General Information about Jordan Tours
From its ancient origins as an early Nabataean empire, the modern day the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has evolved into a vibrant nation that enjoys peace, stability and rapid economic growth. Although Jordan is a small country with a modicum of natural resources, it has played a pivotal role in many of the power struggles that have plagued the Middle East. Jordan’s regional preeminence results, in the main, from its strategic position as a nexus for what the monotheistic religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam call the Holy Land, Israel. Jordan, along with Egypt, is a peace partner with Israel.
Jordan’s geography is composed primarily of arid desert land, and this is mostly desert plateau in the east, as well as the highland area in the west. There is a Great Rift Valley that separates the east and west banks of the Jordan River. The Hashemite kingdom of Jordan also includes a strategic port location at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba and is the Arab country that shares the longest border with Israel and the occupied West Bank.
Jordan’s population in July 2011 was approximately 6.5 million, and the ethnic and religious spectrum looks like this: Sunni Muslim 92% (official), Christian 6% (majority Greek Orthodox, but some Greek and Roman Catholics, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and Protestant denominations), other 2% (several small Shia Muslim and Druze populations) (2001 est.) Source: CIA Factbook
King Hussein, O.B.M., ruled for nearly half a century and died in 1999. In the aftermath of his death, Jordan found itself struggling for economic and social stability as well as regional peace. Instability and war in Iraq and the subsequent influx of refugees has had a somewhat destabilizing effect on Jordan, but these refugees seem to have found their place in neighboring countries or in Jordanian society and have not had an adverse effect on the country’s tourism industry. King Hussein’s chosen heir Abdullah II faces the challenge of maintaining stability and implementing reforms in a milieu of strong calls for change in the aftermath of the “Arab Spring” revolutions in the region. Although Abdullah II has a so-called “National Agenda” which calls for long-term political, social and economic reform, this noble plan has yet to be implemented.
Tourism is Jordan’s lifeblood and Petra, Jordan’s signature destination, was carved from the red rock over two thousand years ago, and serves as one of the country’s most visited tourist destinations in this desert kingdom. Some Biblical scholars have even gone so far as to posit the notion that Petra was the historical site where Moses struck the rock for water during the Exodus.
Although Jordan is a small country with natural resources limited to phosphates and agricultural produce, it has a very strong tourism sector. However, travel adventure beckons from many other enchanting locations in this Middle Eastern paradise. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a land of mesmerizing beauty and contrasts. From the fertile Jordan Valley to the remote desert canyons, visitors can explore desert castles, the wilderness of Wadi Rum, or bathe in the restful waters of the Red Sea or the Dead Sea where tourists will find some 26 kilometers of coastline.
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