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Jordan

Geography - People - Economy - Government - Communications - Transportation - Military - Transnational Issues

Country information - Jordan
Country name - conventional long form : Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Country name - conventional short form : Jordan
Country name - local long form : Al Mamlakah al Urduniyah al Hashimiyah
Country name - local short form : Al Urdun
Country name - former : Transjordan
Government type : constitutional monarchy
Capital - name : Amman
Capital - time difference : UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
National holiday : Independence Day, 25 May (1946)
Population : 6,198,677 (July 2008 est.)
Nationality - noun : Jordanian(s)
Nationality - adjective : Jordanian
Languages : Arabic (official), English widely understood among upper and middle classes
Currency (code) : Jordanian dinar (JOD)
Currency code : JOD

Jordan is located Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia. The climate is mostly arid desert; rainy season in west (November to April). The terrain is mostly desert plateau in east, highland area in west; Great Rift Valley separates East and West Banks of the Jordan River.

Background

This entry usually highlights major historic events and current issues and may include a statement about one or two key future trends.
Background : Following World War I and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the UK received a mandate to govern much of the Middle East. Britain separated out a semi-autonomous region of Transjordan from Palestine in the early 1920s, and the area gained its independence in 1946; it adopted the name of Jordan in 1950. The country's long-time ruler was King HUSSEIN (1953-99). A pragmatic leader, he successfully navigated competing pressures from the major powers (US, USSR, and UK), various Arab states, Israel, and a large internal Palestinian population, despite several wars and coup attempts. In 1989 he reinstituted parliamentary elections and gradual political liberalization; in 1994 he signed a peace treaty with Israel. King ABDALLAH II, the son of King HUSSEIN, assumed the throne following his father's death in February 1999. Since then, he has consolidated his power and undertaken an aggressive economic reform program. Jordan acceded to the World Trade Organization in 2000, and began to participate in the European Free Trade Association in 2001. Municipal elections were held in July 2007 under a system in which 20% of seats in all municipal councils were reserved by quota for women. Parliamentary elections were held in November 2007 and saw independent pro-government candidates win the vast majority of seats. In November 2007, King Abdallah instructed his new prime minister to focus on socioeconomic reform, developing a healthcare and housing network for civilians and military personnel, and improving the educational system.



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