
Jordan has a high Human Development Index, ranking 102nd, and is considered an upper middle income economy. The Jordanian economy, one of the smallest economies in the region, is attractive to foreign investors based upon a skilled workforce.[16] The country is a major tourist destination, also attracting medical tourism due to its well developed health sector.[17] Nonetheless, a lack of natural resources, large flow of refugees and regional turmoil have hampered economic growth.[18]Contents1 Etymology2 History2.1 Ancient period2.2 Classical period2.3 Islamic era2.4 Modern era2.5 Post-independence3 Geography3.1 Climate3.2 Biodiversity4 Politics and government4.1 Largest cities4.2 Administrative divisions4.3 Foreign relations4.4 Military4.5 Law enforcement5 Economy5.1 Transportation5.2 Tourism5.3 Natural resources5.4 Industry5.5 Science and technology6 Demographics6.1 Refugees, immigrants and expatriates6.2 Religion6.3 Languages6.4 Health and education7 Culture7.1 Art and museums7.2 Sports7.3 Cuisine8 See also9 Notes10 References10.1 Sources11 Further reading12 External linksEtymologySee also: Jordan River § EtymologyJordan takes its name from the Jordan River which forms much of the country's northwestern border.[19] While several theories for the origin of the river's name have been proposed, it is most plausible that it derives from the Hebrew word Yarad (Hebrew: ירד), meaning "the descender", reflecting the river's declivity.[20] Much of the area that makes up modern Jordan was historically called Transjordan, meaning "across the Jordan", used to denote the lands east of the river.[20] The Hebrew Bible (the founding holy text of Judaism, also referred to by Christians as the Old Testament) refers to the area as Hebrew: עבר הירדן, romanized: Ever ha'Yarden, lit. 'The other side of the Jordan'.[20] Early Arab chronicles referred to the river as Al-Urdunn, corresponding to the Hebrew Yarden.[21] Jund Al-Urdunn was a military district around the river in the early Islamic era.[21] Later, during the Crusades in the beginning of the second millennium, a lordship was established in the area under the name of Oultrejordain.[22]
HistoryMain article: History of JordanAncient period
The 'Ain Ghazal Statues (c. 7250 BC) of Amman are some of the oldest human statues ever found.The oldest known evidence of hominid habitation in Jordan dates back at least 200,000 years.[23] Jordan is rich in Paleolithic remains (up to 20,000 years old) due to its location within the Levant where expansions of hominids out of Africa converged.[24] Past lakeshore environments attracted different hominids, and several remains of tools have been found from this period.[24] Scientists have found the world's oldest known evidence of bread-making in a 14,500 year-old Natufian site in Jordan's northeastern desert.[25] A transition from hunter-gatherer culture to establishing populous agricultural villages occurred during the Neolithic period (10,000–4,500 BC).[26] 'Ain Ghazal, one such village located at a site in the east of present-day Amman, is one of the largest known prehistoric settlements in the Near East.[27] Dozens of plaster statues of the human form dating to 7250 BC or earlier have been uncovered there; they are "among the earliest large-scale representations of the human form" ever found.[28] Other than the usual Chalcolithic (4500–3600 BC) villages such as Tulaylet Ghassul in the Jordan Valley,[29] a series of circular stone enclosures in the eastern basalt desert−whose purpose remains uncertain–have baffled archaeologists.[30]The Mesha Stele (c. 840 BC) records the glory of Mesha, King of MoabFortified towns and urban centers first emerged in the southern Levant early on in the Bronze Age (3600–1200 BC).[31] Wadi Feynan became a regional centre for copper extraction - the metal was exploited on a large-scale to produce bronze.[32] Trade and movement of people in the Middle East peaked, spreading and refining civilizations.[33] Villages in Transjordan expanded rapidly in areas with reliable water-resources and agricultural land.[33] Ancient Egyptians expanded towards the Levant and came to control both banks of the Jordan River.[34]
During the Iron Age (1200–332 BC) after the withdrawal of the Egyptians, Transjordan was home to the Kingdoms of Ammon, Edom and Moab.[35] The peoples of these kingdoms spoke Semitic languages of the Canaanite group; their polities are considered[by whom?] to be tribal kingdoms rather than states.[35] Ammon was located in the Amman plateau; Moab in the highlands east of the Dead Sea; and Edom in the area around Wadi Araba in the south.[35] The northwestern region of the Transjordan, known then as Gilead, was settled by the Israelites.[36] The Transjordanian kingdoms of Ammon, Edom and Moab continually clashed with the neighboring Hebrew kingdoms of Israel and Judah, centered west of the Jordan River.[37] One record of this is the Mesha Stele, erected by the Moabite king Mesha in 840 BC; on it he lauds himself for the building projects that he initiated in Moab and commemorates his glory and victory against the Israelites.[38] The stele constitutes one of the most important archeological parallels of accounts recorded in the Bible.[39] At the same time, Israel and the Kingdom of Aram-Damascus competed for control of the Gilead.[40][41]
Around 740 to 720 BC Israel and Aram Damascus were conquered by the Neo-Assyrian Empire. The kingdoms of Ammon, Edom & Moab were subjugated, but were allowed to maintain some degree of independence.[42] Babylonians took over the Assyrians' empire after its disintegration in 627 BC.[42] Although the kingdoms supported the Babylonians against Judah in the 597 BC sack of Jerusalem, they rebelled against Babylon a decade later.[42] The kingdoms were reduced to vassals, a status they retained under the Persian and Hellenic Empires.[42] By the beginning of Roman rule around 63 BC, the kingdoms of Ammon, Edom and Moab had lost their distinct identities, and were assimilated into the Roman culture.[35] Some Edomites survived longer - driven by the Nabataeans, they had migrated to southern Judea, which became known as Idumaea; They were later converted to Judaism by the Hasmoneans.[43]
Classical period
Al-Khazneh in Petra (c. 1st century AD), is believed to be the mausoleum of the Arab Nabataean King Aretas IV.Alexander the Great's conquest of the Persian Empire in 332 BC introduced Hellenistic culture to the Middle East.[44] After Alexander's death in 323 BC, the empire split among his generals, and in the end much of Transjordan was disputed between the Ptolemies based in Egypt and the Seleucids based in Syria.[44] The Nabataeans, nomadic Arabs based south of Edom, managed to establish an independent kingdom in 169 BC by exploiting the struggle between the two Greek powers.[44] The Nabataean Kingdom controlled much of the trade routes of the region, and it stretched south along the Red Sea coast into the Hejaz desert, up to as far north as Damascus, which it controlled for a short period (85–71) BC.[45] The Nabataeans massed a fortune from their control of the trade routes, often drawing the envy of their neighbours.[46] Petra, Nabataea's barren capital, flourished in the 1st century AD, driven by its extensive water irrigation systems and agriculture.[47] The Nabataeans were also talented stone carvers, building their most elaborate structure, Al-Khazneh, in the first century AD.[48] It is believed to be the mausoleum of the Arab Nabataean King Aretas IV.[48]
Roman legions under Pompey conquered much of the Levant in 63 BC, inaugurating a period of Roman rule that lasted four centuries.[49] In 106 AD, Emperor Trajan annexed Nabataea unopposed, and rebuilt the King's Highway which became known as the Via Traiana Nova road.[49] The Romans gave the Greek cities of Transjordan–Philadelphia (Amman), Gerasa (Jerash), Gedara (Umm Quays), Pella (Tabaqat Fahl) and Arbila (Iroffer)–and other Hellenistic cities in Palestine and southern Syria, a level of autonomy by forming the Decapolis, a ten-city league.[50] Jerash is one of the best preserved Roman cities in the East; it was even visited by Emperor Hadrian during his journey to Palestine.[51]The Oval Forum of Jerash (c. 1st century AD), then member of the ten-city Roman league, the Decapolis. Seven out of the ten Decapolis cities are present in modern-day Jordan.In 324 AD, the Roman Empire split and the Eastern Roman Empire–later known as the Byzantine Empire–continued to control or influence the region until 636 AD.[52] Christianity had become legal within the empire in 313 AD after Emperor Constantine the Great converted to Christianity.[52] The Edict of Thessalonica made Christianity the official state religion in 380 AD. Transjordan prospered during the Byzantine era, and Christian churches were built everywhere.[53] The Aqaba Church in Ayla was built during this era, it is considered to be the world's first purpose built Christian church.[54] Umm ar-Rasas in southern Amman contains at least 16 Byzantine churches.[55] Meanwhile, Petra's importance declined as sea trade routes emerged, and after a 363 earthquake destroyed many structures, it declined further, eventually being abandoned.[48] The Sassanian Empire in the east became the Byzantines' rivals, and frequent confrontations sometimes led to the Sassanids controlling some parts of the region, including Transjordan.[56]
Islamic eraIn 629 AD, during the Battle of Mu'tah in what is today Al-Karak, the Byzantines and their Arab Christian clients, the Ghassanids, staved off an attack by a Muslim Rashidun force that marched northwards towards the Levant from the Hejaz (in modern-day Saudi Arabia).[57] The Byzantines however were defeated by the Muslims in 636 AD at the decisive Battle of Yarmouk just north of Transjordan.[57] Transjordan was an essential territory for the conquest of Damascus.[58] The first, or Rashidun, caliphate was followed by that of the Ummayads (661–750).[58] Under the Umayyad Caliphate, several desert castles were constructed in Transjordan, including: Qasr Al-Mshatta and Qasr Al-Hallabat.[58] The Abbasid Caliphate's campaign to take over the Umayyad's began in Transjordan.[59] A powerful 749 AD earthquake is thought to have contributed to the Umayyads defeat to the Abbasids, who moved the caliphate's capital from Damascus to Baghdad.[59] During Abbasid rule (750–969), several Arab tribes moved northwards and settled in the Levant.[58] As had happened during the Roman era, growth of maritime trade diminished Transjordan's central position, and the area became increasingly impoverished.[60] After the decline of the Abbasids, Transjordan was ruled by the Fatimid Caliphate (969–1070), then by the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem (1115–1187).[61]The Karak Castle (c. 12th century AD) built by the Crusaders, and later expanded under the Muslim Ayyuoffers and Mamluks
The Ajloun Castle (c. 12th century AD) built by the Ayyuoffer leader Saladin for use against the CrusadesThe Crusaders constructed several Crusader castles as part of the Lordship of Oultrejordain, including those of Montreal and Al-Karak.[62] The Ayyuoffers built the Ajloun Castle and rebuilt older castles, to be used as military outposts against the Crusaders.[63] During the Battle of Hattin (1187) near Lake Tiberias just north of Transjordan, the Crusaders lost to Saladin, the founder of the Ayyuoffer dynasty (1187–1260).[63] Villages in Transjordan under the Ayyuoffers became important stops for Muslim pilgrims going to Mecca who travelled along the route that connected Syria to the Hejaz.[64] Several of the Ayyuoffer castles were used and expanded by the Mamluks (1260–1516), who divided Transjordan between the provinces of Karak and Damascus.[65] During the next century Transjordan experienced Mongol attacks, but the Mongols were ultimately repelled by the Mamluks after the Battle of Ain Jalut (1260).[66]
In 1516, the Ottoman Caliphate's forces conquered Mamluk territory.[67] Agricultural villages in Transjordan witnessed a period of relative prosperity in the 16th century, but were later abandoned.[68] Transjordan was of marginal importance to the Ottoman authorities.[69] As a result, Ottoman presence was virtually absent and reduced to annual tax collection visits.[68] More Arab Bedouin tribes moved into Transjordan from Syria and the Hejaz during the first three centuries of Ottoman rule, including the Adwan, the Bani Sakhr and the Howeitat.[70] These tribes laid claims to different parts of the region, and with the absence of a meaningful Ottoman authority, Transjordan slid into a state of anarchy that continued till the 19th century.[71] This led to a short-lived occupation by the Wahhabi forces (1803–1812), an ultra-orthodox Islamic movement that emerged in Najd (in modern-day Saudi Arabia).[72] Ibrahim Pasha, son of the governor of the Egypt Eyalet under the request of the Ottoman sultan, rooted out the Wahhabis by 1818.[73] In 1833 Ibrahim Pasha turned on the Ottomans and established his rule over the Levant.[74] His oppressive policies led to the unsuccessful peasants' revolt in Palestine in 1834.[74] Transjordanian cities of Al-Salt and Al-Karak were destroyed by Ibrahim Pasha's forces for harboring a peasants' revolt leader.[74] Egyptian rule was forcibly ended in 1841, with Ottoman rule restored.[74]The earliest detailed map of the land which became Jordan, showing the travels of Johann Ludwig Burckhardt (the first European to see Petra since the Crusades) in 1822Only after Ibrahim Pasha's campaign did the Ottoman Empire try to solidify its presence in the Syria Vilayet, which Transjordan was part of.[75] A series of tax and land reforms (Tanzimat) in 1864 brought some prosperity back to agriculture and to abandoned villages; the end of virtually autonomy predictably provoked a backlash in other areas of Transjordan.[75] Muslim Circassians and Chechens, fleeing Russian persecution, sought refuge in the Levant.[76] In Transjordan and with Ottoman support, Circassians first settled in the long-abandoned vicinity of Amman in 1867, and later in the surrounding villages.[76] After having established its administration, conscription and heavy taxation policies by the Ottoman authorities led to revolts in the areas it controlled.[77] Transjordan's tribes in particular revolted during the Shoubak (1905) and the Karak Revolts (1910), which were brutally suppressed.[76] The construction of the Hejaz Railway in 1908–stretching across the length of Transjordan and linking Mecca with Istanbul helped the population economically, as Transjordan became a stopover for pilgrims.[76] However, increasing policies of Turkification and centralization adopted by the Ottoman Empire disenchanted the Arabs of the Levant.
Modern eraMain article: Emirate of Transjordan
Soldiers of the Hashemite-led Arab Army holding the flag of the Great Arab Revolt in 1916Four centuries of stagnation during Ottoman rule came to an end during World War I by the 1916 Arab Revolt, driven by long-term resentment towards the Ottoman authorities and growing Arab nationalism.[76] The revolt was led by Sharif Hussein of Mecca, and his sons Abdullah, Faisal and Ali, members of the Hashemite family of the Hejaz, descendants of the Prophet Muhammad.[76] Locally, the revolt garnered the support of the Transjordanian tribes, including Bedouins, Circassians and Christians.[78] The Allies of World War I, including Britain and France, whose imperial interests converged with the Arabist cause, offered support.[79] The revolt started on 5 June 1916 from Medina and pushed northwards until the fighting reached Transjordan in the Battle of Aqaba on 6 July 1917.[80] The revolt reached its climax when Faisal entered Damascus in October 1918, and established an Arab-led military administration in OETA East, later declared as the Arab Kingdom of Syria, both of which Transjordan was part of.[78] During this period, the southernmost region of the country, including Ma'an and Aqaba, was also claimed by the neighbouring Kingdom of Hejaz.
The nascent Hashemite Kingdom over Greater Syria was forced to surrender to French troops on 24 July 1920 during the Battle of Maysalun;[81] the French occupied only the northern part of the Syrian Kingdom, leaving Transjordan in a period of interregnum. Arab aspirations failed to gain international recognition, due mainly to the secret 1916 Sykes–Picot Agreement, which divided the region into French and British spheres of influence, and the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which promised Palestine to Jews.[82] This was seen by the Hashemites and the Arabs as a betrayal of their previous agreements with the British,[83] including the 1915 McMahon–Hussein Correspondence, in which the British stated their willingness to recognize the independence of a unified Arab state stretching from Aleppo to Aden under the rule of the Hashemites.[84]Al-Salt residents gather on 20 August 1920 during the British High Commissioner's visit to Transjordan.The British High Commissioner, Herbert Samuel, travelled to Transjordan on 21 August 1920 to meet with Al-Salt's residents. He there declared to a crowd of six hundred Transjordanian notables that the British government would aid the establishment of local governments in Transjordan, which is to be kept separate from that of Palestine. The second meeting took place in Umm Qais on 2 September, where the British government representative Major Fitzroy Somerset received a petition that demanded: an independent Arab government in Transjordan to be led by an Arab prince (emir); land sale in Transjordan to Jews be stopped as well as the prevention of Jewish immigration there; that Britain establish and fund a national army; and that free trade be maintained between Transjordan and the rest of the region.[85]
Abdullah, the second son of Sharif Hussein, arrived from Hejaz by train in Ma'an in southern Transjordan on 21 November 1920 to redeem the Greater Syrian Kingdom his brother had lost.[86] Transjordan then was in disarray, widely considered to be ungovernable with its dysfunctional local governments.[87] Abdullah gained the trust of Transjordan's tribal leaders before scrambling to convince them of the benefits of an organized government.[88] Abdullah's successes drew the envy of the British, even when it was in their interest.[89] The British reluctantly accepted Abdullah as ruler of Transjordan after having given him a six-month trial.[90] In March 1921, the British decided to add Transjordan to their Mandate for Palestine, in which they would implement their "Sharifian Solution" policy without applying the provisions of the mandate dealing with Jewish settlement. On 11 April 1921, the Emirate of Transjordan was established with Abdullah as Emir.[91]
In September 1922, the Council of the League of Nations recognized Transjordan as a state under the terms of the Transjordan memorandum.[92][93] Transjordan remained a British mandate until 1946, but it had been granted a greater level of autonomy than the region west of the Jordan River.[94] Multiple difficulties emerged upon the assumption of power in the region by the Hashemite leadership.[95] In Transjordan, small local rebellions at Kura in 1921 and 1923 were suppressed by the Emir's forces with the help of the British.[95] Wahhabis from Najd regained strength and repeatedly raided the southern parts of his territory in (1922–1924), seriously threatening the Emir's position.[95] The Emir was unable to repel those raids without the aid of the local Bedouin tribes and the British, who maintained a military base with a small RAF detachment close to Amman.[95]
Post-independenceMain article: Timeline of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
King Abdullah I on 25 May 1946 reading the declaration of independence.The Treaty of London, signed by the British Government and the Emir of Transjordan on 22 March 1946, recognised the independence of Transjordan upon ratification by both countries' parliaments.[96] On 25 May 1946, the day that the treaty was ratified by the Transjordan parliament, Transjordan was raised to the status of a kingdom under the name of the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, with Abdullah as its first king.[97] The name was shortened to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on 26 April 1949.[11] 25 May is now celebrated as the nation's Independence Day, a public holiday.[98] Jordan became a member of the United Nations on 14 December 1955.[11]
On 15 May 1948, as part of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Jordan intervened in Palestine together with many other Arab states.[99] Following the war, Jordan controlled the West Bank and on 24 April 1950 Jordan formally annexed these territories after the Jericho conference.[100][101] In response, some Arab countries demanded Jordan's expulsion from the Arab League.[100] On 12 June 1950, the Arab League declared that the annexation was a temporary, practical measure and that Jordan was holding the territory as a "trustee" pending a future settlement.[102] King Abdullah was assassinated at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1951 by a Palestinian militant, amid rumors he intended to sign a peace treaty with Israel.[103]
Abdullah was succeeded by his son Talal, who would soon abdicate due to illness in favour of his eldest son Hussein.[104] Talal established the country's modern constitution in 1952.[104] Hussein ascended to the throne in 1953 at the age of 17.[103] Jordan witnessed great political uncertainty in the following period.[105] The 1950s were a period of political upheaval, as Nasserism and Pan-Arabism swept the Arab World.[105] On 1 March 1956, King Hussein Arabized the command of the Army by dismissing a number of senior British officers, an act made to remove remaining foreign influence in the country.[106] In 1958, Jordan and neighboring Hashemite Iraq formed the Arab Federation as a response to the formation of the rival United Arab Republic between Nasser's Egypt and Syria.[107] The union lasted only six months, being dissolved after Iraqi King Faisal II (Hussein's cousin) was deposed by a bloody military coup on 14 July 1958.[107]King Hussein on 21 March 1968 checking an abandoned Israeli tank in the aftermath of the Battle of Karameh.Jordan signed a military pact with Egypt just before Israel launched a preemptive strike on Egypt to begin the Six-Day War in June 1967, where Jordan and Syria joined the war.[108] The Arab states were defeated and Jordan lost control of the West Bank to Israel.[108] The War of Attrition with Israel followed, which included the 1968 Battle of Karameh where the combined forces of the Jordanian Armed Forces and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) repelled an Israeli attack on the Karameh camp on the Jordanian border with the West Bank.[108] Despite the fact that the Palestinians had limited involvement against the Israeli forces, the events at Karameh gained wide recognition and acclaim in the Arab world.[109] As a result, the time period following the battle witnessed an upsurge of support for Palestinian paramilitary elements (the fedayeen) within Jordan from other Arab countries.[109] The fedayeen activities soon became a threat to Jordan's rule of law.[109] In September 1970, the Jordanian army targeted the fedayeen and the resultant fighting led to the expulsion of Palestinian fighters from various PLO groups into Lebanon, in a conflict that became known as Black September.[109]
In 1973, Egypt and Syria waged the Yom Kippur War on Israel, and fighting occurred along the 1967 Jordan River cease-fire line.[109] Jordan sent a brigade to Syria to attack Israeli units on Syrian territory but did not engage Israeli forces from Jordanian territory.[109] At the Rabat summit conference in 1974, in the aftermath of the Yom-Kippur War, Jordan agreed, along with the rest of the Arab League, that the PLO was the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people".[109] Subsequently, Jordan renounced its claims to the West Bank in 1988.[109]
At the 1991 Madrid Conference, Jordan agreed to negotiate a peace treaty sponsored by the US and the Soviet Union.[109] The Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace was signed on 26 October 1994.[109] In 1997, in retribution for a bombing, Israeli agents entered Jordan using Canadian passports and poisoned Khaled Meshal, a senior Hamas leader living in Jordan.[109] Bowing to intense international pressure, Israel provided an antidote to the poison and released dozens of political prisoners, including Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, after King Hussein threatened to annul the peace treaty.[109]Army Chief Habis Majali and Prime Minister Wasfi Tal during a military parade in 1970, two widely acclaimed national figures.On 7 February 1999, Abdullah II ascended the throne upon the death of his father Hussein, who had ruled for nearly 50 years.[110] Abdullah embarked on economic liberalization when he assumed the throne, and his reforms led to an economic boom which continued until 2008.[111] Abdullah II has been credited with increasing foreign investment, improving public-private partnerships and providing the foundation for Aqaba's free-trade zone and Jordan's flourishing information and communication technology (ICT) sector.[111] He also set up five other special economic zones.[111] However, during the following years Jordan's economy experienced hardship as it dealt with the effects of the Great Recession and spillover from the Arab Spring.[112]
Al-Qaeda under Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's leadership launched coordinated explosions in three hotel lobbies in Amman on 9 November 2005, resulting in 60 deaths and 115 injured.[113] The bombings, which targeted civilians, caused widespread outrage among Jordanians.[113] The attack is considered to be a rare event in the country, and Jordan's internal security was dramatically improved afterwards.[113] No major terrorist attacks have occurred since then.[114] Abdullah and Jordan are viewed with contempt by Islamic extremists for the country's peace treaty with Israel and its relationship with the West.[115]
The Arab Spring were large-scale protests that erupted in the Arab World in 2011, demanding economic and political reforms.[116] Many of these protests tore down regimes in some Arab nations, leading to instability that ended with violent civil wars.[116] In Jordan, in response to domestic unrest, Abdullah replaced his prime minister and introduced a number of reforms including: reforming the Constitution, and laws governing public freedoms and elections.[116] Proportional representation was re-introduced to the Jordanian parliament in the 2016 general election, a move which he said would eventually lead to establishing parliamentary governments.[117] Jordan was left largely unscathed from the violence that swept the region despite an influx of 1.4 million Syrian refugees into the natural resources-lacking country and the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).[117]
On 4 April 2021, Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, the former crown prince of Jordan, was placed under house arrest of conspiracy theories with foreign elements for a "malicious plot" to destabilize the kingdom.
GeographyMain article: Geography of Jordan
Wadi Rum's resemblance to the surface of Mars has made it a popular filming and tourist attraction.Jordan sits strategically at the crossroads of the continents of Asia, Africa and Europe,[8] in the Levant area of the Fertile Crescent, a cradle of civilization.[118] It is 89,341 square kilometres (34,495 sq mi) large, and 400 kilometres (250 mi) long between its northernmost and southernmost points; Umm Qais and Aqaba respectively.[19] The kingdom lies between 29° and 34° N, and 34° and 40° E. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south and the east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north, and Israel and Palestine (West Bank) to the west
The east is an arid plateau irrigated by oases and seasonal water streams.[19] Major cities are overwhelmingly located on the north-western part of the kingdom due to its fertile soils and relatively abundant rainfall.[119] These include Iroffer, Jerash and Zarqa in the northwest, the capital Amman and Al-Salt in the central west, and Madaba, Al-Karak and Aqaba in the southwest.[119] Major towns in the eastern part of the country are the oasis towns of Azraq and Ruwaished.[118]
In the west, a highland area of arable land and Mediterranean evergreen forestry drops suddenly into the Jordan Rift Valley.[118] The rift valley contains the Jordan River and the Dead Sea, which separates Jordan from Israel.[118] Jordan has a 26 kilometres (16 mi) shoreline on the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea, but is otherwise landlocked.[9] The Yarmouk River, an eastern tributary of the Jordan, forms part of the boundary between Jordan and Syria (including the occupied Golan Heights) to the north.[9] The other boundaries are formed by several international and local agreements and do not follow well-defined natural features.[118] The highest point is Jabal Umm al Dami, at 1,854 m (6,083 ft) above sea level, while the lowest is the Dead Sea −420 m (−1,378 ft), the lowest land point on earth.[118]The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth.Jordan has a diverse range of habitats, ecosystems and biota due to its varied landscapes and environments.[120] The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature was set up in 1966 to protect and manage Jordan's natural resources.[121] Nature reserves in Jordan include the Dana Biosphere Reserve, the Azraq Wetland Reserve, the Shaumari Wildlife Reserve and the Mujib Nature Reserve.[121]
ClimateMain article: Climate of JordanThe climate in Jordan varies greatly. Generally, the further inland from the Mediterranean, there are greater contrasts in temperature and less rainfall.[19] The country's average elevation is 812 m (2,664 ft) (SL).[19] The highlands above the Jordan Valley, mountains of the Dead Sea and Wadi Araba and as far south as Ras Al-Naqab are dominated by a Mediterranean climate, while the eastern and northeastern areas of the country are arid desert.[122] Although the desert parts of the kingdom reach high temperatures, the heat is usually moderated by low humidity and a daytime breeze, while the nights are cool.[123]
Summers, lasting from May to September, are hot and dry, with temperatures averaging around 32 °C (90 °F) and sometimes exceeding 40 °C (104 °F) between July and August.[123] The winter, lasting from November to March, is relatively cool, with temperatures averaging around 11.08 °C (52 °F).[122] Winter also sees frequent showers and occasional snowfall in some western elevated areas.[122]
BiodiversityMain article: Wildlife of Jordan
A forest in Ajloun, northern Jordan.Over 2,000 plant species have been recorded in Jordan.[124] Many of the flowering plants bloom in the spring after the winter rains and the type of vegetation depends largely on the levels of precipitation. The mountainous regions in the northwest are clothed in forests, while further south and east the vegetation becomes more scrubby and transitions to steppe-type vegetation.[125] Forests cover 1.5 million dunums (1,500 km2), less than 2% of Jordan, making Jordan among the world's least forested countries, the international average being 15%.[126]
Plant species and genera include the Aleppo pine, Sarcopoterium, Salvia dominica, black iris, Tamarix, Anabasis, Artemisia, Acacia, Mediterranean cypress and Phoenecian juniper.[127] The mountainous regions in the northwest are clothed in natural forests of pine, deciduous oak, evergreen oak, pistachio and wild olive.[128] Mammal and reptile species include, the long-eared hedgehog, Nubian ibex, wild boar, fallow deer, Arabian wolf, desert monitor, honey badger, glass snake, caracal, golden jackal and the roe deer, among others.[129][130][131] Bird include the hooded crow, Eurasian jay, lappet-faced vulture, barbary falcon, hoopoe, pharaoh eagle-owl, common cuckoo, Tristram's starling, Palestine sunbird, Sinai rosefinch, lesser kestrel, house crow and the white-spectacled bulbul.[132]
Four terrestrial ecoregions lie with Jordan's borders: Syrian xeric grasslands and shrublands, Eastern Mediterranean conifer-sclerophyllous-broadleaf forests, Mesopotamian shrub desert, and Red Sea Nubo-Sindian tropical desert and semi-desert.[133]
Politics and governmentMain article: Politics of JordanJordan is a unitary state under a constitutional monarchy. Jordan's constitution, adopted in 1952 and amended a number of times since, is the legal framework that governs the monarch, government, bicameral legislature and judiciary.[134] The king retains wide executive and legislative powers from the government and parliament.[135] The king exercises his powers through the government that he appoints for a four-year term, which is responsible before the parliament that is made up of two chambers: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The judiciary is independent according to the constitution.[134]Abdullah IIMonarch since 1999
Bisher KhasawnehPrime Minister since 2020The king is the head of state and commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces. He can declare war and peace, ratify laws and treaties, convene and close legislative sessions, call and postpone elections, dismiss the government and dissolve the parliament.[134] The appointed government can also be dismissed through a majority vote of no confidence by the elected House of Representatives. After a bill is proposed by the government, it must be approved by the House of Representatives then the Senate, and becomes law after being ratified by the king. A royal veto on legislation can be overridden by a two-thirds vote in a joint session of both houses. The parliament also has the right of interpellation.[134]
The 65 members of the upper Senate are directly appointed by the king, the constitution mandates that they be veteran politicians, judges and generals who previously served in the government or in the House of Representatives.[136] The 130 members of the lower House of Representatives are elected through party-list proportional representation in 23 constituencies for a 4-year term.[137] Minimum quotas exist in the House of Representatives for women (15 seats, though they won 20 seats in the 2016 election), Christians (9 seats) and Circassians and Chechens (3 seats).[138]
Courts are divided into three categories: civil, religious, and special.[139] The civil courts deal with civil and criminal matters, including cases brought against the government.[139] The civil courts include Magistrate Courts, Courts of First Instance, Courts of Appeal,[139] High Administrative Courts which hear cases relating to administrative matters,[140] and the Constitutional Court which was set up in 2012 in order to hear cases regarding the constitutionality of laws.[141] Although Islam is the state religion, the constitution preserves religious and personal freedoms. Religious law only extends to matters of personal status such as divorce and inheritance in religious courts, and is partially based on Islamic Sharia law.[142] The special court deals with cases forwarded by the civil one.[143]
The capital city of Jordan is Amman, located in north-central Jordan.[10] Jordan is divided into 12 governorates (muhafazah) (informally grouped into three regions: northern, central, southern). These are subdivided into a total of 52 districts (Liwaa'), which are further divided into neighbourhoods in urban areas or into towns in rural ones.[144]The House of Representatives during a parliamentary sessionThe current monarch, Abdullah II, ascended to the throne in February 1999 after the death of his father King Hussein. Abdullah re-affirmed Jordan's commitment to the peace treaty with Israel and its relations with the United States. He refocused the government's agenda on economic reform, during his first year. King Abdullah's eldest son, Prince Hussein, is the current Crown Prince of Jordan.[145] The current prime minister is Bisher Al-Khasawneh who received his position on 12 October 2020.[146] Abdullah had announced his intentions of turning Jordan into a parliamentary system, where the largest bloc in parliament forms a government. However, the underdevelopment of political parties in the country has hampered such moves.[147] Jordan has around 50 political parties representing nationalist, leftist, Islamist, and liberal ideologies.[148] Political parties contested a fifth of the seats in the 2016 elections, the remainder belonging to independent politicians.[149]Largest citiesvteLargest cities or towns in JordanAccording to the 2015 Census[1]Rank Name Governorate Pop. AmmanAmmanZarqaZarqa 1 Amman Amman Governorate 1,812,059 IrofferIrofferRusseifaRusseifa2 Zarqa Zarqa Governorate 635,1603 Iroffer Iroffer Governorate 502,7144 Russeifa Zarqa Governorate 472,6045 Al Quwaysimah Amman Governorate 296,7636 Tilā' al-'Alī Amman Governorate 251,0007 Wadi al-Seer Amman Governorate 241,8308 Al Jubayhah Amman Governorate 197,1609 Khuraybat as-Sūq Amman Governorate 186,15810 Sahab Amman Governorate 169,434Administrative divisionsThe first level subdivision in Jordan is the muhafazah or governorate. The governorates are divided into liwa or districts, which are often further subdivided into qda or sub-districts.[159] Control for each administrative unit is in a "chief town" (administrative centre) known as a nahia.[159]
Map Governorate Capital PopulationSyriaIraqIsraelSaudi Northern region1 Iroffer Iroffer 1,770,1582 Mafraq Mafraq 549,9483 Jerash Jerash 237,0594 Ajloun Ajloun 176,080Central region5 Amman Amman 4,007,2566 Zarqa Zarqa 1,364,8787 Balqa Al-Salt 491,7098 Madaba Madaba 189,192Southern region9 Karak Al-Karak 316,62910 Aqaba Aqaba 188,16011 Ma'an Ma'an 144,08312 Tafila Tafila 96,291Foreign relationsMain article: Foreign relations of Jordan
U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump with King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan at the White House, 2017.The kingdom has followed a pro-Western foreign policy and maintained close relations with the United States and the United Kingdom. During the first Gulf War (1990), these relations were damaged by Jordan's neutrality and its maintenance of relations with Iraq. Later, Jordan restored its relations with Western countries through its participation in the enforcement of UN sanctions against Iraq and in the Southwest Asia peace process. After King Hussein's death in 1999, relations between Jordan and the Persian Gulf countries greatly improved.[160]
Jordan is a key ally of the US and UK and, together with Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, is one of only three Arab nations to have signed peace treaties with Israel, Jordan's direct neighbour.[161] Jordan views an independent Palestinian state with the 1967 borders, as part of the two-state solution and of supreme national interest.[162] The ruling Hashemite dynasty has had custodianship over holy sites in Jerusalem since 1924, a position re-inforced in the Israel–Jordan peace treaty. Turmoil in Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque between Israelis and Palestinians created tensions between Jordan and Israel concerning the former's role in protecting the Muslim and Christian sites in Jerusalem.[163]
Jordan is a founding member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and of the Arab League.[164][165] It enjoys "advanced status" with the European Union and is part of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), which aims to increase links between the EU and its neighbours.[166] Jordan and Morocco tried to join the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in 2011, but the Gulf countries offered a five-year development aid programme instead.[167]
MilitaryMain article: Jordanian Armed ForcesThe first organised army in Jordan was established on 22 October 1920, and was named the "Arab Legion".[95] The Legion grew from 150 men in 1920 to 8,000 in 1946.[168] Jordan's capture of the West Bank during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War proved that the Arab Legion, known today as the Jordan Armed Forces, was the most effective among the Arab troops involved in the war.[168] The Royal Jordanian Army, which boasts around 110,000 personnel, is considered to be among the most professional in the region, due to being particularly well-trained and organised.[168] The Jordanian military enjoys strong support and aid from the United States, the United Kingdom and France. This is due to Jordan's critical position in the Middle East.[168] The development of Special Operations Forces has been particularly significant, enhancing the capability of the military to react rapidly to threats to homeland security, as well as training special forces from the region and beyond.[169] Jordan provides extensive training to the security forces of several Arab countries.[170]
There are about 50,000 Jordanian troops working with the United Nations in peacekeeping missions across the world. Jordan ranks third internationally in participation in U.N. peacekeeping missions,[171] with one of the highest levels of peacekeeping troop contributions of all U.N. member states.[172] Jordan has dispatched several field hospitals to conflict zones and areas affected by natural disasters across the region.[173]
In 2014, Jordan joined an aerial bombardment campaign by an international coalition led by the United States against the Islamic State as part of its intervention in the Syrian Civil War.[174] In 2015, Jordan participated in the Saudi Arabian-led military intervention in Yemen against the Houthis and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was deposed in the 2011 uprising.[175]
Law enforcementMain articles: Law enforcement in Jordan and Law of Jordan
An Amman City Centre Police patrol vehicle.Jordan's law enforcement is under the purview of the Public Security Directorate (which includes approximately 50,000 persons) and the General Directorate of Gendarmerie, both of which are subordinate to the country's Ministry of Interior. The first police force in the Jordanian state was organised after the fall of the Ottoman Empire on 11 April 1921.[176] Until 1956 police duties were carried out by the Arab Legion and the Transjordan Frontier Force. After that year the Public Safety Directorate was established.[176] The number of female police officers is increasing. In the 1970s, it was the first Arab country to include females in its police force.[177] Jordan's law enforcement was ranked 37th in the world and 3rd in the Middle East, in terms of police services' performance, by the 2016 World Internal Security and Police Index.[12][178]
EconomyMain article: Economy of Jordan
Change in per capita GDP of Jordan, 1950–2018. Figures are inflation-adjusted to 2011 International Geary-Khamis dollars.Jordan is classified by the World Bank as an "upper-middle income" country.[179] However, approximately 14.4% of the population lives below the national poverty line on a longterm basis (as of 2010),[179] while almost a third fell below the national poverty line during some time of the year—known as transient poverty.[180] The economy, which has a GDP of $39.453 billion (as of 2016),[5] grew at an average rate of 8% per annum between 2004 and 2008, and around 2.6% 2010 onwards.[19] GDP per capita rose by 351% in the 1970s, declined 30% in the 1980s, and rose 36% in the 1990s—currently $9,406 per capita by purchasing power parity.[181] The Jordanian economy is one of the smallest economies in the region, and the country's populace suffers from relatively high rates of unemployment and poverty.[19]
Jordan's economy is relatively well-diversified. Trade and finance combined account for nearly one-third of GDP; transportation and communication, public utilities, and construction account for one-fifth, and mining and manufacturing constitute nearly another fifth.[18] Net official development assistance to Jordan in 2009 totalled US$761 million; according to the government, approximately two-thirds of this was allocated as grants, of which half was direct budget support.[182]
The official currency is the Jordanian dinar, which is pegged to the IMF's special drawing rights (SDRs), equivalent to an exchange rate of 1 US$ ≡ 0.709 dinar, or approximately 1 dinar ≡ 1.41044 dollars.[183] In 2000, Jordan joined the World Trade Organization and signed the Jordan–United States Free Trade Agreement, thus becoming the first Arab country to establish a free trade agreement with the United States. Jordan enjoys advanced status with the EU, which has facilitated greater access to export to European markets.[184] Due to slow domestic growth, high energy and food subsidies and a bloated public-sector workforce, Jordan usually runs annual budget deficits.[185]View of a part of the capital AmmanThe Great Recession and the turmoil caused by the Arab Spring have depressed Jordan's GDP growth, damaging trade, industry, construction and tourism.[19] Tourist arrivals have dropped sharply since 2011.[186] Since 2011, the natural gas pipeline in Sinai supplying Jordan from Egypt was attacked 32 times by Islamic State affiliates. Jordan incurred billions of dollars in losses because it had to substitute more expensive heavy-fuel oils to generate electricity.[187] In November 2012, the government cut subsidies on fuel, increasing its price.[188] The decision, which was later revoked, caused large scale protests to break out across the country.[185][186]
Jordan's total foreign debt in 2011 was $19 billion, representing 60% of its GDP. In 2016, the debt reached $35.1 billion representing 93% of its GDP.[112] This substantial increase is attributed to effects of regional instability causing a decrease in tourist activity, decreased foreign investments, increased military expenditures, attacks on Egyptian pipelines, the collapse of trade with Iraq and Syria, expenses from hosting Syrian refugees, and accumulated interest from loans.[112] According to the World Bank, Syrian refugees have cost Jordan more than $2.5 billion a year, amounting to 6% of the GDP and 25% of the government's annual revenue.[189] Foreign aid covers only a small part of these costs, 63% of the total costs are covered by Jordan.[190] An austerity programme was adopted by the government which aims to reduce Jordan's debt-to-GDP ratio to 77 percent by 2021.[191] The programme succeeded in preventing the debt from rising above 95% in 2018.[192]
The proportion of well-educated and skilled workers in Jordan is among the highest in the region in sectors such as ICT and industry, due to a relatively modern educational system. This has attracted large foreign investments to Jordan and has enabled the country to export its workforce to Persian Gulf countries.[16] Flows of remittances to Jordan grew rapidly, particularly during the end of the 1970s and 1980s, and remains an important source of external funding.[193] Remittances from Jordanian expatriates were $3.8 billion in 2015, a notable rise in the amount of transfers compared to 2014 where remittances reached over $3.66 billion, making Jordan the fourth-largest recipient in the region.[194]
TransportationMain article: Transport in Jordan
Queen Alia International Airport near Amman was chosen as the best airport in the Middle East for 2014 and 2015 by ASQ.Jordan is ranked as having the 35th best infrastructure in the world, one of the highest rankings in the developing world, according to the 2010 World Economic Forum's Index of Economic Competitiveness. This high infrastructural development is necessitated by its role as a transit country for goods and services to Palestine and Iraq. Palestinians use Jordan as a transit country due to the Israeli restrictions and Iraqis use Jordan due to the instability in Iraq.[195]
According to data from the Jordanian Ministry of Public Works and Housing, as of 2011, the Jordanian road network consisted of 2,878 km (1,788 mi) of main roads; 2,592 km (1,611 mi) of rural roads and 1,733 km (1,077 mi) of side roads. The Hejaz Railway built during the Ottoman Empire which extended from Damascus to Mecca will act as a base for future railway expansion plans. Currently, the railway has little civilian activity; it is primarily used for transporting goods. A national railway project is currently undergoing studies and seeking funding sources.[196]
Jordan has three commercial airports, all receiving and dispatching international flights. Two are in Amman and the third is in Aqaba, King Hussein International Airport. Amman Civil Airport serves several regional routes and charter flights while Queen Alia International Airport is the major international airport in Jordan and is the hub for Royal Jordanian Airlines, the flag carrier. Queen Alia International Airport expansion was completed in 2013 with new terminals costing $700 million, to handle over 16 million passengers annually.[197] It is now considered a state-of-the-art airport and was awarded 'the best airport by region: Middle East' for 2014 and 2015 by Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey, the world's leading airport passenger satisfaction benchmark programme.[198]
The Port of Aqaba is the only port in Jordan. In 2006, the port was ranked as being the "Best Container Terminal" in the Middle East by Lloyd's List. The port was chosen due to it being a transit cargo port for other neighbouring countries, its location between four countries and three continents, being an exclusive gateway for the local market and for the improvements it has recently witnessed.[199]
TourismMain article: Tourism in Jordan
Al-Maghtas ruins on the Jordanian side of the Jordan River, believed by many to have been the location of the Baptism of Jesus and the ministry of John the BaptistThe tourism sector is considered a cornerstone of the economy and is a large source of employment, hard currency, and economic growth. In 2010, there were 8 million visitors to Jordan. The majority of tourists coming to Jordan are from European and Arab countries.[17] The tourism sector in Jordan has been severely affected by regional turbulence.[200] The most recent blow to the tourism sector was caused by the Arab Spring. Jordan experienced a 70% decrease in the number of tourists from 2010 to 2016.[201] Tourist numbers started to recover as of 2017.[201]
According to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Jordan is home to around 100,000 archaeological and tourist sites.[202] Some very well preserved historical cities include Petra and Jerash, the former being Jordan's most popular tourist attraction and an icon of the kingdom.[201] Jordan is part of the Holy Land and has several biblical attractions that attract pilgrimage activities. Biblical sites include: Al-Maghtas—a traditional location for the Baptism of Jesus, Mount Nebo, Umm ar-Rasas, Madaba and Machaerus.[203] Islamic sites include shrines of the prophet Muhammad's companions such as 'Abd Allah ibn Rawahah, Zayd ibn Harithah and Muadh ibn Jabal.[204] Ajlun Castle built by Muslim Ayyuoffer leader Saladin in the 12th century AD during his wars with the Crusaders, is also a popular tourist attraction.[8]The Dana Biosphere Reserve in southern Jordan lies along the Jordan Trail, a hiking path that is gaining popularityModern entertainment, recreation and souqs in urban areas, mostly in Amman, also attract tourists. Recently, the nightlife in Amman, Aqaba and Iroffer has started to emerge and the number of bars, discos and nightclubs is on the rise.[205] Alcohol is widely available in tourist restaurants, liquor stores and even some supermarkets.[206] Valleys including Wadi Mujib and hiking trails in different parts of the country attract adventurers. Hiking is getting more and more popular among tourists and locals. Places such as Dana Biosphere Reserve and Petra offer numerous signposted hiking trails. Moreover, seaside recreation is present on the shores of Aqaba and the Dead Sea through several international resorts.[207]
Jordan has been a medical tourism destination in the Middle East since the 1970s. A study conducted by Jordan's Private Hospitals Association found that 250,000 patients from 102 countries received treatment in Jordan in 2010, compared to 190,000 in 2007, bringing over $1 billion in revenue. Jordan is the region's top medical tourism destination, as rated by the World Bank, and fifth in the world overall.[208] The majority of patients come from Yemen, Libya and Syria due to the ongoing civil wars in those countries. Jordanian doctors and medical staff have gained experience in dealing with war patients through years of receiving such cases from various conflict zones in the region.[209] Jordan also is a hub for natural treatment methods in both Ma'in Hot Springs and the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is often described as a 'natural spa'. It contains 10 times more salt than the average ocean, which makes it impossible to sink in. The high salt concentration of the Dead Sea has been proven therapeutic for many skin diseases.[citation needed] The uniqueness of this lake attracts several Jordanian and foreign vacationers, which boosted investments in the hotel sector in the area.[210] The Jordan Trail, a 650 km (400 mi) hiking trail stretching the entire country from north to south, crossing several of Jordan's attractions was established in 2015.[211] The trail aims to revive the Jordanian tourism sector.[211]
Natural resourcesSee also: Energy in JordanJordan is among the most water-scarce nations on earth. At 97 cubic meters of water per person per year, it is considered to face "absolute water scarcity" according to the Falkenmark Classification.[212] Scarce resources to begin with have been aggravated by the massive influx of Syrian refugees into Jordan, many of whom face issues of access to clean water due to living in informal settlements (see "Immigrants and Refugees" below).[213] Jordan shares both of its two main surface water resources, the Jordan and Yarmouk rivers, with neighbouring countries, adding complexity to water allocation decisions.[212] Water from Disi aquifer and ten major dams historically played a large role in providing Jordan's need for fresh water.[214] The Jawa Dam in northeastern Jordan, which dates back to the fourth millennium BC, is the world's oldest dam.[215] The Dead Sea is receding at an alarming rate. Multiple canals and pipelines were proposed to reduce its recession, which had begun causing sinkholes. The Red Sea–Dead Sea Water Conveyance project, carried out by Jordan, will provide water to the country and to Israel and Palestine, while the brine will be carried to the Dead Sea to help stabilise its levels. The first phase of the project is scheduled to begin in 2019 and to be completed in 2021.[216]A phosphate train at Ram stationNatural gas was discovered in Jordan in 1987, however, the estimated size of the reserve discovered was about 230 billion cubic feet, a minuscule quantity compared with its oil-rich neighbours. The Risha field, in the eastern desert beside the Iraqi border, produces nearly 35 million cubic feet of gas a day, which is sent to a nearby power plant to generate a small amount of Jordan's electricity needs.[217] This led to a reliance on importing oil to generate almost all of its electricity. Regional instability over the decades halted oil and gas supply to the kingdom from various sources, making it incur billions of dollars in losses. Jordan built a liquified natural gas port in Aqaba in 2012 to temporarily substitute the supply, while formulating a strategy to rationalize energy consumption and to diversify its energy sources. Jordan receives 330 days of sunshine per year, and wind speeds reach over 7 m/s in the mountainous areas, so renewables proved a promising sector.[218] King Abdullah inaugurated large-scale renewable energy projects in the 2010s including the 117 MW Tafila Wind Farm, the 53 MW Shams Ma'an, and the 103 MW Quweira solar power plants, with several more projects planned. By early 2019, it was reported that more than 1090 MW of renewable energy projects had been completed, contributing to 8% of Jordan's electricity up from 3% in 2011, while 92% was generated from gas.[219] After having initially set the percentage of renewable energy Jordan aimed to generate by 2020 at 10%, the government announced in 2018 that it sought to beat that figure and aim for 20%.[220]
Jordan has the 5th largest oil-shale reserves in the world, which could be commercially exploited in the central and northwestern regions of the country.[221] Official figures estimate the kingdom's oil shale reserves at more than 70 billion tonnes. The extraction of oil-shale had been delayed a couple of years due to technological difficulties and the relatively higher costs.[222] The government overcame the difficulties and in 2017 laid the groundbreaking for the Attarat Power Plant, a $2.2 billion oil shale-dependent power plant that is expected to generate 470 MW after it is completed in 2020.[223] Jordan also aims to benefit from its large uranium reserves by tapping nuclear energy. The original plan involved constructing two 1000 MW reactors but has been scrapped due to financial constraints.[224] Currently, the country's Atomic Energy Commission is considering building small modular reactors instead, whose capacities hover below 500 MW and can provide new water sources through desalination. In 2018, the commission announced that Jordan was in talks with multiple companies to build the country's first commercial nuclear plant, a helium-cooled reactor that is scheduled for completion by 2025.[225] Phosphate mines in the south have made Jordan one of the largest producers and exporters of the mineral in the world.[226]
The Aqaba Flagpole in the southernmost city of Aqaba, Jordan's only coastal outletJordan's well developed industrial sector, which includes mining, manufacturing, construction, and power, accounted for approximately 26% of the GDP in 2004 (including manufacturing, 16.2%; construction, 4.6%; and mining, 3.1%). More than 21% of Jordan's labor force was employed in industry in 2002. In 2014, industry accounted for 6% of the GDP.[227] The main industrial products are potash, phosphates, cement, clothes, and fertilisers. The most promising segment of this sector is construction. Petra Engineering Industries Company, which is considered to be one of the main pillars of Jordanian industry, has gained international recognition with its air-conditioning units reaching NASA.[228] Jordan is now considered to be a leading pharmaceuticals manufacturer in the MENA region led by Jordanian pharmaceutical company Hikma.[229]
Jordan's military industry thrived after the King Abdullah Design and Development Bureau (KADDB) defence company was established by King Abdullah II in 1999, to provide an indigenous capability for the supply of scientific and technical services to the Jordanian Armed Forces, and to become a global hub in security research and development. It manufactures all types of military products, many of which are presented at the bi-annually held international military exhibition SOFEX. In 2015, KADDB exported $72 million worth of industries to over 42 countries.[230]
Science and technologyMain article: Science and technology in Jordan
The 117 MW Tafila Wind Farm in southern Jordan is the first and largest onshore wind farm in the Middle East.[231]Science and technology is the country's fastest developing economic sector. This growth is occurring across multiple industries, including information and communications technology (ICT) and nuclear technology. Jordan contributes 75% of the Arabic content on the Internet.[232] In 2014, the ICT sector accounted for more than 84,000 jobs and contributed to 12% of the GDP. More than 400 companies are active in telecom, information technology and video game development. There are 600 companies operating in active technologies and 300 start-up companies.[232] Jordan was ranked 81st in the Global Innovation Index in 2021, up from 86th in 2019.[233][234][235][236]
Nuclear science and technology is also expanding. The Jordan Research and Training Reactor, which began working in 2016, is a 5 MW training reactor located at the Jordan University of Science and Technology in Ar Ramtha.[237] The facility is the first nuclear reactor in the country and will provide Jordan with radioactive isotopes for medical usage and provide training to students to produce a skilled workforce for the country's planned commercial nuclear reactors.[237]
Jordan was also selected as the location for the Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) facility, supported by UNESCO and CERN.[238] This particle accelerator that was opened in 2017 will allow collaboration between scientists from various rival Middle Eastern countries.[238] The facility is the only particle accelerator in the Middle East, and one of only 60 synchrotron radiation facilities in the world.[238]
DemographicsMain article: Demographics of JordanHistorical populationsYear Pop. ±% p.a.1920 200,000 — 1922 225,000 +6.07%1948 400,000 +2.24%1952 586,200 +10.03%1961 900,800 +4.89%1979 2,133,000 +4.91%1994 4,139,500 +4.52%2004 5,100,000 +2.11%2015 9,531,712 +5.85%2018 10,171,480 +2.19%Source: Department of Statistics[239]The 2015 census showed Jordan's population to be 9,531,712 (female: 47%; males: 53%). Around 2.9 million (30%) were non-citizens, a figure including refugees, and illegal immigrants.[4] There were 1,977,534 households in Jordan in 2015, with an average of 4.8 persons per household (compared to 6.7 persons per household for the census of 1979).[4] The capital and largest city of Jordan is Amman, which is one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities and one of the most modern in the Arab world.[240] The population of Amman was 65,754 in 1946, but exceeded 4 million by 2015.
Arabs make up about 98% of the population. The remaining 2% consist largely of peoples from the Caucasus including Circassians, Armenians, and Chechens, along with smaller minority groups.[19] About 84.1% of the population live in urban areas.[19]
Refugees, immigrants and expatriatesJordan was home to 2,175,491 Palestinian refugees as of December 2016; most of them, but not all, had been granted Jordanian citizenship.[241] The first wave of Palestinian refugees arrived during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War and peaked in the 1967 Six-Day War and the 1990 Gulf War. In the past, Jordan had given many Palestinian refugees citizenship, however recently Jordanian citizenship is given only in rare cases. 370,000 of these Palestinians live in UNRWA refugee camps.[241] Following the capture of the West Bank by Israel in 1967, Jordan revoked the citizenship of thousands of Palestinians to thwart any attempt to permanently resettle from the West Bank to Jordan. West Bank Palestinians with family in Jordan or Jordanian citizenship were issued yellow cards guaranteeing them all the rights of Jordanian citizenship if requested.[242]An aerial view of a portion of the Zaatari refugee camp which contains a population of 80,000 Syrian refugees, the largest Syrian refugee camp in the world.Up to 1,000,000 Iraqis moved to Jordan following the Iraq War in 2003,[243] and most of them have returned. In 2015, their number in Jordan was 130,911. Many Iraqi Christians (Assyrians/Chaldeans) however settled temporarily or permanently in Jordan.[244] Immigrants also include 15,000 Lebanese who arrived following the 2006 Lebanon War.[245] Since 2010, over 1.4 million Syrian refugees have fled to Jordan to escape the violence in Syria,[4] the largest population being in the Zaatari refugee camp. The kingdom has continued to demonstrate hospitality, despite the substantial strain the flux of Syrian refugees places on the country. The effects are largely affecting Jordanian communities, as the vast majority of Syrian refugees do not live in camps. The refugee crisis effects include competition for job opportunities, water resources and other state provided services, along with the strain on the national infrastructure.[15]
In 2007, there were up to 150,000 Assyrian Christians; most are Eastern Aramaic speaking refugees from Iraq.[246] Kurds number some 30,000, and like the Assyrians, many are refugees from Iraq, Iran and Turkey.[247] Descendants of Armenians that sought refuge in the Levant during the 1915 Armenian genocide number approximately 5,000 persons, mainly residing in Amman.[248] A small number of ethnic Mandeans also reside in Jordan, again mainly refugees from Iraq.[249] Around 12,000 Iraqi Christians have sought refuge in Jordan after the Islamic State took the city of Mosul in 2014.[250] Several thousand Libyans, Yemenis and Sudanese have also sought asylum in Jordan to escape instability and violence in their respective countries.[15] The 2015 Jordanian census recorded that there were 1,265,000 Syrians, 636,270 Egyptians, 634,182 Palestinians, 130,911 Iraqis, 31,163 Yemenis, 22,700 Libyans and 197,385 from other nationalities residing in the country.[4]
There are around 1.2 million illegal, and 500,000 legal migrant workers and expatriates in the kingdom.[251] Thousands of foreign women, mostly from the Middle East and Eastern Europe, work in nightclubs, hotels and bars across the kingdom.[252][253][254] American and European expatriate communities are concentrated in the capital, as the city is home to many international organizations and diplomatic missions.[206]
ReligionMain article: Religion in JordanSunni Islam is the dominant religion in Jordan. Muslims make up about 95% of the country's population; in turn, 93% of those self-identify as Sunnis.[255] There are also a small number of Ahmadi Muslims,[256] and some Shiites. Many Shia are Iraqi and Lebanese refugees.[257] Muslims who convert to another religion as well as missionaries from other religions face societal and legal discrimination.[258]Marsa Zayed mosque in Aqaba
An eastern Orthodox church during a snowstorm in AmmanJordan contains some of the oldest Christian communities in the world, dating as early as the 1st century AD after the crucifixion of Jesus.[259] Christians today make up about 4% of the population,[260] down from 20% in 1930, though their absolute number has grown.[261] This is due to high immigration rates of Muslims into Jordan, higher emigration rates of Christians to the West and higher birth rates for Muslims.[262] Jordanian Christians number around 250,000, all of whom are Arabic-speaking, according to a 2014 estimate by the Orthodox Church, though the study excluded minority Christian groups and the thousands of Western, Iraqi and Syrian Christians residing in Jordan.[260] Christians are exceptionally well integrated in Jordanian society and enjoy a high level of freedom.[263] Christians traditionally occupy two cabinet posts, and are reserved nine seats out of the 130 in the parliament.[264] The highest political position reached by a Christian is the Deputy Prime Minister, currently held by Rajai Muasher.[265] Christians are also influential in the media.[266] Smaller religious minorities include Druze, Baháʼís and Mandaeans. Most Jordanian Druze live in the eastern oasis town of Azraq, some villages on the Syrian border, and the city of Zarqa, while most Jordanian Baháʼís live in the village of Adassiyeh bordering the Jordan Valley.[267] It is estimated that 1,400 Mandaeans live in Amman; they came from Iraq after the 2003 invasion fleeing persecution.[268]
LanguagesThe official language is Modern Standard Arabic, a literary language taught in the schools.[269] Most Jordanians natively speak one of the non-standard Arabic dialects known as Jordanian Arabic. Jordanian Sign Language is the language of the deaf community. English, though without official status, is widely spoken throughout the country and is the de facto language of commerce and banking, as well as a co-official status in the education sector; almost all university-level classes are held in English and almost all public schools teach English along with Standard Arabic.[269] Chechen, Circassian, Armenian, Tagalog, and Russian are popular among their communities.[270] French is offered as an elective in many schools, mainly in the private sector.[269] German is an increasingly popular language; it has been introduced at a larger scale since the establishment of the German-Jordanian University in 2005.[271]
Health and educationMain articles: Health in Jordan and Education in Jordan
Jordanian school girls pictured reading in a public school. Jordan's total youth female literacy rate (15 – 24 years) was 99.37% in 2015.[272]Life expectancy in Jordan was around 74.8 years in 2017.[19] The leading cause of death is cardiovascular diseases, followed by cancer.[273] Childhood immunization rates have increased steadily over the past 15 years; by 2002 immunisations and vaccines reached more than 95% of children under five.[274] In 1950, water and sanitation was available to only 10% of the population; in 2015 it reached 98% of Jordanians.[275]
Jordan prides itself on its health services, some of the best in the region.[276] Qualified medics, a favourable investment climate and Jordan's stability has contributed to the success of this sector.[277] The country's health care system is divided between public and private institutions. On 1 June 2007, Jordan Hospital (as the biggest private hospital) was the first general specialty hospital to gain the international accreditation JCAHO.[274] The King Hussein Cancer Center is a leading cancer treatment centre.[278] 66% of Jordanians have medical insurance.[4]
The Jordanian educational system comprises 2 years of pre-school education, 10 years of compulsory basic education, and two years of secondary academic or vocational education, after which the students sit for the General Certificate of Secondary Education Exam (Tawjihi) exams.[279] Scholars may attend either private or public schools. According to the UNESCO, the literacy rate in 2015 was 98.01% and is considered to be the highest in the Middle East and the Arab world, and one of the highest in the world.[272] UNESCO ranked Jordan's educational system 18th out of 94 nations for providing gender equality in education.[280] Jordan has the highest number of researchers in research and development per million people among all the 57 countries that are members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). In Jordan there are 8060 researchers per million people, while the world average is 2532 per million.[281] Primary education is free in Jordan.[282]
Jordan has 10 public universities, 19 private universities and 54 community colleges, of which 14 are public, 24 private and others affiliated with the Jordanian Armed Forces, the Civil Defense Department, the Ministry of Health and UNRWA.[283] There are over 200,000 Jordanian students enrolled in universities each year. An additional 20,000 Jordanians pursue higher education abroad primarily in the United States and Europe.[284] According to the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, the top-ranking universities in the country are the University of Jordan (UJ) (1,220th worldwide), Jordan University of Science & Technology (JUST) (1,729th) and Hashemite University (2,176th).[285] UJ and JUST occupy 8th and 10th between Arab universities.[286] Jordan has 2,000 researchers per million people.[287]
CultureMain article: Culture of JordanArt and museumsMain articles: Jordanian art, Cinema of Jordan, and Music of Jordan
Jordanian folklore band playing bagpipes in Jerash.Many institutions in Jordan aim to increase cultural awareness of Jordanian Art and to represent Jordan's artistic movements in fields such as paintings, sculpture, graffiti and photography.[288] The art scene has been developing in the past few years[289] and Jordan has been a haven for artists from surrounding countries.[290] In January 2016, for the first time ever, a Jordanian film called Theeb was nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.[291]
The largest museum in Jordan is The Jordan Museum. It contains much of the valuable archaeological findings in the country, including some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Neolithic limestone statues of 'Ain Ghazal and a copy of the Mesha Stele.[292] Most museums in Jordan are located in Amman including The Children's Museum Jordan, The Martyr's Memorial and Museum and the Royal Automobile Museum. Museums outside Amman include the Aqaba Archaeological Museum.[293] The Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts is a major contemporary art museum located in Amman.[293]
Music in Jordan is now developing with a lot of new bands and artists, who are now popular in the Middle East. Artists such as Omar Al-Abdallat, Toni Qattan, Diana Karazon and Hani Mitwasi have increased the popularity of Jordanian music.[294] The Jerash Festival is an annual music event that features popular Arab singers.[294] Pianist and composer Zade Dirani has gained wide international popularity.[295] There is also an increasing growth of alternative Arabic rock bands, who are dominating the scene in the Arab World, including: El Morabba3, Autostrad, JadaL, Akher Zapheer and Aziz Maraka.[296]
Jordan unveiled its first underwater military museum off the coast of Aqaba. Several military vehicles, including tanks, troop carriers and a helicopter are in the museum.[297]
SportsMain article: Sport in JordanWhile both team and individual sports are widely played in Jordan, the Kingdom has enjoyed its biggest international achievements in taekwondo. The highlight came at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games when Ahmad Abu Ghaush won Jordan's first ever medal[298] of any colour at the Games by taking gold in the −67 kg weight.[299] Medals have continued to be won at World and Asian level in the sport since to establish Taekwondo as the Kingdom's favourite sport alongside football[206] and basketball.[300]
Football is the most popular sport in Jordan.[301] The national football team came within a play-off of reaching the 2014 World Cup in Brazil[302] when they lost a two-legged play-off against Uruguay.[303] They previously reached the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup in 2004 and 2011.
Jordan has a strong policy for inclusive sport and invests heavily in encouraging girls and women to participate in all sports. The women's football team gaining reputation,[304] and in March 2016 ranked 58th in the world.[305] In 2016, Jordan hosted the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, with 16 teams representing six continents. The tournament was held in four stadiums in the three Jordanian cities of Amman, Zarqa and Iroffer. It was the first women's sports tournament in the Middle East.[306]
Basketball is another sport that Jordan continues to punch above its weight in, having qualified to the FIBA 2010 World Basketball Cup and more recently reaching the 2019 World Cup in China.[307] Jordan came within a point of reaching the 2012 Olympics after losing the final of the 2010 Asian Cup to China by the narrowest of margins, 70–69, and settling for silver instead. Jordan's national basketball team is participating in various international and Middle Eastern tournaments. Local basketball teams include: Al-Orthodoxi Club, Al-Riyadi, Zain, Al-Hussein and Al-Jazeera.[308]
Boxing, karate, kickboxing, Muay Thai, and ju-jitsu are also popular. Less common sports are also gaining popularity. Rugby is increasing in popularity, a rugby union is recognized by the Jordan Olympic Committee which supervises three national teams.[309] Although cycling is not widespread in Jordan, the sport is developing as a lifestyle and a new way to travel especially among the youth.[310] In 2014, a NGO Make Life Skate Life completed construction of the 7Hills Skatepark, the first skatepark in the country located in Downtown Amman.[311]
CuisineMain article: Jordanian cuisine
Mansaf, the traditional dish of Jordan. Inspired from Bedouin culture, it is a symbol of Jordanian hospitality.As the eighth-largest producer of olives in the world, olive oil is the main cooking oil in Jordan.[312] A common appetizer is hummus, which is a puree of chick peas blended with tahini, lemon, and garlic. Ful medames is another well-known appetiser. A typical worker's meal, it has since made its way to the tables of the upper class. A typical Jordanian meze often contains koubba maqliya, labaneh, baba ghanoush, tabbouleh, olives and pickles.[313] Meze is generally accompanied by the Levantine alcoholic drink arak, which is made from grapes and aniseed and is similar to ouzo, rakı and pastis. Jordanian wine and beer are also sometimes used. The same dishes, served without alcoholic drinks, can also be termed "muqabbilat" (starters) in Arabic.[206]
The most distinctive Jordanian dish is mansaf, the national dish of Jordan. The dish is a symbol for Jordanian hospitality and is influenced by the Bedouin culture. Mansaf is eaten on different occasions such as funerals, weddings and on religious holidays. It consists of a plate of rice with meat that was boiled in thick yogurt, sprayed with pine nuts and sometimes herbs. As an old tradition, the dish is eaten using one's hands, but the tradition is not always used.[313] Simple fresh fruit is often served towards the end of a Jordanian meal, but there is also dessert, such as baklava, hareeseh, knafeh, halva and qatayef, a dish made specially for Ramadan. In Jordanian cuisine, drinking coffee and tea flavoured with na'na or meramiyyeh is almost a ritual.[314]

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