JORDAN (March 2013)

With the recent turmoil in the Middle East, I wasn't sure when I might see Jordan. A combined tour with Egypt's Sinai Peninsula seems ill-advised as that region is unstable even with a new government in place and a tour that includes Lebanon and Syria is certainly out of the question as Syria continues to implode. Then H got called to a conference in Israel the week before my Spring Break so I grasped at the chance and met her in Amman after her conference in Haifa.

Jordan borders Saudi Arabia to the south and east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and Israel to the west, with whom it shares control of the Dead Sea. The desert kingdom emerged out of the post-World War I division of the Middle East by Britain and France. In 1946, Jordan became an independent sovereign state officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan. King Abdullah I officially changed the country's name to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in April 1949.

In antiquity, present day Jordan became a home for several ancient kingdoms including the kingdoms of Edom, Moab, and Ammon. Throughout different eras of history, parts of the country were laid under the control of regional powers including Pharaonic Egypt.

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