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Jordan

 

Centrally located at the cross roads of Asia, Africa and Europe, Jordan is a land of diverse panoramic views of deserts, mountains, and gorges. The most unique natural attribute of the country is the Jordan Valley extending along the entire western bank, and is a portion of the Great Rift Valley of Africa. It is a section of a fissure created by the shift of tectonic plates over 20 million years ago. The Rift Valley has the Jordan River flowing through it, forming the country’s western border and ending in the Dead Sea. The shores of the Dead Sea at 423 meters (1,388 feet) below sea level are situated at the lowest point on the planet.

South of the Dead Sea is the Wadi Araba, a spectacular 155 kilometer valley known for barren sheer mountain sides. The area is known for potash mining. The Jordan Valley is separated from the eastern desert by the highlands of Jordan. The highlands extend the entire western length of the country and house the most populated areas of the country. Jordan shares borders with Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Syria and Israel.

Jordan has a lot to offer to its visitors. One of its biggest draws is Petra, an ancient city carved into the sandstone cliffs. It is a UNESCO Word Heritage Site which qualifies as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. The Dana Nature Reserve in the Great Rift provides excellent hiking opportunities and there is even a historical village to visit. Another UNESCO protected area offering scenic panorama of natural arches, caves with petroglyphs and sandstone cliffs is Wadi Rum. Finally, there is the Dead Sea, where visitors can take a float in one of the saltiest bodies of water on the planet.

Most of the Jordanians are of the Arabic descent with Palestinians and Iraqis being the major groups. There are also sizable immigrant communities of Egyptians, Syrians and Lebanese. The non-Arab groups in the country include the Circassians, Armenians, Turkmens, Chechens, and Romains. Since the Iraq War many Iraqi Christians have also permanently settled in the country.

Fast Facts:

Capital:  Amman

Major Cities:  Petra, Irbid, and Zarqa

Total Area:  34,495 sq. mi (89,342 sq, km)

Currency:  Jordanian dinar (JOD)

Religions:  Islam (92% of the population) Christianity

Climate:  Arid with moderate temperature

Official Language:  Arabic

Dialing Code:  +962

 

 

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