"Discover Jordan" Top 5 Page for this destination Jordan by TheWanderingCamel
Jordan Travel Guide: 4,279 reviews and 11,241 photos
Jordan, with a population of a little over 5 million people, has been an independent state since 1921 when the Emir Abdullah declared the existence of the "Emirate of Transjordan" with himself as the ruler. Abdullah was the second son of Sharif Hussein, the leader of the Hashemite tribe in Saudi Arabia, and older brother of Faisal of "Lawrence of Arabia" fame - see web page on T.E. Lawrence - (the eldest brother's name was Ali). Originally intended as the King of Iraq, with Faisal as King of Syria, he had to content himself with the lesser prize when Faisal took the kingdom of Iraq in his place. It is perhaps ironic that today his descendants still rule Jordan, whereas Faisal's family was wiped out in the revolution of 1958.
Jordan became a kingdom in 1946 when the official name of the country became the "Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan" with Abdullah as the first king. The name was changed to "Kingdom of Jordan" in 1948. (See the history page "The beginning of the Kingdom").
Abdullah (today known as Abdullah I) was assassinated in 1951 and the throne passed automatically to his son the Crown Prince Talal. He abdicated for medical reasons in 1952 and his son Hussein became King at the age of 17.
Hussein ruled until his death in 1999 and was succeeded by his eldest son Abdullah II *who rules at the moment. Since his succession, Abdullah has had to face a number of problems, economic, social and political, with the successive crises in Palestine and the Middle East.
Jordan is in theory a democratic monarchy, the people have a number of liberties and feel themselves quite free. But these liberties are granted for as long as the monarch wishes. King Abdullah has the power to delay or to cancel parliamentary elections, the press is closely watched and people can be detained for an almost indefinite period with no reason given. These powers are used with discretion, and as I said, the people in Jordan are on the whole perfectly happy with their government, and frequently compare it favourably with neighbouring states.
Queen Rania, the wife of King Abdullah II and something of an international media star, invariably accompanies him on his frequent travels, and is almost always a silent participant in any official interview. The couple have three small children, a boy (Hussein") and two girls.
If the budget will stretch to it, the Jordan Valley Marriott Resort hotel is totally geared to pleasure. With a private... more travel advice
Shobuk Castle was the first and the smallest of the great castles built by the Crusaders, and was the last to be... more travel advice
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