Jordan officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing control of the Dead Sea with the latter.
The Jordanian government’s record on institutional reform has been uneven, and more vibrant economic growth is constrained by structural weaknesses that continue to undercut some of the four pillars of economic freedom. The rule of law is not strongly supported by the judicial system, particularly due to growing corruption.
The Northern Border Clearance Project, which celebrated its completion today, succeeded in clearing an estimated 136,000 landmines (anti-personnel and anti-tank) in a mine belt of approximately 10.5 square Km in area, stretching 104 Km along the Jordan-Syria border
Jordan is a constitutional monarchy in which the king exercises significant executive power. In February 2011, King Abdullah responded to “Arab Spring” demonstrations by dismissing the cabinet and appointing Marouf al-Bakhit as prime minister with a mandate for reform.
It is the first country in the Middle East to meet the deadline set by the Ottawa Mine-Ban Treaty and declare itself free of landmines.
Holidays in Jordan are either religious (Islamic or Christian) or celebrations of important events in Jordanian or Arab history. Non-Islamic holidays are fixed, while Islamic holidays vary according to the lunar Muslim calendar.
Most Muslim shop owners close early or do not open on Friday, and Christians follow similar rules on Sunday. However, the markets and street stalls downtown remain open all week long, and Friday is their busiest day of the week. During Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, business hours are shorter.
The Jordanian Government and Royal Family have consistently supported the national response to HIV/AIDS which was initiated in 1986 through the establishment of the National AIDS Program, under the Directorate of Disease Control in the Ministry of Health.
The first HIV case was discovered in Jordan in 1986. As of December 2009, the cumulative total number of all HIV/AIDS cases detected in Jordan was 713, of which 212 were Jordanian nationals, 90 of whom are now deceased.
Since 1989, all elements of the Jordanian political spectrum have embarked together on a road to greater democracy, liberalization and consensus building. These reforms, which were guided by the late King Hussein, have placed Jordan on an irreversible road to democratization. The result has been greater empowerment and involvement of everyday citizens in Jordan's civic life, contributing to increased stability and institutionalization which will benefit the country far into the future.
The Jordanian government has worked closely with the IMF, practiced careful monetary policy, and made significant progress with privatization. The government also has liberalized the trade regime sufficiently in order to guarantee Jordan's membership in the Word Trade Organization (2000), an association agreement with the European Union (2000), and a Free Trade Agreement with the United States (2000).