Jordan

Introduction Following World War I and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the UK received a mandate to govern much of the Middle East. Britain separated out a semi-autonomous region of Transjordan from Palestine in the early 1920s, and the area gained its independence in 1946; it adopted the name of Jordan in 1950. The country's long-time ruler was King HUSSEIN (1953-99). A pragmatic leader, he successfully navigated competing pressures from the major powers (US, USSR, and UK), various Arab states, Israel, and a large internal Palestinian population, despite several wars and coup attempts. In 1989 he reinstituted parliamentary elections and gradual political liberalization; in 1994 he signed a peace treaty with Israel. King ABDALLAH II, the son of King HUSSEIN, assumed the throne following his father's death in February 1999. Since then, he has consolidated his power and undertaken an aggressive economic reform program. Jordan acceded to the World Trade Organization in 2000, and began to participate in the European Free Trade Association in 2001. Municipal elections were held in July 2007 under a system in which 20% of seats in all municipal councils were reserved by quota for women. Parliamentary elections were held in November 2007 and saw independent pro-government candidates win the vast majority of seats. In November 2007, King Abdallah instructed his new prime minister to focus on socioeconomic reform, developing a healthcare and housing network for civilians and military personnel, and improving the educational system.
History

Beginnings

With the break-up of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I, the League of Nations created the French Mandate of Syria and British Mandate Palestine. Approximately 90% of the British Mandate of Palestine was east of the Jordan river and was known as "Transjordan". In 1921, the British gave semi-autonomous control of Transjordan to the future King Abdullah I of Jordan, of the Hashemite family. Abdullah I continued to rule until a Palestinian Arab assassinated him in 1951 on the steps of the Mosque of Omar. At first he ruled "Transjordan", under British supervision until after World War II. In 1946, the British requested that the United Nations approve an end to British Mandate rule in Transjordan. Following this approval, the Jordanian Parliament proclaimed King Abdullah as the first ruler of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

In 1950, Jordan annexed the West Bank, which had been under its control since the armistice that followed the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. The annexation was recognized only by the United Kingdom (de facto in the case of East Jerusalem).

In 1965, there was an exchange of land between Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Jordan gave up a relatively large area of inland desert in return for a small piece of sea-shore near Aqaba.

Jordan signed a mutual defence pact in May 1967 with Egypt, and it participated in the June 1967 war against Israel along with Syria, Egypt, and Iraq. During the war, Jordan lost the West Bank and East Jerusalem to Israel (the western sector having been under Israeli control). In 1988, Jordan renounced all claims to the West Bank but retained an administrative role pending a final settlement, and its 1994 treaty with Israel allowed for a continuing Jordanian role in Muslim and Christian holy places in Jerusalem.

Refugees and Black September / AKA White September

The 1967 war led to a dramatic increase in the number of Palestinians, especially from the West Bank, living in Jordan. Its Palestinian refugee population — 700,000 in 1966 — grew by another 300,000 from the West Bank. The period following the 1967 war saw an upsurge in the power and importance of Palestinian resistance elements (fedayeen) in Jordan. The fedayeen were targeted by King's (Hussien) armed forces, and open fighting erupted in June 1970. The battle in which Palestinian fighters from various Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) groups were expelled from Jordan is commonly known as Black September, it is also known as white September to many.

The heaviest fighting occurred in northern Jordan and Amman. The Syrian army battled the Jordanian army in Amman and other urban areas. The global media portrayed King Hussein as a corrupt King slaughtering the Palestinian refugees. Other Arab governments attempted to work out a peaceful solution. In the ensuing heavy fighting, a Syrian tank force invaded northern Jordan to support the fedayeen but subsequently retreated. It is said by some people, such as Ahmed Jibril, that King Hussein asked for help from Israel,[1] then Israel threatened that it would invade Jordan if Syria intervened. By September 22, Arab foreign ministers meeting at Cairo had arranged a cease-fire beginning the following day. Sporadic violence continued, however, until Jordanian forces led by Habis Al-Majali with the help of the Iraqi forces (who had bases in Jordan after the war of 1967),[1] won a decisive victory over the fedayeen on July 1971, expelling them from the country.

At the Rabat summit conference in 1974, Jordan agreed, along with the rest of the Arab League, that the PLO was the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people", thereby relinquishing to that organization its role as representative of the West Bank.

Post Black September and Peace Treaty

Fighting occurred along the 1967 Jordan River cease-fire line during the October 1973 Arab-Israeli war, but Jordan sent a brigade to Syria to fight Israeli units on Syrian territory. Jordan did not participate in the Gulf War of 1990–91. In 1991, Jordan agreed, along with Syria, Lebanon, and Palestinian fedayeen representatives, to participate in direct peace negotiations with Israel at the Madrid Conference, sponsored by the U.S. and Russia. It negotiated an end to hostilities with Israel and signed a declaration to that effect on July 25, 1994 (see Washington Declaration). As a result, an Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty was concluded on October 26, 1994. Following the outbreak of Israel-Palestinian Authority fighting in September 2000, the Jordanian government offered its good offices to both parties. Jordan has since sought to remain at peace with all of its neighbors.

Recent events

On November 9, 2005 Jordan experienced three simultaneous bombings at hotels in Amman. At least 57 people died and 115 were wounded. "Al-Qaeda in Iraq", a group led by terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a native Jordanian, claimed responsibility.

Geography Location: Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates: 31 00 N, 36 00 E
Map references: Middle East
Area: total: 92,300 sq km
land: 91,971 sq km
water: 329 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Indiana
Land boundaries: total: 1,635 km
border countries: Iraq 181 km, Israel 238 km, Saudi Arabia 744 km, Syria 375 km, West Bank 97 km
Coastline: 26 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 3 nm
Climate: mostly arid desert; rainy season in west (November to April)
Terrain: mostly desert plateau in east, highland area in west; Great Rift Valley separates East and West Banks of the Jordan River
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Dead Sea -408 m
highest point: Jabal Ram 1,734 m
Natural resources: phosphates, potash, shale oil
Land use: arable land: 3.32%
permanent crops: 1.18%
other: 95.5% (2005)
Irrigated land: 750 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 0.9 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 1.01 cu km/yr (21%/4%/75%)
per capita: 177 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards: droughts; periodic earthquakes
Environment - current issues: limited natural fresh water resources; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: strategic location at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba and as the Arab country that shares the longest border with Israel and the occupied West Bank
Politics

Constitution

Jordan is a constitutional monarchy based on the constitution promulgated on January 8, 1952. Executive authority is vested in the king and his council of ministers. The king signs and executes all laws. His veto power may be overridden by a two-thirds vote of both houses of the National Assembly. He appoints and may dismiss all judges by decree, approves amendments to the constitution, declares war, and commands the armed forces. Cabinet decisions, court judgments, and the national currency are issued in his name. The council of ministers, led by a prime minister, is appointed by the king, who may dismiss other cabinet members at the prime minister's request. The cabinet is responsible to the Chamber of Deputies on matters of general policy and can be forced to resign by a two-thirds vote of "no confidence" by that body.

The constitution provides for three categories of courts: civil, religious, and special. Administratively, Jordan is divided into twelve governorates, each headed by a governor appointed by the king. They are the sole authorities for all government departments and development projects in their respective areas.

The Royal Armed Forces and General Intelligence Department of Jordan are under the control of the king.

Legal system and legislation

Jordan's legal system is based on Islamic law and French codes. Judicial review of legislative acts occurs in a special High Tribunal. It has not accepted compulsory International Court of Justice jurisdiction.

Article 97 of Jordan’s constitution guarantees the independence of the judicial branch, clearly stating that judges are 'subject to no authority but that of the law.' While the king must approve the appointment and dismissal of judges, in practice these are supervised by the Higher Judicial Council.

The Jordanian legal system draws upon civil traditions as well as Islamic law and custom. Article 99 of the Constitution divides the courts into three categories: civil, religious and special. The civil courts deal with civil and criminal matters in accordance with the law, and they have jurisdiction over all persons in all matters, civil and criminal, including cases brought against the government. The civil courts include Magistrate Courts, Courts of First Instance, Courts of Appeal, High Administrative Courts and the Supreme Court.

The religious courts include Sharia (Islamic law) courts and the tribunals of other religious communities. Religious courts deal only with matters involving personal law such as marriage, divorce and inheritance. Sharia courts also have jurisdiction over matters regarding Islamic waqfs (a religious endowment such as an area of land). In cases involving parties of different religions regular courts have jurisdiction.

Specialized courts involve various bodies. One such body is the Supreme Council which will interpret the Constitution if requested by either the National Assembly or the prime minister, according to Dew et al.: "...such courts are usually created in areas that the legislator deems should be governed by specialized courts with more experience and knowledge in specific matters than other regular courts" [4]. Other examples of special courts include the Court of Income Tax and the Highest Court of Felonies.

Prior to 2002 Jordan’s legal system only allowed men to file for divorce, however, during this year the first Jordanian woman successfully filed for divorce [5]; this was made possible from a proposal by a royal human rights commission which had been established by King Abdullah who had vowed to improve the status of women in Jordan.

Despite being traditionally dominated by men the number of women involved as lawyers in the Jordan legal system has been increasing. As of mid-2006 Jordan had 1,284 female lawyers, out of a total number of 6,915, and 35 female judges from a total of 630 [6].

Legislative power rests in the bicameral National Assembly. The 110-member Chamber of Deputies, elected by universal suffrage ("one person, one vote"), to a four-year term, is subject to dissolution by the king. Nine seats are reserved for Christians, six for women, and three for Circassians and Chechens. The forty-member Senate is appointed by the king for a four-year term.

Kings of Jordan and political events

King Abdullah I ruled Jordan after independence from Britain. After the assassination of King Abdullah I in 1951, his son King Talal ruled briefly. King Talal's major accomplishment was the Jordanian constitution. King Talal was removed from the throne in 1952 due to mental illness. At that time his son, Hussein, was too young to rule, and hence a committee ruled over Jordan.

After Hussein reached 18, he ruled Jordan as king from 1953 to 1999, surviving a number of challenges to his rule, drawing on the loyalty of his military, and serving as a symbol of unity and stability for both the Bedouin-related and Palestinian communities in Jordan. King Hussein ended martial law in 1991 and legalized political parties in 1992. In 1989 and 1993, Jordan held free and fair parliamentary elections. Controversial changes in the election law led Islamist parties to boycott the 1997 elections.

King Abdullah II succeeded his father Hussein following the latter's death in February 1999. Abdullah moved quickly to reaffirm Jordan's peace treaty with Israel and its relations with the United States. Abdullah, during the first year in power, refocused the government's agenda on economic reform.

Jordan's continuing structural economic difficulties, burgeoning population, and more open political environment led to the emergence of a variety of political parties. Moving toward greater independence, Jordan's parliament has investigated corruption charges against several regime figures and has become the major forum in which differing political views, including those of political Islamists, are expressed. While King Abdullah remains the ultimate authority in Jordan, the parliament plays an important role.

People Population: 6,053,193 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 33% (male 1,018,934/female 977,645)
15-64 years: 63% (male 2,037,550/female 1,777,361)
65 years and over: 4% (male 117,279/female 124,424) (2007 est.)
Median age: total: 23.5 years
male: 24.1 years
female: 22.8 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.412% (2007 est.)
Birth rate: 20.69 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate: 2.68 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate: 6.11 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.042 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.146 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.943 male(s)/female
total population: 1.102 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 16.16 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 19.33 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 12.81 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 78.55 years
male: 76.04 years
female: 81.22 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.55 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 600 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 500 (2003 est.)
Nationality: noun: Jordanian(s)
adjective: Jordanian
Ethnic groups: Arab 98%, Circassian 1%, Armenian 1%
Religions: Sunni Muslim 92%, Christian 6% (majority Greek Orthodox, but some Greek and Roman Catholics, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and Protestant denominations), other 2% (several small Shi'a Muslim and Druze populations) (2001 est.)
Languages: Arabic (official), English widely understood among upper and middle classes
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 89.9%
male: 95.1%
female: 84.7% (2003 est.)
Government Country name: conventional long form: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
conventional short form: Jordan
local long form: Al Mamlakah al Urduniyah al Hashimiyah
local short form: Al Urdun
former: Transjordan
Government type: constitutional monarchy
Capital: name: Amman
geographic coordinates: 31 57 N, 35 56 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Thursday in March; ends last Friday in September
Administrative divisions: 12 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Ajlun, Al 'Aqabah, Al Balqa', Al Karak, Al Mafraq, 'Amman, At Tafilah, Az Zarqa', Irbid, Jarash, Ma'an, Madaba
Independence: 25 May 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)
National holiday: Independence Day, 25 May (1946)
Constitution: 1 January 1952; amended many times
Legal system: based on Islamic law and French codes; judicial review of legislative acts in a specially provided High Tribunal; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: King ABDALLAH II (since 7 February 1999); Prince HUSSEIN (born 1994), eldest son of King ABDALLAH II, is considered to be first in line to inherit the throne
head of government: Prime Minister Nader al-DAHABI (since 25 November 2007)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the monarch
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch
Legislative branch: bicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-'Umma consists of the Senate, also called the House of Notables or Majlis al-Ayan (55 seats; members appointed by the monarch from designated categories of public figures to serve four-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies, also called the House of Representatives or Majlis al-Nuwaab (110 seats; members elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms; note - six seats are reserved for women and are allocated by a special electoral panel if no women are elected)
elections: Chamber of Deputies - last held 20 November 2007 (next to be held in 2011)
election results: Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - IAF 5.5 %, independents and other 94.5%; seats by party - IAF 6, independents and other 104; note - seven women will serve in the next Assembly - six of whom filled women's quota seats and one was directly elected
Judicial branch: Court of Cassation; Supreme Court (court of final appeal)
Political parties and leaders: al-Ahd Party; Arab Islamic Democratic Movement [Yusuf ABU BAKR]; Arab Land Party [Dr. Ayishah Salih HIJAZAYN]; Arab Socialist Ba'th Party [Taysir al-HIMSI]; Ba'th Arab Progressive Party [Fu'ad DABBUR]; Freedom Party; Future Party; Islamic Action Front or IAF [Zaki Sa'ed BANI IRSHEID]; Islamic Center Party [Marwan al-FAURI]; Jordanian Arab Ansar Party; Jordanian Arab New Dawn Party; Jordanian Arab Party; Jordanian Citizens' Rights Movement; Jordanian Communist Party [Munir HAMARINAH]; Jordanian Communist Workers Party; Jordanian Democratic Left Party [Musa MA'AYTEH]; Jordanian Democratic Popular Unity Party [Sa'id Dhiyab Ali MUSTAFA]; Jordanian Generations Party [Muhammad KHALAYLEH]; Jordanian Green Party [Muhammad BATAYNEH]; Jordanian Labor Party [Dr. Mazin Sulayman Jiryis HANNA]; Jordanian Peace Party; Jordanian People's Committees Movement; Jordanian People's Democratic Party (Hashd) [Ahmad YUSUF]; Jordanian Rafah Party; Jordanian Renaissance Party; Mission Party; Nation Party [Ahmad al-HANANDEH]; National Action Party (Haqq) [Tariq al-KAYYALI]; National Constitutional Party [Abdul Hadi MAJALI]; National Popular Democratic Movement [Mahmud al-NUWAYHI]; Progressive Party [Fawwaz al-ZUBI]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Anti-Normalization Committee [Ali Abu SUKKAR, president vice chairman]; Jordan Bar Association [Hussein Mujalli, chairman]; Jordanian Press Association [Sayf al-SHARIF, president]; Muslim Brotherhood [Salem AL-FALAHAT, controller general]
International organization participation: ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CAEU, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAS, MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUC, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador ZEID Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein, Prince
chancery: 3504 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 966-2664
FAX: [1] (202) 966-3110
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Alan MISENHEIMER
embassy: Abdun, Amman
mailing address: P. O. Box 354, Amman 11118 Jordan; Unit 70200, Box 5, APO AE 09892-0200
telephone: [962] (6) 590-6000
FAX: [962] (6) 592-0121
Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of black (top), representing the Abbassid Caliphate, white, representing the Ummayyad Caliphate, and green, representing the Fatimid Caliphate; a red isosceles triangle on the hoist side, representing the Great Arab Revolt of 1916, and bearing a small white seven-pointed star symbolizing the seven verses of the opening Sura (Al-Fatiha) of the Holy Koran; the seven points on the star represent faith in One God, humanity, national spirit, humility, social justice, virtue, and aspirations; design is based on the Arab Revolt flag of World War I
Culture The culture of Jordan, as in its spoken language, values, beliefs, ethnicities is Arab as the Kingdom is in the heart of Southwest Asia. Although many people from different regions of the world have come to settle in Jordan, like Circassians and Chechens, they have long been assimilated in the society and added their richness to the society that subsequently developed.

Art in Jordan is plentiful, there are many local artists, as well as Arab, especially Iraqis, and those Arabs who live abroad frequently have exhibitions in different art galleries in the capital. In addition to an art museum in Jabal Luwiebdeh, there is Darat Al Funun, a very prestigious art center that frequently holds exhibitions by local, Arab and international artists. It is too in Jabal Luwiebdeh, but there are many other art centers that too hold exhibitions which suggests that art is a vibrant aspect of the capital

Economy Economy - overview: Jordan is a small Arab country with insufficient supplies of water, oil, and other natural resources. Poverty, unemployment, and inflation are fundamental problems, but King ABDALLAH II, since assuming the throne in 1999, has undertaken some broad economic reforms in a long-term effort to improve living standards. Since Jordan's graduation from its most recent IMF program in 2002, Amman has continued to follow IMF guidelines, practicing careful monetary policy, making substantial headway with privatization, and opening the trade regime. Jordan's exports have significantly increased under the free trade accord with the US and Jordanian Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ), which allow Jordan to export goods duty free to the US. In 2006, Jordan reduced its debt-to-GDP ratio significantly. These measures have helped improve productivity and have made Jordan more attractive for foreign investment. Before the US-led war in Iraq, Jordan imported most of its oil from Iraq. Since 2003, however, Jordan has been more dependent on oil from other Gulf nations. The government ended subsidies for petroleum and other consumer goods in 2008 in an effort to control the budget. The main challenges facing Jordan are reducing dependence on foreign grants, reducing the budget deficit, attracting investments, and creating jobs.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $28.18 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $15.7 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 5.7% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $4,700 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 3.7%
industry: 10.5%
services: 85.8% (2007 est.)
Labor force: 1.563 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 5%
industry: 12.5%
services: 82.5% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate: 13.5% official rate; unofficial rate is approximately 30% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line: 14.2% (2002)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.7%
highest 10%: 30.6% (2003)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 38.8 (2003)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5.4% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 27.8% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $4.999 billion
expenditures: $6.449 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt: 67.2% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products: citrus, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives; sheep, poultry, stone fruits, strawberries, dairy
Industries: clothing, phosphate mining, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, petroleum refining, cement, potash, inorganic chemicals, light manufacturing, tourism
Industrial production growth rate: 7.7% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production: 9.074 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 99.4%
hydro: 0.6%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 8.49 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports: 4 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports: 741 million kWh (2005)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption: 109,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - imports: 106,400 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - proved reserves: 1 million bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production: 268.5 million cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 1.496 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 1.228 billion cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 5.975 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance: -$1.69 billion (2007 est.)
Exports: $6.037 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities: clothing, pharmaceuticals, potash, phosphates, fertilizers, vegetables, manufactures
Exports - partners: US 25.2%, Iraq 16.9%, India 8%, Saudi Arabia 5.8%, Syria 4.7% (2006)
Imports: $11.08 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities: crude oil, textile fabrics, machinery, transport equipment, manufactured goods
Imports - partners: Saudi Arabia 23.2%, Germany 8.3%, China 8%, US 5.3% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient: ODA, $752 million (2005 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $8.595 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external: $7.483 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $8.154 billion (2006 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $29.73 billion (2006)
Currency (code): Jordanian dinar (JOD)
Currency code: JOD
Exchange rates: Jordanian dinars per US dollar - 0.709 (2007), 0.709 (2006), 0.709 (2005), 0.709 (2004), 0.709 (2003)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Communications Telephones - main lines in use: 614,000 (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 4.343 million (2006)
Telephone system: general assessment: service has improved recently with increased use of digital switching equipment; microwave radio relay transmission and coaxial and fiber-optic cable are employed on trunk lines; growing mobile-cellular usage in both urban and rural areas is reducing use of fixed-line services; internet penetration remains modest and slow-growing
domestic: 1995 telecommunications law opened all non-fixed-line services to private competition; in 2005, monopoly over fixed-line services terminated and the entire telecommunications sector was opened to competition; mobile-cellular usage is increasing rapidly and teledensity is approaching 75 per 100 persons
international: country code - 962; landing point for the Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) submarine cable network that provides links to Asia, Middle East, Europe; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat, 1 Arabsat, and 29 land and maritime Inmarsat terminals; fiber-optic cable to Saudi Arabia and microwave radio relay link with Egypt and Syria; participant in Medarabtel
Radio broadcast stations: FM 31 (2007)
Radios: 1.66 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 22 (2007)
Televisions: 500,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .jo
Internet hosts: 2,500 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 5 (2000)
Internet users: 796,900 (2006)
Transportation Airports: 17 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 15
over 3,047 m: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 2
under 914 m: 2 (2007)
Heliports: 1 (2007)
Pipelines: gas 426 km; oil 49 km (2007)
Railways: total: 505 km
narrow gauge: 505 km 1.050-m gauge (2006)
Roadways: total: 7,500 km
paved: 7,500 km (2004)
Merchant marine: total: 30 ships (1000 GRT or over) 410,472 GRT/564,643 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 11, container 3, passenger/cargo 8, petroleum tanker 2, roll on/roll off 4
foreign-owned: 15 (UAE 15)
registered in other countries: 15 (Bahamas 2, Panama 11, Syria 2) (2007)
Ports and terminals: Al 'Aqabah
Military Military branches: Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF): Royal Jordanian Land Force, Royal Jordanian Navy, Royal Jordanian Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Malakiya al-Urduniya), Special Operations Command (Socom); Public Security Directorate (normally falls under Ministry of Interior, but comes under JAF in wartime or crisis situations) (2006)
Military service age and obligation: 17 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription at age 18 was suspended in 1999, although all males under age 37 are required to register; women not subject to conscription, but can volunteer to serve in non-combat military positions (2004)
Manpower available for military service: males age 17-49: 1,573,995
females age 17-49: 1,346,642 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 17-49: 1,348,076
females age 17-49: 1,158,011 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually: males age 18-49: 60,625
females age 17-49: 58,218 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 8.6% (2006)
Transnational Issues Disputes - international: approximately two million Iraqis have fled the conflict in Iraq, with the majority taking refuge in Syria and Jordan; 2004 Agreement settles border dispute with Syria pending demarcation
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 1,835,704 (Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA)), 700,000 - 1,000,000 (Iraq)
IDPs: 160,000 (1967 Arab-Israeli War) (2006)