About Jordan

DEMOGRAPHICS

The Jordanian Department of Statistics estimated the 2011 population at 6.5 million. 

LANGAUAGE
The official language is Modern Standard Arabic, a literary language taught in the schools. The native languages of most Jordanians are dialects of Jordanian Arabic.
English, though without an official status, is widely spoken throughout the country and is the de facto language of commerce and banking, as well as a co-official status in business transactions.

RELIGIONIN JORDAN

Islam is the official religion and approximately 92% of the population is Muslim, primarily of the Sunni branch of Islam.
Jordan has laws promoting religious freedom and has an indigenous Christian minority. 

CULTURE
Although religion and tradition play an important part in modern-day Jordanian society, Jordanians live in a relatively secular society that is increasingly grappling with the effects of globalization. Jordan is considered one of the Arab World's most cosmopolitan countries, 67% of Jordanian youth identify themselves as liberals, second highest in the Arab World after Lebanon.

HEALTH
The CIA World Factbook estimates life expectancy in Jordan is 80.18 years, the second highest in the region . The medical system is divided between public and private institutions. In the public sector, the Ministry of Health operates 1,245 primary health-care centers and 27 hospitals, accounting for 37% of all hospital beds in the country; the military's Royal Medical Services runs 11 hospitals, providing 24% of all beds; and the Jordan University Hospital accounts for 3% of total beds in the country. The private sector provides 36% of all hospital beds, distributed among 56 hospitals. The King Hussein Cancer Center is a leading cancer treatment center.
70% of the population has medical insurance. Water and sanitation reach 99% of Jordanians, according to government statistics. They also show that electricity reaches 99% of the population,

EDUCATION

The adult literacy rate in 2010 was 92.6%. The Jordanian educational system consists of a two-year cycle of pre-school education, ten years of compulsory basic education, and two years of secondary academic or vocational education, after which the students sit for the Tawjihi. UNESCO ranked Jordan's education system 18th out of 94 nations for providing gender equality in education. 20.5% of Jordan's total government expenditures goes to education compared to 2.5% in Turkey and 3.86% in Syria. Secondary school enrollment has increased from 63% to 97% of high school aged students in Jordan and between 79% and 85% of high school students in Jordan move on to higher education.
The kingdom has 10 public and 16 private universities, in addition to some 54 community colleges, of which 14 are public, 24 private and others affiliated with the Jordan Armed Forces, the Civil Defence Department, the ministry of health and UNRWA. There are over 200,000 Jordanian students enrolled in universities each year. An additional 20,000 Jordanians pursue higher education abroad primarily in the United States and Great Britain. Jordan is already home to several international universities such as German-Jordanian University, Columbia University, NYIT, DePaul University, and the American University of Madaba. George Washington University is planning to establish a medical in Jordan.

TOURISM

Tourism is a very important sector of the Jordanian economy, contributing between 10 percent and 12 percent to the country's Gross National Product in 2006. In addition to the country's political stability, the geography offered makes Jordan an attractive tourism destination. Jordan's major tourist activities include numerous ancient places, its unique desert castles and unspoiled natural locations to its cultural and religious sites. The best known attractions include:

• Petra in Ma'an, the home of the Nabateans, is a complete city carved in a mountain. The huge rocks are colorful, mostly pink, and the entrance to the ancient city is through a 1.25 km narrow gorge in the mountain — called the Siq.

• Umm Qais, a town located on the site of the ruined Hellenistic-Roman city of Gadara.

• Ajlun, famous for the Al-Rabad Castle.

• Jerash, famous for its ancient Roman architecture, including the colonnaded streets, arches, Roman theaters, and the Oval Plaza.

• Amman contains the Roman Theater, in addition to several museums, where one may find remains of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

• Al Karak contains an important castle from the times of Salah Al-Din, known as Al-Karak Castle.

• Madaba, well known for its mosaics.

• The River Jordan, which is the river where Jesus of Nazareth was baptized, by John the Baptist.

• Mount Nebo, where Moses was said to have gone to get a view of the Promised Land.

• The Dead Sea - It is the lowest point on earth, 402 meters below sea level.

• Aqaba is a city on the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba with numerous shopping centers, hotels and access to water sports.

• Wadi Rum is a desert of mountains and hills located south of Jordan. It is popular for its sights, in addition to a variety of sports that are practiced there, such as rock-climbing. It is also known for its association with Lawrence of Arabia.

Be careful during an official holiday. The ATMs have caught on in a big way and everybody uses them. This means that they are very likely to run dry during weekends, and almost certainly during a longer period of banks being closed.

CREDIT CARDS
Cards are widely accepted in the country. The card most usually accepted is Visa.

CONVERSATION
The national language of Jordan is Arabic. Most Jordanians speak English, especially in urban area such as Amman. French and German are the second and third most popular languages after English. .

COURTESY
Jordan is a very hospitable country to tourists and foreigners will be happy to help you if asked. Jordanians in turn will respect you and your culture if you respect theirs. Respect Islam, the dominant religion, and the King of Jordan, a highly respected and loved ruler among Jordanians.

SAFETY
Jordan is very safe. Amman is especially very safe. Although the rural parts of Jordan have limited infrastructures, the village people will be happy to assist you.
 


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