Here we come Jordan, after the first article from the series about Kazakhstan, I want to introduce you to 10 facts about Jordan you didn’t know.
I travelled in the country for a month on my own and here are some famous sights and interesting facts about Jordan.
Jordan Info/ Jordan Facts
Jordan Capital: Amman
Jordan Currency: Jordanian Dinar JOD
Jordan Language: Arabic
Jordan Population: 9.45 million
Jordan Religion: Sunni Islam with a Christian minority
Jordan Flag: Officially adopted on 18 April 1928, is based on the flag of the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire during World War I. The flag consists of horizontal black, white, and green bands that are connected by a red chevron.
For more details check the point 8 in this article.
Jordan Map/ Where is Jordan located?
Jordan is a Middle Eastern country on the east bank of the Jordan River. Almost landlocked with a very small access point to the Red Sea. Bordered by Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Dead Sea.
And actually interaction with locals and observation of their daily life allowed me to learn all those Jordan fun facts, so here we come.
Interesting, amusing and quirky facts about Jordan.
1. Welcome Country
‘Ahlan wa sahlan! Welcome!’ – This is the greeting that will chant in your ear over and over again in this lovely country. At least hundred times each day. Everywhere from green hills of the North to the deserted South.
Jordan is one of the most welcoming places I have so far visited in the world. Jordanian people take a great pride in their hospitality. Tea and coffee are served in every possible situation to travellers and strangers. It is very common to be invited for meals and drinks by people you have just met on the street a minute before.
I have read that generally hospitality is a big part of the culture in the Middle East and Central Asia and every trip in this region exceed my expectations! Heard a lot of good things about Oman and Iran as well. Let’s see in the future :)Jordan is a 'Welcome' country of such hospitability that you will be overwhelmed. #jordanrocksClick To Tweet
2. Everybody loves the King
Everybody loves the King. After all, King is a King! And no I’m not talking about Elvis, I’m talking about Abdullah II.
He smiled at me from numerous posters, billboards and statues wherever I went. Everything seemed to be thanks to either God or the King. Actually in most cases thanks to both of them. So I couldn’t help and often caught myself in praising the King! You know what they say: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. ha ha ha
And to cut all the gossips I want to say that us sharing birthday have nothing to do with my fondness for the King! Not at all! How crazy I would have to be to like everyone who has a birthday on the 30th of January! LolEveryone loves the King, God save the King here hahaClick To Tweet
3. Olive Tree Paradise
The most common tree here is the olive tree. There are olive trees everywhere!
From a famous one planted by John Paul II as a sign of peace on the Mount Nebo to ‘normal’ ones growing all over the North in Jerash and Umm Qais.
And I think there is no need to mention how delicious olives are here! That goes without saying I assume.Land of omnipresent olive trees will impress you with its beauty!Click To Tweet
4. National Flower – Black Iris
If you ask me what is unique about Jordan I would have to say many things but there is one thing that only Jordan has. The stunning black iris is Jordan’s national flower. It is super rare and grows only in Wadi Rum and only in spring.
Even though it is quite rare it seems like everything is called after this beautiful flower. Many hotels, restaurants, tour operators, political blogs and even music festivals!
It is official! Jordan’s new nickname in my travel stories is: ‘Black Iris Country’!Black Iris only grows in Jordan? #blackirisClick To Tweet
5. Admiration Issue
You should avoid excessive admiration of any item in the house. Take it as a good advice from a friend, it will help you to avoid many awkward situations.
The hosts will feel obligated to offer it to you to demonstrate his generosity (Jordanian custom) and you will have a set of beautiful glasses, you admired over a dinner to be polite (European style polite I mean), sent to your hotel after the dinner.
Yes, it happened to me. Lesson learned! Lol
And if that ever happens to you, insist on sending them back strongly.
Generally, any kind of admiration shouldn’t be exaggerated. Especially when it comes to little kids. It is considered a bad omen in Jordan.You should learn the customs before you start paying compliments. #jordanfactsClick To Tweet
6. Rules – Customs
Like in many countries in the region, you have to be a good observant of everyday life to understand what is real and what is a pure politeness and rules of customs in Jordan.
As I have mentioned above try not to admire things too excessively. When invited for meal or coffee, always decline few times before accepting. If you really want to decline you have to be very careful with words you choose and the way to speak in case not to offend the host! When invited to the house bring a little gift such as sweets or flowers.
Do not use left hand when eating and drinking. As a woman, you should never touch a man who is not your husband and vice versa.
Most of the Jordanian women cover their heads but as a visitor, I was not obligated to do so.
Stand up when greetings other people. When you finish your coffee shake your cup from side to side in order to let your host know that you do not wish to drink more. Otherwise, your glass will be filled again and again.
And many many others. I always try to read and learn about local customs before my visit, but the good observation is a key! and the more you travel the less you will need books and guides.Jordan culture is full of beautiful customs and traditions. #jordanrulesClick To Tweet
7. Lawrence of Arabia
Jordan is the country of Lawrence of Arabia. This British Army office based himself mainly in Wadi Rum, an area of a spectacular rock and desert formations.
His autobiography was named after one of the most significant rock formations in Wadi Rum – The Seven Pillars of Wisdom.
For all enthusiasts and history geeks visiting Wadi Rum will be like taking a ride in the ‘time machine’.Jordan as Lawrance of Arabia playground, therefore it is a real treat for T. E. Lawrence fans!Click To Tweet
8. National Flag
The national flag of Jordan is very symbolic! I can already hear you saying: ‘Like all the flags Marysia!”.
The flag shows equally spaced, horizontal bands of black (the Abbassid Caliphate), white (the Umayyad Caliphate) and green (represents the Fatimid Caliphate and Islam).
A red triangle at the hoist represents the Great Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire during World War I. In the centre of the red triangle, there is a seven-point star which represents the first seven verses of the Quran.Jordanian flags represent the unity of three Caliphates. #jordanflagClick To Tweet
9. No oil in Jordan?!
Jordan is the only country in the region without oil.
Ironic? Maybe! But recent history proves it is much safer not to be ‘oil rich’!Surprisingly Jordan is the only country in the Middle East without oil or gas? #maybethatisforthebetterClick To Tweet
10. Petra Jordan Facts
The last one of Jordan country facts is actually the city of Petra and its beauty!
Jordan is a country with one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Petra. Entirely carved into the surrounding rocks, Not discovered until the 19th century but built during the Byzantine Era of the 5th and 6th AD.
It is home to over 800 carved tombs, with Petra Treasury and Petra Sanctuary being most popular.
There are no words that can properly describe beauty and uniqueness of Petra! Not even most spectacular pictures can! It is so much better ‘Live’! So book your tickets now!You must visit beautiful Petra, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. #sevenwondersClick To Tweet
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And do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions about Jordan interesting facts. More than happy to chat!