Jordan Brief Introduction, Jordan map, cuisine and Jordanian Mansaf, Jordan weather and Geography
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, one of the Arab countries which was established in 1921 after the great Arab revolution, remained under the British mandate until 1946, it’s area is 89,250 square kilometers, the country has borders with Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, the Palestinian territories & Israel, shares the gulf of Aqaba with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Israel, regime is parliamentary monarchy, the king is his majesty King Abdullah the Second, the fourth king of Jordan & the eldest son of King Hussein third king of Jordan who had an international reliability and gained the Jordanians hearts during his reign (1952 – 1999). Population is 9.5 millions most of the population are concentrated around Amman The Capital, the biggest city as well with more than 3 million inhabitants, Main Cities are Zarqa, Irbid & Aqaba the only shipping port in the country, Petra is 250 Km’s to the south of Amman, 130 km’s to the north east of Aqaba.
The Jordanian flag length is twice more than it’s width and it consist of 3 horizontal stripes, one red triangle and heptagonal star in the middle of the red triangle, each element of the Jordanian flag signifies to an Islamic symbol or a specific Islamic state flag through history as follow:
Black: signifies to the Abbasids state (second biggest Islamic state after the prophet Muhammad “peace upon him” and his companions period),
White: signifies to the Umayyads state (first biggest Islamic state after the prophet Muhammad “peace upon him” and his companions period),
Green: signifies to the Fatimids Islamic state (third biggest Islamic state after the prophet Muhammad “peace upon him” and his companions period).
Red triangle: signifies to the Hashemites flag in Mecca and the Arab revolution flag, where the heptagonal star signifies to the first surah of holy quran where it consist of 7 aya’s (verses).
Religion & Culture, most of the population are Muslims more than 95%, the second biggest sect is Christianity around 3%, Druze and others are the rest, Jordan has been occupying a strategic location all over history, that consequently led to a massive historical background and real cultural variation of the Arabian, Bedouin, Circassian, and some religious influence over culture in unique harmony and high degree of tolerance, Customs and traditions beside moral religious values have a true respect within the Jordanian society, Language is Arabic, most of the people speak good English which is taught since the 1st grade in schools,
Currency is the Jordanian Dinar (JOD), other currencies like US dollar and Euro can be easily converted into Dinar, credit cards are widely accepted in the private sector, standard time zone is +2 GMT, during the winter it becomes +3 GMT, the Jordanian economy is a resultant of many economical sectors efforts together where the main national income comes from the industrial and mining sector with 30% of the whole economy, while Tourism represents 10% of the whole national economy and the country is a friendly country with foreigners
Cuisine is rich with local and regional plates, desserts and drinks which meet the toughest tastes, Mansaf (Jordanian Mansaf) can be considered the national plate, it’s delicious too, the food quality is pretty good and tap water is drinkable
Jordan weather is a desert moderate in general, climate is a combination of the Mediterranean & Desert climate, generally there is short rainy cold winter in the country during December, January and February, dry hot and relatively long summer around June, July and August, though it’s always recommended to have a sweeter for the cold desert nights all over the year
Jordan Geography; Jordan Rift Valley, Mountains, and Eastern Desert, the main geographical zones in Jordan
the country lay down on a desert area; it is divided into three geographical zones, where their formation was influenced by the Great Rift Canyon geology
Jordan rift valley
a natural canyon which was formed as a result of the tectonic plates motion “the African plate motion versus the Asian plate” forming what is called the great rift canyon, Jordan rift valley is part of the canyon where it extends from north to south parallel to the Jordanian – Israeli and Jordanian – Palestinian borders for 400 km’s at the very western side of the country, this valley consist of three parts: Jordan river in the north which ends in the Dead Sea in the middle and to the south of the Dead Sea there is the famous canyon Wadi Arava until Aqaba gulf
Mountains and Eastern Desert in Jordan
Mountains; long range of mountains extends parallel to Jordan rift valley too with average altitude of 1200 meters above sea level, those mountains vary a lot in their structure from: igneous mountains in the south to sandstone mountains in the middle and limestone mountains in the north, despite that many rocks types can be found in every hectare along those mountains, most of the urbanized areas are concentrated in the middle and north parts of those mountains
Eastern desert; relatively flat and arid, it forms more than 60% of the country area, harsh environment and it has the lowest rain rates in the country, because of its massive area it’s too difficult to describe it in few sentences
Rivers and Water Bodies, Jordan River
The only real river is Jordan river tributed by al Yarmouk river along the Jordanian – Syrian borders, the mountains zone are rich with permanent water streams too which flow down to the rift valley, many of those streams are combination of fresh water springs and extremely hot springs (some of those springs are more than 60 degrees hot), Aqaba is the only access to the sea, Dead Sea is a very saline lake in the middle of Jordan Rift Valley, few decades ago there were three oasis which are dry now a days, the main sources of water are man made dams and underground water
In general the climate in Jordan is a combination of the Mediterranean and desert climate where temperature increase as you go further from the north west to south and south east, highest rain rates are in the north western zone in the country, rain rates approaches zero almost as you go further to the south and south east, rainy season is December, January and February, still it might be cold at any time of the year on the mountains zone