JORDAN
     


The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

The Official Site of the Jordanian e-Government

Jordan, officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is an Arab kingdom in West Asia, on the East Bank of the Jordan River, and extending into the historic region of Palestine. Jordan borders Saudi Arabia to the south and east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north, and Israel to the west, sharing control of the Dead Sea with Israel.

The kingdom emerged from the post-World War I division of West Asia by Britain and France. In 1946, Jordan became an independent sovereign state officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan. The name of the state was changed to The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on 1 December 1948.

Although Jordan is a constitutional monarchy, the king holds wide executive and legislative powers. Jordan is classified as a country of "medium human development" by the 2011 Human Development Report, and an emerging market with the third freest economy in West Asia and North Africa (32nd freest worldwide). Jordan has an "upper middle income" economy. Jordan has enjoyed "advanced status" with the European Union since December 2010, and it is a member of the Euro-Mediterranean free trade area. It is also a founding member of the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Islam is the official religion and approximately 92% of the population is Muslim. Sunnis form the majority with non-denominational Muslims being the second largest group of Muslims at 7%. Jordan has laws promoting religious freedom, but they fall short of protecting all minority groups. Muslims who convert to another religion as well as missionaries face societal and legal discrimination. Jordan has an indigenous Christian minority. Other religious minorities groups in Jordan include adherents to the Druze and Bahá'í Faith.

Culture

Although religion and tradition play an important part in modern-day Jordanian society, Jordanians live in a relatively secular society that is increasingly grappling with the effects of globalization. Jordan is considered one of the Arab World's most cosmopolitan countries. 67% of Jordanian youth identify themselves as liberals, second highest in the Arab World after Lebanon.

Art in Jordan is represented through many Institutions with the aim to increase the cultural awareness in plastic and visual arts and to represent the artistic movement in Jordan and it’s wide spectrum of creativity in various fields such as paintings, sculpture, video art, photography, graphic arts, ceramics and installations. The Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts is a major contemporary art museum located in Amman, Jordan.

Jordan offers everything from world-class historical and cultural sites like Petra and the biblical place of Jerash to modern entertainment in urban areas most notably Amman.

Petra (Al-Batrā) is a historical and archaeological city in the southern Jordanian governorate of Ma'an, that is famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system. Another name for Petra is the Rose City due to the color of the stone out of which it is carved. Established possibly as early as 312 BCE as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan, as well as its most-visited tourist attraction. It lies on the slope of Jebel al-Madhbah (identified by some as the biblical Mount Hor) in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. Petra has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.

The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was introduced by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. It was described as "a rose-red city half as old as time" in a Newdigate Prize-winning poem by John William Burgon. UNESCO has described it as "one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage". See: UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists. Petra was chosen by the Smithsonian Magazine as one of the "28 Places to See Before You Die."

the Roman theater map of Petra The Hadrien Gate and the Cardo Maximum