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Study in Jordan - About Jordan




General Information
Area: 89,342 sq km (34,495 sq miles; not including West Bank).

Population: 5,039,000 (2000). The West Bank is now administered by the Palestinian National Authority.

Capital: Amman

Independence: 1946

Ethnicity/Race: Arab 98%, Circassian 1%, Armenian 1%

Language: Arabic is the official language. English is widely spoken in the cities. French, German, Italian and Spanish are also spoken.

Religion: Over 90 per cent Sunni Muslim, with Christian and Shii Muslim minorities.

Map of Jordan
Courtesy of Google Maps

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Currency: The local currency is the Jordanian Dinar, (JD) = 1000 Fils.Currency can be exchanged in all banks and at most hotels. Exchange rate of one Us Dollar = 0.710 Fils. (May 1998)

Time: GMT + 2 (GMT + 3 from April to September).

Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Lamp sockets are screw-type, and there is a wide range of wall sockets.



Geography: Jordan shares borders with Israel, Syria, 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 Syria to Ras en Naqab in the south with the capital of Amman at a height of 800m (2625ft). Northwest of the capital, are undulating hills, some forested, others cultivated. The Dead Sea depression, 400m (1300ft) 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, centred on Aqaba.

Climate: Jordan has a Mediterranean climate Amman is sunny and cloudless from May to October, with average temperatures of 23°C (73°F), July and August are hot and dry.

Aqaba and the Jordan Valley are winter resorts, with temperatures averaging between 16-22°C (61-72°F) between November and April.




Government Structure: Jordan is a constitutional monarchy with a bicameral legislature. The House of Representatives has 80 members elected by universal adult suffrage for a four-year term. The second chamber, the House of Notables, has 40 members appointed by the king for an eight-year term. Executive power is held by the king, who governs with the assistance of a Council of Ministers. Until 1988, the Israeli-occupied West Bank was considered to comprise three of Jordans eight administrative provinces.

Head of State: King Abdullah Ibn al-Hussein-al-Hashimi since 1999.

Head of Government: Prime Minister Ali Abu al-Ragheb since 2000.


Heritage and Culture

Heritage and Traditions of Jordan

Handshaking is the customary form of greeting. Jordanians are proud of their Arab culture, and hospitality here is a matter of great importance. Visitors are made to feel very welcome and Jordanians are happy to act as hosts and guides, and keen to inform tourists about their traditions and culture. Islam always plays an important role in society and it is essential that Muslim beliefs are respected.

Arabic coffee will normally be served continuously during social occasions. To signal that no more is wanted, slightly tilt the cup when handing it back, otherwise it will be refilled.

A small gift is quite acceptable in return for hospitality.

Women are expected to dress modestly and beachwear must only be worn at the beach or poolside.

Photography: It is polite to ask permission to take photographs of people and livestock; in some places photography is forbidden.

Tipping: 10 to 12 per cent service charge is generally added in hotels and restaurants, and extra tips are discretionary. Porters’ and drivers’ tips are about 8 per cent.



Telephone: IDD service is available within cities, with direct dialling to most countries. Country code: 962 (followed by 6 for Amman). Outgoing international code: 00. There are telephone and facsimile connections to Israel from Jordan.

Mobile telephone: GSM 900 network in use. Network providers include Jordan MTS (website: www.jmts-fastlink.com) and MobileCom (website: www.mobilecom.jo).

Fax: The use of fax is increasing. Most good hotels have facilities and the main post office in Amman also provides a fax service.

Internet: There are Internet cafes in Amman, Aqabam Jerash and Jordan. The main ISP is Destinations (website: www.jonet.com).

Post: Packages should be left opened for customs officials. Airmail to Western Europe takes three to five days. For a higher charge, there is a rapid service guaranteeing delivery within 24 hours to around 22 countries. Post office opening hours: Sat-Thurs 0800-1800, closed Friday (except for the downtown post office on Prince Mohammed Street in Amman which is open on Fridays).

Press: The English-language newspapers are The Jordan Times (daily), Arab Daily and The Star (weekly).

Radio Stations: BBC World Service (website: www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice) and Voice of America (website: www.voa.gov) can be received. From time to time the frequencies change and the most up-to-date can be found online.

Television: National Television Networks JRTV Channel One In Arabic and JRTV Channel Two In English, French, Hebrew and Arabic.

Satellite TV: Star TV, Orbit, E-Vision and Showtime are some of the most popular networks available.



Study in Jordan. Visit our www.StudyInJordan.net blog.

Sources: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

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