History of Jordan

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, lies on the eastern bank of the Jordan river. It borders Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Israel & the West Bank.


The region has been ruled by Greeks, Nabataeans & Romans, leaving cultural sites such as Jerash & Petra. From the 7th century on it was part of Islamic dynasties until the Ottomans took control in 1516. Arab warriors, led by Hashemite Faisal, campaigned against the Ottoman rule in 1914, which later became known as the Arab Revolt. Britain favoured the revolt as it weakened the Ottomans who were aligned with Germany during World War 1. The movement achieved great success, gaining control over Saudi Arabia, Jordan & parts of southern Syria. In 1919 Britain accepted Faisal's brother, Abdullah, as ruler over Transjordan and in 1923 recognised Jordan as independent under British protection. A series of treaties later led to the country’s full independence in 1946, proclaiming Abdullah king. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict, Jordan gained control over East Jerusalem & the West Bank and Abdullah proclaimed this as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The conflict caused many Palestinians to flee to Jordan, establishing a large community in the country which has repeatedly led to tensions.


In 1951 King Abdullah was assassinated in East Jerusalem, leaving his grandson Hussein in charge. During the Six-Day War in 1967, Jordan lost its territory in Jerusalem & the West Bank. When the Palestinian Liberation Front hijacked two planes & blew them up on Jordanian territory, a civil war broke out between Palestinian forces and the Jordanian army. After what is now known as ‘Black September’, Palestinians had to choose between submission & exile, resulting in the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s relocation to Lebanon.

In 1994 Jordan, as one of the first Arab nations, signed a peace agreement with Israel which removed economic barriers and established a security corporation.


Despite destabilizing events like the Gulf War, Arab Spring protests and the Syrian Civil War, Jordan has remained rather stable. However, with an economy dependent on tourism, the COVID-19 pandemic is posing a new challenge.

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