Jordan


Jordan
Jordanian /jawr day"nee euhn/, n., adj.
/jawr"dn/; for 3 also Fr. /zhawrdd dahonn"/, n.
1. David Starr /stahr/, 1851-1931, U.S. biologist and educator.
2. June, born 1936, U.S. poet, novelist, and essayist.
3. Marie Ennemond Camille /mann rddee" eneu mawonn" kann mee"yeu/, 1838-1922, French mathematician.
4. Official name, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. a kingdom in SW Asia, consisting of the former Transjordan and a part of Palestine that, since 1967, has been occupied by Israel. 4,324,638; 37,264 sq. mi. (96,514 sq. km). Cap.: Amman.
5. a river in SW Asia, flowing from S Lebanon through the Sea of Galilee, then S between Israel and Jordan through W Jordan into the Dead Sea. 200 mi. (320 km) long.
6. a male given name.

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Jordan

Introduction Jordan -
Background: For most of its history since independence from British administration in 1946, Jordan was ruled by King HUSSEIN (1953-1999). A pragmatic ruler, he successfully navigated competing pressures from the major powers (US, USSR, and UK), various Arab states, Israel, and a large internal Palestinian population, through several wars and coup attempts. In 1989 he resumed parliamentary elections and gradually permitted political liberalization; in 1994 a formal peace treaty was signed with Israel. King ABDALLAH II - the eldest son of King HUSSEIN and Princess MUNA - assumed the throne following his father's death in February 1999. Since then, he has consolidated his power and established his domestic priorities. Geography Jordan
Location: Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates: 31 00 N, 36 00 E
Map references: Middle East
Area: total: 92,300 sq km water: 329 sq km land: 91,971 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Indiana
Land boundaries: total: 1,635 km border countries: Iraq 181 km, Israel 238 km, Saudi Arabia 744 km, Syria 375 km, West Bank 97 km
Coastline: 26 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 3 NM
Climate: mostly arid desert; rainy season in west (November to April)
Terrain: mostly desert plateau in east, highland area in west; Great Rift Valley separates East and West Banks of the Jordan River
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Dead Sea -408 m highest point: Jabal Ram 1,734 m
Natural resources: phosphates, potash, shale oil
Land use: arable land: 2.87% permanent crops: 1.52% other: 95.61% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: 750 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: droughts; periodic earthquakes Environment - current issues: limited natural fresh water resources; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification Environment - international party to: Biodiversity, Climate
agreements: Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: strategic location at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba and as the Arab country that shares the longest border with Israel and the occupied West Bank People Jordan -
Population: 5,307,470 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 36.6% (male 991,370; female 949,247) 15-64 years: 60% (male 1,698,568; female 1,485,261) 65 years and over: 3.4% (male 90,186; female 92,838) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.89% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 24.58 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate: 2.62 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate: 6.97 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.14 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.97 male(s)/ female total population: 1.1 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 19.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 77.71 years female: 80.3 years (2002 est.) male: 75.26 years
Total fertility rate: 3.15 children born/woman (2002 est.) HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.02% (1999 est.) HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ NA
AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Nationality: noun: Jordanian(s) adjective: Jordanian
Ethnic groups: Arab 98%, Circassian 1%, Armenian 1%
Religions: Sunni Muslim 92%, Christian 6% (majority Greek Orthodox, but some Greek and Roman Catholics, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and Protestant denominations), other 2% (several small Shi'a Muslim and Druze populations) (2001 est.)
Languages: Arabic (official), English widely understood among upper and middle classes
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 86.6% male: 93.4% female: 79.4% (1995 est.) Government Jordan -
Country name: conventional long form: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan conventional short form: Jordan local short form: Al Urdun local long form: Al Mamlakah al Urduniyah al Hashimiyah former: Transjordan
Government type: constitutional monarchy
Capital: Amman Administrative divisions: 12 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Ajlun, Al 'Aqabah, Al Balqa', Al Karak, Al Mafraq, 'Amman, At Tafilah, Az Zarqa', Irbid, Jarash, Ma'an, Madaba
Independence: 25 May 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)
National holiday: Independence Day, 25 May (1946)
Constitution: 8 January 1952
Legal system: based on Islamic law and French codes; judicial review of legislative acts in a specially provided High Tribunal; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 20 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: King ABDALLAH II (since 7 February 1999); Crown Prince HAMZAH (half brother of the monarch, born 29 March 1980) head of government: Prime Minister Ali Abul RAGHEB (since 19 June 2000) cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the monarch elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch
Legislative branch: bicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-'Umma consists of the Senate, also called the House of Notables (Majlis al-Aayan), a 40- member body appointed by the monarch from designated categories of public figures; members serve four-year terms and the House of Representatives, also called the House of Deputies (Majlis al- Nuwaab), an 80-member body elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms elections: House of Representatives - last held 4 November 1997 (November 2001 election postponed, next to be held NA) note: the House of Representatives has been convened and dissolved by the monarch several times since 1974; in November 1989, the first parliamentary elections in 22 years were held election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - National Constitutional Party 2, Arab Land Party 1, independents 75, other 2
Judicial branch: Court of Cassation; Supreme Court (court of final appeal) Political parties and leaders: Al-Umma (Nation) Party [Ahmad al- HANANDEH, secretary general]; Arab Land Party [Dr. Muhammad al-'ORAN, secretary general]; Jordanian Democratic Popular Unity Party [Sa'id DHIYAB, secretary general]; National Constitutional Party [Abdul Hadi MAJALI, secretary general]; Islamic Action Front [Abd al latif al-ARABIYAT, secretary general]; National Action (Haqq) Party [Muhammad al-ZUBI, secretary general]; (Arab) Socialist Ba'th Party [Taysif al-HIMSI, secretary general]; Jordanian People's Democratic (Hashd) Party [Salim al- NAHHAS, secretary general]; Pan-Arab (Democratic) Movement [Mahmud al- NUWAYHI, secretary general]; Constitutional Front [Mahdi al-TALL, secretary general]; Jordanian Progressive Party [Fawwaz al-ZUBI, secretary general]; Communist Party [Munir HAMARINAH, secretary general] Political pressure groups and Jordanian Press Association [Sayf
leaders: al-SHARIF, president]; Muslim Brotherhood [Abd-al-Majid DHUNAYBAT, secretary general]; Anti- Normalization Committee [Ali Abu SUKKAR, president vice chairman]; Jordanian Bar Association [Saleh ARMOUTI, president] International organization ABEDA, ACC, AFESD, AL, AMF, CAEU,
participation: CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MONUC, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOP, UNMOT, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNTAET, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Marwan Jamil MUASHER chancery: 3504 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008 FAX: [1] (202) 966-3110 telephone: [1] (202) 966-2664 Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador Edward
US: William GNEHM, Jr. embassy: Abdoun, Amman mailing address: P. O. Box 354, Amman 11118 Jordan; APO AE 09892- 0200 telephone: [962] (6) 5920101 FAX: [962] (6) 5920121
Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of black (top, the Abbassid Caliphate of Islam), white (the Ummayyad Caliphate of Islam), and green (the Fatimid Caliphate of Islam) with a red isosceles triangle (representing the Great Arab Revolt of 1916) based on the hoist side bearing a small white seven-pointed star symbolizing the seven verses of the opening Sura (Al-Fatiha) of the Holy Koran; the seven points on the star represent faith in One God, humanity, national spirit, humility, social justice, virtue, and aspirations Economy Jordan
Economy - overview: Jordan is a small Arab country with inadequate supplies of water and other natural resources such as oil. Debt, poverty, and unemployment are fundamental problems, but King ABDALLAH since assuming the throne in 1999 has undertaken some broad economic reforms in a long-term effort to improve living standards. Amman in the past three years has signed on to an IMF agreement, practiced careful monetary policy, and made significant headway with privatization. The government also has liberalized the trade regime sufficiently to secure Jordan's membership in the WTrO, an association agreement with the EU, and a free trade accord with US. These measures have helped improve productivity and have put Jordan on the foreign investment map. Ongoing challenges include fiscal adjustment to reduce the budget deficit and broader investment incentives to promote job-creating ventures.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $21.6 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 2.8% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $4,200 (2001 est.) GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 3.7% industry: 26% services: 70.3% (2001 est.) Population below poverty line: 30% (2001 est.) Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: 3.3%
percentage share: highest 10%: 29.8% (1997) Distribution of family income - Gini 36.4 (1997)
index: Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.5% (2001 est.)
Labor force: 1.26 million note: in addition, at least 300,000 workers are employed abroad (2001) Labor force - by occupation: services 82.5%, industry 12.5%, agriculture 5% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate: 16% official rate; actual rate is 25%-30% (2001 est.)
Budget: revenues: $2.9 billion expenditures: $3.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
Industries: phosphate mining, petroleum refining, cement, potash, light manufacturing, tourism Industrial production growth rate: 3.9% (2001 est.) Electricity - production: 6.932 billion kWh (2000) Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 99.44% hydro: 0.56% other: 0% (2000) nuclear: 0% Electricity - consumption: 7.092 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 5 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 650 million kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products: wheat, barley, citrus, tomatoes, melons, olives; sheep, goats, poultry
Exports: $2.2 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Exports - commodities: phosphates, fertilizers, potash, agricultural products, manufactures, pharmaceuticals
Exports - partners: India, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, EU, US, Indonesia, UAE, Lebanon, Kuwait, Syria, Ethiopia
Imports: $4.6 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Imports - commodities: crude oil, machinery, transport equipment, food, live animals, manufactured goods
Imports - partners: Iraq, Germany, US, Saudi Arabia, Japan, UK, Italy, Turkey, Malaysia, Syria, China
Debt - external: $7.9 billion (2001 est.) Economic aid - recipient: ODA, $850 million (1996 est.)
Currency: Jordanian dinar (JOD)
Currency code: JOD
Exchange rates: Jordanian dinars per US dollar - 0.7090 (1996-present ) note: since May 1989, the Jordanian dinar has been pegged to a group of currencies
Fiscal year: calendar year Communications Jordan - Telephones - main lines in use: 403,000 (1997) Telephones - mobile cellular: 11,500 (1995)
Telephone system: general assessment: service has improved recently with the increased use of digital switching equipment, but better access to the telephone system is needed in the rural areas and easier access to pay telephones is needed by the urban public domestic: microwave radio relay transmission and coaxial and fiber- optic cable are employed on trunk lines; considerable use of mobile cellular systems; Internet service is available international: satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat, 1 Arabsat, and 29 land and maritime Inmarsat terminals; fiber-optic cable to Saudi Arabia and microwave radio relay link with Egypt and Syria; connection to international submarine cable FLAG (Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe); participant in MEDARABTEL; international links total about 4,000 Radio broadcast stations: AM 6, FM 5, shortwave 1 (1999)
Radios: 1.66 million (1997) Television broadcast stations: 20 (plus 96 repeaters) (1995)
Televisions: 500,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .jo Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 5 (2000)
Internet users: 210,000 (2001) Transportation Jordan -
Railways: total: 677 km narrow gauge: 677 km 1.050-m gauge (2001)
Highways: total: 8,000 km paved: 8,000 km unpaved: 0 km (2000 est.)
Waterways: none
Pipelines: crude oil 209 km; note - may not be in use
Ports and harbors: Al 'Aqabah
Merchant marine: total: 7 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 41,206 GRT/53,401 DWT ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 3, container 1, roll on/roll off 2 note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Greece 6 (2002 est.)
Airports: 18 (2001) Airports - with paved runways: total: 15 over 3,047 m: 7 2,438 to 3,047 m: 6 under 914 m: 1 (2001) 914 to 1,523 m: 1 Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 3 under 914 m: 3 (2001)
Heliports: 1 (2001) Military Jordan -
Military branches: Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF) Royal Jordanian Land Force, Royal Naval Force, Royal Jordanian Air Force, and Special Operations Command or Socom); note - Public Security Directorate normally falls under Ministry of Interior but comes under JAF in wartime or crisis situations Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age (2002 est.) Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 1,517,751 (2002 est.) Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 1,073,991 (2002
service: est.) Military manpower - reaching males: 57,131 (2002 est.)
military age annually: Military expenditures - dollar $757.5 million (FY01)
figure: Military expenditures - percent of 8.6% (FY01)
GDP: Transnational Issues Jordan - Disputes - international: none

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I

Country, Middle East, lying east of the Jordan River.

It is bordered by Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the West Bank territory. Jordan has 12 miles (19 km) of coastline on the Gulf of Aqaba. Area: 34,495 sq mi (89,342 sq km). Population (2002 est.): 5,260,000. Capital: Amman. The vast majority of the population are Arabs, about two-thirds of whom are Palestinian Arabs who fled to Jordan from Israel and the West Bank as a result of the Arab-Israeli wars. Language: Arabic (official). Religion: Islam (official), with more than nine-tenths of the population Sunnite. Currency: Jordan dinar. Four-fifths of Jordan is occupied by desert, and less than one-tenth of the land is arable. The highest point of elevation, Mount Ramm (5,755 ft [1,754 m]), rises in the uplands region on the east bank of the Jordan River. The Jordan Valley region contains the Dead Sea. Jordan's economy is based largely on manufacturing and services (including tourism); exports include phosphate, potash, pharmaceuticals, fruits and vegetables, and fertilizers. Jordan is a constitutional monarchy with two legislative houses; the head of state and government is the king, assisted by the prime minister. Jordan shares much of its history with Israel, since both occupy parts of the area known historically as Palestine. Much of present-day Jordan was once part of the kingdom of Israel under David and Solomon (с 1000 BC). It fell to the Seleucids in 330 BC and to Muslim Arabs in the 7th century AD. The Crusaders extended the kingdom of Jerusalem east of the Jordan River in 1099. The region became part of the Ottoman Empire during the 16th century. In 1920 the area comprising Jordan (then known as Transjordan) was established within the British mandate of Palestine. Transjordan became an independent state in 1927, although the British mandate did not end until 1948. After hostilities with the new State of Israel ceased in 1949, Jordan annexed the West Bank and east Jerusalem, administering the territory until Israel gained control of them in the Six-Day War of 1967. In 1970–71 Jordan was wracked by fighting between the government and guerrillas of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a struggle that ended in the expulsion of the PLO from Jordan. In 1988 King Hussein renounced all Jordanian claims to the West Bank in favour of the PLO. In 1994 Jordan and Israel signed a full peace agreement.
II
(as used in expressions)
Crittenden John Jordan
Jordan Barbara Charline
Jordan David Starr
Jordan Michael Jeffrey

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▪ 2009

Area:
88,778 sq km (34,277 sq mi)
Population
(2008 est.): 5,844,000 (including about 1,900,000 Palestinian refugees, most of whom hold Jordanian citizenship; excluding roughly 600,000 Iraqi refugees)
Capital:
Amman
Head of state and government:
King Abdullah II, assisted by Prime Minister Nader Dahabi

      Confronted in 2008 by the rising cost of living spurred by unbridled increases in world oil and cereal prices, Jordan embarked on a plan to cushion the impact of inflation. Though subsidies were eliminated, the salaries of public- and private-sector employees were raised. Despite mounting inflation, which was a risk factor for social upheaval, the government seemed firmly in control of the domestic security situation as it also tried to cope with its 750,000 Iraqi refugee population.

      The consumer price index rose over 15% in the first nine months of the year (compared with 5.4% in 2007) as a result of the increase in oil prices, elimination of fuel and some food subsidies, and the escalation in prices of imported cereals (31%), fuel and electricity (55%), dairy products (36%), transport (24%), and meat and chicken (10%). The government's 2008 budget of $7.3 billion marked an increase of $1.2 billion over 2007, with an expected deficit of $1 billion (5.6% of GDP), compared with the previous year's deficit of $535.2 million. The government's economic liberalization program troubled opposition parties and the population at large. Public opinion surveys indicated that 55% of Jordanians considered themselves poor on the basis of the fact that their living conditions had worsened in the past three years. Only 13% of the population believed that their situation had improved. The Jordanian economy was growing at an estimated annual rate of 6%, compared with 4% in 2006, but government officials considered rates of unemployment and poverty high.

      Two attacks against foreign tourists occurred in Amman during the year. In March a Jordanian stabbed a German tourist, and in July a shooting incident near the Roman amphitheatre resulted in some injuries. The political situation remained fairly stable, despite the Iraqi refugee problem, the lack of progress in the Palestinian- Israeli negotiations, and the country's restive mood following the removal of subsidies.

      In July, Jordanian, Palestinian, and Israeli officials concluded negotiations in Amman with World Bank representatives for a feasibility study of a $3 billion project to build a canal that would connect the Red Sea to the Mediterranean via the Dead Sea, where the water level had reached a critical low. Described as a scheme to foster increased cooperation between Israel and its Arab neighbours, the project was criticized by experts as a revival of the 1993 plan offered by Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres at the 1993 Arab summit in Casablanca, Mor.; at that time the project was considered an attempt to effectively separate the Palestinian West Bank from the Gaza Strip and was viewed as a threat to the Egyptian Suez Canal and marine life in the Gulf of Aqaba. The plan was again rejected at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.

Ayman M. El-Amir

▪ 2008

Area:
88,778 sq km (34,277 sq mi)
Population
(2007 est.): 5,924,000 (including about 1,900,000 Palestinian refugees, most of whom hold Jordanian citizenship; excluding 800,000 Iraqi refugees)
Capital:
Amman
Head of state and government:
King Abdullah II, assisted by Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit

 Jordan faced two challenging elections in 2007 that tested the resilience of its drive for democratization amid the rising popularity of the Islamic movement in Jordan and in neighbouring countries. In a surprise move on the eve of the municipal councils' elections on July 31, the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, withdrew all of its candidates because of what it called “manipulation” and “vote rigging” by the government. The boycott drew sharp criticism from Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit, who told the Jordan Press Agency (Petra) that the move reflected “a conspiratorial and opportunistic mentality” that undermined the entire Islamic movement. The polling was held to fill nearly 1,000 seats of local councilmen and to elect 92 mayors, and the government allowed members of the armed forces to vote, an action that critics maintained would help ensure the election of the government's candidates. In the event, pro-government and independent candidates captured most of the vote. The turnout in urban centres such as Amman was about 51%.

      The municipal elections, however, were only a dress rehearsal for the parliamentary elections that were held on November 20. Pro-government candidates swept the elections for the 110-member legislative assembly, upsetting all expectations of the IAF, which won fewer than 5% of the seats. The IAF charged that the elections were marred by irregularities and lacked integrity. Some 55% of eligible voters participated in the balloting.

      The legislative contest marked a watershed for both the electoral framework and the political power of the legislature in Jordan's public affairs. The results confirmed the electoral system of single nontransferable vote (one man, one vote) and the distribution of electoral districts, which favoured independent candidates from rural areas (where clannish allegiance was superior to political platform) over urban-based political parties that were supported by Jordanians of Palestinian origin.

      The Jordanian economy presented a combination of rising inflationary pressures and increased foreign direct investment. Jordan's central bank reported that foreign currency reserves increased by 3.2% to $6.29 billion during the first five months of the year, a rise of 3.2% over the same period of the previous year. According to a study conducted by the Center for Strategic Studies of the University of Jordan, the rate of inflation rose to 6.25% for 2006, compared with 3.4% in 2004. The increase was attributed to the rise in oil prices, the weakness of the U.S. dollar, and the cost of residential housing, as well as the cost of imports and public spending. Although the study put the rate of unemployment at 14%, it concluded that the approximately 800,000 Iraqi refugees who had fled to Jordan following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 had little to do with the rise in the cost of living. The loss of preferential oil prices, which Jordan received from Iraq under Saddam Hussein, was cited as a significant factor in the increased cost of living.

Ayman M. El-Amir

▪ 2007

Area:
89,342 sq km (34,495 sq mi)
Population
(2006 est.): 5,505,000 (including about 1,850,000 Palestinian refugees, most of whom hold Jordanian citizenship; excluding 700,000 Iraqi refugees)
Capital:
Amman
Head of state and government:
King Abdullah II, assisted by Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit

      In 2006 Jordan struggled to contain the growing political influence of Islamist groups and to address issues sparked by the war in neighbouring Iraq. On July 10 the Jordanian government closed down a charitable organization linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, sponsor of the Islamic Action Front, the country's main political opposition party. The government accused the Brotherhood of diverting donations intended for charitable purposes to political activities. Four parliamentarians from the Islamic Action Front were jailed after they attended funeral services for Jordanian al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (Zarqawi, Abu Musab al- ) (see Obituaries), who was killed in Iraq by U.S. troops on June 7. Thousands of Jordanians protested their trip because Zarqawi was behind the Nov. 9, 2005, attacks on three hotels in Amman that resulted in about 60 dead and many more injured. Salim al-Falahat, a prominent Muslim Brotherhood leader, refused to apologize for the visit and claimed that Zarqawi had “mixed good deeds with deeds that were not good.”

      King Abdullah II actively pursued revival of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. He stressed the importance of negotiation, meeting several times with Palestinian Pres. Mahmud Abbas, and warned of impending civil wars in Iraq, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories, abetted by Iran and Syria. He also strongly condemned Hamas's abduction on June 25 of an Israeli soldier in Gaza and Hezbollah's abduction on July 12 of two Israeli soldiers across the Blue Line between Lebanon and Israeli, which triggered a 34-day war. The Jordanian monarch joined the leaders of Egypt and Saudi Arabia in supporting the democratically elected Lebanese government against Hezbollah's recent attempt to topple it. Abdullah invited several Iraqi leaders to discuss ways of ending the sectarian conflict in Iraq. On November 30 Jordan hosted President Bush's meeting in Amman with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (Maliki, Nuri al- ). (See Biographies.)

      In June, Jordanian Queen Rania launched the Global Women's Action Network for Children with a three-day conference attended by activists, politicians, journalists, and artists from across the globe. The group's objective was to increase access to education for women and girls worldwide and to reverse maternal- and infant-mortality rates.

Marius K. Deeb

▪ 2006

Area:
89,342 sq km (34,495 sq mi)
Population
(2005 est.): 5,182,000 (including about 1,800,000 Palestinian refugees, most of whom hold Jordanian citizenship)
Capital:
Amman
Head of state and government:
King Abdullah II, assisted by Prime Ministers Faisal al-Fayez and, from April 7, Adnan Badran

      In 2005 Jordan's King Abdullah II continued his active involvement in the Israeli- Palestinian peace process. He participated in the summit negotiations in Sharm al-Shaykh, Egypt, on February 8 that brought together Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Palestinian Pres. Mahmoud Abbas, and the host, Egyptian Pres. Hosni Mubarak. Meeting again with Abbas in the Jordanian capital on October 16, Abdullah confirmed that Jordan would exert all its efforts on the regional and international level to ensure the continuation of the Mideast peace process.

      In early December 2004 the king had expressed apprehension that if militant Shiʿites beholden to Iran were to take over power in Iraq “a Shiʿite crescent” could result in the Middle East linking Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. Jordanian-Iraqi relations worsened when a Jordanian suicide bomber killed more than 120 Iraqis in the predominantly Shiʿite city of Hilla, Iraq, on Feb. 28, 2005. The suspected bomber's family held a public condolence service, which led to demonstrations outside the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad by thousands of Iraqi Shiʿites on March 18. The protesters burned Jordanian flags and pictures of King Abdullah and demanded an official apology. In order to mend relations, Iraqi Pres. Jalal Talabani traveled for an official visit to Amman on May 7 and was given a red-carpet reception and a 21-gun salute. The Iraqi and Jordanian leaders issued a statement expressing their determination to wage all-out war against terrorism.

      Asked on April 5 to form a government, Adnan Badran, an academic, assembled a cabinet that after a July 3 reshuffle consisted of 28 members, including 3 women. The major agenda of the new cabinet was to modernize laws and legislation and fight corruption. The Islamic Action Front, an Islamist parliamentary bloc, constituted Badran's main opposition. On July 21 the new cabinet received a vote of confidence. Badran's cabinet was determined to introduce reforms especially in education, culture, and media. As deputy prime minister, veteran diplomat Marwan Muasher was tapped to spearhead the government's anticorruption and reform-minded program and took on the task of selling the reforms to the Jordanian people.

      On November 9 the Hyatt, Days Inn, and Radisson hotels in Amman were attacked by three suicide bombers; 58 people were killed and scores of others wounded. It was confirmed that al-Qaeda was behind the operation and that the bombings were masterminded by Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. King Abdullah called these terrorists “heretics of Islam” and said that “terrorism is a sick and cross-border phenomenon. Therefore, eradicating it is the whole world's responsibility.”

Marius K. Deeb

▪ 2005

Area:
89,342 sq km (34,495 sq mi)
Population
(2004 est.): 5,543,000 (including more than 1,750,000 Palestinian refugees, most of whom hold Jordanian citizenship)
Capital:
Amman
Head of state and government:
King Abdullah II, assisted by Prime Minister Faisal al-Fayez

      In 2004 the Jordanian government uncovered a terrorist operation that aimed at destroying the headquarters of the Jordanian Intelligence Services in Amman and also targeted the U.S. embassy and the headquarters of the Jordanian prime minister. The authorities claimed that 17.5 tons of explosives were confiscated from five trucks that had originated in Syria. King Abdullah II expressed annoyance that despite assurances given by Syrian Pres. Bashar al-Assad about this incident, “many individuals continue to cross the borders and target the Jordanian security forces.” Queen Rania led a peaceful protest march in Amman on April 29. An estimated 80,000 demonstrators proceeded to the parliament building, where they set fire to pictures of Osama bin Laden and several prominent Jordanian militants believed to have been behind the thwarted terrorist operation.

      King Abdullah actively sought a solution to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. He met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on March 18 and with Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Quray in April, May, and June. The Mideastern situation was also on the agenda when Abdullah met with U.S. Pres. George W. Bush on May 6. The king received a letter of assurance from Bush that the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza would be regarded as an integral part of the road map for peace. It was during this same meeting that President Bush publicly apologized for the U.S. abuse of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison. Abdullah was invited to attend the Group of Eight summit in Sea Island, Ga., on June 8–10. Also, for the second consecutive year, Jordan was chosen as the venue for the World Economic Forum, which had formerly been held in Davos, Switz. The 2004 meeting was held at the Dead Sea on May 15–17 and was formally opened by the king.

      On June 27, by a vote of 44–39 by the deputies present, the lower house of the parliament narrowly rejected the Personal Status Law, which would have given women the right to divorce their husbands in return for monetary compensation. Opponents of the law, which would also have raised the legal age of marriage to 18 for both sexes, argued that it would undermine family values, increase immorality, and contravene Islamic law.

      On October 24 the prime minister reshuffled his cabinet, replacing 3 members who had resigned with 10 new members and thereby increasing the number of cabinet ministers from 20 to 27. The number of women serving in the cabinet was increased to 4. A new superministry was created to oversee the performance of all ministers with the objective of reforming and modernizing the public sector; this new body was to be headed by former foreign minister Marwan Muasher.

      In November King Abdullah stripped his half brother and heir apparent Prince Hamzah of his duties as crown prince; the new heir to the throne would be Abdullah's eldest son, 10-year-old Hussein.

Marius K. Deeb

▪ 2004

Area:
89,342 sq km (34,495 sq mi)
Population
(2003 est.): 5,395,000 (including nearly 1,725,000 Palestinian refugees, most of whom hold Jordanian citizenship)
Capital:
Amman
Head of state and government:
King Abdullah II, assisted by Prime Ministers ʿAli Abu al-Raghib and, from October 25, Faisal al-Fayez

      The World Economic Forum (WEF) convened its extraordinary meeting, held June 21–23, 2003, on the Jordanian shores of the Dead Sea. Klaus Schwab, president of the WEF, justified the meeting place by stating that “the world and, above all, the [Middle Eastern] region were in urgent need of healing processes.” Policy makers, political leaders, academicians, intellectuals, and religious leaders, representing 65 countries, attended the gathering, which was hosted by King Abdullah II. The conference addressed such issues as peace, combating terrorism in the Middle East, trade, and economic reforms.

      Since the majority of the citizens of Jordan were of Palestinian origin, King Abdullah II was keenly interested in reviving the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process. On June 4 Abdullah II hosted a summit at the Red Sea resort of Al-ʿAqabah, where Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (see Biographies (Abbas, Mahmoud )), and U.S. Pres. George W. Bush met to discuss the road map for peace. It was the first meeting between top Israeli and Palestinian leaders since the second intifadah (uprising) erupted on Sept. 28, 2000.

      Despite the efforts of the Jordanian authorities to stem the power of the Islamists, the latter made an alliance with Pan-Arabists and won the elections in May for the powerful Jordan Engineers Association (JEA), which had more than 50,000 active members. As a leading civil-society organization, the JEA had been used by its leaders as a vehicle for championing the antinormalization movement with Israel.

      On June 17, 1.3 million Jordanians (58.8% of registered voters) participated in parliamentary elections. The Jordanian authorities had redrawn the electoral constituencies in a manner that favoured the election of tribal and independent candidates. It came as no surprise then when the vast majority of the seats (85 out of 110) were won by these groups. The representation of political parties was meagre, with the exception of the Islamic Action Front, the political arm of the Muslim Brothers, which won 17 seats and became the leading opposition bloc in the parliament.

      Members of the council of the Jordan Farmers Union (JFU), which represented 7,000 members, threatened on June 25 to submit their resignations if the government “continued ignoring the plight of the union and the farmers.” The JFU asked for the cancellation of recently imposed taxes on agricultural inputs and products.

      On July 31 two daughters of Saddam Hussein, Rana and Raghad, were permitted to enter Jordan together with their nine children and were given refuge by the Jordanian authorities. Shortly thereafter, the Jordanian embassy in Iraq was the target of a terrorist attack involving a truck bomb that exploded on August 7; 11 persons were killed and more than 50 were wounded in the incident.

Marius Deeb

▪ 2003

Area:
89,342 sq km (34,495 sq mi)
Population
(2002 est.): 5,260,000 (including about 1,675,000 Palestinian refugees, most of whom hold Jordanian citizenship)
Capital:
Amman
Head of state and government:
King Abdullah II, assisted by Prime Minister ʿAli Abu al-Raghib

      Following the Jan. 14, 2002, cabinet reshuffle, 7 new ministers joined the 27-member cabinet. The most important change was in the post of foreign minister. Marwan Muasher, the Jordanian ambassador to the United States, replaced foreign minister ʿAbd al-Ilah al-Katib.

      On February 11 the State Security Court sentenced to death Raed Hijazi, a U.S.-born Islamic militant, who had been found guilty of possessing arms and explosives and of plotting attacks on U.S. and Israeli targets on Jordanian territory during the 2000 millennium celebrations.

      King Abdullah II did not attend the Arab League meeting held in Beirut, Lebanon, in March because Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat was unable to attend. The Jordanian king, however, fully supported the Saudi peace initiative that was publicly announced by Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah (see Biographies (Abdullah, Crown Prince )) and was subsequently endorsed by the Arab League.

      Toujan Faisal, who had made history as the first woman ever elected to the Jordanian parliament and who had served from 1993 to 1997, was arrested on March 16, 10 days after having published an open letter addressed to King Abdullah II in which she accused Prime Minister ʿAli Abu al-Raghib of corruption by having benefited from the doubling of car insurance rates. She also criticized the Jordanian judiciary as “unjust.” On May 16 she was sentenced to 18 months in jail for having disseminated “lies that damage the Jordanian state's integrity and honour.”

      King Abdullah II, accompanied by Queen Rania, visited France and met Pres. Jacques Chiraq on July 26. In October he traveled to Germany, where he emphasized the importance of Jordan's association agreement with the European Union, which came into effect in May. During his summit meeting with U.S. Pres. George W. Bush on August 1, Abdullah discussed the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The following month, on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks, the king sent a message to President Bush reiterating his strong support of U.S. efforts against terrorism. On October 28 the director of the USAID office in Amman was assassinated. The incident had all the characteristics of a terrorist operation. In early November the southern city of Maʿan was put under a curfew as police made a house-to-house search for armed Islamic militants believed to be involved in arms and drug smuggling, killings, fires on university campuses, assaults, and robberies. Dozens were arrested in the sweep, and five persons were killed.

      There remained strong opposition among Islamists and leftists to normalization with Israel, especially in the wake of the second Palestinian intifadah. The first antinormalization conference was convened on January 27. ʿAbd al-Latif ʿArabeyat, one of the speakers representing an antinormalization movement, called for jihad rather than normalization.

      A new law on information technology went into effect on March 19. The Posts and Telecommunications Ministry was renamed the Information and Communications Technology Ministry, and it was given autonomy in drawing up government policies concerning information technology.

Marius K. Deeb

▪ 2002

Area:
89,342 sq km (34,495 sq mi)
Population
(2001 est.): 5,133,000 (including more than 1,500,000 Palestinian refugees, most of whom hold Jordanian citizenship)
Capital:
Amman
Head of state and government:
King Abdullah II, assisted by Prime Minister ʿAli Abu ar-Raghib

      Jordan hosted the 13th ordinary session of the Arab League summit on March 27–28, 2001. The Arab leaders, who decided to meet annually, regarded this conference as a milestone to safeguarding “the vital interests of Arab countries within the context of achieving Arab accord and pan-Arab security.”

      On June 16 the Jordanian cabinet, headed by Prime Minister ʿAli Abu ar-Raghib, was reshuffled. Eleven cabinet ministers were replaced, but the total membership remained at 29. Among the newcomers were two independent Islamists.

      On July 22 the State Security Court, in a retrial ordered in April, passed life sentences against nine defendants, all members of the radical Islamic Reform and Challenge organization, who had been accused of a series of car-park bombings in Amman in 1998. Amnesty International denounced the proceedings and called for a retrial by a criminal court.

      King Abdullah II was the first Arab leader to visit the U.S. following the terrorist attacks of September 11. He held talks with Pres. George W. Bush and senior officials in the Bush administration as well as the Congress. Abdullah fully supported the war against terrorism and pointed to Jordan's successful foiling of Osama bin Laden's terrorist operations in Jordan in 1999. The Jordanian media hailed the king's visit as a landmark in the history of bilateral relations.

      Although Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, who made numerous visits to Amman, sought Abdullah's help to revive the Middle East peace process, Jordanian opposition parties headed by the Islamic Action Front had a different agenda. On September 28 these parties marked the first anniversary of the Palestinian intifadah by declaring “that the strategic option of peace with Israel is no longer valid.” The Islamic Action Front, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood Movement, was the largest and most influential political group among Jordan's 25 registered parties.

      On October 8, one day after U.S. air strikes began against Afghanistan, the Jordanian government adopted amendments to the penal code with restrictive measures against the press, including fines and prison sentences up to three years. The new law stipulated the permanent or temporary closure of publications that carried “false or libelous information that can undermine national unity or the country's reputation.”

      During the year Jordan further improved its excellent relations with Egypt, Syria, and Iraq. On March 14 King Abdullah, Egyptian Pres. Hosni Mubarak, and Syrian Pres. Bashar al-Assad inaugurated the Dair Ali power station, located at the Jordanian-Syrian border. The joint power grid linked the three countries. On June 5 Royal Jordanian Airlines resumed regular flights to Baghdad, Iraq, and in August a delegation headed by the Jordanian minister of industry and trade and four other members of the cabinet made an official visit to Iraq.

Marius K. Deeb

▪ 2001

Area:
89,342 sq km (34,495 sq mi)
Population
(2000 est.): 4,982,000 (including about 1,500,000 Palestinian refugees, most of whom hold Jordanian citizenship)
Capital:
Amman
Head of state and government:
King Abdullah II, assisted by Prime Ministers ʿAbd al-Rauf al-Rawabdeh and, from June 19, ʿAli Abu al-Raghib

      Jordan's King Abdullah II pursued an active foreign policy in 2000, seeking to advance the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians and consolidating Jordan's bilateral relations with major powers in the Middle East. On February 6 the king received the Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, and on April 23 Abdullah made his first visit to Israel, where he sought to maintain the strong ties that his late father, King Hussein, had developed with that nation. He received Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak on July 8. Jordan renewed its trade protocol with Israel on January 12, and the industrial zone that had been established by the two countries was by that time employing some 5,000 people.

      King Abdullah made numerous visits to Egypt in an attempt to show support for the peace negotiations and also to consolidate relations with that country. On February 19 Jordan and Egypt decided to abolish customs duties on their trade in a gradual manner and to complete the process in two years. The king visited Saudi Arabia on May 13 and October 14 and thereby further enhanced the already strong ties between the two countries. Accompanied by Queen Rania, Abdullah visited Morocco during March 9–11, and he made another visit to Morocco on July 30 to attend the first anniversary of Moroccan King Muhammad VI's accession to the throne.

      Abdullah developed excellent relations with Syria. He visited Damascus on May 21 and later attended the funeral of Syrian Pres. Hafez al-Assad, who died on June 10. (See Obituaries (Assad, Hafez al- ).) When Bashar al-Assad was selected as Syria's new president, the king visited Damascus on July 19 to congratulate him.

      During a visit to the U.S. on June 6–8, Abdullah engaged in talks with American officials on a free-trade agreement between Jordan and the U.S. On October 24 he visited the U.S. to sign the agreement.

      On June 19 a new Jordanian cabinet of 29 members was formed, headed by ʿAli Abu al-Raghib, with a mandate to move more effectively in the direction of privatization and economic development; the rate of growth of the Jordanian economy had been only 2% annually. The new prime minister had a strong private-sector background, having served as president of the Jordanian Construction Contractors Association.

Marius K. Deeb

▪ 2000

Area:
89,326 sq km (34,489 sq mi)
Population
(1999 est.): 4,839,000 (including about 1,250,000 Palestinian refugees)
Capital:
Amman
Head of state and government:
Kings Hussein and, from February 7, Abdullah II, assisted by Prime Ministers Fayez Tarawneh and, from April 9, ʿAbd ar-Rauf ar-Rawabdeh

      In 1999, after a charmed reign that lasted 46 years, King Hussein of Jordan, at the age of 63, succumbed to his second bout with cancer. (See Obituaries (Hussein ).) In January he left the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he had been undergoing treatment, for his penultimate journey to Amman. There he received a tumultuous welcome from his countrymen, who thought he had been cured. Hussein stunned Jordanians by removing his brother Prince Hassan from the line of succession and naming his eldest son, Abdullah, heir apparent. Hours later he was flown back to the Mayo Clinic, only to return to Amman in a coma a few days later. His funeral on February 8 produced an outpouring of grief from hundreds of thousands of Jordanians and brought together over 50 world leaders, including U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton, three former U.S. presidents, ailing Russian Pres. Boris Yeltsin, and every major Arab and Israeli official.

      The policies of King Abdullah II, who was officially crowned on June 9, represented limited change amid a large measure of continuity. (See Biographies (Abdullah II ).) The maintenance of close ties with the U.S. and facilitation of the Middle East peace process were the mainstays of that continuity. Abdullah mediated between Israel and Syria and pushed for progress in implementation of the Wye Memorandum between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. He also carried messages from Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to Washington, D.C., during the second of his two trips there in 1999, won the agreement of U.S. officials for an expansion of the oil-for-food program to ease the suffering of the Iraqi people, and backed Washington's demand for a resumption of the arms-inspection program in Iraq. The U.S. agreed to continue military aid to Jordan, helping to downsize its army into a modern rapid-intervention force; some $250 million in military aid was pledged through 2001, plus as much as $450 million in economic and other assistance. President Clinton also promised to push for debt relief for the kingdom from major creditors among the Group of Seven industrialized countries. Abdullah expressed his desire to move ahead with plans for privatization of state-owned industries and to have Jordan join the World Trade Organization within a year.

      Abdullah moved to improve relations with Saudi Arabia and the oil-producing Persian Gulf states, which could mean new business and employment opportunities for Jordanians. The government cracked down on the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), closing its offices in Jordan, declaring the organization illegal, and arresting 21 of its members. Two high Hamas officials were arrested when they deliberately flew back to Jordan to challenge the legality of the measures. In November authorities pardoned some two dozen Hamas prisoners, four of whom, thought to be high-ranking officials, were “expelled” to Qatar.

Jenab Tutunji

▪ 1999

      Area: 89,326 sq km (34,489 sq mi)

      Population (1998 est.): 4,682,000 (including about 1,300,000 Palestinian refugees)

      Capital: Amman

      Head of state and government: King Hussein, assisted by Prime Ministers !Abd as-Salam al-Majali and, from August 20, Fayez Tarawneh

      King Hussein left Jordan in July 1998 for an extended stay in the United States to undergo treatment for B-cell (non-Hodgkin's) lymphoma. He turned over the daily affairs of the kingdom to his brother, Crown Prince Hassan, who won admiration for the way in which he discharged his duties. Despite his illness, King Hussein continued his efforts to help mediate an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. In June, at a meeting in Amman with Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai, Hussein supported a U.S. proposal for a withdrawal by Israel from an additional 13% of the West Bank, which was resisted by the Israeli government. Jordan meanwhile resisted efforts by Syria to halt the normalization of its relations with Israel. Numerous consultations were held with Israeli leaders to facilitate an agreement. Late in December Crown Prince Hassan announced that Hussein had been cured of his cancer and had left the hospital. The king had been treated with chemotherapy and had received a transplant from his own bone marrow.

      In October King Hussein was invited by U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton to help break the deadlock in the Israeli-Palestinian talks at the Wye Plantation in Maryland. The negotiations produced an agreement to which the king lent his personal prestige. In Jordan Hussein was widely praised for his efforts.

      Military cooperation with the U.S. continued. Jordan received $100 million in military assistance in 1998, on top of the $30 million it had received the previous year, and it was to be given an additional $45 million in the 1998-99 fiscal year to help finance the purchase of 16 F-16 fighter jets. Jordan was also receiving $150 million in economic and development aid annually from the U.S. Joint military exercises with the U.S. were again held in 1998. Jordan and Turkey announced plans for increased military cooperation; Turkey was to help upgrade Jordanian weaponry. Relations between Jordan and Syria deteriorated because Syria had mounted a campaign in the spring to pressure Arab nations to halt normalization with Israel.

      A new Cabinet was formed on August 20 under Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh, former chief of the Royal Court and ambassador to the United States. The outgoing Cabinet under !Abd as-Salam al-Majali was embarrassed in its final days by a scandal concerning polluted water supplies to the capital, which led to the legal prosecution of government officials, and also by inaccurate government figures that exaggerated estimates of economic growth; the real figure for 1997 was 2.7% rather than the 5% claimed by official accounts.

      Jordan's relations with the European Union (EU) continued to improve. In November 1997 Jordan and the EU had signed an agreement that provided free access for Jordanian agricultural and industrial products to European markets and promoted direct investment in Jordan. The European Parliament was expected to ratify the agreement by the end of 1998. There was further progress in repairing relations with Kuwait, marked by the first visit by a Jordanian Cabinet member to the emirate since the Persian Gulf War in 1990-91. Jordan also was discussing a preliminary agreement for a $350 million, 750-km (470-mi) oil pipeline from Iraq to the kingdom. Political and economic cooperation with Egypt continued.

JENAB TUTUNJI

▪ 1998

      Area: 89,326 sq km (34,489 sq mi)

      Population (1997 est.): 4,522,000 (including about 1.3 million Palestinian refugees)

      Capital: Amman

      Head of state and government: King Hussein, assisted by Prime Ministers ˋAbd al-Karim Kabariti and, from March 19, ˋAbd as-Salam al-Majali

      Jordan found it increasingly difficult to halt the deterioration in its relations with Israel and to make further progress toward democratization in 1997; relations with its Arab Gulf neighbours and with the United States continued to improve, however, and privatization measures were enacted. A new Cabinet was formed on March 19 under ˋAbd as-Salam al-Majali after the king lost confidence in ˋAbd al-Karim Kabariti's year-old government owing to differences on how to handle relations with Israel and the inability of the government to carry out reforms in the civil service and army. The new regime did, however, continue the moves initiated by the former government to improve relations with Arab Gulf states and to liberalize investment laws. Trade with Kuwait resumed after a six-year break, and an exchange of ambassadors was expected; relations with Saudi Arabia improved; and trade agreements were concluded with Egypt, Bahrain, and Qatar. Progress was also being made in regard to economic and military cooperation with the U.S., and joint military exercises were held.

      Relations with Israel started well with Israel's decision to withdraw from most of the West Bank town of Hebron in February, an agreement that Jordan helped facilitate. It was all downhill from there, however, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to compromise on allowing Israelis to expand their settlements in the West Bank and laid the blame for Palestinian suicide bombings at the door of the Palestinian Authority. Attempts by Jordan and Egypt to mediate the conflict produced no significant results. The crowning blow came in late September when Israel's Mossad intelligence agency tried to assassinate a Hamas leader in Jordan. Two Mossad agents were captured, and in order to secure their release, Israel had to release Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, the spiritual leader of Hamas, from prison in an apparent deal with Jordan. King Hussein expressed his exasperation with Netanyahu, but he made a point of signaling his determination to adhere to the new relationship with Israel by pointedly receiving the credentials of the new Israeli ambassador on October 5. Trade with Israel remained insignificant, although a scheme for sharing water from Lake Tiberias went into effect.

      King Hussein dissolved the National Assembly (which had been in recess since March 19) on September 1, and elections for the House of Deputies were held on November 4. A new pro-government party, the National Constitutional Party (NCP), was formed through the merger of nine parties. The NCP's platform advocated measures to revitalize the economy, combat unemployment, and introduce a value-added tax. The Islamic Action Front, which protested the one-man, one-vote system, which had weakened its electoral fortunes, declared that it would boycott the elections, along with smaller leftist and pan-Arab parties. In the election, which the opposition parties boycotted, the pro-government independents won 62 of the 80 seats. A voter turnout of 54.6% was reported, the lowest total since the democratization process was launched by King Hussein in 1989.

      Jordan began negotiating with the United States about membership in the World Trade Organization. The government was determined to attract foreign investment; the 50% ceiling it had established on foreign ownership of banking and insurance firms was eliminated but was kept in force for mining and construction companies.

JENAB TUTUNJI

▪ 1997

      A constitutional monarchy, Jordan is located in southwestern Asia and has a short coastline on the Gulf of Aqaba. Area: 89,326 sq km (34,489 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 4,333,000 (including Palestinian refugees estimated to number nearly 1.3 million). Cap.: Amman. Monetary unit: Jordan dinar, with (Oct. 11, 1996) an official rate of 0.71 dinar to U.S. $1 (1.12 dinars = £ 1 sterling). King, Hussein I; prime ministers in 1996, Sharif Zaid ibn Shaker and, from February 4, 'Abd al-Karim Kabariti.

      In early February 1996, Foreign Minister 'Abd al-Karim Kabariti formed a 31-member Cabinet, including 22 members of the National Assembly, and pledged to continue reconciliation with the Arab Gulf states and to further the normalization of relations with Israel, yet those relations were in jeopardy by October. Jordan moved squarely into the anti-Saddam Hussein camp during the year by allowing U.S. forces to use an air base on its territory to monitor the no-fly zone in southern Iraq. In April the U.S. began operating three dozen F-15s and F-16s, along with 1,500 airmen, out of the Azraq air base. On July 29 Jordan signed a $220 million deal with the U.S. to lease 16 F-16s. Jordan was also to receive 50 M60 A3 tanks and a C-130 cargo plane.

      Iraq was also angered because Jordan allowed an Iraqi opposition group, the Iraq National Accord, to operate a radio station that blanketed Iraq with propaganda and to encourage the defection of high-ranking army officers, including Lieut. Gen. Nazar Khazraji. The government's policies toward Iraq were not popular with the Jordanian business community. Jordan depended on Iraq for oil imports, averaging 75,000 bbl a day, which it purchased below market. Nearly 40% of Jordan's manufactured exports went to Iraq. Iraq had, however, accumulated a debt of $1.2 billion with Jordan, and so Jordan announced a 50% cut in its exports to Iraq according to a protocol signed in April.

      On August 13 the government began to implement plans to phase out bread subsidies in an effort to reduce the government deficit. The action met with strong criticism in the National Assembly and led to riots in the town of Kerak. Two Iraqi diplomats were expelled from Jordan that month on charges of having instigated the riots.

      Relations with Israel began to sour after the Israeli government under Shimon Peres launched a campaign to punish Hezbollah guerrilla forces in Lebanon, which resulted in carnage when Israel bombed a UN base in Qana, killing more than 100 civilians. Following the election of Benjamin Netanyahu, King Hussein attended the Arab summit in Cairo in June to map strategy toward Israel, at which time a reconciliation between him and Pres. Hafez al-Assad of Syria took place. In late September the opening of an archaeological tunnel under the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem sparked clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in which more than 70 people died. King Hussein, Yasir Arafat, and Netanyahu met in Washington at the beginning of October at the urging of U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton to resolve the issue, but nothing concrete was achieved. King Hussein warned that Israel's peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt were at risk unless Israel fulfilled its obligations to the Palestinians as agreed upon in Oslo in 1993. (JENAB TUTUNJI)

▪ 1996

      A constitutional monarchy, Jordan is located in southwestern Asia and has a short coastline on the Gulf of Aqaba. Area: 89,246 sq km (34,458 sq mi). Pop. (1995 est.): 4,187,000 (including Palestinian refugees estimated to number nearly 1.2 million). Cap.: Amman. Monetary unit: Jordan dinar, with (Oct. 6, 1995) an official rate of 0.70 dinar to U.S. $1 (1.11 dinars = £ 1 sterling). King, Hussein I; prime ministers in 1995, 'Abd as-Salam al-Majali and, from January 8, Sharif Zaid ibn Shaker.

      Jordan faced a year of critical adjustment in 1995. In the wake of its peace agreement with Israel in October 1994, Amman resumed its former warm relationship with the U.S. and restored ambassadorial ties with Saudi Arabia after four years of alienation. There was a rapprochement with Qatar, and even relations with Kuwait were thawing. On the other hand, Jordan distanced itself from Iraq; in August King Hussein granted asylum to two top-level Iraqi defectors, both sons-in-law of Iraqi Pres. Saddam Hussein, and their wives and children. At the end of November, King Hussein's envoy met with Sunni, Shi'ite, and Kurdish Iraqi opposition leaders in London and urged them to form a united front. Despite a controversy at the end of 1994 over the proposed Jordanian guardianship of Islamic holy places in Jerusalem, Jordan and the Palestine National Authority signed a formal cooperation agreement in January. On November 6 King Hussein arrived in Jerusalem for the first time since the city came under Israeli control in 1967 in order to deliver a personal eulogy at the funeral of slain Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (see OBITUARIES (Rabin, Yitzhak )), with whom he reportedly had shared a longtime private friendship.

      The Jordanian public was disoriented by the abruptness with which the peace agreement had come about and was disappointed as few of the expected economic benefits of the treaty materialized quickly. The Islamic movement (the single strongest bloc in the parliament) opposed the peace treaty, and the government resorted to allegedly high-handed tactics in securing the parliament's endorsement of the agreement and of subsequent economic cooperation accords with Israel, which were perceived to be unilaterally concessionary on Jordan's part. The newly formed Cabinet of Prime Minister Sharif Zaid ibn Shaker, who was recalled to office in January, lost its liberal credentials after the banning in May of an opposition conference organized by the Islamic Action Front, which prompted the resignation of one Cabinet minister. The electoral strength of the Islamists appeared to weaken in nationwide municipal elections in July, and in December, Leith Shubailat, a maverick Islamist and vocal critic of the peace accord, was arrested.

      The government proceeded cautiously with plans for privatization, tax reform, foreign debt reduction, lower tariffs, and increased foreign investment. Gross domestic product in 1995 was estimated at 4.5 billion dinars, reflecting a 6% growth rate. Inflation was under control as a result of tight monetary and fiscal policy. Merchandise exports rose an estimated 12.3% to $1.6 billion, but the trade gap was set to expand to $2.1 billion, and the current account deficit was expected to rise to $560 million.

      The Middle East and North Africa Economic Summit was held in Amman at the end of October. Jordan's main goals for the conference were to secure financing for a variety of industrial, tourist, telecommunications, and transport projects. Perhaps the most important achievement of the conference, however, was the declaration of intent to establish a Bank for Economic Co-operation and Development in the Middle East and North Africa.

      (JENAB TUTUNJI)

▪ 1995

      A constitutional monarchy, Jordan is located in southwestern Asia and has a short coastline on the Gulf of Aqaba. Area: 88,946 sq km (34,342 sq mi). Pop. (1994 est.): 4,224,000. Cap.: Amman. Monetary unit: Jordan dinar, with (Oct. 7, 1994) an official rate of 0.70 dinar to U.S. $1 (1.11 dinars = £ 1 sterling). King, Hussein I; prime minister in 1994, 'Abd as-Salam al-Majali.

      Jordan's King Hussein and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin signed a bilateral peace treaty on Oct. 26, 1994, in the presence of U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton and 5,000 invited guests at an open-air ceremony along their border. The agreement evolved suddenly from negotiations that had appeared to be making only slow progress. Israel formally ceded 300 sq km (116 sq mi) of desert to Jordan, and the two countries delineated their mutual borders, but even greater significance was attached to key clauses on the relationship between King Hussein and the Islamic holy shrines in Jerusalem. Israel for the first time acknowledged King Hussein as "custodian" of the holy shrines and awarded him a "special role" as their guardian. This concession angered the Palestinians, for in September 1993 the Declaration of Principles signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization had left open the question of Jerusalem. By the end of 1994, Israel had opened an embassy in Amman and Jordan had established one in Tel Aviv.

      The normalization of relations between Israel and Jordan had taken a step forward at a meeting of the Trilateral Commission in Washington, D.C., on October 3. The agenda included exchanges of technical and professional delegations, joint tourism initiatives, the possibility of a free zone embracing the Israeli Red Sea port of Elat and the neighbouring Jordanian port of al-'Aqabah, and two dams on the Jordan River.

      In a significant move to quell speculation over the future of the Hashimite dynasty, King Hussein confirmed that his brother Hassan was the heir apparent but also said that a family council would determine Hassan's successor. Since 1978 it had been understood that Prince Ali, Hussein's only son by his third wife, Queen Alia, would succeed Crown Prince Hassan. On August 10, in a further move to boost his brother's status, King Hussein named Hassan head of a Royal Commission for Modernization and Development.

      Prime Minister 'Abd as-Salam al-Majali reshuffled his Cabinet on June 8, appointing Dhouqar Hudauri as his deputy. Ten members of the parliament gained seats in the Cabinet, but no places were given to the Islamic Action Front, a party supported by the Muslim Brotherhood with 16 out of the 80 seats in the lower house. In a government move to satisfy Islamic feelings, a new Islamic University opened in the northern town of al-Mafraq in October, but authorities also announced a tough line on terrorists after the bombings on January 26 and February 1 of two cinemas in Amman and az-Zarqa`, where pornographic films were allegedly being shown. In April some 72 Jordanian Islamic veterans of the Afghanistan war were arrested in Jordan and accused of involvement in terrorist attacks.

      In July President Clinton announced that the U.S. would write off about $700 million of Jordan's official debts, and the U.K. and France followed suit with smaller amounts. The International Monetary Fund in May approved a loan to support the government's structural adjustment program, which was followed by a rescheduling of more than $1.2 billion of Paris Club debts. The government made progress in improving relations with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, which had been disrupted by Jordanian backing for Iraq in the Persian Gulf war. A new ambassador to Saudi Arabia was named, and a senior diplomat visited Kuwait in September for talks about the possible reopening of a Jordanian embassy. In March, Jordan and the Vatican established diplomatic relations. (JOHN WHELAN)

▪ 1994

      A constitutional monarchy, Jordan is located in southwestern Asia and has a short coastline on the Gulf of Aqaba. Area: 88,946 sq km (34,342 sq mi). Pop. (1993 est.): 3,764,000. Cap.: Amman. Monetary unit: Jordan dinar, with (Oct. 4, 1993) an official rate of 0.69 dinar to U.S. $1 (1.04 dinars = £ 1 sterling). King, Hussein I; prime ministers in 1993, Sharif Zaid ibn Shaker and, from May 29, 'Abd as-Salam al-Majali.

      Muslim fundamentalists retained the largest bloc of deputies in parliamentary elections on Nov. 8, 1993, but suffered a decline in the number of seats they held. Widespread speculation that King Hussein would postpone the election to prevent it from becoming a referendum on the Arab-Israeli peace process proved unfounded.

      Voters elected 16 candidates to the 80-member parliament from the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, down from 22 in 1989. The outcome gave a moral victory to King Hussein, who had followed a policy of accommodating Muslim extremists within the political system rather than excluding them, as in Algeria and Egypt. Political parties had been legalized in 1992 after a 35-year ban.

      Although some 20 parties contested the election, the majority of elected deputies were tribal and centrist, without party ties. Only six candidates from non-IAF parties won seats, prompting King Hussein to say at a postelection press conference on November 9 that he hoped the next time there would be fewer parties. Fundamentalist candidates performed well in Jordan's nontribal urban areas of Amman and az-Zarqa, where high unemployment and poverty made them perfect breeding grounds for radicalism. Jordan's first woman parliamentarian, Toujan Faisal, was an activist branded by fundamentalists as an apostate. (For tabulated results, see Political Parties, above.)

      Turnout was 68% of the about 1.2 million-member electorate, which voted on a "one person, one vote" system following a new electoral law that was introduced after the dissolution of the House of Deputies on August 4. Ten days before polling, a ban on political rallies was rescinded. By polling day the kingdom was festooned with posters, banners, and campaign leaflets, but manifestos consisted mostly of little more than slogans calling for national unity, Arab unity, a free Palestine, and democracy for all.

      The parliament opened again on November 23 to consider a draft budget of 1.5 billion dinars. The assembly was expected to support government policies, especially the peace process, although the peace process was rejected by the IAF. U.K.-educated 'Abd as-Salam al-Majali had been appointed on May 29 to head a caretaker government of 26 ministers after the resignation of Prime Minister Sharif Zaid ibn Shaker. Sami Qammuh was named as finance minister to replace Basil Jardaneh. The new Cabinet contained two Christians and six Jordanians of Palestinian origin. Majali was named again in the Cabinet announced December 1.

      On September 14, Jordan signed an agreement with Israel to cover future talks, taking into account the Israeli-Palestinian accords signed the previous day. Jordanian hopes of a huge "peace dividend" were without foundation, but in the improved climate U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton on September 15 released grant aid frozen since 1992.

      In another hopeful sign, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres met Crown Prince Hassan for talks on October 1 with Clinton in Washington, D.C. As the year ended, Jordan was close to signing an agreement with the Palestine Liberation Organization that would give the central bank of Jordan wide-ranging monetary responsibilities in the occupied territories during the transitional period of Palestinian self-rule.

      On June 25, King Hussein left the U.S. after a visit that included cordial talks with Clinton and a health checkup at the Mayo Clinic. Observers pointed to an improvement in bilateral relations, which had been soured by Jordan's support for Iraq during the Gulf war. A young Jordanian of Palestinian origin, Mohammad Salameh, was charged with bombing the World Trade Center in New York City on February 26, and on March 1 the U.S. government warned its nationals not to travel to Jordan. King Hussein had earlier expressed dismay at U.S. attacks on Baghdad, Iraq, and said he would work to break Iraq's isolation in the Arab world. Jordan continued to mend fences with the other Gulf states, welcoming back the Qatari ambassador. Only Kuwait continued to reject any dialogue with Amman.

      (JOHN WHELAN)

* * *

Introduction
Jordan, flag of   Arab country of Southwest Asia, in the rocky desert of the northern Arabian Peninsula.

 Jordan is a young state that occupies an ancient land, one that bears the traces of many civilizations. Separated from ancient Palestine by the Jordan River, the region played a prominent role in biblical history; the ancient biblical kingdoms of Moab, Gilead, and Edom lie within its borders, as does the famed red stone city of Petra, the capital of the Nabatean kingdom and of the Roman province of Arabia Petraea; of Petra British traveler Gertrude Bell said, “It is like a fairy tale city, all pink and wonderful.” Part of the Ottoman Empire until 1918 and later a mandate of the United Kingdom, Jordan has been an independent kingdom since 1946. It is among the most politically liberal countries of the Arab world, and, although it shares in the troubles affecting the region, its rulers have expressed a commitment to maintaining peace and stability.

      The capital and largest city in the country is Amman—named for the Ammonites (Ammonite), who made the city their capital in the 13th century BC. Amman was later a great city of Middle Eastern antiquity, Philadelphia, of the Roman Decapolis, and now serves as one of the region's principal commercial and transportation centres as well as one of the Arab world's major cultural capitals.

Land (Jordan)
 Slightly smaller in area than the country of Portugal, Jordan is bounded to the north by Syria, to the east by Iraq, to the southeast and south by Saudi Arabia, and to the west by Israel and the West Bank. The West Bank area (so named because it lies just west of the Jordan River) was under Jordanian rule from 1948 to 1967, but in 1988 Jordan renounced its claims to the area. Jordan has 16 miles (26 km) of coastline on the Gulf of Aqaba (Aqaba, Gulf of) in the southwest, where Al-ʿAqabah (Aqabah, Al-ʿ), its only port, is located.

Relief
      Jordan has three major physiographic regions (from east to west): the desert, the uplands east of the Jordan River, and the Jordan Valley (the northwest portion of the great East African Rift System).

      The desert region is mostly within the Syrian Desert—an extension of the Arabian Desert—and occupies the eastern and southern parts of the country, comprising more than four-fifths of its territory. The desert's northern part is composed of volcanic lava and basalt, and its southern part of outcrops of sandstone and granite. The landscape is much eroded, primarily by wind. The uplands east of the Jordan River, an escarpment overlooking the rift valley, have an average elevation of 2,000–3,000 feet (600–900 metres) and rise to about 5,755 feet (1,754 metres) at Mount Ramm, Jordan's highest point, in the south. Outcrops of sandstone, chalk, limestone, and flint extend to the extreme south, where igneous rocks predominate.

      The Jordan Valley drops to an average of 1,312 feet (400 metres) below sea level at the Dead Sea, the lowest natural point on the Earth's surface.

Drainage
      The Jordan River, approximately 186 miles (300 km) in length, meanders south, draining the waters of Lake Tiberias (Galilee, Sea of) (better known as the Sea of Galilee), the Yarmūk River, and the valley streams of both plateaus into the Dead Sea, which occupies the central area of the valley. The soil of its lower reaches is highly saline, and the shores of the Dead Sea consist of salt marshes that do not support vegetation. To its south, Wadi al-ʿArabah (also called Wadi al-Jayb), a completely desolate region, is thought to contain mineral resources.

      In the northern uplands several valleys containing perennial streams run west; around Al-Karak (Karak, Al-) they flow west, east, and north; south of Al-Karak intermittent valley streams run east toward Al-Jafr Depression.

Soils
      The country's best soils are found in the Jordan Valley and in the area southeast of the Dead Sea. The topsoil in both regions consists of alluvium—deposited by the Jordan River and washed from the uplands, respectively—with the soil in the valley generally being deposited in fans spread over various grades of marl.

Climate
      Jordan's climate varies from Mediterranean in the west to desert in the east and south, but the land is generally arid. The proximity of the Mediterranean Sea is the major influence on climates, although continental air masses and elevation also modify it. Average monthly temperatures at Amman in the north range between 46 and 78 °F (8 and 26 °C), while at Al-ʿAqabah in the far south they range between 60 and 91 °F (16 and 33 °C). The prevailing winds throughout the country are westerly to southwesterly, but spells of hot, dry, dusty winds blowing from the southeast off the Arabian Peninsula frequently occur and bring the country its most uncomfortable weather. Known locally as the khamsin, these winds blow most often in the early and late summer and can last for several days at a time before terminating abruptly as the wind direction changes and much cooler air follows.

      Precipitation occurs in the short, cool winters, decreasing from 16 inches (400 mm) annually in the northwest near the Jordan River to less than 4 inches (100 mm) in the south. In the uplands east of the Jordan River, the annual total is about 14 inches (355 mm). The valley itself has a yearly average of 8 inches (200 mm), and the desert regions receive one-fourth of that. Occasional snow and frost occur in the uplands but are rare in the rift valley. As the population increases, water shortages in the major towns are becoming one of Jordan's crucial problems.

Plant and animal life
      The flora of Jordan falls into three distinct types: Mediterranean, steppe (treeless plains), and desert. In the uplands the Mediterranean type predominates with scrubby, dense bushes and small trees, while in the drier steppe region to the east species of the genus Artemisia (wormwood) are most frequent. Grasses are the prevalent vegetation on the steppe, but isolated trees and shrubs, such as lotus fruit and the Mount Atlas pistachio, also occur. In the desert, vegetation grows meagrely in depressions and on the sides and floors of the valleys after the scant winter rains.

      Only a tiny portion of Jordan's area is forested, most of it occurring in the rocky highlands. These forests have survived the depredations of villagers and nomads alike. The Jordanian government promotes reforestation by providing free seedlings to farmers. In the higher regions of the uplands, the predominant types of trees are the Aleppo oak (Quercus infectoria Olivier), the kermes oak (Quercus coccinea), the Palestinian pistachio (Pistacia palaestina), the Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis), and the eastern strawberry tree (Arbutus andrachne). Wild olives also are found there, and the Phoenician juniper (Juniperus phoenicea L.) occurs in the regions with lower rainfall. The national flower is the black iris (Iris nigricans).

      The varied wildlife includes wild boars, ibex, and a species of wild goat found in the gorges and in the ʿAyn al-Azraq oasis. Hares, jackals, foxes, wildcats, hyenas, wolves, gazelles, blind mole rats, mongooses, and a few leopards also inhabit the area. Centipedes, scorpions, and various types of lizards are found as well. Birds include the golden eagle and the vulture, while wild fowl include the pigeon and the partridge.

People (Jordan)

Ethnic groups
      The overwhelming majority of the people are Arabs (Arab), principally Jordanians and Palestinians; there is also a significant minority of Bedouin, who were by far the largest indigenous group before the influx of Palestinians following the Arab-Israeli wars of 1948–49 and 1967. Jordanians of Bedouin heritage remain committed to the Hāshimite regime, which has ruled the country since 1923, despite having become a minority there. Although the Palestinian population is often critical of the monarchy, Jordan is the only Arab country to grant wide-scale citizenship to Palestinian refugees. Other minorities include a number of Iraqis who fled to Jordan as a result of the Persian Gulf War and Iraq War. There are also smaller Circassian (known locally as Cherkess or Jarkas) and Armenian communities. A small number of Turkmen (who speak either an ancient form of the Turkmen language or the Azeri language) also reside in Jordan.

      The indigenous Arabs, whether Muslim or Christian, used to trace their ancestry from the northern Arabian Qaysī (Maʿddī, Nizārī, ʿAdnānī, or Ismāʿīlī) tribes or from the southern Arabian Yamanī (Banū Kalb or Qaḥṭānī) groups. Only a few tribes and towns have continued to observe this Qaysī-Yamanī division—a pre-Islamic split that was once an important, although broad, source of social identity as well as a point of social friction and conflict.

Languages
      Nearly all the people speak Arabic (Arabic language), the country's official language. There are various dialects spoken, with local inflections and accents, but these are mutually intelligible and similar to the type of Levantine Arabic spoken in parts of Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria. There is, as in all parts of the Arab world, a significant difference between the written language—known as Modern Standard Arabic—and the colloquial, spoken form. The former is similar to Classical Arabic and is taught in school. Most Circassians have adopted Arabic in daily life, though some continue to speak Adyghe (one of the Caucasian languages). Armenian is also spoken in pockets, but bilingualism or outright assimilation to the Arabic language is common among all minorities.

Religion
      Virtually the entire population is Sunni (Sunnite) Muslim; Christians constitute most of the rest, of whom two-thirds adhere to the Greek Orthodox church. Other Christian groups include the Greek Catholics, also called the Melchites (Melchite), or Catholics of the Byzantine rite, who recognize the supremacy of the Roman pope; the Roman Catholic community, headed by a pope-appointed patriarch; and the small Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, or Syrian Jacobite Church, whose members use Syriac in their liturgy. Most non-Arab Christians are Armenians (Armenian), and the majority belong to the Gregorian, or Armenian, Orthodox church, while the rest attend the Armenian Catholic Church. There are several Protestant denominations representing communities whose converts came almost entirely from other Christian sects.

      The Druze, an offshoot of the Ismāʿīlī Shīʿite sect, number a few hundred and reside in and around Amman. About 1,000 Bahāʾī (Bahāʾī faith)—who in the 19th century also split off from Shīʿite Islam—live in Al-ʿAdasiyyah in the Jordan Valley. The Armenians, Druze, and Bahāʾī are both religious and ethnic communities. The Circassians are mostly Sunni, and they, along with the closely related Chechens (Shīshān)—a Shīʿite group, numbering about 1,000, who are descendants of 19th-century immigrants from the Caucasus Mountains—make up the most important non-Arab minority.

Settlement patterns
      The landscape falls into two regions—the desert zone and the cultivated zone—each of which is associated with its own mode of living. The tent-dwelling nomads (nomadism) (Bedouin, or Badū), who make up less than one-tenth of the population, generally inhabit the desert, some areas of the steppe, and the uplands. The tent-dwelling Bedouin people have decreased in number because the government has successfully enforced their permanent settlement; urban residents who trace their roots to the Bedouin make up more than one-third of Jordanians.

      The eastern Bedouin are principally camel breeders and herders, while the western Bedouin herd sheep and goats. There are some seminomads, in whom the modes of life of the desert and the cultivated zones merge. These people adopt a nomadic existence during part of the year but return to their lands and homes in time to practice agriculture. The two largest nomadic groups of Jordan are the Banū (Banī) Ṣakhr and Banū al-Ḥuwayṭāt. The grazing grounds of both are entirely within Jordan, as is the case with the smaller tribe of Sirḥān. There are numerous lesser groups, such as the Banū Ḥasan and Banū Khālid as well as the Hawazim, ʿAṭiyyah, and Sharafāt. These traditionally paid protection money to larger groups. The Ruwālah (Rwala) tribe, which is not indigenous, passes through Jordan in its yearly wandering from Syria to Saudi Arabia.

Rural settlement
      Rural residents, including small numbers of Bedouin, constitute about one-fifth of the population. The average village contains a cluster of houses and other buildings, including an elementary school and a mosque, with pasturage on the outskirts. A medical dispensary and a post office may be found in the larger villages, together with a general store and a small café, whose owners are usually part-time farmers. Kinship relationships are patriarchal, while extended-family ties govern social relationships and tribal organization.

Urban settlement
 Some three-fourths of all Jordanians live in urban areas. The main population centres are Amman, Al-Zarqāʾ (Zarqāʾ, Al-), Irbid, and Al-Ruṣayfah. Many of the smaller towns have only a few thousand inhabitants. Most towns have hospitals, banks, government and private schools, mosques, churches, libraries, and entertainment facilities, and some have institutions of higher learning and newspapers. Amman and Al-Zarqāʾ, and to some extent Irbid, have more modern urban characteristics than do the smaller towns.

Demographic trends
 The population structure is predominantly young; persons under age 15 constitute roughly two-fifths of the population. The birth rate is high, and the country's population growth rate is about double the world average. The average life expectancy is about 70 years. Internal migration from rural to urban centres has added a burden to the economy; however, a large number of Jordanians live and work abroad.

      Some one-third of Jordan's population are Palestinians. The influx of Palestinian refugees (refugee) not only altered Jordan's demographic map but has also affected its political, social, and economic life. Jordan's population in the late 1940s was between 200,000 and 250,000. After the 1948–49 Arab-Israeli war (Arab-Israeli wars) and the annexation of the West Bank, Jordanian citizenship was granted to some 400,000 Palestinians who were residents of and remained in the West Bank and to about half a million refugees from the new Israeli state. Many of these refugees settled east of the Jordan River. Between 1949 and 1967, Palestinians continued to move east in large numbers. After the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, an estimated 310,000 to 350,000 Palestinians, mostly from the West Bank, sought refuge in Jordan; thereafter immigration from the West Bank continued at a lower rate. During the Persian Gulf War (1990–91), some 300,000 additional Palestinians fled (or were expelled) from Kuwait to Jordan, and as many as 1.7 million Iraqis flooded into the kingdom during the war and the years that followed. Another smaller wave arrived in 2003 after the start of the Iraq War. Most of these Iraqis left, but perhaps 200,000 to 300,000 remain. Only a small fraction are registered as refugees.

      Most Palestinians are employed and hold full Jordanian citizenship. By the early 21st century, approximately 1.6 million Palestinians were registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), an organization providing education, medical care, relief assistance, and social services. About one-sixth of these refugees lived in camps in Jordan.

Economy
      Although Jordan's economy is relatively small and faces numerous obstacles, it is comparatively well diversified. Trade and finance combined account for nearly one-third of Jordan's gross domestic product (GDP); transportation and communication, public utilities, and construction represent one-fifth of total GDP, and mining and manufacturing constitute nearly that proportion. Remittances from Jordanians working abroad are a major source of foreign exchange.

      However, although Jordan's economy is ostensibly based on private enterprise, services—particularly government spending—account for about one-fourth of GDP and employ roughly one-third of the workforce. In addition, Jordan has increasingly been plagued by recession, debt, and unemployment since the mid-1990s, and the small size of the Jordanian market, fluctuations in agricultural production, a lack of capital, and the presence of large numbers of refugees have made it necessary for Jordan to continue to seek foreign aid. The Jordanian government has been slow to implement privatization. Despite efforts by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to boost the private sector—including agreements to write off the country's external debt and loans from the World Bank designed to revitalize Jordan's economy—it was only in 1999 that the government began introducing a number of economic reforms. These efforts included Jordan's entry into the World Trade Organization (in 2000) and the partial privatization of some state-owned enterprises.

      Perhaps most importantly, Jordan's geographic location has made it and its economy highly vulnerable to political instability in the region. The Jordanian economy was resilient and growing before the Six-Day War of June 1967, and the West Bank, prior to its occupation by Israel during that conflict, contributed about one-third of Jordan's total domestic income. Economic growth continued after 1967 at a slower pace but was revitalized by a series of state economic plans. Trade increased between Jordan and Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War (1980–88), because Iraq required access to Jordan's port of Al-ʿAqabah. Jordan initially supported Iraqi president Ṣaddām Ḥussein when Iraq occupied Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War, but it eventually agreed to the United Nations' trade sanctions against Iraq, its principal trading partner, and thereby put its whole economy in jeopardy. External emergency aid helped Jordan weather the crisis, and the economy was boosted by the sudden influx of Palestinians from Kuwait in 1991, many of whom brought in capital. During 2003 the construction industry recovered with the arrival of many thousands of people fleeing Iraq, and Jordan became a major service centre for those working to reconstruct that country. Despite the support of the government for IMF and World Bank plans to increase the private sector, the state remains the dominant force in Jordan's economy.

Agriculture
      Only a tiny fraction of Jordan's land is arable, and the country imports some foodstuffs to meet its needs. Wheat and barley are the main crops of the rain-fed uplands, and irrigated land in the Jordan Valley produces citrus and other fruits, potatoes, vegetables (tomatoes and cucumbers), and olives. Pastureland is limited; although artesian wells have been dug to increase its area, much former pasture area has been turned over to the cultivation of olive and fruit trees, and large areas have been degraded to the point that they can barely support livestock. Sheep and goats are the most important livestock, but there are also some cattle, camels, horses, donkeys, and mules. Poultry is also kept.

Resources and power
      Mineral resources include large deposits of phosphates, potash, limestone, and marble, as well as dolomite, kaolin, and salt. More recently discovered minerals include barite (the principal ore of the metallic element barium), quartzite, gypsum (used as a fertilizer), and feldspar, and there are unexploited deposits of copper, uranium, and shale oil. Although the country has no significant oil deposits, modest reserves of natural gas are located in its eastern desert. In 2003 the first section of a new pipeline from Egypt began delivering natural gas to Al-ʿAqabah.

      Virtually all electric power in Jordan is generated by thermal plants, most of which are oil-fired. The major power stations are linked by a transmission system. By the early 21st century the government had completed a program to link the major cities and towns by a countrywide grid.

      Beginning in the final decades of the 20th century, access to water became a major problem for Jordan—as well as a point of conflict among states in the region—as overuse of the Jordan River (and its tributary, the Yarmūk River) and excessive tapping of the region's natural aquifers led to shortages throughout Jordan and surrounding countries. In 2000 Jordan and Syria secured funding for constructing a dam on the Yarmūk River that, in addition to storing water for Jordan, would also generate electricity for Syria. Construction of the Waḥdah (“Unity”) Dam began in 2004.

Manufacturing
      Manufacturing is concentrated around Amman. The extraction of phosphate, petroleum refining, and cement production are the country's major heavy industries. Food, clothing, and a variety of consumer goods also are produced.

Finance
      The Central Bank of Jordan (Al-Bank al-Markazī al-Urdunī) issues the dinar, the national currency. There are many national and foreign banks in addition to credit institutions. The government has participated with private enterprise in establishing the largest mining, industrial, and tourist firms in the country and also owns a significant share of the largest companies. The Amman Stock Exchange (Būrṣat ʿAmmān; formerly the Amman Financial Market) is one of the largest stock markets in the Arab world.

Trade
      Jordan's primary exports are clothing, chemicals and chemical products, and potash and phosphates; the main imports are machinery and apparatus, crude petroleum, and food products. Major trading partners include Saudi Arabia, the United States, and the European Union (EU). In 2000 Jordan signed a bilateral free trade agreement with the United States. The value of exports has been growing, but it does not cover that of imports; the deficit is financed by foreign grants, loans, and other forms of capital transfers. Although Jordan's trade deficit has been large, it has been offset somewhat by revenue from tourism, remittances sent by Jordanians working abroad, earnings from foreign investments made by the central bank, and subsidies from other Arab and non-Arab governments.

Services
      Services, including public administration, defense, and retail sales, form the single most important component of Jordan's economy in both value and employment. The country's vulnerable geography has led to high military expenditures, which are well above the world average.

      The Jordanian government vigorously promotes tourism, and the number of tourists visiting Jordan has grown dramatically since the mid-1990s. Visitors come mainly from the West to see the old biblical cities of the Jordan Valley and such wonders as the ancient city of Petra, designated a World Heritage site in 1985. Income from tourism, mostly consisting of foreign reserves, has become a major factor in Jordan's efforts to reduce its balance-of-payments deficit.

Labour and taxation
      Jordan has also lost much of its skilled labour to neighbouring countries—as many as 400,000 people left the kingdom in the early 1980s—although the problem has eased somewhat. This change is a result both of better employment opportunities within Jordan itself and of a curb on foreign labour demands by the Persian Gulf states.

      The majority of the workforce is men, with women constituting roughly one-seventh of the total. The government employs nearly half of those working. About one-seventh of the population is unemployed, although income per capita has increased. Labour unions and employer organizations are legal, but the trade-union movement is weak; this is partly offset by the government, which has its own procedures for settling labour disputes.

      About half of the government's revenue is derived from taxes. Even though the government has made a great effort to reform the income tax, both to increase revenue and to redistribute income, revenue from indirect taxes continues to exceed that from direct taxes. Tax measures have been adopted to increase the rate of savings necessary for financing investments, and the government has implemented tax exemptions on foreign investments and on the transfer of foreign profits and capital.

Transportation and telecommunications
      Jordan has a main, secondary, and rural road network, most of which is hard-surfaced. This roadway system, maintained by the Ministry of Public Works and Housing, not only links the major cities and towns but also connects the kingdom with neighbouring countries. One of the main traffic arteries is the Amman–Jarash–Al-Ramthā highway, which links Jordan with Syria. The route from Amman via Maʿān to the port of Al-ʿAqabah is the principal route to the sea. From Maʿān the Desert Highway passes through Al-Mudawwarah, linking Jordan with Saudi Arabia. The Amman-Jerusalem highway, passing through Nāʿūr, is a major tourist artery. The government-operated Hejaz-Jordan Railway (Hejaz Railway) extends from Darʿā in the north via Amman to Maʿān in the south. The Aqaba Railway Corporation operates a southern line that runs to the port of Al-ʿAqabah and connects to the Hejaz-Jordan Railway at Baṭn al-Ghūl. Rail connections also join Darʿā in the north with Damascus, Syria.

      Royal Jordanian is the country's official airline, offering worldwide service. Queen Alia International Airport near Al-Jīzah, south of Amman, opened in 1983. Amman and Al-ʿAqabah have smaller international airports.

      In 1994 Jordan introduced a program to reform its telecommunication system. The government-owned Jordan Telecommunications Corporation, the sole service provider, had been unable to meet demand or provide adequate service, particularly in rural areas; it was privatized in 1997. Since then, the use of cellular telephones has mushroomed, far outstripping standard telephone use. In addition, Internet use has grown dramatically.

Government and society

Constitutional framework
      The 1952 constitution is the most recent of a series of legislative instruments that, both before and after independence, have increased executive responsibility. The constitution declares Jordan to be a constitutional, hereditary monarchy with a parliamentary form of government. Islam is the official religion, and Jordan is declared to be part of the Arab ummah (“nation”). The king remains the country's ultimate authority and wields power over the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Jordan's central government is headed by a prime minister appointed by the king, who also chooses the cabinet. According to the constitution, the appointments of both prime minister and cabinet are subject to parliamentary approval. The cabinet coordinates the work of the different departments and establishes general policy.

      Jordan's constitution provides for a bicameral National Assembly (Majlis al-Ummah), with a Senate (Majlis al-Aʿyan) as its upper chamber, and a House of Representatives (Majlis al-Nuwwāb) as its lower chamber. The aʿyan (“notables”) of the Senate are appointed by the king for four-year terms; elections for the nuwwāb (“deputies”) of the House of Representatives, scheduled at least every four years, frequently have been suspended. The ninth parliament, elected in 1965, was prorogued several times before being replaced in 1978 by the National Consultative Council, an appointed body with reduced power that debates government programs and activities. The parliament was reconvened, however, in a special session called in January 1984. Since then the parliament has been periodically suspended: from 1988, when Jordan severed its ties with the West Bank, until 1989 and from August until November 1993, when the country held its first multiparty elections since 1956. In 2001 the king dissolved the Majlis al-Nuwwāb to reformulate the electoral system; new deputies were elected in 2003.

Local government
      Jordan is divided into 12 administrative muḥāfaẓāt (governorates), which in turn are divided into districts and subdistricts, each of which is headed by an official appointed by the minister of the interior. Cities and towns each have mayors and partially elected councils.

Justice
      The judiciary is constitutionally independent, though judges are appointed and dismissed by royal irādah (“decree”) following a decision made by the Justices Council. There are three categories of courts. The first category consists of regular courts, including those of magistrates, courts of first instance, and courts of appeals and cassation in Amman, which hear appeals passed on from lower courts. The constitution also provides for the Diwān Khāṣṣ (Special Council), which interprets the laws and passes on their constitutionality. The second category consists of Sharīʿah (Islamic) courts and other religious courts for non-Muslims; these exercise jurisdiction over matters of personal status. The third category consists of special courts, such as land, government, property, municipal, tax, and customs courts.

Political process
      Jordanians 18 years of age and older may vote. Political parties were banned before the elections in 1963, however. Between 1971 and 1976, when it was abolished, the Arab National Union (originally called the Jordanian National Union) was the only political organization allowed. Although not a political party, the transnational Muslim Brotherhood continued, with the tacit approval of the government, to engage in socially active functions, and it captured over one-fourth of the lower house in the 1989 election. In 1992 political parties were legalized—as long as they acknowledged the legitimacy of the monarchy. Since then, the brotherhood has maintained a significant minority presence in Jordanian politics through its political arm, the Islamic Action Front.

Security
      Although their political influence has now diminished, the Bedouin, traditionally a martial desert people, still form the core of Jordan's army and occupy key positions in the military. Participation in the military is optional, and males can enter service at age 17. The Jordanian armed forces include an army and an air force equipped with sophisticated jet aircraft; it developed from the Arab Legion. There is also a small navy that acts as a coast guard. The king is commander in chief of the armed forces.

Health and welfare
      The country's infant mortality rate is lower than those of several other countries in the region. Most infectious diseases have been brought under control, and the number of physicians per capita has grown rapidly. Comprehensive health facilities are operated by the government, but hospitals are found only in major urban centres. A national health insurance program covers medical, dental, and eye care at a modest cost; service is provided free to the poor. Welfare services were private until the mid-1950s, when the government assumed responsibility. Besides supervising and coordinating social and charitable organizations, the ministry administers welfare programs.

Housing
      The housing situation has remained critical despite continuing construction. Surveys conducted in Amman and the eastern Jordan Valley show that most households live in one-room dwellings. The Housing Corporation and the Jordan Valley Authority build units for low-income families, and urban renewal projects in Amman and Al-Zarqāʾ have provided new and renovated units. Housing outside of the cities and major towns remains austere, and a small number of Bedouin still live in their traditional black tents.

Education
      The great majority of the population is literate, and more than half have completed secondary education or higher. Jordan has three types of schools—government schools, private schools, and the UNRWA schools that have been set up for Palestinian refugee children. Schooling consists of six years of elementary, three years of preparatory, and three years of secondary education. The Ministry of Education supervises all schools and establishes the curricula, teachers' qualifications, and state examinations; it also distributes free books to students in government schools and enforces compulsory education to the age of 14. The majority of the students attend government schools. Jordan's oldest institutions of higher learning include the University of Jordan (1962), Yarmūk University (1976), and Muʾtah University (1981). Many new universities were established in the 1990s. In addition to Khadduri Agricultural Training Institute, there are agricultural secondary schools as well as a number of vocational, labour, and social affairs institutes, a Sharīʿah legal seminary, and nursing, military, and teachers colleges.

Cultural life

Daily life and social customs
      Jordan is an integral part of the Arab world and thus shares a cultural tradition common to the region. The family is of central importance to Jordanian life. Although their numbers have fallen as many have settled and adopted urban culture, the rural Bedouin population still follows a more traditional way of life, preserving customs passed down for generations. Village life revolves around the extended family, agriculture, and hospitality; modernity exists only in the form of a motorized vehicle for transportation. Urban-dwelling Jordanians, on the other hand, enjoy all aspects of modern, popular culture, from theatrical productions and musical concerts to operas and ballet performances. Most major towns have movie theatres that offer both Arab and foreign films. Younger Jordanians frequent Internet cafés in the capital, where espresso is served at computer terminals.

      The country's cuisine features dishes using beans, olive oil, yogurt, and garlic. Jordan's two most popular dishes are msakhan, lamb or mutton and rice with a yogurt sauce, and mansaf, chicken cooked with onions, which are both served on holidays and on special family occasions. Daily fare includes khubz (flatbread) with vegetable dips, grilled meats, and stews, served with sweet tea or coffee flavoured with cardamom.

      Holidays that are celebrated in the kingdom include the Prophet Muhammad's birthday, the two ʿīds (festivals; Īd al-Fiṭrʿ and Īd al-Aḍḥāʿ), and other major Islamic festivals, along with secular events such as Independence Day and the birthday of the late King Ḥussein.

The arts
      Both private and governmental efforts have been made to foster the arts through various cultural centres, notably in Amman and Irbid, and through the establishment of art and cultural festivals throughout the country. Modernity has weakened the traditional Islamic injunction against the depiction of images of humans and animals; thus, in addition to traditional architecture, decorative design, and various handicrafts, it is possible to find non-utilitarian forms of both representational and abstract painting and sculpture. Elaborate calligraphy and geometric designs often enhance manuscripts and mosques. As in the rest of the region, the oral tradition is prominent in literary expression. Jordan's most famous poet, Muṣṭafā Wahbah al-Ṭāl, ranks among the major Arab poets of the 20th century. After World War II a number of important poets and prose writers emerged, though few have achieved an international reputation.

      Traditional visual arts survive in works of tapestry, embroidery, leather, pottery, and ceramics, and in the manufacture of wool and goat-hair rugs with varicoloured stripes; singing is also important, as is storytelling. Villagers have special songs for births, circumcisions, weddings, funerals, and harvesting. Several types of dabkah (group dances (dance) characterized by pounding feet on the floor to mark the rhythm) are danced on festive occasions, while the sahjah is a well-known Bedouin dance. The Circassian minority has a sword dance and several other Cossack dances. As part of its effort to preserve local performing arts, the government sponsors a national troupe that is regularly featured on state radio and television programs.

      Jordan has a small film industry, and sites within the country, such as Petra and the Ramm valley, have served as locations for major foreign productions, such as director David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).

Cultural institutions
 Jordan has numerous museums, particularly in Amman. The capital is home to museums dedicated to coins, geology, stamps, Islam, Jordanian folklore, and the military. The Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts houses a collection of contemporary Arab and Muslim paintings as well as sculptures and ceramics. The ancient ruins at Petra, Qaṣr ʿAmrah, and Umm al-Rasass near Mādāba have all been designated UNESCO World Heritage (World Heritage site) sites; there are also several archaeological museums located throughout the country.

Sports and recreation
      The most popular team sports in Jordan are football (soccer) and basketball; handball and volleyball are also widely played. In individual sports, boxing, tae kwon do, and swimming are the most widespread. Jordan has fielded teams for the Pan-Arab Games (Jordan hosted the event in 1999), the West Asian Games, and the Islamic Games. The participation of Jordanian athletes in various international competitions, notably those held in the Middle East, has encouraged better relations in the region. The country first competed in the Summer Olympic Games in 1984; it has not participated in the Winter Games.

Media and publishing
      Most newspapers, such as the English-language daily Jordan Times, are privately owned, but the government owns major shares in two of Jordan's largest dailies, Al-Raʾy (“The Opinion”) and Al-Dustour (“The Constitution”). There are extensive press restrictions, and in 1998 a law was put into effect that further limited press freedoms. Since 2000, however, there has been an easing of some prohibitions. Jordan has several literary magazines as well as scientific and topical periodicals. Radio and television stations, which are government-owned, feature programs from both Arab and Western countries.

Kamel S. Abu Jaber Ian J. Bickerton

History
      Jordan occupies an area rich in archaeological remains and religious traditions. The Jordanian desert was home to hunters from the Lower Paleolithic Period; their flint tools have been found widely distributed throughout the region. In the southeastern part of the country, at Mount Al-Ṭubayq, rock carvings date from several prehistoric periods, the earliest of which have been attributed to the Paleolithic-Mesolithic era. The site at Tulaylāt al-Ghassūl in the Jordan Valley of a well-built village with painted plaster walls may represent transitional developments from the Neolithic to the Chalcolithic period.

      The Early Bronze Age (c. 3000–2100 BC) is marked by deposits at the base of Dhībān (Dibon). Although many sites have been found in the northern portion of the country, few have been excavated, and little evidence of settlement in this period is found south of Al-Shawbak. The region's early Bronze Age culture was terminated by a nomadic invasion that destroyed the principal towns and villages, marking the end of an apparently peaceful period of development. Security was not reestablished until the Egyptians arrived after 1580 BC. It was once believed that the area was unoccupied from 1900 to 1300 BC, but a systematic archaeological survey has shown that the country had a settled population throughout the period. This was confirmed by the discovery of a small temple at Amman with Egyptian, Mycenaean, and Cypriot imported objects.

Biblical associations (Bible)
 Biblical accounts of the area, dating from the Middle Bronze Age onward, mention kingdoms such as Gilead in the north, Moab in central Jordan, and Midian in the south. At the time of the Exodus, the Israelites (Israelite) tried to pass through Edom in southern Jordan but were refused permission. They were at first repelled by the Amorites (Amorite), whom they later defeated. The Israelite tribes of Gad and Reuben and half of the Manasseh group nonetheless settled in the conquered territory of the Ammonites (Ammonite), Amorites, and Bashan and rebuilt many of the towns they had partially destroyed. A record of this period is the Mesha (or Moabite) Stone found at Dhībān in 1868, now in the Louvre Museum in Paris. It is inscribed in an eastern form of Canaanite, closely akin to Hebrew.

      The next few centuries (1300–1000 BC) were marked by constant raiding from both sides of the Jordan River. David attacked and devastated Moab and Edom. Although held for a time, Ammon with its capital, Rabbath Ammon (modern Amman), regained independence on the death of David (c. 960 BC). Solomon had a port on the Gulf of Aqaba (Aqaba, Gulf of) at Ezion-geber (modern Elat, Israel), where copper ore was smelted from mines in the Wadi al-ʿArabah and trade was carried on with the southern Arabian states. However, hostilities remained constant between Judah and Edom; a Hebrew king, Amaziah, even captured Sela (Petra), the capital.

      The next invaders were the Assyrians (Assyria), who under Adadnirari III (811/810–783 BC) overran the eastern part of the country as far as Edom. Revolts against Assyrian rule occurred in the 760s and 750s, but the country was retaken in 734–733 by Tiglath-pileser III (reigned 745–727 BC), who then devastated Israel, sent its people into exile, and divided the country into provinces under Assyrian governors. This policy of direct rule continued until the fall of the Assyrian empire in 612 BC. The Assyrian texts are the first source to refer to the Nabataeans (Nabataean), who at this time occupied the land south and east of Edom (ancient Midian). After the fall of Assyria, the Moabites and Ammonites continued to raid Judah until the latter was conquered by the Neo-Babylonians under Nebuchadrezzar II. Little is known of the history of Jordan under the Neo-Babylonians and Persians, but during this period the Nabataeans infiltrated Edom and forced the Edomites into southern Palestine.

      It was not until the Hellenistic rule of the Seleucids (Seleucid kingdom) and the Ptolemies that the country prospered, trade increased, and new towns were built. Rabbath Ammon was renamed Philadelphia, and Jarash became Antioch-on-the-Chrysorrhoas, or Gerasa. Hostilities between the Seleucids and Ptolemies enabled the Nabataeans to extend their kingdom northward and to increase their prosperity based on the caravan trade with Arabia and Syria. The northern part of Jordan was for a time in Jewish hands, and there were constant struggles between the Jewish Maccabees and the Seleucids. Most of the Dead Sea Scrolls date from this period.

      During 64–63 BC the kingdom of Nabataea (Nabataean) was conquered by the Romans (ancient Rome) under Pompey (Pompey the Great), who restored the Hellenistic cities destroyed by the Jews and set up the Decapolis, a league of 10 ancient Greek cities. The country remained independent but paid imperial taxes. Roman policy seems to have been to maintain Nabataea as a buffer state against the desert tribes. In 25–24 BC it served as a starting point for Aelius Gallus's ill-starred expedition in search of Arabia Felix. Nabataea was finally absorbed into the Roman Empire by Trajan in AD 106 as the province of Palaestina Tertia. Under Roman rule Jordan prospered, and many new towns and villages were established. The whole country, except the Decapolis, was made part of the new province called Arabia Petraea, with its capital first at Petra and later at Buṣrā al-Shām (Bostra) in Syria. After 313, Christianity became a recognized religion, and a large number of churches were built.

The Latin kingdom and Muslim domination
      The area was devastated in the 6th and 7th centuries by the intermittent warfare between Byzantium (Byzantine Empire) and Sāsānian (Sāsānian dynasty) Persia (Iran, ancient). In 627 the emperor Heraclius finally defeated the Persians and reestablished order, but Byzantium, gravely weakened by the long struggle, was unable to face the unexpected menace of a new power that had arisen in Arabia. In 636 the Muslims—led by the famous “Sword of Islam (Islāmic world),” Khālid ibn al-Walīd—destroyed a Byzantine army at the Battle of the Yarmūk River and brought the greater part of Syria and Palestine under Muslim rule.

      The caliphs of the Umayyad Dynasty (660–750) established their capital at Damascus and built hunting lodges and palaces in the Jordanian desert. These can still be seen at sites such as Qaṣr ʿAmrah, Al-Kharānah, Al-Ṭūbah, and Qaṣr al-Mushattā. Many Roman forts were also rebuilt. After the ʿAbbāsids (Abbāsid Dynastyʿ) seized power in 750, the capital was transferred to Baghdad, and Syria, which had been the Umayyad metropolitan province, was severely repressed. Jordan, now distant from the centre of power, became a backwater and slowly returned to the old Bedouin way of life. With the capture of Jerusalem by the Crusaders in 1099, the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem (Jerusalem, kingdom of) was extended east of the Jordan, a principality known as Oultre Jourdain was established, and a capital was set up at Al-Karak. After the Crusaders retreated, the history of Jordan remained mostly uneventful. Not until the 16th century did it submit to Ottoman (Ottoman Empire) rule and become part of the vilāyet (province) of Damascus.

      In the 19th century the Ottomans settled Circassian, Caucasian (Caucasian peoples), and other refugees in Jordan to protect their communications with Arabia; assisted by Germany, they completed in 1908 the Hejaz Railway linking Damascus and Medina.

Verity Elizabeth Irvine

Transjordan, the Hāshimite Kingdom, and the Palestine war
      During World War I the Arabs joined the British against the Ottomans. In a revolt of 1916, in which they were assisted by Colonel T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence, T E), the Arabs severed the Hejaz Railway. In July 1917 the army of Prince Fayṣal ibn Husayn (of the Hāshimite [or Hashemite] dynasty) captured Al-ʿAqabah, and by October 1918 Amman and Damascus were in Allied hands. In 1920 the Conference of San Remo (San Remo, Conference of) in Italy created two mandates (mandate); one, over Palestine, was given to Great Britain, and the other, over Syria, went to France. This act effectively separated the area now occupied by Israel and Jordan from that of Syria. In November 1920 ʿAbdullāh (Abdullāh Iʿ), Fayṣal's brother, arrived in Maʿān (then part of the Hejaz) with 2,000 armed supporters intent on gathering together tribes to attack the French, who had forced Fayṣal to relinquish his newly founded kingdom in Syria. By April 1921, however, the British had decided that ʿAbdullāh would take over as ruler of what then became known as Transjordan.

      Effectively, Turkish rule in Transjordan was simply replaced by British rule. The mandate, confirmed by the League of Nations (Nations, League of) in July 1922, gave the British virtually a free hand in administering the territory. However, in September, the establishment of “a Jewish national home” was explicitly excluded from the mandate's clauses, and it was made clear that the area would also be closed to Jewish immigration. On May 25, 1923, the British recognized Transjordan's independence under the rule of Emir ʿAbdullāh, but, as outlined in a treaty as well as the constitution in 1928, matters of finance, military, and foreign affairs would remain in the hands of a British “resident.” Full independence was finally achieved after World War II by a treaty concluded in London on March 22, 1946, and ʿAbdullāh subsequently proclaimed himself king. A new constitution was promulgated, and in 1949 the name of the state was changed to the Hāshimite Kingdom of Jordan.

      Throughout the interwar years ʿAbdullāh had depended on British financial support. The British also assisted him in forming an elite force called the Arab Legion, comprising Bedouin troops but under the command of and trained by British officers, which was used to maintain and secure the allegiance of ʿAbdullāh's Bedouin subjects. On May 15, 1948, the day after the Jewish Agency proclaimed the independent state of Israel and immediately following the British withdrawal from Palestine, Transjordan joined its Arab neighbours in the first Arab-Israeli war (Arab-Israeli wars). The Arab Legion, commanded by Glubb Pasha (Glubb, Sir John Bagot) (John [later Sir John] Bagot Glubb), and Egyptian, Syrian, Lebanese, and Iraqi troops entered Palestine. ʿAbdullāh's primary purpose, which he had spelled out in secret discussions with Jewish envoys, was to extend his rule to include the area allotted to the Palestinian Arabs under the United Nations partition resolution of November 1947. Accordingly, he engaged his forces in the region of Palestine now popularly known as the West Bank (the area just west of the Jordan River) and expelled Jewish forces from East Jerusalem (the Old City). When the Jordan-Israel armistice was signed on April 3, 1949, the West Bank and East Jerusalem—an area of about 2,100 square miles (5,400 square km)—came under Jordanian rule, and almost half a million Palestinian Arabs joined the half million Transjordanians. One year later, Jordan formally annexed this territory. Israel and Britain had tacitly agreed to ʿAbdullāh keeping the area, but the Arab countries and most of the world opposed the king's action; only Britain and Pakistan recognized the annexation. The incorporation into Jordan of the West Bank Palestinians and a large refugee population that was hostile to the Hāshimite regime brought severe economic and political consequences. On the other hand, ʿAbdullāh gained such Muslim shrines as the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem's Old City, which compensated for his father's loss of Mecca and Medina to Ibn Saʿūd a generation earlier.

      ʿAbdullāh was assassinated at Al-Aqṣā Mosque in Jerusalem on July 20, 1951, by a young Palestinian frustrated by the king's hostility toward Palestinian nationalism. In August 1952 the parliament declared ʿAbdullāh's son and successor, Ṭalāl, mentally unfit to rule, and he abdicated in favour of his eldest son, Ḥussein ibn-Ṭalāl (Ḥussein), who was crowned king on his 18th birthday, May 2, 1953.

Jordan under King Ḥussein
Securing the throne, 1953 to c. 1960
      The history of Jordan after 1953 was largely shaped by King Ḥussein's policies to secure his throne and to retain or regain the West Bank for the Hāshimite dynasty. Jordan's relationship with Israel in the first decade of the Jewish state's existence was uneasy but tolerable, though bloody raids and acts of terrorism carried out by both sides added to the tension. Jordan's involvement in the Palestinian question led as much to a contest with Egypt over Jordan's future as it did to a struggle with Israel. In particular, it repeatedly forced Jordan to balance relations with and between various Arab nations, the Palestinians, and the West and Israel. Thus, popular demonstrations, especially in the West Bank, and pressure from Egypt prevented Ḥussein in 1955 from signing the Baghdad Pact, a pro-Western mutual defense treaty that he had initiated between Great Britain, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq. The next year Ḥussein—bowing to popular pressure and in a show of support for Egyptian efforts at pan-Arab leadership—dismissed his British advisers, including Glubb, and abrogated the Anglo-Jordanian treaty of 1946. However, when members of the National Guard, drawn mainly from the West Bank, attempted a coup in April 1957, the king, supported by loyal East Bank Bedouins, purged the legislature of Palestinian nationalists and extremists, banned political parties, and set up a royal dictatorship to curb domestic unrest.

      After Egypt and Syria merged in February 1958 to form the United Arab Republic (UAR; 1958–61), King Fayṣal II persuaded Ḥussein, his cousin, to join in a federal union with Iraq. In July, however, Fayṣal and his family were killed in an army coup in Iraq coordinated by Gamal Abdel Nasser (Nasser, Gamal Abdel) of Egypt. Ḥussein, realizing his regime was under threat, turned to Great Britain and the United States for assistance. Washington agreed to provide additional military and economic aid. The British government, eager to see the pro-Western Ḥussein secure in Jordan, stationed British paratroops in the country until late 1958. As a result, anti-Hāshimite Palestinians supported by Nasser made no further attempts to overthrow the monarchy. By the early 1960s the United States was providing Ḥussein with about $100 million annually, which stimulated economic development and, despite a number of assassination attempts, secured the king's future.

The PLO and the June 1967 war
      The emergence in the late 1960s of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the militant group Fatah represented a potential threat to Jordan's sovereignty in the West Bank as well as to Israel. In early 1965, with the support of Egypt and the radical Baʿth Party government in Syria, Fatah began a series of Jordan-based raids against Israel that inflicted serious casualties and property damage. Israel retaliated by raiding the West Bank in an effort to deter these operations. Relations between Jordan and Syria and Egypt and between the Palestinians and Amman soon deteriorated. Ḥussein continued private talks with Israel over the internal and external dangers both countries faced. In late 1966 the Israeli army made a devastating raid into the West Bank village of Al-Samu south of Hebron. Ḥussein responded by attempting to stop the passage of Syrian-based Palestinian guerrillas coming through Jordan into Israel, and he eventually broke off diplomatic ties with Syria. However, as tension mounted between Israel and Egypt and Syria in the spring of 1967, Jordan reversed its position and signed a defense pact with Egypt and Syria. Israeli and Jordanian forces clashed in East Jerusalem, and in June 1967 Ḥussein joined Egypt and Syria in the third Arab-Israeli war.

      The June 1967 war was a watershed in the modern history of Jordan. Within 48 hours Israeli forces had overrun the entire territory west of the Jordan River, capturing Bethlehem, Hebron, Jericho, Nāblus, Ramallah, Janīn, and the city of Jerusalem. Jordan suffered heavy casualties and lost one-third of its most fertile land; its already overburdened economy was then faced with supporting tens of thousands of new refugees. Ḥussein had regarded entering the war as the lesser of two evils: he believed that if he had not joined Egypt and Syria, they would have supported the Palestinians in overthrowing his regime. The loss of the West Bank and Jerusalem, devastating as it was, was preferable to the loss of his kingdom.

From 1967 to civil war
      Following the June war Ḥussein faced three major problems: how to recover from the economic losses caused by the war, how to live with Israel's occupation of the West Bank and the annexation of East Jerusalem, and how to preserve the Hāshimite throne against a considerably augmented and increasingly hostile Palestinian population. The war reversed the progress made in Jordan's economy prior to June 1967, even with financial aid from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Libya; yet within a short period both the United States and Great Britain resumed economic and military aid, which helped to restore its economy and to preserve peace. In 1971 arrangements were also made with Israel enabling Jordanians to farm in the Jordan Valley.

      Despite the fact that an Arab summit meeting held in Khartoum, Sudan, in August 1967 passed the “three noes” resolution—no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with Israel—Ḥussein resumed his secret negotiations with Israel over the disposition of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Relations with Israel were thus inseparably linked to the future of the Palestinians. Ḥussein sought the return of all the lost territory but still privately recognized Israel and cooperated with it across a wide range of issues. Even so, he was not prepared to sign a peace treaty with the Jewish state. The two countries were thus no longer enemies and worked together against PLO terrorism, but little progress was made toward a lasting peace.

      Ḥussein's relations with the PLO, which under the chairmanship of Yāsir ʿArafāt (Arafāt, Yāsirʿ) openly challenged the king's control in East Jordan, reached a crisis in September 1970. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a radical Marxist Palestinian group, hijacked four international airliners and blew up three of them in Dawson's Field, a deserted airstrip in the Jordanian desert. Ḥussein declared martial law, and civil war (later remembered as Black September) erupted. When 250 Syrian tanks entered northern Jordan in support of the PLO, Ḥussein was forced not only to call upon military assistance from the United States and Great Britain but also to allow overflights by Israel to attack the Syrian forces. The Syrian forces were defeated, and a peace agreement, in which Ḥussein made concessions to the PLO, was signed by Ḥussein and ʿArafāt in Cairo on Sept. 27, 1970; by July 1971, Ḥussein had forced the PLO guerrillas out of Jordan.

From 1973 to the intifāḍah
      Ḥussein chose not to join Egypt and Syria in their surprise attack on Israel in October 1973, although he did make a symbolic gesture by sending tanks to assist Syria in the Golan Heights. In negotiations immediately following the war, Ḥussein once again demanded the return of the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Israel. He was bitter that Israel—in response to pressure from U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (Kissinger, Henry A.)—proposed a withdrawal of its forces from Israeli-occupied Egyptian territory but made no such overtures to Jordan. However, by August 1974 discussions were under way with Israel over “disengagement accords,” which recognized Jordan as the speaker for the Palestinians and encouraged regional economic and tactical cooperation, especially in relation to the threat posed by Palestinian guerrilla groups. In October leaders of the Arab League at an Arab summit meeting in Rabat, Morocco, declared that the Palestinian people, under the leadership of the PLO (“their sole legitimate representative”), had the right to establish a national independent authority in liberated Palestine. In response Ḥussein announced that his country would exclude the West Bank from Jordan and would never enter into a federation with a Palestinian state, as such a step would inevitably give the Palestinian population a majority and bring about the loss of his kingdom.

      Faced with American reluctance to supply arms and an Egyptian-Israeli Sinai accord, Jordan with Syria agreed in August 1975 to form a joint “supreme command” to coordinate their foreign and military policies in an effort to control PLO activities. In March 1977 Ḥussein met with ʿArafāt in Cairo, their first meeting since Black September in 1970. In July 1977 Ḥussein, Egyptian President Anwar el-Sādāt (Sādāt, Anwar el-), and U.S. President Jimmy Carter (Carter, Jimmy) once again discussed the possibility of a link between Jordan and a Palestinian “entity,” but it was denounced by the PLO.

      The election of the right-wing Likud bloc in Israel with Menachem Begin (Begin, Menachem) as prime minister in May 1977 brought relations between Jordan and Israel to a low ebb. Determined to annex and retain all of the West Bank, which Israel now called Judaea and Samaria, Begin greatly accelerated the program of constructing Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. Under the terms of the Camp David Accords in 1978, Israel committed itself to granting autonomy to the Palestinians and to negotiating the future status of the occupied territories, but Ḥussein condemned the agreement and completely broke off the 15-year secret negotiations with Israel. From late 1977 until 1984, Jordanian contacts with Israel essentially came to a halt. Ḥussein became increasingly alarmed at the growing popularity in Israel of the view that Jordan was, in fact, the Palestinian state, which would also resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982 fueled fears in Amman that the first step in the process of transferring Palestinians to the East Bank was under way.

      In the early 1980s Ḥussein sought an accommodation with ʿArafāt and the PLO after the PLO had been expelled from Lebanon and its bases had been destroyed; the two men reached a temporary and somewhat uneasy alliance. In order to strengthen his legitimacy in the eyes of Palestinians, Ḥussein, in 1984, allowed the Palestine National Council (a virtual parliament of the Palestinians) to meet in Amman. In February 1985 he signed an agreement with ʿArafāt pledging cooperation with the PLO and coordination of a joint peace initiative. Ḥussein believed that ʿArafāt would accept a confederation of the West and East Banks with autonomy for the Palestinians of the West Bank under Jordanian sovereignty. ʿArafāt, however, had not given up hope of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, although he was agreeable to an eventual confederation between such a future Palestinian state and Jordan.

      In February 1986 Ḥussein, frustrated by ʿArafāt's ambiguity regarding the PLO's recognition of Israel and renunciation of terrorism, repudiated the Amman agreement with ʿArafāt and broke off negotiations with the PLO. Although the king was careful not to expel the PLO from Jordan entirely, despite an increase in guerrilla violence in the West Bank, he did order the closure of the PLO offices in Amman. In a complete turnaround in the Jordanian policy that had been followed since the Arab summit at Rabat in 1974, Ḥussein declared that he would now be responsible for the economic welfare of the West Bank Palestinians. In addition, the king announced that the West Bank would be included in an upcoming five-year plan for Jordan and approved an increase in the number of Palestinian seats (to about half) in an enlarged National Assembly. His goal was to create a Jordanian-Palestinian-Israeli administration that would make the West Bank independent of the PLO and enable him to reach a settlement with Israel, in which he would regain at least partial sovereignty of the area.

      By April 1987 Ḥussein and Shimon Peres (Peres, Shimon), then Israel's foreign minister, had agreed to a UN-sponsored conference involving all parties to seek a comprehensive peace; Palestinian representatives would be part of a Jordanian-Palestinian delegation. Although the proposal was endorsed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan (Reagan, Ronald W.), Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir (Shamir, Yitzḥak) wanted a conference with only Jordan and resisted U.S. pressure for a comprehensive peace conference. Ḥussein scored a diplomatic triumph by staging an Arab League summit meeting in Amman in November, during which league members agreed to reestablish diplomatic relations with Egypt that had been severed following the Camp David Accords. More importantly for Ḥussein, the Palestinian issue was not the main topic; instead, the Iran-Iraq War, then in its eighth year, took precedence.

      The situation changed dramatically in December, however, with the outbreak of the intifāḍah, a Palestinian uprising on the West Bank. Ḥussein quickly realized that the uprising was directed against his rule as well as that of the Israelis. His immediate response was to support the intifāḍah publicly and to offer aid to families of victims of Israeli reprisals in an effort to deflect the hostility toward his regime. But the intifāḍah leaders (known as the Unified Command) renounced the king's overtures, and ʿArafāt quickly assumed the role of spokesman for the revolt. The intifāḍah brought to a halt Jordanian and Israeli plans for an economic path to peace. Ḥussein thus canceled the five-year plan for the West Bank.

Renouncing claims to the West Bank
      An emergency meeting of the Arab League in June 1988 gave the PLO financial control of support for the Palestinians, thereby virtually acknowledging ʿArafāt as their spokesman. In response, Ḥussein renounced all Jordanian claims to the West Bank, allowing the PLO to assume full responsibility there. He dissolved the Jordanian parliament (half of whose members were West Bank representatives), ceased salary payments to 21,000 West Bank civil servants, and ordered that West Bank Palestinian passports be converted to two-year travel documents. When the Palestine National Council recognized the PLO as the sole legal representative of the Palestinian people and proclaimed the independence of a purely notional Palestine on Nov. 15, 1988, Ḥussein immediately extended recognition to the Palestinian entity.

      In November 1989 Jordan held its first parliamentary elections in 22 years. Opposition groups, particularly the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood—in the form of the Islamic Action Front (IAF)—gained more seats than the pro-government candidates, and the newly elected prime minister, Mudar Badran, promised to lift the martial law that had been in place since 1967—a promise not fully kept until July 1991.

From the Persian Gulf War to peace with Israel
      Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 and the subsequent Persian Gulf War (fought principally in January–February 1991) forced Ḥussein to choose between two allies, the United States and Iraq. The king leaned heavily toward Iraqi leader Ṣaddām Ḥussein, who also received a zealous and vocal groundswell of support from the Jordanian people. In addition, trade with Iraq represented two-fifths of the kingdom's gross domestic product. Kuwait's allies immediately cut off all aid to Jordan, imposed an air and sea blockade, and condemned King Ḥussein's actions. To make matters worse, between 200,000 and 300,000 refugees (refugee) from Kuwait were expelled or fled (back) to Jordan. However, by the end of 1991 the United States and Israel were again seeking Ḥussein's support for an American-Israeli peace initiative.

      The first multiparty general election since 1956 was scheduled for November 1993. In August the king dissolved the 80-member House of Representatives (the lower house of the National Assembly) and announced that the election would be conducted on a one-person-one-vote system rather than on the old “slate” system that allowed voters to cast as many votes as there were representatives in their constituency. In the election the number of seats won by anti-Zionist Islamic militants—who made up the IAF, a coalition of Islamic groupings and the largest of Jordan's political parties—was reduced from 36 to 16, which gave the king the support he needed to carry out his policy.

      Ḥussein expressed public reservations over a PLO-Israeli accord in 1993 but nonetheless stated his willingness to support the Palestinian people. He was concerned over issues relating to Jordan's economic links with the West Bank and the future status of Palestinians in Jordan. About a year later, Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty (Arab-Israeli wars) in which Ḥussein was recognized as the custodian of the Muslim holy sites in East Jerusalem.

Ḥussein's last years and the ascension of ʿAbdullāh II
      In January 1995 Ḥussein signed accords with the PLO pledging support for Palestinian autonomy and the establishment of a Palestinian state that included East Jerusalem. The Palestinians nevertheless remained hostile to the peace treaty with Israel, as did Syria and a large segment of the population led by the IAF. Ḥussein became increasingly frustrated with what he considered to be the obstructionist policies of the Israeli government, but he still played a central role in brokering a deal between Israel and the PLO regarding Israeli withdrawal from Hebron in the West Bank in early 1997. In addition, Ḥussein acted as a mediator between the Israelis and Palestinians in an agreement made in October 1998 at the Wye Plantation in eastern Maryland.

      By then Ḥussein's health was failing. Shortly before his death in February 1999, he proclaimed his son ʿAbdullāh to be his successor, rather than his brother Hassan (Ḥasan), who had been the crown prince. In the main, King ʿAbdullāh II (Abdullah IIʿ) continued to carry out his father's policies and maintained that the new government he formed in March would focus on integrating economic reforms, bettering Jordan's relations with its Arab neighbours, and improving the status of women. The king faced numerous problems, however, including a growing tide of domestic dissent over the country's close ties with the United States and its continued diplomatic relations with Israel.

      In subsequent years, the new monarch carved out a vigorous foreign policy that generally reflected his original goals. Strong political and economic bonds were formed with neighbouring Arab states—especially Egypt and Syria—and the king reshuffled his cabinet on several occasions while attempting to modernize and invigorate the economy. Government security services thwarted several violent attacks by Islamic militants (directed mostly at the security services themselves), and parliamentary elections took place in 2003. The new parliament was made up mostly of independents, but the IAF polled highest among the organized parties.

Ian J. Bickerton

Additional Reading

General works
Overviews of all aspects of the country include Raphael Patai, The Kingdom of Jordan (1958, reprinted 1984); Helen Chapin Metz (ed.), Jordan: A Country Study, 4th ed. (1991); and Peter Gubser, Jordan: Crossroads of Middle Eastern Events (1983). Further resources may be found in Ian J. Seccombe (compiler), Jordan (1984), an annotated bibliography; and the bibliography in Peter Gubser, Historical Dictionary of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (1991).

Geography
Colbert C. Held and Mildred McDonald Held, Middle East Patterns: Places, Peoples, and Politics, 2nd ed. (1994), places Jordan in a larger context. Guy Mountfort, Portrait of a Desert (1965, reprinted 1969), gives an illustrated description of life in the desert of Jordan; while Rami G. Khouri, The Jordan Valley: Life and Society Below Sea Level (1981, reissued 1988), addresses agriculture and development on both sides of the river. Christine Osborne, An Insight and Guide to Jordan (1981), offers an overview of the landscape, society, and culture. Gerald Sparrow, Modern Jordan (1961), recounts the author's travels. George L. Harris, Jordan: Its People, Its Society, Its Culture (1958), is a dated but still useful general reference book. A.H. Hourani, Minorities in the Arab World (1947, reprinted 1982), is a scholarly account of the various minority groups and their backgrounds. Studies in social anthropology include Richard T. Antoun, Arab Village: A Social Structural Study of a Transjordanian Peasant Community (1972, reissued 1977); Peter Gubser, Politics and Change in Al-Karak, Jordan: A Study of a Small Arab Town and Its District (1973, reissued 1985); and Paul A. Jureidini and R.D. McLaurin, Jordan: The Impact of Social Change on the Role of the Tribes (1984). Shelagh Weir, The Bedouin, new ed. (1990), provides an illustrated study of the arts and crafts of the Bedouin of Jordan. Norman N. Lewis, Nomads and Settlers in Syria and Jordan, 1800–1980 (1987), traces the shift from a grazing economy to a sedentary agricultural society. Economic and political conditions are addressed in Michael P. Mazur, Economic Growth and Development in Jordan (1979); Bichara Khader and Adnan Badran (eds.), The Economic Development of Jordan (1987), a collection of essays; Naseer H. Aruri, Jordan: A Study in Political Development (1921–1965) (1972); and Rodney Wilson (ed.), Politics and the Economy in Jordan (1991).

History
The history of Jordan within the region is studied in William L. Cleveland, A History of the Modern Middle East, 2nd ed. (1999); and Arthur Goldschmidt, Jr., A Concise History of the Middle East, 6th ed. (1999). The most accessible general study of Jordanian history is Kamal Salibi, The Modern History of Jordan (1993, reissued 1998). Adnan Hadidi (ed.), Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan, 3 vol. (1982–87), contains detailed analyses of ancient and medieval history. Studies of Jordan at various points in its history include B.A. Toukan, A Short History of Trans-Jordan (1945); and Uriel Dann, Studies in the History of Transjordan, 1920–1949: The Making of a State (1984). Mary C. Wilson, King Abdullah, Britain, and the Making of Jordan (1987, reissued 1990); and Avi Shlaim, Collusion Across the Jordan: King Abdullah, the Zionist Movement, and the Partition of Palestine (1988), also available in rev. abridged ed., The Politics of Partition (1998), examine the role of King Abdullah at critical points in Jordan's history. Amnon Cohen, Political Parties in the West Bank Under the Jordanian Regime, 1949–1967, (1982, originally published in Hebrew, 1980); Shaul Mishal, West Bank/East Bank: The Palestinians in Jordan, 1949–1967 (1978); and Clinton Bailey, Jordan's Palestinian Challenge, 1948–1983: A Political History (1984), discuss Jordan and the Palestinians. P.J. Vatikiotis, Politics and the Military in Jordan: A Study of the Arab Legion, 1921–1957 (1967), outlines the historical influence of the military on Jordanian politics. Valerie Yorke, Domestic Politics and Regional Security: Jordan, Syria, and Israel (1988), examines Jordan's domestic political dynamics. Madiha Rashid Al Madfai, Jordan, the United States, and the Middle East Peace Process, 1974–1991 (1993), explores Jordan's diplomatic role.Kamel S. Abu Jaber Ian J. Bickerton

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Universalium. 2010.

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