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river, 60 mi (97 km) long, draining Utah Lake N into Great Salt Lake, N central Utah; it passes through Salt Lake City. Fed by numerous streams flowing off the Wasatch Range, the Jordan is used for irrigation and forms the heart of the Utah Oasis. Mormons settled along its banks in the mid-1800s.


officially Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, kingdom (2015 est. pop. 8,117,000), 35,637 sq mi (92,300 sq km), SW Asia. It borders on Israel and the West Bank in the west, on Syria in the north, on Iraq in the northeast, and on Saudi Arabia in the east and south. AmmanAmman
, city (1997 est. pop. 1,415,000), capital of Jordan, N central Jordan, on the Jabbok (Wadi Zerka) River. Jordan's largest city and industrial and commercial heart, it is also a transportation hub, especially for pilgrims en route to Mecca.
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 is the country's capital and largest city. In addition to the capital, important cities include Zarqa, Petra, Irbid, Aqaba, and Salt.

Land and People

Jordan falls into two main geographical regions. Eastern Jordan, which encompasses about 92% of the country's land area, is made up of a section (average elevation: 2,500 ft/760 m) of the Arabian Plateau that in the northeast includes part of the Syrian Desert. In the western part of the plateau are the Jordanian Highlands, which include Jabal Ramm (5,755 ft/1,754 m), Jordan's loftiest point. Extreme W Jordan is made up of a segment of the Great Rift ValleyGreat Rift Valley,
geological fault system of SW Asia and E Africa. It extends c.3,000 mi (4,830 km) from N Syria to central Mozambique. The northernmost extension runs S through Syria and Lebanon, the Jordan valley, the Dead Sea, and the Gulf of Aqaba.
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 (which continues southward into Africa) and includes the JordanJordan,
river, c.200 mi (320 km) long, formed in the Hula basin, N Israel, by the confluence of three headwater streams and meandering S through the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea; the region of Palestine's longest and most important river and the world's lowest river below sea
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 River, the Dead SeaDead Sea,
salt lake, c.390 sq mi (1,010 sq km), extending c.45 mi (70 km) in the Jordan trough of the Great Rift Valley between the Ghor on the north and Wadi Arabah on the south, on the border between Israel and the West Bank (W) and Jordan (E).
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, and the ArabahArabah
or Araba
, depression, on the Israel-Jordan border, extending c.100 mi (160 km) from the Dead Sea S to the Gulf of Aqaba; part of the Great Rift Valley complex. Limestone, salt, and potash are mined near the Dead Sea.
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 (a dry riverbed).

The inhabitants of Jordan are mostly Arabs, largely of either Palestinian or BedouinBedouin
[Arab.,=desert dwellers], primarily nomad Arab peoples of the Middle East, where they form about 10% of the population. They are of the same Semitic stock as their sedentary neighbors (the fellahin; see Arabs) and share with them a devout belief in Islam and a distrust
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 descent. There are small minorities of Armenians and Circassians. Arabic, the official language, is spoken by virtually everyone. Many in the higher socioeconomic groups also speak English. Over 90% of the people are Sunni Muslims; about 5% are Christians, most of whom are Greek Orthodox. There are also small Shiite Muslim and Druze communities.


In the early 2000s, Jordan had an official unemployment rate of about 15%, although the unofficial rate was almost twice that. Poverty and a large foreign debt remain major problems. Less than 5% of the country's land is arable, and farm output is further limited by the small size of most farms, inefficient methods of tilling the soil, and inadequate irrigation. The principal crops are citrus and other fruits and berries, tomatoes, cucumbers, grains, lentils, and olives. Many Jordanians support themselves by raising sheep, goats, and poultry.

Manufactures are largely limited to basic items such as clothing, construction materials, and consumer goods; some pharmaceuticals and inorganic chemicals are also produced. Nearly 50% of the country's industry is based in Amman. Numerous artisans make items of leather, wood, and metal. Phosphate rock, fertilizers, and potash are produced in significant quantities. Oil was discovered in 1982, and a small oil industry that includes petroleum refining has been developed. Tourism also contributes to the economy. During the 1970s and 80s aid from other Arab countries and remittances from Jordanian workers living abroad were important factors in the country's economy. A slowdown in both sources of income beginning in the 1990s, as well as an influx of refugees, particularly Palestinians, Iraqis, and Syrians, has slowed economic progress.

The annual cost of Jordan's imports usually far exceeds its earnings from exports. The principal imports are crude oil, textile fabrics, machinery, transportation equipment, and manufactured goods; the main exports are clothing, pharmaceuticals, potash, phosphates, fertilizers, and agricultural products. Jordan's leading trade partners are the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.


Jordan is a constitutional monarchy. Under the 1952 constitution as amended, the most powerful political and military figure in the country is the king, who is head of state. The government is headed by the prime minister, who is appointed by the monarch. The bicameral parliament consists of the 75-seat Chamber of Notables, or Senate, whose members are appointed by the king, and the 130-seat House of Deputies, whose members are popularly elected using a proportional system, with 15 seats reserved for women. All legislators serve four-year terms. Administratively, Jordan is divided into 12 governorates.


The history section of this article is primarily concerned with the region E of the Jordan River; for the history of the area to the west, see PalestinePalestine
, historic region on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, at various times comprising parts of modern Israel, the West Bank and Gaza (recognized internationally by nations as independent Palestine), Jordan, and Egypt; also known as the Holy Land.
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Early History to Independence

The region of present-day Jordan roughly corresponds to the biblical lands of AmmonAmmon
, in the Bible, people living E of the Dead Sea. Their capital was Rabbath-Ammon, the present-day Amman (Jordan). Their god was Milcom, to whom Solomon built an altar. A Semitic people, they flourished from the 13th cent. B.C. to the 8th cent. B.C.
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, BashanBashan
, fertile plain E of the Jordan and the Sea of Galilee from the latitude of Haifa northward to that of Tyre. According to Hebrew tradition, it was conquered by the Israelites and given to the half tribe of Manasseh.
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, EdomEdom
, Idumaea,
or Idumea
, mountainous country, called also Mt. Seir. According to the Book of Genesis, it was given to Esau, also called Edom, and his descendants. It extended along the eastern border of the Arabah valley, from the Dead Sea to Elat.
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, and MoabMoab
, ancient nation located in the uplands E of the Dead Sea, now part of Jordan. The area is unprotected from the east, hence its history is a chain of raids by the Bedouin.
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. The area was conquered by the Seleucids in the 4th cent. B.C. and was part of the Nabatean empire, whose capital was PetraPetra
, ancient city, in present-day Jordan, known to the Arabs as Wadi Musa for the stream that flows through it. A narrow, winding pass between towering walls leads to the flat, open valley upon which stood the ancient city.
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, from the 1st cent. B.C. to the mid-1st cent. A.D., when it was captured by the Romans under Pompey. In the period between the 6th and 7th cent. it was the scene of considerable fighting between the Byzantine Empire and Persia. In the early 7th cent. the region was invaded by the Muslim Arabs, and after the Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099, it became part of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. In 1516 the Ottoman Turks gained control of what is now Jordan, and it remained part of the Ottoman Empire until the 20th cent.

After the fall of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, the region came under (1919) the government of Faisal IFaisal I
or Faysal I
, 1885–1933, king of Iraq (1921–33). The third son of Husayn ibn Ali, sherif of Mecca, he is also called Faisal ibn Husayn. Faisal was educated in Constantinople and later sat in the Ottoman parliament as deputy for Jidda.
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, centered at Damascus. When Faisal was ejected by French troops in July, 1920, Transjordan (as Jordan was then known) was made (1920) part of the British League of Nations mandate of Palestine. In 1921, Abdullah IAbdullah I
(Abdullah ibn Husayn) , 1882–1951, king of Jordan (1946–51), b. Mecca; son of Husayn ibn Ali of the Hashemite family. During World War I, Abdullah, with British support, led Arab revolts against Turkish rule.
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 (Abdullah ibn Husayn), a member of the Hashemite dynasty and the brother of Faisal, was made emir of Transjordan, which was administered separately from Palestine and was specifically exempted from being part of a Jewish national home. A Jordanian army, called the Arab Legion, was created by the British, largely through the work of Sir John Bagot GlubbGlubb, Sir John Bagot
, 1897–1986, British soldier. He served in France during World War I and in 1920 was posted to Iraq, where he lived among Arab Bedouins and studied their language and culture.
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In a treaty signed with Great Britain in 1928, Transjordan became a constitutional state ruled by a king, to be hereditary in the family of Abdullah I, who was placed on the throne by the British. The country supported the Allies in World War II, and, by a treaty with Great Britain signed in 1946, it became (May 25) independent as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan.

Crisis and Conflict

By an agreement signed in 1948, Britain guaranteed Transjordan an annual military subsidy. Abdullah opposed Zionist aims, and when Palestine was partitioned and the state of IsraelIsrael
, officially State of Israel, republic (2015 est. pop. 8,065,000, including Israelis in occupied Arab territories), 7,992 sq mi (20,700 sq km), SW Asia, on the Mediterranean Sea.
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 was established in 1948, Transjordan, like other members of the Arab LeagueArab League,
popular name for the League of Arab States,
formed in 1945 in an attempt to give political expression to the Arab nations. The original charter members were Egypt, Iraq, Jordan (then known as Transjordan), Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria.
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, sent forces to fight Israel (see Arab-Israeli WarsArab-Israeli Wars,
conflicts in 1948–49, 1956, 1967, 1973–74, and 1982 between Israel and the Arab states. Tensions between Israel and the Arabs have been complicated and heightened by the political, strategic, and economic interests in the area of the great powers.
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). The troops of the Arab Legion gained control of most of that part of W central Palestine that the United Nations had designated as Arab territory. In Apr., 1949, the country's name was changed to Jordan, thus reflecting its acquisition of land W of the Jordan River. In Dec., 1949, Jordan concluded an armistice with Israel, and early in 1950 it formally annexed the West Bank, a move that was deeply resented by other Arab states, which favored the establishment of an independent state of Palestine. The annexation of the West Bank increased Jordan's population by about 450,000 persons, many of them homeless refugees from Israel.

In 1951, Abdullah was assassinated in Jerusalem by a Palestinian and was succeeded the following year by his grandson Hussein IHussein I
, 1935–99, king of Jordan; educated in England at Harrow and Sandhurst. He ascended the throne (1953) after his grandfather Abdullah I had been killed (1951) by a Palestinian extremist and after his father was declared (1952) mentally unfit to serve as king.
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. After a series of anti-Western riots in Jordan, Hussein early in 1956 dismissed Glubb as commander of the Arab Legion, and following the Suez crisis later in the year he ended Jordan's treaty relationship with Great Britain. A leftist coup attempt in 1957 led to the suspension of Jordan's parliament for four years. In Feb., 1958, Jordan and Iraq formed the Arab Federation as a countermove to the newly formed United Arab Republic (UAR), but Hussein dissolved it in August, following the coup in Iraq that toppled the monarchy.

At the same time, the UAR called for the overthrow of the governments in Jordan and Lebanon. At the request of the Jordanian government, Britain sent troops to Jordan; tensions were soon reduced and by Nov., 1958, the troops had been withdrawn. For the next few years Jordan remained on poor terms with Iraq and the UAR. In 1961, Hussein was among the first to recognize Syria after it withdrew from the UAR. Following the establishment in 1963 of a revolutionary Jordanian government-in-exile in Damascus, a state of emergency was declared in Jordan. The crisis ended only after the United States and Great Britain announced their support of Hussein and the U.S. 6th Fleet was placed on alert.

In the mid-1960s, Jordanian politics were calm, Jordan's economy expanded as international trade increased, and Jordan was on good terms with Egypt. Following Egypt's declaration in 1967 of a blockade of Israeli shipping in the Gulf of Aqaba, Hussein signed a mutual defense pact with Egypt. Despite Israeli attempts to urge Jordan to abstain from battle, the two nations became embroiled in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. As a result of the war, Israel captured and occupied the West BankWest Bank,
territory, formerly part of Palestine, after 1949 administered by Jordan, since 1967 largely occupied by Israel (2005 est. pop. 2,386,000), 2,165 sq mi (5,607 sq km), west of the Jordan River, incorporating the northwest quadrant of the Dead Sea.
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—the previously Jordanian territory located W of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea. Subsequently, Jordan was under martial law until the early 1990s.

Jordan and the Palestinians

A large number of Palestinian refugees fled to Jordan during and after the war, and soon there was growing hostility between the Jordanian government and the Palestinian guerrilla organizations operating in Jordan. The guerrillas sought to establish an independent Palestinian state, a goal that conflicted with Hussein's intention of reestablishing Jordan's control over the West Bank. There was major fighting between the guerrillas and the Jordanian army in Nov., 1968; in Sept., 1970, the country was engulfed in a bloody 10-day civil war, which ended when other Arab countries (especially Egypt) arranged a cease-fire. The Palestinians suffered heavy casualties, and many of them fled to Lebanon and Syria, which shifted the locus of the Palestinian refugee problem. In July, 1971, the army carried out a successful offensive that destroyed the remaining guerrilla bases in Jordan. In Nov., 1971, Prime Minister Wasfi al-Tal was assassinated in Cairo by members of the "Black September" Palestinian guerrilla organization, which took its name from the month of the civil war in Jordan.

In 1972, Hussein proposed the creation of a United Arab Kingdom that would include the West Bank with the rest of Jordan. Predicated on Israel's withdrawal from the West Bank, the proposal was rejected by the other Arab states as well as Israel. Hussein survived an assassination attempt by a Palestinian in Dec., 1972. Jordan played a minor role in the Arab-Israeli War of Oct., 1973, sending a small number of troops to fight on the Syrian front. In 1974, Hussein complied with the Arab League's ruling that the PLO (see Palestine Liberation OrganizationPalestine Liberation Organization
(PLO), coordinating council for Palestinian organizations, founded (1964) by Egypt and the Arab League and initially controlled by Egypt.
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) was to be the single legitimate representative of the Palestinians.

Recent History

Jordan moved closer to Syria in the late 1970s and, along with other Arab countries, opposed the Camp David accordsCamp David accords,
popular name for the peace treaty forged in 1978 between Israel and Egypt at the U.S. presidential retreat at Camp David, Md. The official agreement was signed on Mar. 26, 1979, in Washington, D.C.
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 and the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty (1979). Jordan sided with Iraq in the Iran-Iraq WarIran-Iraq War,
1980–88, protracted military conflict between Iran and Iraq. It officially began on Sept. 22, 1980, with an Iraqi land and air invasion of western Iran, although Iraqi spokespersons maintained that Iran had been engaging in artillery attacks on Iraqi towns
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, despite Syrian threats, and sent large amounts of war materials to Iraq. In 1988, Hussein formally relinquished claim to the West Bank in acknowledgment of Palestinian sovereignty. He approved the creation of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, and Arabs residing in that area lost their Jordanian citizenship. Parliamentary elections were held in 1989 for the first time in 22 years.

Plagued by serious economic problems since the mid-1980s, Jordan received increased economic aid from the United States in 1990. However, the outbreak (1991) of the Persian Gulf WarPersian Gulf Wars,
two conflicts involving Iraq and U.S.-led coalitions in the late 20th and early 21st cent.

The First Persian Gulf War, also known as the Gulf War, Jan.–Feb.
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 led to a repeal of U.S. aid to Jordan due to Hussein's support of Iraq (Jordan's major source of oil). Jordan also suffered a loss of aid from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait during the war. The country endured further economic hardship when approximately 700,000 Jordanian workers and refugees returned to Jordan as a result of the fighting in the Persian Gulf, causing housing and employment shortages. Not until 2001 did an accord again permit Jordanians to work in Kuwait.

Peace talks between Israel, Syria, Lebanon, and a joint Palestinian-Jordanian delegation began in Aug., 1991. In 1994 a peace agreement between Jordan and Israel ended the official state of war between the two nations, and Hussein went on to encourage peace negotiations between other Arab states and Israel. In 1993 political parties were again permitted to field candidates, resulting in Jordan's first multiparty elections in 37 years. The country's economy continued to decline, however, and the government became less tolerant of dissent. Laws restricting freedom of the press were instituted in 1997, and that same year Islamic parties boycotted the legislative elections, claiming they were unfair.

Hussein died in 1999 and was succeeded by his son, Abdullah IIAbdullah II
, 1962–, king of Jordan (1999–), b. Amman, educated at Sandhurst and Oxford in England and Georgetown Univ., Washington, D.C. He joined (1984) the Jordanian military, rose swiftly, became (1994) head of Jordan's Special Forces, and attained (1998) the
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, who pledged to work toward a more open government and to ease restrictions on public expression. Although there was some progress in terms of economic development, the country continued to be dependent on tourism, which was hurt by its location between Israel and Iraq. Political liberalization was slow in coming. In 2001 parliament's term expired without new elections being called; they were postponed out of fear that popular sympathy for the Palestinians in their renewed conflict with Israel would lead to a victory for the Islamic parties.

The June, 2003, parliamentary elections resulted in a majority for the king's supporters; Islamists won 18 seats. In Apr., 2006, Jordan accused HamasHamas
[Arab., = zeal], Arabic acronym for the Islamic Resistance Movement, a Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist organization that was founded in 1987 during the Intifada; it seeks to establish an Islamic state in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip (the former
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 of planning attacks against targets in Jordan, saying that it had detained militants and seized weapons that had come in from Syria. The Nov., 2007, parliamentary elections resulted in sharp losses for the Islamists, who accused the government of fraud. The parliament was largely seen as ineffective, and two years later the king dissolved parliament and ordered preparations for a new election. The main Islamic opposition group boycotted the Nov., 2010, elections, which gave the king's supporters a parliamentary majority.

The proreform demonstrations that affected many Arab nations in early 2011 also occurred in Jordan, though they were generally smaller and more moderate than in other countries. The king made promises of reform, and in February appointed a new government that included some opposition figures, but antigovernment protests continued in subsequent weeks. In June the king announced plans for significant political and economic changes, but did not specify a timetable. He subsequently (October) appointed yet another new government to undertake political reforms, but criticism of its proposed election law reforms led to a new government in May, 2012.

In Oct., 2012, the king dissolved parliament. Early elections, held in Jan., 2013, were boycotted by Islamists and other opposition groups because of their objections to the reforms, which they criticized for favoring rural and tribal constituencies. In 2012 Jordan saw a dramatic increase in the number of Syrians who fled there to escape the civil war in their country; by late 2015 more than 1.2 million Syrians, about half of whom were registered as refugees, were in Jordan. The high number of refugees contributed to economic difficulties in the country in subsequent years.

The parliamentary elections of Sept., 2016, held after the adoption in 2015 of electoral reforms that adopted a proportional system of representation, were contested by Islamists and other opposition groups; they won some seats, but the parliament remained dominated by pro-government deputies. In 2018 sudsidy cuts and tax reforms required by a 2016 agreement with the International Monetary Fund provoked antigovernment demonstrations beginning in May; in June a new government was appointed by the king. In the Nov., 2020, parliamentary elections, government-aligned candidates again won most of the seats.


See P. J. Vatikiotis, Politics and the Military in Jordan (1967); N. H. Aruri, Jordan: A Study in Political Development, 1921–1965 (1972); E. Kanovsky, The Economic Development of Jordan (1976); A. H. Cordesman, Jordanian Arms and the Middle East Balance (1983); C. Bailey, Jordan's Palestinian Challenge, 1948–1983, A Political History (1985); R. F. Nyrop, ed., Jordan (3d ed. 1987); J. Lunt, Hussein of Jordan (1989).


river, c.200 mi (320 km) long, formed in the Hula basin, N Israel, by the confluence of three headwater streams and meandering S through the Sea of GalileeGalilee, Sea of,
 Lake Tiberias
, or Lake Kinneret
, lake, 64 sq mi (166 sq km), 14 mi (23 km) long, and 3 to 7 mi (4.8–11.3 km) wide, NE Israel; its surface is c.700 ft (210 m) below sea level.
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 to the Dead SeaDead Sea,
salt lake, c.390 sq mi (1,010 sq km), extending c.45 mi (70 km) in the Jordan trough of the Great Rift Valley between the Ghor on the north and Wadi Arabah on the south, on the border between Israel and the West Bank (W) and Jordan (E).
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; the region of Palestine's longest and most important river and the world's lowest river below sea level. It flows through the northern section of the Jordan trough, a part of the Great Rift ValleyGreat Rift Valley,
geological fault system of SW Asia and E Africa. It extends c.3,000 mi (4,830 km) from N Syria to central Mozambique. The northernmost extension runs S through Syria and Lebanon, the Jordan valley, the Dead Sea, and the Gulf of Aqaba.
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; between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, the Jordan valley is called the GhorGhor, the,
Arabic Al Ghawr, region of the Jordan Valley, c.70 mi (110 km) long, between the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias) and the Dead Sea, on the border of Jordan and Israel and the West Bank.
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. There it forms the border between Israel and the West BankWest Bank,
territory, formerly part of Palestine, after 1949 administered by Jordan, since 1967 largely occupied by Israel (2005 est. pop. 2,386,000), 2,165 sq mi (5,607 sq km), west of the Jordan River, incorporating the northwest quadrant of the Dead Sea.
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 (W) and the nation of Jordan (E). The Jordan is fed by many small streams, with headwaters in Syria and Lebanon. The YarmukYarmuk
, river, c.50 mi (80 km) long, rising near the Jordan-Syria border and flowing generally W to the Jordan River, S of the Sea of Galilee. One of the region's larger rivers, it is used primarily for irrigation.
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 River is its largest tributary. Deep and turbulent during the rainy season, the Jordan is reduced to a sluggish, shallow stream during the summer. As it nears the Dead Sea, its salinity increases. Although the river is not navigable, its waters are valuable for irrigation. Israel's National Water Carrier Project uses the Sea of Galilee as a reservoir, and Jordan's East Ghor project diverts water from the Yarmuk River. Other irrigation projects, in Syria and Lebanon, divert water from the Jordan's headstreams. This extensive use of the river and its tributaries for irrigation has depleted the flow into the Dead Sea and greatly increased pollution in the Jordan. The river is mentioned in the New Testament as the scene of Jesus' baptism.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan (al-Mamlakat al-Urdunniya al-Hashimiya), a state in Western Asia. Jordan is bordered on the north by Syria, on the east and northeast by Iraq, on the south and southeast by Saudi Arabia, and on the west and northwest by Israel. On the southwest it faces the Gulf of Aqaba, leading to the Red Sea. Area, 97,700 sq km. Population, 2.4 million (1971, estimate). The capital city is Amman. The country is divided administratively into eight provinces, or liwas.

Constitution and Government.Jordan is a constitutional monarchy. The constitution now in effect, adopted on Jan. 1, 1952, came into force on Jan. 8, 1952. The head of state is the king, who possesses broad powers: he appoints and removes prime ministers and ministers, he approves laws, he is commander in chief of the armed forces, he has the right to dissolve the House of Representatives, and he can declare war and conclude peace.

The highest organ of legislative power is the parliament, or National Assembly, which consists of two houses: the Senate, or House of Notables (30 members, appointed by the king for a term of four years), and the House of Representatives (60 deputies, elected for four years by secret and direct vote). The right to vote is granted only to males who have reached the age of 18.

Each province (liwa) is headed by a governor (mutesarrif) and each district (qadd), by a district leader (qaim-maqam); the smallest territorial unit, the nahiya, is headed by a local leader, or mudir. Each city has a municipal council and each village is headed by an elder, or mukhtar. The nomadic tribes are headed by sheikhs who are formally elected but in reality inherit their offices.

There are three types of courts in Jordan: civil, religious (shari’a), and special (tribal courts, military tribunals, and state security courts). Members of the civil courts (comprising magistrates’ courts and courts of the first and second instance) are appointed by the king.


Natural features.Most of Jordan’s territory consists of plateaus rising from an elevation of 500 m in the east to 1,000–1,500 m in the west. The highest point is Mount Ram (1,764 m), in the south. A deep meridional tectonic depression, consisting of al-Ghor and its continuation, Wadi al-Arabah, is found in the west. The al-Ghor depression is occupied by the Jordan valley and the Dead Sea, an inland lake without outlet (395 m below sea level). Along both sides of the depression rise the Lebanon and the Anti-Lebanon mountains, composed mainly of Cretaceous and Paleogenic limestones and sandstones, in places covered with lava. There are deposits of phosphorites, potassium salts (in the Dead Sea), and copper.

The climate of Jordan is dry and subtropical. The average January temperature is from 8° to 14°C; July temperatures range from 24° to 30°C, sometimes reaching 50°C in the al-Ghor depression and in the south of the country. Precipitation varies from 500 to 700 mm a year in the mountains to the west (with the maximum in winter) to less than 100 mm a year in some parts of the east and in the al-Ghor depression.

Few rivers in Jordan flow year-round, but there are many wadis and seasonal streams. There is Mediterranean vegetation in the western highlands, and bush-and-tree formations are common. The east consists of deserts and semideserts; date palms grow in the infrequent oases.

Fauna indigenous to Jordan includes the gazelle, hyena, desert fox, and many species of birds and reptiles.


Population.More than 95 percent of the population of Jordan is Arab. In addition, there are about 20,000 Circassians and several thousand Armenians, Kurds, Greeks, and Turkomans. The nomadic Arabs retain their tribal division; the largest tribes are the Beni-Sakhr and the Huwaytat. The official language is Arabic.

The population is 93 percent Sunni Muslim, with a small number of Shiite Muslims and Druze. There are over 100,000 Christians, mostly urban. The official calendar is the lunar hegira; the Gregorian calendar is also used.

The rate of population increase between 1963 and 1970 averaged 3.7 percent a year, most of it attributable to natural increase. However, in certain years migration was a significant factor. An influx of Palestinian refugees from Israeli-occupied sections of Jordan caused a considerable increase in the population on the east bank of the Jordan River. The tightness of the labor market is causing unemployment and an exodus of the labor force (primarily to Kuwait and other Arab countries). In 1967,23 percent of the population was economically active, of which one-third was employed in agriculture. The country has a severe shortage of skilled workers, and the industrial labor force is small.

The population of Jordan is divided into settled, seminomadic, and nomadic groups, according to way of life, and a process of settlement of the nomads is going on. The majority of the population is concentrated in the Jordan valley; the southern and eastern parts of the country are occupied by a small number of nomadic and seminomadic tribes (less than one inhabitant per sq km). The largest cities (1970, estimate) are Amman (500,000), Al-Zarqa (136,000), Jerusalem (eastern), Irbid, Nabulus, and Al-Khalil (Hebron).

Historical survey .In antiquity, the territory of modern Jordan was inhabited by Semitic tribes of the Canaanite group and often invaded by Phoenicians and Hittites. Part of the territory belonged to the kingdoms of Israel and Judah in the third and second millennia B.C. The center of the ancient Arabian early-class-structured Nabatean state arose by the end of the first millennium B.C. The Nabatean kingdom was conquered by the Romans at the beginning of the second century A.D., and by the fourth decade of the second century the entire territory of modern Jordan was subjected to Roman rule. In the fourth century the territory became part of the Byzantine Empire. In the seventh century it was conquered by the Arabs and became part of the Arab Caliphate. The Arabic language and Islam gradually spread.

Between the 11th and the 15th centuries, Jordanian territory was subjected to invasions by the Crusaders, the Seljuks, and the Egyptian Mamelukes. The territory was part of the Ottoman Empire from the early 16th century until 1918.

Most of the territory of modern Jordan was freed from Turkish troops during World War I by Arab guerrilla detachments, and in 1918, together with the territory of modern Syria, the area came under the control of Emir Faisal. After the end of the war the territory was included in the British Mandate for Palestine. At the Cairo Conference of British colonial leaders in March 1921, the decision was made to isolate part of the territory east of the Jordan River from the jurisdiction of the mandate as the emirate (principality) of Transjordan, under the rule of Emir Abdullah (Hashimite dynasty).

Transjordan, with a population of about 300,000, was a backward agricultural country dominated by feudal lords and tribal sheikhs and actually ruled by British mandate authorities. The boundaries of the emirate were defined between 1921 and 1925. Transjordan included the districts of Ma’an and Aqaba, which until then had been part of the Hejaz in Saudi Arabia. The Transjordanian army, known as the Arab Legion, was organized under the command of British officers.

In 1928, Great Britain saddled Transjordan with an unequal treaty that guaranteed Britain’s control of the foreign policy, finances, and armed forces of the emirate. The authority of the Hashimites was strengthened by the constitution of 1928, under which the emir kept full control over the Legislative Council and under which the organs of executive authority were responsible only to him. The exploitative 1928 treaty and the constitution caused dissatisfaction in the country. A popular movement in 1928–29 was headed by the People’s Party (al-Shaab), founded in 1927, and led by a group of influential sheikhs and representatives of the national intelligentsia. The National Congress summoned by the Shaab in June 1928 demanded genuine independence for Transjordan. The country was beset by mass demonstrations and strikes by students, artisans, merchants, the intelligentsia, and the peasantry. However, the parliament (elected in January 1929), obedient to the emir, ratified the treaty of 1928. The anti-imperialist movement experienced a certain falling-off after 1929. The Shaab lost its influence. However, mass disturbances flared up at certain periods, especially during the insurrections of Palestinian Arabs against British imperialism and Zionism in 1929, 1933, and 1936–39. A guerrilla struggle developed in the western districts of the country between 1936 and 1939.

By the beginning of World War II (1939-45) the territory of the emirate had been turned into one of Great Britain’s Middle Eastern military bases, and Britain’s puppet, Emir Abdullah, was given a prominent role in expanding British influence in the Arab East.

The dependent position of Transjordan did not change even after a new Anglo-Jordanian treaty was concluded on Mar. 22, 1946, under which Britain relinquished its mandate over Transjordan and recognized it as an independent state. On May 25, 1946, the country became known as Jordan, with Abdullah as king. Jordan was admitted to the United Nations in 1955. The treaty of 1946 was replaced by a newly unequal treaty in 1948.

As a result of the Arab-Israeli War of 1948–49, the central districts of Palestine—the west bank of the Jordan River, including Nabulus, Bayt-Lahm (Bethlehem), and East Jerusalem—were incorporated into Jordan; this accession became official in 1950.

The incorporation of economically and politically developed regions of Palestine helped to activate the movement against the reactionary regime and domination of the British colonialists. At the same time, the presence in Jordan of over 500,000 Arab refugees from Israel and the Israeli-occupied Arab areas of Palestine, in addition to Jordan’s dependence upon the Western powers, complicated the country’s economic and political situation. The penetration of American imperialism into Jordan intensified. In February 1951 an agreement providing for American aid to Jordan was signed; in 1957 it was replaced by an agreement providing for economic and technical aid to Jordan from the USA.

On July 20, 1951, a member of a terrorist organization killed King Abdullah. His son Talal ascended the throne; TalaPs son Hussein succeeded him in August 1952, but a council of regents ruled until Hussein reached 18 in May 1953.

Jordan’s political life has become more active since the early 1950’s. In January 1952 a new constitution was adopted, which established the principle of the government’s responsibility to the National Assembly. On the initiative of the Jordan Communist Party (founded in 1943 and known until 1951 as the National Liberation League) the patriotic National Front was created in 1952. In addition to the Communist Party, the National Front included the National Socialist Party (founded in 1954), the Baath (founded in 1952), and several other organizations. Although the persecution of progressive forces continued, the government was forced, under a 1954 law, to recognize the right of political parties and trade unions to organize. It was also forced to release many patriots, including Communists, from the jails.

The growth of political activism, which was evident in massive popular demonstrations in 1953 and 1954, undermined the efforts of imperialist and internal reactionary forces to draw Jordan into the aggressive military-political Baghdad Pact. As a result of demonstrations against British imperialists in December 1955 and January 1956 the British general J.B. Glubb, who had commanded the Arab Legion for 17 years and exerted great influence on the country’s political life, was removed and driven out of Jordan. Command of the Legion was transferred to Jordanian officers, and in July 1956 the Legion was renamed the Jordan Arab Army. In the parliamentary elections of Oct. 21, 1956, the bloc of patriotic forces won for the first time; the Communist Party obtained two seats in the National Assembly. A government headed by S. al-Nabulsi, leader of the National Socialist Party, came to power.

In January 1957, Jordan signed an agreement on Arab solidarity with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. In February 1957, Great Britain was forced to agree to the annulment of the Anglo-Jordanian Treaty of 1948 and to withdraw British troops from Jordan. Nabulsi’s government announced its intention to establish diplomatic relations with the USSR and began to implement a number of democratic measures. However, in April 1957 reactionary forces brought about the resignation of Nabulsi’s government. Martial law was established, many ministers and representatives were arrested, and the activity of political parties, including the Communist Party, was prohibited. (Since 1967 the JCP has operated on a semilegal basis.) For the purpose of consolidating reactionary Arab forces, Jordan and royalist Iraq signed an agreement creating the Arab Federation, which was dissolved after the Iraqi Revolution of July 14, 1958.

Several shifts have occurred in Jordan’s foreign and domestic policy since the early 1960’s. Diplomatic relations with the USSR were established on Aug. 21, 1963, followed by the establishment of diplomatic relations with most of the other socialist countries. In 1965, Jordan and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement adjusting their borders in the region of the port of Aqaba. In 1967, Jordan and Egypt signed a military agreement, joined by Iraq soon afterward.

A seven-year plan (later replaced by a five-year plan) for economic development was worked out. In 1965 a labor law somewhat expanded the rights of workers. In April 1965 a law was passed granting amnesty to political prisoners and political emigrants.

As a result of Israel’s agression against the Arab countries in June 1967, Israeli troops occupied 5,900 sq km of Jordanian territory (west of the Jordan River), the area comprising the most economically developed part of the country. About 300,000 new refugees fled to the east bank of the Jordan. Thus, the number of Palestinian refugees in Jordan exceeded 800,000. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s military detachments of several organizations in the Palestinian resistance movement were active on Jordanian territory. Jordan’s situation was complicated by subsequent aggressive attacks on the part of Israel.

In accordance with the Arab countries’ Khartoum Agreement (end of 1967), Libya, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia were obliged to give financial aid to Jordan. (When relations between the Palestinian resistance movement and the Jordanian government worsened critically in September 1970, Libya broke off relations with Jordan and announced that it would aid the Palestinian partisans directly.)

The internal situation in Jordan has repeatedly become critically aggravated since late 1970, arising from provocations by imperialist and Israeli agents and resulting in armed clashes between the Jordanian army and detachments of the Palestinian resistance movement. After Jordanian troops destroyed the Palestinians’ military bases in July 1971, the Palestinian resistance forces left Jordan and moved to the territory of a number of other Arab states.

In March 1972, King Hussein put forward a plan to create a “United Arab Kingdom,” comprising both a Jordanian sector (the east bank of the Jordan River) and a Palestinian sector (the west bank of the Jordan and East Jerusalem). Many Arab states rejected this plan, regarding it as an attempt to split their solidarity in seeking a solution to the Mideast conflict.

The Rabat summit meeting of the Arab states in October 1974, attended by Jordan, unanimously affirmed the right of the Palestinian people to establish national rule, under the auspices of the Palestine Liberation Organization (Al Fatah) as the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian Arabs, in any part of Palestinian territory liberated from Israeli occupation.

A Soviet-Jordanian agreement on cultural and scientific cooperation was signed in October 1967. In 1969, Jordan and the USSR signed a trade agreement and an agreement on economic and technical cooperation.

L. N. KOTLOV (before 1945) and Iu. ALESHIN (after 1945)

Political parties, trade unions, and other social organizations.The Jordan Communist Party (al-Hizb al-Shuyu’i al-Urdunni) was created in 1943 and was known as the National Liberation League until 1951. It operates on a semilegal basis.

The Arab Socialist Renaissance Party (al-Hizb al-Ba’ath al-Arabi al-Ishtiraki, otherwise known as Baath) was founded in 1952. The Islamic Liberation Movement (al-Tahrir) was also founded in 1952. Both are outlawed.

The Jordan Federation of Trade Unions has been in existence since 1967 and is affiliated with the World Federation of Trade Unions.

The Jordanian-Soviet Friendship Society was founded in 1969.


Economic geography.Jordan is an underdeveloped agricultural-pastoral country. Industry began to develop only after World War II. Some enterprises are controlled by foreign capital. The economy suffered severely from Israeli aggression in 1967; the occupied west-bank territory had accounted for about 38 percent of the gross national product, including 65 percent of the vegetables, over 60 percent of the fruits, 80 percent of the oil-producing crops, and about 30 percent of the cereals. The extraction of potassium salts is also concentrated in the western regions (near the Dead Sea). The state revenue has dropped significantly. The government plans to expand the phosphate-rock mining and agricultural production in the country’s arid southern regions. In 1970 foreign subsidies and loans amounted to 42 million Jordanian dinars (JD), or 54 percent of the state budgetary revenue, including JD17 million from the USA and JD17.9 million from Saudi Arabia.

Agriculture is the main sector of the economy, accounting for 19.5 percent of the gross national product in 1970. Relatively large landowner estates and small peasant tenant-holdings are characteristic. Of all farms, 86.4 percent are less than 10 hectares and are of the small-scale commodity and subsistence type. The landowners and sheikhs keep the best of the cultivated lands, pastures, and water sources. Large- and medium-scale landowner farms account for about 3 percent of the total number of farms but for about half of the cultivated land. In the 1960’s producers’ and trade cooperatives appeared in the villages; the number of these cooperatives had grown to 340 (with about 17,000 members) by 1966, all united in a Central Cooperative Union. The cooperatives extend financial, technical, and agronomic aid to their members.

Land cultivation techniques in Jordan are essentially primitive. There were 2,800 tractors in 1970. Although irrigation is of great importance for Jordan, irrigated lands constitute only about 1 percent of the total area under cultivation. Irrigation construction was begun in the Yarmuk basin in northern Jordan in 1972. Cultivated lands (including gardens and orchards) accounted for 13 percent of the total territory in 1969; another 1 percent was pasture and meadowland and slightly over 1 percent was forest. The main agricultural region is the valley of the Jordan River, where fruits, grapes, olives, vegetables, wheat, barley, corn, lentils, and eggplants are the principal crops. (See Table 1 for the area and yield of the main agricultural crops.)

Table 1. Area and yield of chief agricultural crops
1Average per year. Data on area and yield of agricultural crops for 1969 and 1970 do not include that of the territory occupied by Israel in 1967.
Source: Production Yearbook 1970. FAO, United Nations. Rome, 1971.
 Area (thou ha)Yield (thou tons)
Wheat ...1821001642231284415954
Barley ....623457415213425
Olives .........15202817243
Citrus fruits ........17237244
Grapes .......... 111942743146
Tomatoes .........713211317156150137

Animal husbandry, providing 25 to 30 percent of the agricultural income, is practiced extensively. Primarily sheep and goats are raised; there are also certain breeds of cattle used mainly as work animals. In 1969–70 there were 900,000 sheep, 500,000 goats, 50,000 cattle, and 10,000 camels. Livestock productivity is low.

Industry is weakly developed and accounts for 15–20 percent of the gross national product. The main sectors are mining, food processing, and building-materials production. The most important single enterprise is the joint British-Jordanian Jordan Phosphate Mines Company, in which the Jordanian government owns the controlling shares. There are oil mills, wineries, and noodle factories. Building materials are produced (cement; marble is mined and processed). About 70 percent of the industrial enterprises, most of them small, are concentrated in and around Amman. About one-fifth of all industrial workers are employed at the oil refinery in al-Zarqa, at the cigarette factory in Amman, at the phosphate mines in al-Rusayfa and al-Hasa, and at the cement factory, chemical factory, and garment factory near Amman. (See Table 2 for the output of basic industrial products.)

Table 2. Output of principal industrial products
1 Excludes the output of enterprises in the territory occupied by Israel in 1967
2 1956
3 1,087.3 thousand tons in 1969 4 1961
Electric power (millions kW-hr) .....16.32156177133.7
Phosphates (dry) (thou tons) .....40362796.46403
Petroleum products (thou tons) .....2054430.4556.7
Cement (thou tons) .....165375.3418.9
Cigarettes (millions) .....378946.21,4782,109.3
Leather and wool (tons) .....545.9397.4

From the Syrian border in the north to Naqb Ashtar in the south, Jordan’s territory is traversed by a 362-km railroad, completed in 1971. Highways total about 6,000 km. In 1969 there were 15,000 automobiles and 5,500 trucks. Aqaba, which handled 381,900 tons of cargo in 1970, is the only seaport. The principal air routes run to other Arab countries, Great Britain, and France. Two oil pipelines, the Kirkuk (Iraq)-Haifa (Israel), which has not functioned since 1948, and the Dahran (Saudi Arabia)-Sayda (Lebanon), pass through Jordanian territory.

In 1970 exports were valued at JD9.3 million; imports, at JD65.9 million. Jordan exports phosphorites and agricultural produce, while importing almost all industrial and many food products. Jordan’s chief trading partners in imports were (in 1970) Great Britain (13.9 percent of Jordan’s imports), the USA (11.2 percent), other Arab countries (20 percent), the Common Market countries (17.9 percent in 1969), and the socialist countries (13 percent in 1969). Jordan’s exports go primarily to other Arab countries, including Kuwait, Lebanon and Syria (77 percent), as well as to India (3.2 percent) and Yugoslavia (8.6 percent).

The monetary unit is the Jordanian dinar. In April 1971, JD0.3571 was equal to US $1. Jordan’s foreign debt in 1969 was JD37 million (25 million in 1966).


Armed forces.he armed forces of Jordan consist of ground forces, an air force, a navy, and local self-defense units. The supreme commander in chief is the king; the armed forces are directly administered by the Ministry of Defense. Manpower is supplied under a law of universal military obligation; the term of active service is two years. There were about 60,000 men in the armed services in 1971. The ground forces consist of one division each of infantry, mechanized, and tank forces, as well as of specialized smaller units. The air force has about 30 combat planes. The navy has 250 men and eight small cutters. All weaponry and military equipment are British and American.

Medicine and public healthAccording to figures of the World Health Organization for 1966, the birthrate in Jordan was 46.2 per thousand inhabitants and the death rate was 5.0 per thousand; infant mortality was 36.3 per thousand live births.

Infectious diseases are the main health problem. Diseases found throughout the country include gastrointestinal disorders, tuberculosis, and trachoma. Malaria is endemic in the Jordan and Yarmuk valleys, sections of Amman, the Jabal Ajlun uplands, and sections southeast of the Dead Sea. Malaria is especially widespread among the nomadic tribes. Ascariasis, trichuriasis, and enterobiasis are extremely common; dracunculiasis occurs occasionally.

In 1966 there were 57 working hospitals with 3,500 beds (or 1.7 per thousand population), 57 polyclinics attached to the hospitals, 24 independent polyclinics, 24 health centers, and 375 dispensaries. There were 505 working physicians (one per 4,000 population), 75 dentists, 396 pharmacists, 180 midwives, and 320 nurses. Health services are financed by state (in 1966, 6.3 percent of the budget) and municipal subsidies and by the World Health Organization.


Veterinary services.Nomadic stock raising and mountain ranching predominate. Poor veterinary control results in the spread of highly dangerous infections. In 1970 there were 17 new foci of murrain, six of sheep pox, nine of hydrophobia, and 16 of Newcastle’s fowl disease. Naturally endemic animal diseases in the south and east include babesiasis of cattle and piroplas-moses of solidungulates. Goat-pox, sheep mange, coccidioses, and helminthic infections of all species of animals have been found in most of the livestock throughout the country. Gangrenous mastitis and contagious felons cause great economic losses. Jordan does not have its own institutions of veterinary education. There were 41 veterinarians in the country in 1969.


Education.fter Jordan received independence a 1952 law announced compulsory free education at the primary level and secondary education at a fee. In the early 1960’s, 50 percent of the population was illiterate.

The system of public education consists of six-year primary schools, three-year incomplete secondary schools, and three-year complete secondary schools. Separate instruction predominates.

The complete secondary schools provide specialized training in agriculture, engineering, and business. In 1969–70 there were 318,000 students in primary schools, over 55,000 in incomplete secondary schools, and 27,000 in complete secondary schools. Schools have been organized for the children of Palestinian refugees, who have streamed into Jordan as a result of Israeli aggression.

In order to combat illiteracy, two-year courses were introduced in 1966 to eliminate illiteracy in the adult population. Great attention is also paid to vocational training. Three-year vocational schools are fed by the primary schools. In 1970 there were 17 vocational-technical schools (with 2,400 students) and four agricultural schools (with over 350 students). The secondary preparatory schools feed seven teacher-training colleges (five state-run and two affiliated with UNESCO), which had a total of 1,780 students in 1970. They also prepare students for an agricultural college with a two-year program of study.

The first institution of higher learning in Jordan is the University of Jordan in Amman, opened in 1962. It has three departments: liberal arts, economics and commerce, and natural sciences. Students must pay tuition. There were 2,600 students in the university in 1970–71. Jordanians also receive higher education in Egypt, Lebanon, and other countries; 940 Jordanian students were studying abroad in 1972. Work in agriculture is being carried on under the Department of Agricultural Research. The country’s water resources are being studied in this connection.

The largest libraries are located in Amman: the university library, with 21,000 volumes, as well as a public library with 30,000 volumes; Amman is also the home of the Jordan Archaeological Museum (founded in 1923) and the Museum of Islam.


Press, radio, and television.Newspapers have been published in Jordan since 1909. The Arabic-language newspaper al-Dustur (founded in 1967; circulation, 14,000) was being published in 1972. A number of government journals and several weeklies are also published. A government-owned radio station has broadcast since 1959. The station is located in Amman and broadcasts in Arabic, English, Spanish, and Hebrew. There have been television broadcasts since 1968 in Arabic and English.

Literature.Until the 19th century the literature of the people inhabiting modern Jordan developed as part of the general tradition of Arabic literature. The end of the 19th century was marked by the cultural and literary activity of Yusaf Zay-al-Din al-Khalidi (1829–1906), Nahl Zariq (1859–1921), Khalil Baydath (1875–1949), and Khalil al-Sakakini.

The poetry of the first half of the 20th century was dominated by romanticism and sentimentalism. This is exemplified in the works of Ibrahim al-Dabbagh, Ibrahim Tuqan, and Said al-Qiyarami.

Mustafa Wahba Al-Til (1899–1949) expressed the period’s ideas of national liberation. Deep social values are found in the works of Iskandar al-Huri al-Baytajali, the patriotic poetry of Muhammad al-Shariqi and Husni Fariz, and the early lyric poetry of Muayyad Ibrahim al-Irani. The national liberation movement left its imprint on young realist writers, such as Muayyan Basisu and Nazhat Salam.

Other lyric poets include Burhan al-Din al-Abusha, Abd al-Karim al-Qiyarmi (Abu-Salam), and Mahmud al-Khut. The novella and short story occupy the leading place in prose. Mahmud Sayf al-Din al-Irani and Muhammad Adib al-Amri are authors of novellas and innovators in form and content. The biographical novel and novella are represented by the works of Najat Sidqa. Modern anti-imperialist themes appear in the works of the poets Mahmud Darwish (born 1942; verse collection Remains of the Night published 1968), Harun Hashim Rashid, and Muayyan Basisu (author of Trees Die Standing, 1967, and the narrative poem To the People’s Resistance Gazette).


Architecture and art.Many monuments survived from ancient times on Jordanian territory. The rock paintings of Qilwa date from the Paleolithic age. The oldest layer of the settlement of Jericho, with its adobe houses and stone fortifications, dates from the Neolithic. Unique sculptural portraits—skulls with the faces restored in clay—have been found here. Megalithic tombs, the remains of packed-clay dwellings and ritual temples (sometimes with wall paintings), ceramics, jewelry, and glyptics have been found from the Aneolithic and the Bronze Age. There are seals engraved with winged spirits and a stone statuette of a priest from Amman from the first half of the first millennium B.C. In the fourth century B.C. the influence of classical art becomes evident in the northern part of Jordan in the planning and construction of cities such as Philadelphia (now Amman) and Gerasa (now Jarash).

The architecture of the Nabateans (beginning in the fourth century B.C.) is of particular interest; it is characterized by its wealth and refinement of form and articulation (exemplified by Petra, the capital city complex of the Nabatean kingdom, carved out of cliffs, and by the ruins in Kirbat-Tannur and Umm al-Jimal).

There are many Roman ruins (second and third centuries A.D.) and Byzantine ruins (fourth to early seventh centuries A.D.) consisting of temples and dwellings. Some of these have mosaic floors. The most important works of Arab art of the Omayyad period (661–750) include the centrally domed mosque Qubbat al-Sakhra (Dome of the Rock) in Jerusalem, with its magnificent mosaics and rich ornamentation; the residential palace of Qasr al-Mushatta, famous for its frieze decorated with the most delicate stone carving; Kirbat al-Mafjar, with its mosaic floors and panels and its stucco ceilings with geometrical designs and scenes of animals fighting; and Qasr Amra, with its unique frescoes depicting scenes of hunting and labor.

Palaces of the Crusaders of the 12th century are preserved in Karak and al-Shubak. Fortresses of Arab emirs of the 12th century are preserved in Ajlun (the fortress of Qalat al-Rabad). There is a 14th-century fort in Aqaba.

Later centuries have not left valuable works of art. New construction in Jordan consists primarily of one- to four-story dwellings with flat roofs and of modern business and administrative buildings.

Folk art is represented chiefly by patterned weaving and geometrically ornamented embroidery (sometimes including stylized depictions of plants and animals), ceramics, and wood, mother-of-pearl, and leather items.


Lutskii, V.B. Novaia istoriia arabskikh stran. Moscow, 1965.
Noveishaia istoriia arabskikh stran. Moscow, 1968. Pages 134–58.
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Kotlov, L.N. Iordaniia v noveishee vremia. Moscow, 1962.
Sovremennaia lordaniia. Moscow, 1964.
Uways, Yaqub. Konets kar’ery Glabba v Iordanii. Moscow, 1967. (Translated from Arabic.)
Drachinskii, N. Korolevstvo na vulkane. Moscow, 1958.
Madi, M., and S. Musa. Tarikh al-Urdunn ft al-qarn al-ishrin (History of Jordan in the 20th Century). Amman, 1959.
Dearden, A. Jordan. London [1958].
Qubain, F. Education and Science in the Arab World. Baltimore, 1966.
Krachkovskii, I. Iu. Izbr. soch., vols. 2–4. Moscow-Leningrad, 1956–57.
Sovremennaia lordaniia. Moscow, 1964. Pages 164—77.
Gibb, H.A. Arabskaia literatura. Moscow, 1960. (Translated from English.)
Sovremennaia arabskaia literatura. (Collection of articles.) Moscow, 1960. (Translated from Arabic.)
Krachkovskaia, V.A. “Novye arkheologicheskie otkrytiia v Zaior-dan’e.” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1946, [no.] 4.
Kaufman, S.A. “Ob arkhitekture drevnego arabskogo naroda nabateev ….” In Voprosy vseobshchei istorii arkhitektury, collection 1. Moscow, 1961.
Enlart, C. Les Monuments des Croisés dans le Royaume de Jerusalem, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1925–28.
Creswell, K.C. A. Early Muslim Architecture, part 1. Oxford, 1932.
Albright, W.F. The Archaeology of Palestine. Harmondsworth, 1960.



a river in western Asia, for the most part in Jordan. Length, 252 km.

The Jordan rises on Jabal-Shaykh (Mount Hermon). It flows through the semidesert meridional tectonic El-Ghor depression, through Lake Huleh and Lake Tiberias, and empties into the Dead Sea. In its upper reaches the valley of the Jordan is narrow and the river itself has rapids in places; the river widens in its lowest reaches. The rate of flow is 50 cu m per sec in the summer. The Jordan is fed by groundwaters and lakes. Its chief tributary, the Yarmuk, empties into it from the left. The waters of the Jordan are used for irrigation, and its valley is the chief farming region of Jordan.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(mechanical engineering)
A machine or engine used to refine paper pulp, consisting of a rotating cone, with cutters, that fits inside another cone, also with cutters.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Official name: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Capital city: Amman

Internet country code: .jo

Flag description: Three equal horizontal bands of black

(top), representing the Abbassid Caliphate; white, repre­senting the Ummayyad Caliphate; and green, represent­ing the Fatimid Caliphate; a red isosceles triangle on the hoist side, representing the Great Arab Revolt of 1916, and bearing a small white seven-pointed star symbolizing the seven verses of the opening Sura (Al-Fatiha) of the Koran; the seven points on the star represent faith in One God, humanity, national spirit, humility, social justice, virtue, and aspirations; design is based on the Arab Revolt flag of World War I

National anthem: “A-Sha-al Maleek”

Geographical description: Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia

Total area: 34,495 sq. mi. (89.342 sq. km.)

Climate: Mostly arid desert; rainy season in west (November to April)

Nationality: noun: Jordanian(s); adjective: Jordanian

Population: 6,053,193 (July 2007 CIA est.)

Ethnic groups: Arab 98%, Circassian 1%, Armenian 1%

Languages spoken: Arab (official), English

Religions: Sunni Muslim 92%, Christian (majority Greek Orthodox, but some Greek and Roman Catholics, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and Protestant denominations) 6%, other (several small Shi’a Muslim and Druze populations) 2%

Legal Holidays:

Christmas DayDec 25
Great Arab RevoltJun 10
Independence DayMay 25
King Abdullah's Accession to the ThroneJun 9
Labor DayMay 1
New Year's DayJan 1
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.


1. Michael (Jeffrey). born 1963, US basketball player
2. Neil. born 1950, Irish film director and writer; his films include The Company of Wolves (1984), Mona Lisa (1986), The Crying Game (1992), Michael Collins (1996), and The End of the Affair (2000)


1. a kingdom in SW Asia: coextensive with the biblical Moab, Gilead, and Edom; made a League of Nations mandate and emirate under British control in 1922 and became an independent kingdom in 1946; territories west of the River Jordan and the Jordanian part of Jerusalem (intended to be part of an autonomous Palestine) were occupied by Israel after the war of 1967. It contains part of the Great Rift Valley and consists mostly of desert. Official language: Arabic. Official religion: (Sunni) Muslim. Currency: dinar. Capital: Amman. Pop.: 5 613 000 (2004 est.). Area: 89 185 sq. km (34 434 sq. miles)
2. the chief and only perennial river of Israel and Jordan, rising in several headstreams in Syria and Lebanon, and flowing south through the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea: occupies the N end of the Great Rift Valley system and lies mostly below sea level. Length: over 320 km (200 miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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isyanlar, Tunus'a ek olarak Libya ve Misir'da iktidarlarin devrilmesine, Urdun, Yemen, Kuveyt ve Umman'da hukumetlerin yenilenmesine, Bahreyn ve Irak'ta onemli capta protestolara ve Suriye'de devam etmekte olan (ve yakin zamanda Esad'i koltugundan edecekmis gibi gorunen) bir ic savasa yol acmistir.
Bu kapsamda Kuveyt, Umman, Suudi Arabistan, Libya, Urdun, Suriye, Cezayir, Bahreyn ve Irak adi gecen sifati haiz devletler olarak kategorize edilebilirler.
Ortak ulkelerden daha dis halkada ise temelleri Haziran 1994 yilinda atilan Akdeniz Diyalogu (Cezayir, Fas, israil, Misir, Moritanya, Tunus ve Urdun) ve 2004 yilinda kurulan istanbul isbirligi Girisimi'ne (Korfez isbirligi Konseyi ulkeleri; Bahreyn, Birlesik Arap Emirlikleri, Katar ve Kuveyt) katilan ulkeler bulunmaktadir.