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Jordan: ancient cities and desert landscapes

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Jordan (Al-Mamlaka al-Urdunniya al-Hashimiya) is a constitutional monarchy in the Middle East. Officially called Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. This state of the Middle East borders Syria to the north, Iraq to the north-east, Saudi Arabia to the south and southeast, and Israel to the west. While towards the southwest it is washed by the Red Sea. The most important city is the capital Amman.

Jordan is composed of an arid territory, formed in part by a plateau with an average altitude between 600 and 900 meters. While most of the territory of the kingdom is formed by the Syriac Desert which extends eastward to the border with Iraq.


Along the border with Israel are the Jordan valley and the Dead Sea depression. The latter is a salt lake with very high salinity. This is the maximum depression on the planet, which is located 420 meters below sea level. The southern region of the country is characterized by deep canyons and rugged reliefs. Here the mountains reach 1,854 meters with the Jabal Umm ad Dami, which is the highest mountain in Jordan. The only river in the country is the Jordan.

The country’s economy is a poor economy. Agriculture is of a subsistence nature only. Mainly cereals (wheat, barley, sorghum and corn), lentils, broad beans, potatoes, bananas, apples, tomatoes, onions, citrus fruits (oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, lemons), tobacco, figs, vines, olives and date palms are grown.

A certain importance is played by breeding (sheep, goats). Among the mineral resources are phosphates, which are the country’s main resource. In addition, potassium salts and copper are extracted. The industry is based on the transformation of local agricultural products and on the textile sector. An important source of wealth is given by the tourism industry. The country in fact hosts spectacular archaeological remains such as the ancient Nabataean city of Petra and the Roman city of Jerash.

The official website of the Government of the Kingdom of Jordan.

  • Area: 89,342 sqkm. (Arable 5%, Pastures 9%, Forests and Woodlands 1%, Uncultivated and Unproductive 85%)
  • Population: 5,924,000 (2007 data)
  • State Capital: Amman.
  • Languages: The official language is Arabic.
  • Religion: Muslim 92%, Christian 6%.
  • Currency: Jordanian dinar (JOD)
  • Time: UTC +2 hours (Summer UTC +3 hours).

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