Short geographic notes
Don’t worry, I’m not planning on giving a history lesson here, but I do wish to share some basic information about the country before I start writing about it. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, as is its official title, lies in the Middle East and borders on Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the West Bank.
In Jordan, the area of 89,000 km2 is populated by 9.8 million people, 2 million of which are Palestinians who were forced to move to Jordan due to various wars. The official language is Modern Standard Arabic and 92% of people are Muslim. Even though the term Modern Standard Arabic sounds great, most people actually speak the Jordan dialect of Arabic, which is rather different. Much to the misfortune (or horror) of Arab learners, it is generally the case that there are many dialects of Arabic that have little in common. Imagine that you learned the “standard Slavic language” in school, then tried to communicate with it in Slovenia as well as Serbia. It would be possible, technically, but not very good.
The capital is Amman. Jordan has the Red as well as Dead Sea, but most Jordanians prefer to sit beside the sea because they don’t know how to swim (which surprised me). The landscape is scattered with deserts and mountains, but also has beautiful green areas, which meant that our driving was never boring.
No matter how much we Europeans are afraid of going anywhere near Middle Eastern countries, Jordan has always had the reputation of a safe and peaceful country. Even now you can visit it without any worries, although they do of course recommend that everyone (tourists as well as natives) avoid the close vicinity of the Syrian border in the North.