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Geography:

 

Jordan shares borders with Israel, the Syrian Arab Republic, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The Dead Sea is to the northwest and the Red Sea to the southwest. A high plateau extends 324km (201 miles) from the Syrian Arab Republic to Ras en Naqab in the south with the capital of Amman at a height of 800m (2,625ft). Northwest of the capital are undulating hills, some forested, others cultivated. The Dead Sea depression, 400m (1,300ft) below sea level in the west, is the lowest point on earth. The River Jordan connects the Dead Sea with Lake Tiberias (Israel). To the west of Jordan is the Palestinian National Authority Region. The east of the country is mainly desert. Jordan has a tiny stretch of Red Sea coast, centered on Aqaba.

 

 

 

 

jordan - overview:

 

 

Although a small country, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has played a significant role in the struggle for power in the Middle East, partly because of its strategic location at the crossroads of what Christians, Jews and Muslims call the Holy Land.

The death of King Hussein in 1999 signified the start of a new period of political, social and economic reform. His son King Abdullah has instituted a number of measures: a free trade agreement with the USA, the creation of a low tax Special Economic Zone centered in Aqaba, privatization of many government-run businesses and joining the World Trade Organization.

Unlike many of its neighbors Jordan does not have oil and its economy depends largely on services and tourism. Visitors are attracted to Jordan by its historical and cultural attractions. It is possible to visit the remains of cities, old before Christ was born, trek along ancient trails and roads mentioned in the Old Testament and through a landscape that has changed little in the last 2,000 years.

It is possible to follow in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia from his headquarters fort at Azraq through the deserts to Wadi Rum where David Lean’s epic movie was filmed. There, travelers can trek with camels and live in tents with the local Bedouin.
Aqaba, the Jordanian royal family’s favorite holiday resort, offers some of the finest diving in the world in the Red Sea. The less energetic can simply laze on the beach or visit historical sites such as the recently discovered oldest purpose-built church in the world.

petra:

Petra the ‘Rose Red City half as old as time’ is commonly called the eighth wonder of the world and a popular attraction since its appearance in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. At Jerash, chariot racing has been re-introduced in the restored Hippodrome. Visitors can stand on the very spot where John baptized Jesus at Bethany by the Jordan, visit Herod’s fortress where Salome performed her dance that got John beheaded or take in the same view of the Promised Land that Moses saw just before he died.