Introduction to Jordan
Marhaba (hello)! Welcome to the Arab Kingdom of Jordan where elements of old and new are at the fingertips of travelers — think the modern, sandy and urban capital Amman; the ancient rose-red city of Petra; the haunting Valley of the Moon (Wadi Rum) and the healing waters of the Dead Sea to name but a few.
Jordan has been a connection to the Middle East for centuries, bordering Syria, Saudi Arabia, the Red Sea, Palestine, Israel and Iraq. A welcoming Muslim country, there are rules of etiquette here. Locals are generally forgiving if you break the rules but impressed if you make an effort to observe them. Much of the country is safe to travel, but in recent times there has been reports of civil so consult with the Australia Government for travel in areas such as those that border with Syria.
Independent since 1946, today His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein is the constitutional head of Jordan. His Majesty’s wife, Queen Rania was voted by Harper’s Bazaar as the most beautiful consort (First Lady) in the world in 2011 and other famous people from the region range from Lawrence of Arabia to YouTube personality-turned-Transformers actor Kassem Gharaibeh (known to his millions of social media followers as KassemG).
The urban and desert landscape of Jordan oozes history at every corner — First settled by the Amorites in 2000 BC, Jordan would go on to be conquered or settled by the Hittites, Egyptians, Israelites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and the Romans. The Nabatean Kingdom built what would become the major trade centre of the region at Petra and developed the North Arabic Script (Arabic). Eventually, Jordan was overtaken by the Ottoman Empire in 1516, a reign that did not officially end until after World War II. Today, Jordan is undergoing an exciting transformation as its young population come to age.