The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan — better known simply as “Jordan” — is heir to the kingdoms known in the Bible as Ammon, Moab and Edom. The Nabataean Kingdom once held sway there, famous for Petra, with its UNESCO-acknowledged rock-cut architecture. Later came the Romans and then the Ottomans. Established as the modern state called the Emirate of Transjordan, a British-controlled territory from 1921 to 1946, then the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan until 1949, it then became the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, a name it retains today.
A word about these names: Transjordan means “across the Jordan,” a name given from the perspective of the Biblical writers. And a Hashemite is a descendant of Hashim ibn Abd Manaf, the great-grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad, though virtually all of today’s Hashemites are descended through Muhammad’s daughter Fatimah. At the same time as the Hashemites became Jordan’s royal family in 1921, their kin became the Kings of Iraq, though that monarchy was abolished in 1958. Jordan is technically a constitutional monarchy, though that description is belied by the extensive executive and legislative powers of the king.
Jordan is located in western Asia, on the Jordan River’s east bank. Saudi Arabia lies to its south, Iraq to its northeast, Syria to its north, and Israel and Palestine to its west. Its western border includes the Dead Sea and a small portion of the Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba, the only point redeeming Jordan from being completely landlocked.
As one might expect, Jordan is an Arabic-speaking country that is 98 percent Arab; 95 percent of the people are Muslim, and 4 percent Christian. The remainder are Druze and Baha’i. A mid-sized country, being 110 of 196 in area and 89 of 196 in population, Jordan is a comfortable 86th in per capita GDP according to the International Monetary Fund, and ranks high (58 of 168) in the Human Development Index, which compares indicators of life expectancy, education, and income. It is regularly considered an “oasis of stability” in the often-turbulent Middle East.
Which word above means:
2. things that give information, signs
3. stormy, disturbed, disorderly
4. showed to be false
5. point of view
6. one who gets something from those who came before
7. buildings carved into native stone
8. father’s father’s father
9. saving, preventing
10. keeps, holds onto