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Jordan Information - Page 1
Geography
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is in the Middle East. It is bordered by Israel, the West Bank, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf of Aqaba.

Amman is the capital city. Aqaba is Jordan's only port. Other cities include Irbid, Kerak and Zarqa.

Jordan's terrain consists of desert plateau in the east and an area of highlands in the west; the Great Rift Valley divides the East and West Banks of the Jordan River.

Summers in Jordan are hot and winters can be cold.

Environment
Jordan has few trees and little farmland. The environmental problems posed by limited fresh water, overgrazing, deforestation and desertification are a challenge to the Jordanian government.

Desertification has produced some of Jordan's most spectacular terrain; the Wadi Rum has some of the world's most famous desert scenery. Other well known Jordanian landscapes include the coast off the Gulf of Aqaba and the Dead Sea.

Nature Reserves are the Azraq Wetland Wildlife Reserve, the Dana Nature Reserve, the Mujib Reserve and the Shaumari Wildlife Reserve.

Architecture
Perhaps the most well known example of architecture in Jordan is the Nabataean city of Petra, a World Heritage site protected by the Petra National Trust. A strategic point on trade routes, Petra was partly built and partly carved into rock two thousand years ago.

Another World Heritage site in Jordan is the desert castle of Quseir Amra, one of the castles built by the Caliphs of the Umayyad dynasty. Kerak, on the approach to Jerusalem, is an example of a Crusader castle (captured by Saladin when he defeated the Christian Crusaders).

Jordan also has a number of ancient Roman buildings, such as the amphitheatre in Amman and the Temple of Artemis and the hippodrome in Jerash (Gerasa)

Population
The population of Jordan was 6,508,271 in 2011.

Languages
Arabic is the official language.

Religion
The majority of the people follow Islam; there is a Christian minority.

Food
The mezze is a culinary tradition of the region. This may consist of up to thirty or more small dishes which are served together. Examples are salad dishes and dips made with chick peas and aubergine purees.

Maglouba (stew) is prepared with vegetables, meat, or sometimes fish. Kebabs made with lamb and chicken are a popular meal and stuffed vegetables are a feature of Jordanian cuisine. A traditional Jordanian recipe served on special occasions is mansaf, a stewed lamb. Staple foods include bread (flat varieties) and rice. Recipes may use yoghurt, herbs, spices, nuts and pine kernels.

Pastries are often made with honey and nuts. Milk puddings, fresh fruit and ice cream are popular desserts.

Coffee is preferred strong with cardamom seeds and tea is served sweet with mint. Wines and spirits are produced locally and arak, an aniseed-flavoured spirit, is served with water and ice.

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