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History[edit | edit source]
What is now Jordan has been inhabited by humans since the Paleolithic period. Three stable kingdoms emerged there at the end of the Bronze Age: Ammon, Moab and Edom. Later rulers include the Nabataean Kingdom, the Roman Empire, and the Ottoman Empire.
After the Great Arab Revolt against the Ottomans in 1916 during World War I, the Ottoman Empire was partitioned by Britain and France. The Emirate of Transjordan was established in 1921 and the emirate became a British protectorate. In 1946, Jordan became an independent state officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, but was renamed in 1949 to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan after the country captured the West Bank during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War and annexed it until it was lost to Israel in 1967.
Jordan renounced its claim to the territory in 1988, and became one of two Arab states to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1994. Jordan is a founding member of the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation. The sovereign state is a constitutional monarchy, but the king holds wide executive and legislative powers.
Sunni Islam, practiced by around 95% of the population, is the dominant religion in Jordan and coexists with an indigenous Christian minority. Jordan has been repeatedly referred to as an oasis of stability in a turbulent region. From as early as 1948, Jordan has accepted refugees from multiple neighbouring countries in conflict. An estimated 2.1 million Palestinian and 1.4 million Syrian refugees are present in Jordan and the kingdom is also a refuge to thousands of Iraqi Christians fleeing persecution by ISIL
Jordan is classified as a country of "high human development" with an upper middle income economy. The Jordanian economy, one of the smallest economies in the region, is attractive to foreign investors based upon a skilled workforce.
Timeline[edit | edit source]
1916 - Four centuries of stagnation during Ottoman rule came to an end during World War I by the Arab Revolt
1921 - The Emirate of Transjordan was established
1922 - The Council of the League of Nations recognised Transjordan as a state under the British Mandate for Palestine and the Transjordan memorandum. Transjordan remained a British mandate until 1946
2011 - The Arab Spring were large-scale protests that erupted in the Arab World. Many of these protests tore down regimes in some Arab nations, leading to instability that ended with violent civil wars and in Jordan there was domestic unrest