Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Travel the World - Jordan

I started a 50-week series in 2019 that I called Travel the World. Each week of the series I visited a randomly-selected country, sharing bits of information about that country. I then chose one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. As I explored those 50 countries in 2019, I knew I would continue on until I've visited every one of the 195 countries in the world. By the end of 2021, I'd virtually traveled to 145 countries and plan to complete my journey to all 195 countries by visiting the last 50 this year.

This week's country is...


Jordan is a small country located in the Middle East. 

The official name of Jordan is the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

It has six neighbors: Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt (if you count the water border), West Bank and Israel. What a neighborhood!

A quick glance at a map of the Middle East, and you would think that Jordan is a landlocked country. It is sandwiched between several other Middle Eastern countries that border the Red Sea. However, on closer observation, you will see that a tiny piece of Red Sea coastline actually belongs to Jordan. This stretch of beach, found in the south of the country, is just 26 miles long. 

Jordan has unusually straight borders.

The country is considered as relatively dry, with temperatures ranging between 86 degrees Fahrenheit during summers and 55 degrees Fahrenheit during winters. Deserts occupy a significant part of the country. The country also has mountainous regions and valleys that consist of fertile wetlands.

Aqaba is the only port city in Jordan. It's reef is alive with untold variety in its coral and fish. Common species are branch coral, fungia and montipora, and the rare Arcelia, a black, tree-like specimen found at great depths.

Some of the world's earliest known churches have been recently discovered in Jordan. The remains of a mud-brick building in Aqaba may be the world's oldest known purpose-built church. This Aqaba early church dates from the late 3rd or early 4th century AD.

Jordan is a small country. In fact, you can fit Jordan into Texas about eight times. 

Jordan has a combination of Mediterranean and arid desert climates, with Mediterranean climates prevailing in the north and west of the country, while the majority of the country is desert.

Jordan makes up part of the Holy Land. 

The country of Jordan is home to many biblical sites such as the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, the sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and Mount Nebo where Moses died.

Jordan's capital city, Amman, is one of the most ancient settlements in the history of human civilization. Archaeologists have found evidence pointing to human habitation as early as the 13th century BC.

Another interesting fact about Jordan's capital is that it was once known as "Philadelphia".

Jordan's capital houses a 6,000-seat, 2nd-century Roman theater that is now a famous landmark and dates back to the Roman period when Jordan was known as Philadelphia.

About 10 million people live in Jordan. Most live in the north and roughly 40% of them live in Amman. The housing density is astounding.

Arabic is the official language, but English is widely spoken amidst the middle and upper classes.

Jordan is home to the Dead Sea. This is a famous salt lake in Jordan that’s a great spot for floating around. In fact, it’s one of the saltiest lakes in the world. There’s almost ten times the amount of salt in here than the actual sea. It makes you really buoyant.

The lowest point of dry land in the world is the shore of the Dead Sea in Jordan at 1,378feet beneath sea level.

There are over 100,000 archaeologist sites in Jordan.

Petra is Jordan's most famous site. Known as “The Rose City” it is famous for its unique architecture carved directly into the rock face. It is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. First settled more than 10,000 years ago, it was established as the capital of the formerly nomadic Nabataean Arabs around the 4th century BC. It’s so famous that it’s been a filming location for loads of movies, including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Classic.

Petra is home of over 800 carved tombs.

Jordan's city of Jeras is one of the largest and best-preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world.

Jordan's national flower (the black iris) is very rare. It only grows in Wadi Rum and only in spring.

The most common tree in Jordan is the Olive Tree.

great historical fact about Jordan is that it is home to the oldest dam in the world – by a long shot. The Jawa Dam dates back to the 4th millennium BC and was built, as many dams are, for water supply. Jordan actually still struggles with water shortages to this day. 

Jordan is one of the least forested countries in the world. Forests make up less than 2% of the country's ecosystem.

Jordan is home of the long-eared hedgehog.

The Arabian Oryx is Jordan's national animal. The medium-sized antelope has a slight shoulder bump, a tufted tail, and long straight horns. The species is found in steppe and desert areas around the Arabian Peninsula. The animal went extinct in Jordan in the 1920s. It was later declared as extinct in the wild in the region in the 1970s. The species was saved through the gradual reintroduction into reserves across the Middle East, including Jordan. The Arabian Oryx is classified as endangered and is facing a high risk of extinction. It was the first species to achieve the status of vulnerable after previously being considered as extinct in the wild.

Jordan is not necessarily known for its wildlife, but it does have a variety of animals - such as the Striped Hyena, Dorcas Gazelle, Sand Cat, Egyptian Mongoose, Honey Badger, Nubian Ibex, Goitered Gazelle, Mountain Gazelle, and Golden Jackal.

There are 220 types of birds that regularly migrate through Jordan. In fact, a total of 426 unique bird species – some of them very rare – have been observed in the region. 

The Gulf of Aqaba is home to upwards of 1,000 species of fish. A number of sharks live there, including the world’s largest fish, the whale shark. If you decide to snorkel or scuba dive, you may find clownfishbarracuda, groupers, frogfish, stingrays, and moray eelsFlamingos and pelicans also call this area home.

The most dangerous animals in Jordan today are the vipers, a type of venomous snake. Viper bites cause pain, swelling, and sometimes even death.

Jordan's most famous national park is the Wadi Rum where you can spend the night under the stars.

A person can walk through the entire country. The Jordan Trail allows you walk from the north to the south of Jordan on foot. 402 miles  long, it stretches from Um Qais in the north to Aqaba in the south. It takes about 40 days to do and passes by some of the country’s best-known places, such as Petra, the desert landscapes of Wadi Rum, and the Greco-Roman ruins at Gadara.

The oldest statues in the world were found in Jordan.

Jordan is known as an extremely friendly country, where you'll hear Ahlan wa sahlan! or “Welcome!” quite often.

In Jordan, it's considered polite to refuse a meal three times before accepting it.

The adults in Jordan believe overpraising a child will bring bad luck so this gesture from a parent to a kid is often avoided.

Actually, it's best not to praise anything too highly. When tourists try to be “Western polite” and compliment people on their home decoration or clothes, they might find the items in question sent to their hotel later on. 

Jordan was the first Arab country to allow female police officers.

Unlike other Arab countries, Jordan does not have its own oil. It does have pretty modest natural gas reserves, which are far less interesting.

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about Jordan... When you're having coffee as a guest in Jordan, you need to shake your cup from side to side to let the host know when you've had enough. Otherwise, they'll just keep refilling it.

Of course, I had to make a coffee-themed shaker card for this fact. No doubt. 

Now if it were just possible to get a decent picture of it. 

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Paper: Hammermill 110# White, Recollections Black and Kraft, and SU Sweet Sorbet CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: MFT, Single Stitch Line Rectangle Frame, MFT Stitched Rectangles (inside), and Stamp Anniething Thanks a Latte

Shaker Materials: Prickly Pear Summoning Spells Confetti Mix and Waffle Flower Shaker Cover

1 comment:

kiwimeskreations said...

A wonderful post Jeanette - and a fabulous coffee themed card :)