Official Name: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (Al Mamlakah al Urduniyah al Hashimiyah)
Location: Jordan is located in the Middle East (above the 30th parallel, North). It does not border on the Mediterranean Sea, relying on the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea for access to shipping lanes. It borders Israel to the west, Iraq and Saudi Arabia to the east and south, and Syria to the north.
Land Area: 88,884 sq km (34,309 sq mi).
Coast: 26 km (16 mi) on the Red Sea.
Climate: Jordan has a Mediterranean climate, with cool, wet winters and hot, dry summers. The average summer temperature is 25.6°C (78°F); the average winter temperature is 7.2°C (45°F).
Population: Almost 5 million inhabitants, of which 38% are younger than 15 years old.
Language: Arabic is the official language of Jordan, but English is widely understood among upper and middle classes
Religion: The vast majority of Jordanians are Sunni Muslim, but there is a small Christian minority.
Government: Jordan is a constitutional monarchy. The Executive Branch consists of the king, who is the chief of state, a Prime Minister appointed by the king, and a cabinet that is appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the king. The Legislative Branch, the National Assembly (Majlis al-'Umma), consists of the 40-member House of Notables (Majlis al-A'ayan) appointed by the king and the 110-member House of Representatives whose members are elected by popular vote. The Judicial Branch consists of the Court of Cassation. The Jordanian legal system is based on Islamic law and French codes.
Executive (President or King): King Abdullah bin al Hussein (Abdullah II)
Currency: The Jordanian currency is the Jordanian dinar (JD), which is divided into 1,000 fils. The exchange rate was approximately 0.7 Jordanian dinars (JD) for every $1 in January of 1997 (the time of the BikeAbout journey).
Find out how many Jordanian dinars there are in your local currency!
Resources and Industry: Jordan's major exports are phosphates, fertilizers and a variety of agricultural products (including olives, figs, almonds, grapes and apricots). Jordan's petroleum refining industry and hydro-electric power production are also important to the Jordanian economy.
Transport: 8,000 km (4,968 mi) of road; 677 km (420 mi) of train tracks.
Electric current: 220 volts.
Time Zone: GMT +2 hours
Sources: CIA World Factbook 2000, ArabNet, Lonely Planet
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