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name Jordan was shortened to such in 1946 from the name "Transjordan,"
which means across the Jordan, referring to the Jordan River, which today makes
up most of the northern border between Jordan and Israel. However, it seems the
term Jordan, in reference to the land, not the river, has been used inconsistently
since the 700s.
Jordan is a land that has forever been a land visited, bypassed, and invaded by
people from nearly everywhere. This has led to a country that is somewhat diverse,
but more importantly, a country that has and continues to somehow balance extreme
views and people from everywhere under a peaceful umbrella.
The region has been ruled over by the Israelites, Greeks,
Romans, Egyptians, and Arabs as it is home to great Roman
ruins, hidden trading cities, and much of the Bible's history. However most
of these people left little behind other than ruins and a deep history. From a cultural
perspective, it was the Arabs and Islam that shaped much of modern day
Jordan; however it was this past diversity that has created a people tolerant
of differences and open to changes.
The flag of Jordan is based on the Arab
Revolt flag used during World War I. The black on the flag represents the Abbasid
Caliphate, the white is for the Umayyad Caliphate, and the green is for the Fatimid
Caliphate. The red triangle is for the Great Arab Revolt of 1916, while the white
star in its interior includes seven points, which symbolize the seven verses of
the opening Sura of the Holy Quran as well as faith in One God, humanity, national
spirit, humility, social justice, virtue, and aspirations.
Name: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Independence: May 15, 1946
Population: 6,482,081 (2013 estimate)
Religion: Sunni Muslim
With the arrival of Islam in the 600s the local people accepted the religion and
eventually the Arabs made up the region's majority. The people's lives,
then and now, are dictated by the Islamic faith as they follow numerous dietary
restrictions, social demands, and their greatest architectural achievements are
in the form of mosques.
From the 600s on, the people of modern day Jordan had few differences from their
neighboring people. During much of this time the people fell under foreign rulers
and these outside influences changed the people as the
Middle East became more uniform. Lebanese
and Turkish foods became the dietary norm as the
region fell under Syrian and Turkish rule among others.
For most of the next 1500s years the people in Jordan fell on the periphery of kingdoms
so no substantial introductions ever arrived.
After World War I ended in the 1910s, the British
took over Jordan and the region's culture began to substantially change. Modern
technology, communication, infrastructure, and more were introduced as the region
modernized; however many of these items are still not common among the people, although
nearly everyone has access to an internet cafe today. The region also gained greater
freedom from neighboring regions such as Syria. This led
to greater self-identity as the people changed their dress and mentality in slight
ways to differentiate themselves from their neighbors, only at this time calling
After World War II ended in the 1940s the Jordanian's
identity was quite strong, just as they gained independence and
Israel was being formed. This created a perfect antithesis to Jordanian
identity and many people used these differences to magnify Jordanian culture, while
warring with their newly formed neighbor. Despite the initial battles, the Jordanian
people later turned to peace and diplomacy as they began to view themselves as a
more liberal variety of Islam. Today the get along with the Israelis, Syrians, Saudis,
and Iranians along with many more as the country consists of Jordanians, Palestinians,
and many other people.
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