Jordan

Driving Directions Jordan

JORDAN is almost landlocked except for a short coastline on the Gulf of Aqaba. It is bounded by Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, and Israel. Jordan is a predominantly arid country whose main topographical feature is a high, rugged plateau that rises on the east side of the River Jordan. It reaches elevations of over 1,500 meters or 4,000 feet in the south of the country and dissected by steep-sided gorges.

The capital, Amman, is located at its northern end. The plateau loses height on its eastern side into a large area of semi-desert and desert. In general, summers are hot and dry, and winters cool and wet with variations related to altitude. The east has a desert climate.

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When Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967, Jordan lost most of its agricultural land, and fertile, watered land is found only in the extreme west. Since under 5 percent of the land is arable and only part of this irrigated, crop production is insufficient for the country’s needs. As a result, Jordan has to import some foodstuffs.

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The manufacturing industry produces cement, iron, pharmaceuticals, processed food, fertilizers, and textiles, but the country’s economy relies to a large extent on economic aid from rich Arab states, such as Saudi Arabia.

The country has a modern network of roads that link the major cities. In 1994, a historic peace agreement signed with Israel, which ended 46 years of hostilities.

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