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1. Geography
2. Political situation
3. Economy
a. Figures
4. Health
5. Education
a. Universities
6. Demographics
7. Religions
a. Freedom
8. Peoples
9. Languages
10. Human rights
11. History
12. Cities and Towns

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Open map of JordanFlag of JordanJordan /

Historical periods
1. Pre-History
2. Semtic kingdoms
3. Romans and Byzantines
4. Muslim era
5. The Crusades
6. Ottomans and stagnation
7. Arab revolt
8. End of mandate and independence
9. 47 years of King Hussein
10. Abdullah 2 and reforms

Petra, Jordan
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Petra, the ancient Nabatean capital.

Pella, Jordan
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One of the Decapolis, this is the smallest: Pella.

Jordan has been the home of humans for several tens of thousands of years, evidence show human activity back to the Paleolithic period, which is 50,000 to 17,000 BCE. It happened most probably that market places developed into real settlements some 6,000-8,000 years ago, during the Neolithic Period. Ain Ghazal near modern Amman is possibly the earliest settlement in Jordan.
Around 2000 BCE: The Semitic tribe of Amorites settle in the land called Canaan.

Semitic kingdoms
13th century BCE: Emergence of the kingdom of Edom, covering southwestern Jordan (see Edom / History).
9th century: Emergence of the kingdom of Moab in western Jordan, coexisting with Edom (see Moab / History).
582: Moab conquered by the Babylonians.
6th-4th century: Edom is taken or replaced by the Nabateans (see Nabateans / History), ruling from their capital, Petra.

Romans and Byzantines
64 BCE: Rome grants full independence to the ten cities of Jordan, the Decapolis, in return of taxes. Four of the ten were in Jordan: Gedara (Umm Qais), Philadelphia (Amman), Gerasa (Jerash) and Pella.
1st century CE: With Palmyra to the east of Damascus a new trade route away from Petra emerges.
106: The Roman province of Arabia is established including all of Jordan except the Decapolis region. Basra (Syria) is the capital.
114: Via Nova Traiana, a fortified road running from Bosra to Aqaba, is completed.
2nd century: Jordan reaches an unprecedented level of prosperity.
395: With the division of the Roman empire, Jordan passes to Byzantine (the eastern part of the Roman empire).
326: Mother of Emperor Constantine, Helena, begins a pilgrimage that passes through many places in Jordan. This results in much activity and revenue in Jordan.
6th century: Plague kills much of Jordan's population.

Muslim era
629: Attack by the Muslim Arabs under the leadership of Abu Bakr on Karak.
636: Final battle over the regions of Jordan, set at the Yarmuk River, establishing Muslim control over Jordan.
661: Damascus is made capital of the Muslim world, with the Umayyad rulers establishing themselves here. Jordan would benefit greatly from this, with its strategic location and geographical proximity. Jordan was now right on the trail between the imperial capital and the holy cities of Mecca and Madina. Jordan's legacy from this is primarily a string of castles along the border to the desert. This period is one of great tolerance to non-Muslims.
749: Great earthquake in northern Jordan and Syria, causing among its many devastating effects, the final end of the Umayyad era.
969: Fatimids take possession of Jordan, together with Palestine and southern Syria.

Karak, Jordan
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Karak, with Jordan's finest Crusader fortress.

The Crusades
11th century: Seljuqs take control of Jordan and Palestine, including Jerusalem, beginning extreme measures against Christians and Christian sites, thereby provoking the Crusades.
1116: Christian Crusaders establish control over most of Jordan, which is included into the Kingdom of Jerusalem. They build a line of fortresses to protect the region.
1187: Saladin, the Muslim Kurdish general, manages to wrestle Jerusalem of its strongholds in Jordan. Jordan now comes under Cairo, first with the Ayyubids, from 1250 under the Mamluks.

Ottomans and stagnation
1516: The Ottomans defeat the Mamluks to include Jordan in their administrative district of Damascus. Jordan would largely be neglected by its new lords. The population would decrease over the following three centuries.
1831: Jordan and Syria is conquered by Egypt.
1840: With the pressure from Britain and Austria, Egypt withdraws from Jordan as well as Syria.
19th century: Jordan receives several waves of immigration, of Syrians, Palestinians, Circassians and Chechens.
1908: Hijaz Railway opens, passing through Jordan. This gave room for some development in the country.

Arab revolt and Transjordan
1917 July: Aqaba is captured by Faisal, son of King Hussein of Hijaz.
1918 September: Faisal conquers Amman and Der'a.
November: Faisal establishes his administration in Damascus.
1920 March: Faisal is forced by the British away from both the lands of Jordan and Syria.
December: Jordan is established under the name of Transjordan, as a British mandate. The land has between 300,000 and 400,000 inhabitants, divided between several tribes.
1921 January: Abdullah, one of the fighters of power in the later Saudi Arabia, takes control of Amman.
July: Abdullah is effectively made ruler of Transjordan, a country with 230,000 inhabitants, of which 200,000 were Muslim Arabs, the rest Christian Arabs and Muslim Circassians.
1923 May 15: Transjordan is recognized an interdependent state under British tutelage (see Anglo-Transjordanian Treaty of 1923).
1925 June: Abdullah takes control of the region of Ma'an and Aqaba, representing the southern part of Jordan.
1926/1927: Druze flee from Syria.

King Abdullah of Jordan

King Abdullah 1, first ruler of Jordan (Transjordan until 1950).

End of mandate and independence
1946 May 22: The British mandate ends.
May 25: Transjordan becomes independent and Abdullah declared king.
1948 Transjordan participates in the First Palestinian War against the establishment of the state of Israel.
April 3: End of fighting, and Jordan is left with the control over the West Bank.
1950: Transjordan annexes the West Bank, and changes the name to Jordan.
1951 July 20: King Abdullah is murdered, succeeded by his mentally ill son, King Talal.

King Hussein 1

King Hussein, here from 1953.

47 years of King Hussein
1952 August 11: Talal is diagnosed mentally ill, and is forced to abdicate in favour of his son, Hussein.
1957: After Jordan had broken ties with Great Britain the year before, all British troops leave Jordan.
1958 February 14: Federation is proclaimed between the two Hashemite kingdoms of Iraq and Jordan.
August 2: The federation between Iraq and Jordan is dissolved; following the coup against the Iraqi king two weeks earlier.
1960 February: New law gives Jordanian citizenship to all Palestinian refugees; this as a reflection of Jordanian aspirations to annex the West Bank into its territory.
1960's: This is a decade of hard strife with the Palestinians (PLO) over power of Jordan.
1964: Jordan opposes the establishment of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
1967: Six-Day War, where Jordan loses the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Many Palestinian refugees come into Jordan.
1970-71: The final battle with PLO ends with the expulsion of PLO from Jordan. About 3,000 die from the fighting.
1974 October: Jordan recognizes PLO as the sole representative for the Palestinians.
1988: Jordan gives up all claims on the West Bank, declaring it Palestinian territory.
1991: The ban against certain political parties is abolished.
— Following the Gulf War, about 500,000 Palestinians and Jordanians come to Jordan. Palestinians chose Jordan for being the only country granting them easy entry and automatic citizenship. This causes great pressure on the economy, and even more on the limited water supplies of the country. Jordan's unemployment rate hits 30% this year. UN estimates put Jordan's loss from the war, from mid-1990 until mid-1991 to US$8 billion.
1992: The economy grows by 11%, apparently impressive, but the immigrants of 1991 represented a population growth of 16%, hence GDP per capita went down 4.5%.
1993: The first parliamentary elections since 1956.
1994 July 25: The long-lasting status of war with Israel ends with a joint declaration between the two countries.
October 26: A formal peace treaty with Israel is signed.

King Abdullah 2 of Jordan

King Abdullah 2, ruler since 1999.

Abdullah 2 and reforms
1999 February: King Hussein dies and is succeeded by his son, Abdullah.
2002: Riots and clashes in Ma'an. Government troops move in, and disarm the many inhabitants carrying weapons.
2003 June 17: Parliamentary elections, in which more than two-thirds to the 110 sears are won by representatives loyal to the king. The main opposition party, IAF (Islamic Action Front), linked to the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, wins 17 seats. The elections were criticised.
2005 November 9: Bomb actions against three major hotels in Amman, killing 60 plus 3 suicide bombers. All suspected for the actions were Iraqis.
2008 April 16: New regulations on political parties, that involves that 22 of the existing 36 parties no longer complied with requirements. Several parties represented in the parliament had to be dissolved, but the Islamist party was permitted.

By Tore Kjeilen