Jordan

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Overview
<p>Jordan is part of the Middle East&rsquo;s Fertile Crescent region and was originally settled around 2000 BC. Over the next several centuries, the area was settled and invaded by many groups, including the Egyptians, Romans and Ottoman Turks. Since the mid-seventh century, Jordan has for the most part remained in the hands of various Arab and Islamic dynasties.</p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>After World War I, Great Britain received the mandate over Jordan and several neighboring territories, and the country remained under British rule until May 1946 when it became known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Jordan gained control of the West Bank in 1949 and held it until the 1967 war with Israel. It argued for the return of the territory until 1988, when Jordan renounced all claims to the West Bank and finally signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Jordan is a constitutional monarchy with a monarch who acts as the head of state, the chief executive, and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. This modern Arab nation is predominantly urbanized and has been classified as an emerging market with a free market economy.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Today, Jordan retains a continuing role in Jerusalem as part of this agreement. Jordan also enjoys peaceful relations with the United States and works cooperatively in the effort to thwart terrorism and achieve stability in the Middle East. It has received considerable financial and military aid from the US since the 1950s.</div>
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Basic Information
<p><b>Lay of the Land</b>: Located in southwest Asia, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is landlocked except for a small coastline on the Dead Sea and on the Gulf of Aqaba.&nbsp;It is bordered by Syria to the north, Iraq to the northeast, Saudi Arabia to the east and south and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Save for the Jordanian Highlands on the western edge of the Arabian plateau, which receive moderate rainfall, the western three fourths of the country is largely desert.&nbsp;The area of the northern highlands and the Jordan Valley have received enough rainfall to support large populations; therefore farmers, villagers and townspeople have all had a tendency to settle in these areas. In the south and the east, there is little rainfall and these regions have rarely support settled populations.</p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Central Jordan in made up of a segment of the Great Rift Valley (which continues southward into Africa) and includes the Jordan River and the Dead Sea.&nbsp;The Great Rift Valley separates Jordan, the West Bank and Israel. West Jordan, which is part of historic Palestine and under Israeli occupation, is composed of two hilly regions&ndash;fertile Samaria in the north and barren, stony Judea in the south.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Jordan&rsquo;s location and geography have given it an important role in trade and communications, as it lies at the crossroads of the Middle East, connecting Asia, Africa and Europe.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>Population</b>: 6.2 million</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>Religions</b>: Sunni Muslim 92%, Christian (Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Melkite/Greek Catholic, Armenian Orthodox, Maronite Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran...) 3%, Druze 0.2%.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>Ethnic Groups</b>: Arab 98%, Circassian 1%, Armenian 1%.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>Languages</b>: Arabic (official), South Levantine Arabic 62.5%, Levantine Bedawi Arabic 12.5%, Najdi Arabic 0.9%, Adyghe 0.8%, Armenian 0.1%, Domari 0.08%, Chechen 0.06%.</div>
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History
<p>Jordan was originally settled by Semitic Amorites around 2000 BC. Over the next 4,000 years, Jordan was alternately settled and invaded by the <span>Hittites, Egyptians, Israelites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arab Muslims, Christian Crusaders, Mameluks, Ottoman Turks, and, finally, the British. </span></p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>During the Early Bronze Age, 3200-1950 BC, many villages were built in Jordan with defensive fortifications, intended to protect against nomadic tribes. However, between 2300-1950 BC, many of the large, fortified towns were deserted in favor of smaller villages or a pastoral lifestyle, most likely due to climatic and political changes.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The Middle Bronze Age, 1950-1550 BC, saw an increase in migration patters in the Middle East. Trade developed between Egypt, Syria, Arabia, Canaan and Transjordan, increasing the spread of civilization and technology.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Several city-states developed in Jordan under the Decapolis, a group of ten cities in the eastern Roman Empire, during the Greco-Roman period of influence.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The Nabatean kingdom, which had its capital in Petra and created the modern Arabic alphabets, was one of the most notable civilizations that existed in the region of Jordan in ancient times. The Nabatean Kingdom of Petra rose in southern Jordan and absorbed the Edomites; however Petra was finally attacked and occupied by the Roman Empire in 103 AD.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Jordan became a part of the new Arab-Islamic Umayyad Empire, the first Muslim dynasty, which ruled most of the Middle East from 661 to 750 AD. The predecessors of the Umayyad&rsquo;s were the Abbasids, who ruled from 750-1258. Under the Abbasids, Jordan began to decline because of the geo-political shift when the Abbasids moved their capital from Damascus to Kufa and later to Baghdad. Jordan continued to be ruled by various powers including the Crusaders and the Ottomans.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>After World War I, Great Britain received a mandate from the League of Nations to oversee Palestine and Transjordan, which covered modern-day Israel, Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem. In 1922, British officials divided this mandate by establishing the Emirate of Transjordan, which was to be semi-autonomous. Hashemite Prince Abdullah ruled the Emirate of Transjordan, while also administering Palestine under a British high commissioner.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>This mandate ended in May 1946 when the country became the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, completely independent of British rule. In May 1948, when the Israeli state was created, Jordan moved to assist Palestinian nationalists and took part in the war against Israel. On April 3, 1949, an armistice agreement left Jordan in control of the West Bank.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>On July 20, 1951, King Abdullah I was shot in Jerusalem. A Palestinian claimed responsibility for the shooting. Talal Ibn Abdullah, the King&rsquo;s eldest son, ascended to the throne, but was quickly deposed in 1952 because of a mental illness. His son, Hussein Ibn Talal, became king on his eighteenth birthday in 1953.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Jordan signed a mutual defense pact with Egypt and took part in the June 1967 war between Israel and the Arab states of Syria, Egypt, and Iraq. Israel subsequently gained control of the West Bank and all of Jerusalem. This led to more Palestinians moving to live in Jordan.&nbsp;Refugees numbered almost 1 million by the end of 1967.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>After the 1967 war, the Palestinian resistance movement, also called <i>fedayeen</i>, increased in power and importance. They armed themselves heavily and soon posed a serious threat to the security of the Hashemite state.&nbsp;In June 1970, open fighting broke out between the Hashemites and the Palestinian majority, leading to &ldquo;Black September&rdquo;. During this month, King Hussein of Jordan attempted to defeat the Palestinian militancy and restore his rule over the country. The fighting resulted in thousands of deaths, mostly Palestinians, as well as the expulsion of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and thousands of Palestinian fighters to Lebanon. ,</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>During the 1980s, Jordan experienced severe protests and social upheavals, especially in urban areas where citizens protested inflation and the lack of political freedom. In 1988, Jordan renounced all claims to the West Bank, but retained an administrative role, pending a final settlement.&nbsp;Martial law was lifted in 1989, creating a comparatively liberal and dynamic society. During the Gulf War of 1990-1991, Jordan remained neutral. But in 1991, the country agreed, along with Syria, Lebanon, and Palestinian representatives, to participate in direct peace negotiations with Israel. Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994. According to the terms of this peace treaty, Jordan retained a continuing role in Muslim holy places in Jerusalem.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Jordan has sought to remain at peace with all of its neighbors following the Israel-Palestinian fighting in September 2000, when it offered help to both parties.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Since 2003, it is estimated that nearly 2.2 million Iraqis have fled their country due to war and subsequent conflicts, particularly the first Gulf War in 1990-1991. Following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003,nearly 100,000 refugees fled to Syria and Jordan each month. By December 2003, Jordan had received 750,000 Iraqi refugees. The Jordanian government classified them as &ldquo;visitors&rdquo; instead of using the title &ldquo;refugees.&rdquo; This allowed the government to refuse the Iraqi refugees the same benefits being enjoyed by 1.5 million Palestinian refugees residing in Jordan. The overall sentiment of Jordanians to these refugees has been resentful, due to the negative effects on the Jordanian economy.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Jordan"><font color="#0000ff">History of Jordan</font></a> (Wikipedia)</div> <div><a href="http://www.kinghussein.gov.jo/history.html"><font color="#0000ff">History &ndash; The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan</font></a> (KingHussein.gov)</div> <div><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraqi_refugees"><font color="#0000ff">Iraqi Refugees (Wikipedia)</font></a></div> <div><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_September_in_Jordan"><font color="#0000ff">Black September (Wikipedia)</font></a></div>
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Jordan's Newspapers
<p><a href="http://www.addustour.com/"><font color="#0000ff">Ad-Dustour</font></a></p> <div><a href="http://www.jordantimes.com/"><font color="#0000ff">Jordan Times</font></a></div> <div><a href="http://www.assabeel.net/"><font color="#0000ff">Alssabeel Newspaper</font></a></div> <div><a href="http://petra.gov.jo/default.aspx?lng=2"><font color="#0000ff">Jordan News Agency</font></a> (government)</div>
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History of U.S. Relations with Jordan
<p>Since developing a close relationship with Jordan in the early 1950s, the US has sought to assist Jordan in maintaining stability and prosperity. Development assistance from the US has totaled almost $6 billion since 1952, providing funding for road and water networks, schools, education and training opportunities for Jordanians in the US, and most recently, access to water, energy, macroeconomic policy, and workforce development. Since 1951, total US aid to Jordan through FY 2009 totaled approximately $10.72 billion.</p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Jordan established diplomatic relations with Washington in 1949. The following year the United States recognized Jordan&rsquo;s control of the West Bank, while maintaining that ultimate sovereignty was subject to future negotiations and agreement. Although the United States and Jordan have never been formally linked, the country&rsquo;s small size and lack of major economic resources have created a dependency on Western aid, particularly US support.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>By the late 1950s, the United States became Jordan&rsquo;s principal Western source of foreign aid and political support. Jordan and the United States never entered into treaty commitments, but Washington sought to ensure Jordan&rsquo;s continued independence (from the Soviet Union) and stability.</div> <div>The United States assisted Jordan in equipping and training its military forces. During the civil war of 1970-71, the United States firmly supported King Hussein, although it did not become directly involved in the conflict. After Jordan&rsquo;s army had defeated the PLO guerrillas, Washington extended substantial budgetary and military aid to the Hashemite Kingdom. This aid contributed significantly toward Jordanian recovery from the damages suffered not only in the civil war but also in the June 1967 War and during the intensive Israeli shelling of the Jordan valley between 1968 and 1970. Hussein&rsquo;s close alignment with the United States before and after the civil war aroused strong anti-American sentiment among Palestinians in Jordan and elsewhere.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Following the Yom Kippur War in 1973 (which Jordan did not participate in), the US and Jordan grew much closer in political relations. Jordan joined the United States in support of UN Security Council Resolution 338, which called on the parties involved in the October 1973 war to cease their hostilities and implement UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967 providing for a peace based on Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The failure of the United States during 1974 to persuade Israel to pull back its forces from part of the West Bank as an initial step toward a peace agreement with Jordan disillusioned Hussein with respect to the ability of the Americans to pressure Israel on the issue of withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories. Although he continued to value Washington&rsquo;s reaffirmations of support for Jordan's security and economic progress, Hussein became increasingly skeptical of American assurances that the West Bank would be reunited with the East Bank. Consequently, he refrained from participation in the Camp David process between Egypt and Israel.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Throughout the 1980s, the United States continued to assign Jordan a key role in a resolution of the status of the West Bank. Hussein believed, however, that Washington did not understand how essential it was for the stability of his regime to regain full control over all of the West Bank and how politically dangerous it would be for him to agree to any partial measures.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>During the early 1980s, Hussein seriously considered expanding Jordan&rsquo;s military relations with the United States. He gave tentative approval for the creation of an unpublicized 8,000-strong Jordanian strike force that would respond to requests for assistance from Arab countries within a 2,400-kilometer radius of Jordan. The intended target of this special force was to be the Persian Gulf, where the traditional allies of both Jordan and the United States feared the potentially destabilizing consequences of the Iran-Iraq War. The United States agreed to provide the special Jordanian unit with weapons and other military equipment. In an apparent effort to obtain approval of the United States Congress for the extra funding needed to arm the strike force, in early 1984 the Reagan administration disclosed its formation. This unexpected disclosure caused consternation in Amman, and news of the Jordanian strike force provoked harsh criticism from Syria and from Palestinian guerrilla groups opposed to Hussein. In order to minimize negative repercussions, Hussein tried to distance his country from the strike force by portraying it as a United States initiative in which Jordan had no real interest or substantive involvement. Congress did not approve the requested funds, and the plan was subsequently abandoned.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>During the 1990s, Jordan was unwilling to join the allied coalition of the US and the Persian Gulf states against Iraq, damaging relations with the US. During the first Gulf War in 1991, the Palestinian population of Jordan generally supported Saddam Hussein as a champion against Western supporters of Israel. However, Jordan began to play an increasing role in the Arab-Israeli peace process throughout the 1990s, distancing itself from Saddam Hussein and Iraq and improving relations with the US.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>On October 26, 1994, President Bill Clinton witnessed the signing of a peace treaty between Jordan and Israel, and the US has continued to participate in trilateral development discussions on key issues with these two countries.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In 1996, Jordan and the US signed a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), a civil aviation agreement that provides for &ldquo;open skies&rdquo; between the two countries for the promotion of bilateral investment. On November 13, 1996, President Clinton declared Jordan a major non-NATO ally of the US.</div> <div>In 2007, Jordan and the US signed a Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement as a means to encourage scientific cooperation between the countries.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In 2003, Jordan officially backed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, although it allowed no US military presence on its soil, only logistical support.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Jordan has become more vulnerable to terrorist attacks due to its close relationship with the US, and on November 9, 2005, three western-owned hotels in Amman experienced simultaneous explosions, killing 58 people. The al-Qaeda terrorist organization claimed responsibility for this attack.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Financial support levels from the US to Jordan have fluctuated over the past six decades, but in September of 2008, the two governments agreed that the US would provide a total of $660 million in annual foreign assistance to Jordan over a five-year period. For FY2011 specifically, the administration has requested $682.7 million in military and economic aid for Jordan, which is has also seeking additional aid from Congress.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><a href="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/hussein_6-23-93.html"><font color="#0000ff">Online News Hour &ndash; 1993 Interview with King Hussein</font></a> (PBS)</div> <div><a href="http://countrystudies.us/jordan/66.htm"><font color="#0000ff">Relations with the United States</font></a> (Library of Congress)</div> <div><a href="http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3464.htm#gov"><font color="#0000ff">Jordan (US Dept of State)</font></a></div>
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Current U.S. Relations with Jordan
<p><b>Famous Jordanian-American</b></p> <div><b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div><b>Justin Abdelkader</b> is an American ice hockey player for the Detroit Red Wings whose paternal grandfather, Yusef Abdelkader, emigrated from Jordan when he was 18 years old. Justin played college hockey for Michigan State University before being drafted into the NHL.</div> <div><b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div><b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div>The United States and Jordan enjoy close relations and have done so for close to six decades. The year 2009 marked the 60th anniversary of ties between the two nations. US policy toward Jordan continues to be oriented around achieving stability and peace in the Middle East. The US has also provided grants and loans to acquire US agricultural commodities. These programs have stabilized Jordan as a country and helped to strengthen the bilateral relations with the United States.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Prior to the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Jordan agreed to allow some US forces on its soil. King Abdullah II agreed to closer relations with the US out of concern over the growing threat of al-Qaeda terrorist cells to his government&rsquo;s stability. Also, the Bush administration promised to provide $1 billion in assistance to Jordan in exchange for over-flight and troop-basing rights. Before that pledge, Jordan had received $223 million in US military aid in the past two years, according to State Department figures.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In October 2006, Jordan signed a Threshold Agreement with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and was subsequently deemed by the MCC to be eligible for a Compact Agreement in recognition of the country&rsquo;s progress on economic, social, and political reform indicators.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In 2007, the US and Jordan signed an agreement outlining potential cooperation on developing requirements for appropriate power reactors, nuclear safety, and energy technology. One year later, radiation monitors were supplied by the US at the kingdom&rsquo;s border crossings to prevent any illegal trafficking of nuclear materials.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Economic assistance from the US and cash grants from donors assist Jordan in reducing annual budget deficits, which are exacerbated by from the cost of oil, gas and electricity, which totaled $3.5 billion in 2008 alone. In September of 2008, the two governments agreed that the US would provide a total of $660 million in annual foreign assistance to Jordan over a five-year period. For FY2011 specifically, the administration has requested $682.7 million in military and economic aid for Jordan, which is also seeking additional aid from Congress. The plan for this five-year deal is that $360 million per year will be provided for Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and $300 million per year will be provided to Economic Support Funds (ESF).</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report from April 2008 charged U.S. officials of being aware that Jordan was torturing security detainees. While the exact number of detainees kept in Jordan remains uncertain, HRW asserts that the prisoners were taken there to extract facts on terrorist activities. Some prisoners have been returned to custody in their native countries while some were transported to the US Naval base at Guant&aacute;namo Bay, Cuba. The HRW report claimed that &ldquo;Some of the detainees who arrived in Jordan in 2002 were held for more than a year&rdquo; and from 2002-2003, &ldquo;the detention facility was full of non-Jordanian prisoners who had been delivered by the CIA.&rdquo; The HRW report also argues that post-9/11 the United States increasingly began &ldquo;handing people over to third countries apparently to facilitate abusive interrogations,&rdquo; rather than returning them to their home countries.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>According to the 2000 US census, 39,734 Americans identified themselves as being of Jordanian ancestry.&nbsp;The typical Jordanian immigrant is a married, middle-aged, well-educated male who comes to work in the US with his family for a decade before returning to Jordan.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In 2006, 132,543 Americans visited Jordan.&nbsp;More Americans have traveled to Jordan every year since 2002, when 41,398 Americans went to the Middle-Eastern country. In 2006, 14,714 Jordanians traveled to the US. The number of tourists has grown gradually since 2002, when 12,339 Jordanians came to America.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jordan%E2%80%93United_States_relations"><font color="#0000ff">Jordan-United States Relations</font></a> (Wikipedia)</div> <div><a href="http://www.cfr.org/publication/9200/effects_of_the_amman_bombings_on_usjordanian_relations.html"><font color="#0000ff">The Effects of the Amman Bombings on US-Jordanian Relations</font></a> (by Lionel Beehner, Council on Foreign Relations)</div> <div><a href="http://www.cfr.org/publication/15879/usjordan_free_trade_agreement.html"><font color="#0000ff">US-Jordan Free Trade Agreement</font></a> (Council on Foreign Relations)</div> <div><a href="http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33546.pdf"><font color="#0000ff">Jordan: Background and US Relations</font></a> (by Jeremy M. Sharp, Congressional Research Service)</div> <div><a href="http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/iraq/attack/2003/0202cash.htm"><font color="#0000ff">US Woos War Allies with Cash, Weapons</font></a> (by Stephen J. Hedges and Catherine Collins, Chicago Tribune)</div> <div><a href="http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=41901"><font color="#0000ff">Interrogation Centers</font></a> (by William Fisher, Inter Press Service News)</div> <div><a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8082466"><font color="#0000ff">Jordan&rsquo;s Queen Rania on US-Arab Relations</font></a> (MSNBC.com)</div>
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Where Does the Money Flow
<p>The U.S. provides substantial funding for the Jordanian government in order to support the areas of peace and security, governing justly and democratically, investing in people, and economic growth.</p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In 2009, the U.S. supplied $376 million to Jordan&rsquo;s peace and security funds and the FY2011 request is to provide Jordan with $329.9 million for peace and security. This support will provide training and equipment to strengthen Jordan&rsquo;s security and stability at home and throughout the surrounding region. Additionally, the programs implemented by U.S. funds will provide training and equipment grants to improve border security in order to reduce the flow of foreign fighters to Iraq and from Syria. Currently, Jordan is the single largest provider of civilian police personnel and the fourth-largest provider of military personnel to UN peacekeeping operations.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The area of governing justly received $14.7 million from the U.S. in 2009 and the FY2011 request of US support in this area is $16 million. This funding is intended to strengthen the government of Jordan&rsquo;s reform efforts through increased public participation and engagement in democratic processes.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Under the category of investing in people, the U.S. provided $171 million in 2009 and the FY2011 request is $129 million. This support will be focused on grants for community-based youth-led projects under the Youth: Work Jordan Program. The program will work specifically with 500 youth in various communities to compete two to three projects each, determined by the youths themselves.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In the area of economic growth, US support has decreased from $330 million in 2008 to $218 million requested in FY2011. Official poverty and unemployment rates are around 15% each. One of the major ways the US plans to support economic growth within Jordan is to complement the government of Jordan&rsquo;s efforts by creating jobs, promoting a more effective tax system, and capitalizing on bilateral agreements, such as the <a href="http://www.ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/jordan-fta/final-text"><font color="#0000ff">US-Jordan Free Trade Agreement</font></a>.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In order to promote economic growth, US foreign assistance will gradually decrease to create new opportunities for US investments and export sales.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>From 2005 to 2009, US exports to Jordan grew from $644.2 million to $1.2 billion. The leading exports were passenger cars, finished metal shapes, and rice.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The leading exports that increased from 2005 to 2009 were rice, finished metal shapes, parts for military-type goods and military trucks. The exports that decreased the most were tanks, artillery, missiles, rockets, and guns.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>From 2005 to 2009, US imports from Jordan went from $1.3 billion in 2005 to $924 million in 2009. The leading imports were apparel, household goods, and jewelry.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The leading imports that increased from 2005 to 2009 were organic chemicals and medicinal and dental preparations. The imports that decreased most significantly were apparel and household goods.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/product/enduse/imports/c5110.html"><font color="#0000ff">Imports from Jordan</font></a></div> <div><a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/product/enduse/exports/c5110.html"><font color="#0000ff">Exports to Jordan</font></a></div> <div><a href="http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/137937.pdf"><font color="#0000ff">Congressional Budget for Foreign Operations (pages 482-488)</font></a> (pdf)</div> <div><a href="http://www.amcham.jo/"><font color="#0000ff">The American Chamber of Commerce in Jordan</font></a></div> <div><a href="http://mae.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles&amp;SubSection=Display&amp;PUBLICATION_ID=32&amp;ARTICLE_ID=214275"><font color="#0000ff">Lockheed Martin wins $87 million job to upgrade Jordan's F-16s</font></a> (press release)</div>
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Controversies
<p><b>Torture in Prisons</b></p> <div>Investigations in 2008 revealed that torture remained rampant in Jordan&rsquo;s prisons, including ill treatment from prison guards towards the inmates. Prison conditions remain poor and the most common forms of torture include beatings with cables and sticks, in addition to guards flogging prisoners with knotted electrical cables. In 2008, complaints of torture decreased, however it is still a common occurrence. Overall, Jordan&rsquo;s strategies to improve prison conditions and torture occurrences are not effective. This has been a matter of concern to the United States because the U.S. has sent detaunees to Jordan to be interrogated.</div> <div><a href="http://www.hrw.org/en/node/75506/section/1"><font color="#0000ff">Report on Jordan&rsquo;s Prisons (Human Rights Watch)</font></a></div> <div><a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2008/oct/09/world/fg-jordan9/2"><font color="#0000ff">Jail torture rampant in Jordan (by Raed Rafei, Los Angeles Times)</font></a></div> <div><b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div><b>Jordan&rsquo;s Queen Responds to Pope&rsquo;s Controversial Remarks</b></div> <div>While on a visit to New York City in September 2006, Jordan&rsquo;s Queen<span>Rania Al-Abdullah responded to remarks made by Pope Benedict XVI, who said that some of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad are &ldquo;evil and inhuman,&rdquo; particularly &ldquo;his command to spread by the sword the faith.&rdquo; Jordan&rsquo;s queen argued that Muslims have been victims of stereotypes and that Pope Benedict XVI&rsquo;s recent comments about Islam underscored the prejudice many feel worldwide. She was in New York to meet with former President Clinton and world leaders at the Clinton Global Initiative. </span></div> <div><a href="http://www.abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=2472279&amp;page=1"><font color="#0000ff">Jordan&rsquo;s Queen: Pope Controversy Reflects Prejudice Against Islam</font></a> (ABC News)</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>King Abdullah Raises Controversy Over &ldquo;Shia Crescent&rdquo; Remarks</b></div> <div>In 2005, Jordan&rsquo;s King Abdullah expressed his apprehension about a pro-Shia theocracy in Iraq, warning of a &ldquo;Shia crescent&rdquo; and causing controversy in much of the Arab world. Iran, with the support of the Iraqi Shia establishment, appears to be moving towards a more conciliatory stance towards the US military presence in Iraq. Many Iraqi Shia harbor ill will towards Amman, which supported the old regime in Iraq, and Jordanians fear that a theocracy would destabilize the region even further.</div> <div><a href="http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2005/727/re6.htm"><font color="#0000ff">Trepidation in Jordan</font></a> (Mohamed Abu Ruman, Al-Ahram)</div>
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Human Rights
<p>In 2009, the government&rsquo;s overall record of human rights reflected significant problems. There have been countless accounts of the government restricting citizens&rsquo; right to change their government through the electoral law, which led to an underrepresentation of urban areas. Other restrictive legislation limited freedom of speech and press, there were reports of government-restricted journalism as well as restricted freedoms of assembly and association. Widespread violence against women and children was reported from local human rights organizations. Reports from prisons reveal widespread torture and ill-treatment of prisoners, as well as ill-treatment toward refugees residing in Jordan.</p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>Justice System</b></div> <div>Under the Law on Crime Prevention of 1954, thousands of people were held in detention under the government without charge or trial for being suspected as a danger to society. In March 2009, the government-funded National Centre for Human Rights called for the abolition of the law.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In 2009, reports showed that prisons were overcrowded and understaffed with poor sanitary conditions and inadequate food and health care. Security prisoners often were separated from common criminals in prisons but not in pretrial detention centers, and conditions for such prisoners did not differ significantly.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>Torture and other Ill-Treatment</b></div> <div>While the law prohibits practices of torture and other inhuman treatment, international NGOs found evidence of widespread torture and mistreatment in police and security detention centers in 2009.</div> <div>While local organizations claimed there was a decrease overall in cases of torture and mistreatment in the country&rsquo;s prisons, the organizations still urged the government to implement additional reforms including stronger legislation and monitoring as well as the elimination of police courts. Prison conditions remain poor in 2009 and the most common forms of torture include beatings with cables and sticks, in addition to guards flogging prisoners with knotted electrical cables. In 2008, complaints of torture decreased, however it is still a common occurrence.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>Freedom of Expression, Association and Assembly</b></div> <div>In 2009, there was new legislation proposed that would restrict the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. If approved by the King, these laws would increase government control over NGOs by requiring them to obtain official approval before receiving funds from abroad. Journalists and others continued to face restrictions and prosecution for exercising their right to freedom of expression throughout 2009.</div> <div>Additionally, informants and censors at printing presses were employed to supply the government with articles for preapproval andinform it if particularly objectionable material was slated for print.</div> <div>Citizens must obtain permits for public gatherings including demonstrations, workshops, seminars, and some meetings. The Prevention of Terrorism Act of 2005 provides for punishment of those involved in peaceful demonstrations that could be interpreted as &ldquo;disrupting of public order,&rdquo; or &ldquo;endangering public safety,&rdquo; which fall under the definition of &ldquo;terrorist acts&rdquo; in the law.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>Violence and Discrimination against Women</b></div> <div>In 2009, at least 16 women were killed by male relatives in the name of so-called honor. Laws continued to be invoked in the defense of men who had killed female relatives, allowing reduced sentences where the killing can be deemed as a result of a dangerous act on the part of the victim. Throughout the year, tens of women were detained without charge or trial, under the premise of becoming pregnant outside of marriage. A government-run shelter became operational for women in need of protection in 2009, however by the end of the year there were few women actually being housed there.</div> <div>In rural areas violence against women was reported more frequently than in major cities. Women may file a complaint in court against their spouses for physical abuse, however spousal rape is not illegal.</div> <div>During the year of 2009, the government provided men with more generous social security benefits than women, for example they continued pension payments of deceased male civil servants but discontinued payments of deceased female civil servants to their heirs.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>Refugees and Asylum-Seekers</b></div> <div>Since 2003, it is estimated that nearly 2.2 million Iraqis have fled their country due to war and subsequent conflicts, particularly the first Gulf War in 1990-1991. Following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003,nearly 100,000 refugees fled to Syria and Jordan each month. By December 2003, Jordan had received 750,000 Iraqi refugees. In 2009, the country of Jordan hosted almost 500,000 Iraqi refugees but as of October 31, 2009, only 46,656 Iraqi refugees were registered with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), providing them with legal and material assistance, as well has government-provided education and health care. The Jordanian government classified the Iraqi refugees as &ldquo;visitors&rdquo; instead of using the title &ldquo;refugees&rdquo;, allowing the government to refuse the Iraqi refugees the same benefits being enjoyed by 1.5 million Palestinian refugees residing in Jordan.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>Death Penalty</b></div> <div>In 2009, there were at least 14 people sentenced to death however there were no actual executions.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>Religious Discrimination</b></div> <div>The government continued to impose some restrictions on freedom of religion. The state religion is Islam. The government does not officially recognize all religious groups. Groups must obtain recognition with the approval of the prime minister. In order to be recognized, the group must have citizens among its constituency, and the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) must also conduct a background investigation. Islam, Judaism, and Christianity are the religions formally recognized by the government.The government did not accord the Druze or Baha&rsquo;i faiths the status of officially recognized religions but did not prohibit the practice of these faiths.</div> <div>The government did not recognize Jehovah&rsquo;s Witnesses, the Church of Christ, or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but each of these denominations conducted religious services and activities without interference. Some religious groups, while allowed to meet and practice their faith, complained of societal and official discrimination. The government has not accorded legal status to all Christian denominations.</div> <div>Anti-Semitism in the media was present and editorial cartoons, articles, and opinion pieces frequently depicted negative images of Jews in the newspapers <i>Al-Rai</i>, <i>Al-Dustur</i>, and <i>Al-Ghad</i> during the year.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>Children</b></div> <div>Throughout 2009, authorities received reports and complaints of physical and sexual abuse of children. In February 2009, the UN Children&rsquo;s Fund report stated that 57% of children had experienced some form of physical abuse in school. The current minimum age in Jordan for marriage is 18 years old, however a child as young as 15 can be married with the consent of a judge and a guardian. There were also cases during 2009 of forced marriages being used as an alternative to a potential &ldquo;honor killing&rdquo; in rural areas.</div> <div>Additionally, the government was unable to enforce child labor laws sufficiently to prohibit the practice entirely throughout the country, therefore recent reports show that at least 13% of working children in the country were subjected to some form of forced labor.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><a href="http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136071.htm"><font color="#0000ff">US State Department</font></a></div> <div><a href="http://www.hrw.org/en/middle-eastn-africa/jordan"><font color="#0000ff">Human Rights Watch</font></a></div> <div><a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/jordan/report-2009"><font color="#0000ff">Amnesty International</font></a></div>
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors
<p>Note: Legation Amman was established Feb 18, 1949, with Wells Stabler as Charg&eacute; d&rsquo;Affaires ad interim.</p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Gerald A. Drew</div> <div>Appointment: Feb 2, 1950</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Feb 24, 1950</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Relinquished charge, Feb 25, 1952</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Joseph C. Green</div> <div>Appointment: May 14, 1952</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Jul 31, 1952</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Promoted to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Joseph C. Green</div> <div>Appointment: Sep 8, 1952</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Sep 23, 1952</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Appointment terminated, Jul 31, 1953</div> <div>Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate. Legation Amman was raised to Embassy status Aug 27, 1952.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Lester D. Mallory</div> <div>Appointment: Aug 3, 1953</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Dec 1, 1953</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Relinquished charge, Jan 11, 1958</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Parker T. Hart</div> <div>Appointment: Feb 5, 1958</div> <div>Note: Took oath of office, but did not proceed to post, Jordan having united briefly with Iraq in the Arab Union. See notes under Iraq.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Sheldon T. Mills</div> <div>Appointment: Feb 16, 1959</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: May 12, 1959</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post, Mar 18, 1961</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>William B. Macomber, Jr.</div> <div>Appointment: Mar 2, 1961</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Apr 5, 1961</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post, Dec 25, 1963</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Robert G. Barnes</div> <div>Appointment: Mar 4, 1964</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Mar 15, 1964</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Relinquished charge, Apr 23, 1966</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Findley Burns, Jr.</div> <div>Appointment: May 10, 1966</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Jul 23, 1966</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post, Nov 5, 1967</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Harrison M. Symmes</div> <div>Appointment: Oct 18, 1967</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Nov 21, 1967</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post, May 7, 1970</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>L. Dean Brown</div> <div>Appointment: Sep 8, 1970</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Sep 29, 1970</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post, Nov 29, 1973</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Thomas R. Pickering</div> <div>Appointment: Feb 27, 1974</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Mar 2, 1974</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 13, 1978</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Nicholas A. Veliotes</div> <div>Appointment: Aug 18, 1978</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Sep 17, 1978</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post, Feb 10, 1981</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Richard Noyes Viets</div> <div>Appointment: Jul 27, 1981</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Aug 10, 1981</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 5 1984</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Paul H. Boeker</div> <div>Appointment: Aug 13, 1984</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Sep 1, 1984</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 13, 1987</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Roscoe Seldon Suddarth</div> <div>Appointment: Jul 31, 1987</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Sep 16, 1987</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 27, 1990</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Roger Gran Harrison</div> <div>Appointment: Jun 27, 1990</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: 7 Aug. 1990</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post, 9 Jul 1993</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Wesley William Egan, Jr.</div> <div>Appointment: Feb 11, 1994</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Mar 19, 1994</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 13, 1998</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>William Joseph Burns</div> <div>Appointment: Jun 29, 1998</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Aug 9, 1998</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Relinquished charge Jun 7, 2001</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Edward William Gnehm, Jr.</div> <div>Appointment: Aug 7, 2001</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Sep 20, 2001</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 12, 2004</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>David Michael Satterfield</div> <div>Appointment: May 12, 2004</div> <div>Note: Did not serve under this appointment</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>David Hale</div> <div>Appointment: Nov 2, 2005</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Nov 7, 2005</div> <div>Termination of Mission: June 2008</div> <div>Note: Served as Charge d&rsquo;Affaires ad interim, July 2004&ndash;October 2005</div> <div>&nbsp;</div>
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Jordan's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Bouran, Alia

An academic turned diplomat, Alia Hatoug-Bouran became Jordan’s first female ambassador prior to assuming her post in the United States on September 14, 2010.

 
Born in Amman, Bouran earned her Bachelor of Science degree (1979) and Master of Science degree (1980) in applied environment studies from Moscow University. Her doctorate of philosophy in environmental science and strategic planning was completed in 1983 at the Russian Academy of Science Novosibirsk Branch.
 
Bouran’s career began in academia, serving as an associate professor of environmental science at the University of Jordan from 1984 to 1998. During this time she also advised the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on environmental matters and served as senior negotiating member on environmental matters during peace talks with Israel (1993-1994).
 
From 1998 to 2001, she was secretary-general of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. Concurrently, she was head of the Jordanian team on environmental multilateral peace talks (1998-1999) and led the environment team on free trade negotiations between Jordan and the United States (1999-2000).
 
Her first ambassadorial assignment—representing the first of its kind for a woman from Jordan—was to Belgium in June 2001. She added Luxembourg and the European Commission to her portfolio six months later and Norway in March 2002.
 
Bouran left all of these posts in October 2003 to become Jordan’s minister of tourism and antiquities, a position she held for two years. She was also, briefly, minister of environment. In March 2006, she took over as ambassador to the United Kingdom, and in March 2007 she presented her credentials as non-resident ambassador to Iceland.
 
She speaks Arabic, English and Russian. Bouran’s husband, Ishaq, is an electrical engineer who owns his own company in Jordan. The couple has a daughter and a son.
 
The Ambassador (Embassy of Jordan)
Biography (Washington Diplomat)

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Jordan's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
<p><a href="http://www.jordanembassyus.org/new/index.shtml"><font color="#0000ff">Jordan&rsquo;s Embassy in the US</font></a></p>
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U.S. Ambassador to Jordan

Beecroft, Robert
ambassador-image

Robert Stephen Beecroft was sworn in as US Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on July 17, 2008. Beecroft holds a BA from Brigham Young University and a JD from the University of California, Berkeley and previously served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints in Venezuela.

 
Before joining the Foreign Service, Beecroft practiced law in the San Francisco office of an international law firm. Beecroft’s previous assignments included service in Washington in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and Executive Secretariat and overseas at the US embassies in Riyadh and Damascus.
 
Prior to his assignment in Jordan, Beecroft served as executive assistant to Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell and as special assistant to Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage
 

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Overview
<p>Jordan is part of the Middle East&rsquo;s Fertile Crescent region and was originally settled around 2000 BC. Over the next several centuries, the area was settled and invaded by many groups, including the Egyptians, Romans and Ottoman Turks. Since the mid-seventh century, Jordan has for the most part remained in the hands of various Arab and Islamic dynasties.</p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>After World War I, Great Britain received the mandate over Jordan and several neighboring territories, and the country remained under British rule until May 1946 when it became known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Jordan gained control of the West Bank in 1949 and held it until the 1967 war with Israel. It argued for the return of the territory until 1988, when Jordan renounced all claims to the West Bank and finally signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Jordan is a constitutional monarchy with a monarch who acts as the head of state, the chief executive, and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. This modern Arab nation is predominantly urbanized and has been classified as an emerging market with a free market economy.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Today, Jordan retains a continuing role in Jerusalem as part of this agreement. Jordan also enjoys peaceful relations with the United States and works cooperatively in the effort to thwart terrorism and achieve stability in the Middle East. It has received considerable financial and military aid from the US since the 1950s.</div>
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Basic Information
<p><b>Lay of the Land</b>: Located in southwest Asia, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is landlocked except for a small coastline on the Dead Sea and on the Gulf of Aqaba.&nbsp;It is bordered by Syria to the north, Iraq to the northeast, Saudi Arabia to the east and south and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Save for the Jordanian Highlands on the western edge of the Arabian plateau, which receive moderate rainfall, the western three fourths of the country is largely desert.&nbsp;The area of the northern highlands and the Jordan Valley have received enough rainfall to support large populations; therefore farmers, villagers and townspeople have all had a tendency to settle in these areas. In the south and the east, there is little rainfall and these regions have rarely support settled populations.</p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Central Jordan in made up of a segment of the Great Rift Valley (which continues southward into Africa) and includes the Jordan River and the Dead Sea.&nbsp;The Great Rift Valley separates Jordan, the West Bank and Israel. West Jordan, which is part of historic Palestine and under Israeli occupation, is composed of two hilly regions&ndash;fertile Samaria in the north and barren, stony Judea in the south.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Jordan&rsquo;s location and geography have given it an important role in trade and communications, as it lies at the crossroads of the Middle East, connecting Asia, Africa and Europe.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>Population</b>: 6.2 million</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>Religions</b>: Sunni Muslim 92%, Christian (Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Melkite/Greek Catholic, Armenian Orthodox, Maronite Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran...) 3%, Druze 0.2%.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>Ethnic Groups</b>: Arab 98%, Circassian 1%, Armenian 1%.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>Languages</b>: Arabic (official), South Levantine Arabic 62.5%, Levantine Bedawi Arabic 12.5%, Najdi Arabic 0.9%, Adyghe 0.8%, Armenian 0.1%, Domari 0.08%, Chechen 0.06%.</div>
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History
<p>Jordan was originally settled by Semitic Amorites around 2000 BC. Over the next 4,000 years, Jordan was alternately settled and invaded by the <span>Hittites, Egyptians, Israelites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arab Muslims, Christian Crusaders, Mameluks, Ottoman Turks, and, finally, the British. </span></p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>During the Early Bronze Age, 3200-1950 BC, many villages were built in Jordan with defensive fortifications, intended to protect against nomadic tribes. However, between 2300-1950 BC, many of the large, fortified towns were deserted in favor of smaller villages or a pastoral lifestyle, most likely due to climatic and political changes.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The Middle Bronze Age, 1950-1550 BC, saw an increase in migration patters in the Middle East. Trade developed between Egypt, Syria, Arabia, Canaan and Transjordan, increasing the spread of civilization and technology.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Several city-states developed in Jordan under the Decapolis, a group of ten cities in the eastern Roman Empire, during the Greco-Roman period of influence.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The Nabatean kingdom, which had its capital in Petra and created the modern Arabic alphabets, was one of the most notable civilizations that existed in the region of Jordan in ancient times. The Nabatean Kingdom of Petra rose in southern Jordan and absorbed the Edomites; however Petra was finally attacked and occupied by the Roman Empire in 103 AD.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Jordan became a part of the new Arab-Islamic Umayyad Empire, the first Muslim dynasty, which ruled most of the Middle East from 661 to 750 AD. The predecessors of the Umayyad&rsquo;s were the Abbasids, who ruled from 750-1258. Under the Abbasids, Jordan began to decline because of the geo-political shift when the Abbasids moved their capital from Damascus to Kufa and later to Baghdad. Jordan continued to be ruled by various powers including the Crusaders and the Ottomans.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>After World War I, Great Britain received a mandate from the League of Nations to oversee Palestine and Transjordan, which covered modern-day Israel, Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem. In 1922, British officials divided this mandate by establishing the Emirate of Transjordan, which was to be semi-autonomous. Hashemite Prince Abdullah ruled the Emirate of Transjordan, while also administering Palestine under a British high commissioner.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>This mandate ended in May 1946 when the country became the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, completely independent of British rule. In May 1948, when the Israeli state was created, Jordan moved to assist Palestinian nationalists and took part in the war against Israel. On April 3, 1949, an armistice agreement left Jordan in control of the West Bank.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>On July 20, 1951, King Abdullah I was shot in Jerusalem. A Palestinian claimed responsibility for the shooting. Talal Ibn Abdullah, the King&rsquo;s eldest son, ascended to the throne, but was quickly deposed in 1952 because of a mental illness. His son, Hussein Ibn Talal, became king on his eighteenth birthday in 1953.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Jordan signed a mutual defense pact with Egypt and took part in the June 1967 war between Israel and the Arab states of Syria, Egypt, and Iraq. Israel subsequently gained control of the West Bank and all of Jerusalem. This led to more Palestinians moving to live in Jordan.&nbsp;Refugees numbered almost 1 million by the end of 1967.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>After the 1967 war, the Palestinian resistance movement, also called <i>fedayeen</i>, increased in power and importance. They armed themselves heavily and soon posed a serious threat to the security of the Hashemite state.&nbsp;In June 1970, open fighting broke out between the Hashemites and the Palestinian majority, leading to &ldquo;Black September&rdquo;. During this month, King Hussein of Jordan attempted to defeat the Palestinian militancy and restore his rule over the country. The fighting resulted in thousands of deaths, mostly Palestinians, as well as the expulsion of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and thousands of Palestinian fighters to Lebanon. ,</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>During the 1980s, Jordan experienced severe protests and social upheavals, especially in urban areas where citizens protested inflation and the lack of political freedom. In 1988, Jordan renounced all claims to the West Bank, but retained an administrative role, pending a final settlement.&nbsp;Martial law was lifted in 1989, creating a comparatively liberal and dynamic society. During the Gulf War of 1990-1991, Jordan remained neutral. But in 1991, the country agreed, along with Syria, Lebanon, and Palestinian representatives, to participate in direct peace negotiations with Israel. Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994. According to the terms of this peace treaty, Jordan retained a continuing role in Muslim holy places in Jerusalem.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Jordan has sought to remain at peace with all of its neighbors following the Israel-Palestinian fighting in September 2000, when it offered help to both parties.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Since 2003, it is estimated that nearly 2.2 million Iraqis have fled their country due to war and subsequent conflicts, particularly the first Gulf War in 1990-1991. Following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003,nearly 100,000 refugees fled to Syria and Jordan each month. By December 2003, Jordan had received 750,000 Iraqi refugees. The Jordanian government classified them as &ldquo;visitors&rdquo; instead of using the title &ldquo;refugees.&rdquo; This allowed the government to refuse the Iraqi refugees the same benefits being enjoyed by 1.5 million Palestinian refugees residing in Jordan. The overall sentiment of Jordanians to these refugees has been resentful, due to the negative effects on the Jordanian economy.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Jordan"><font color="#0000ff">History of Jordan</font></a> (Wikipedia)</div> <div><a href="http://www.kinghussein.gov.jo/history.html"><font color="#0000ff">History &ndash; The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan</font></a> (KingHussein.gov)</div> <div><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraqi_refugees"><font color="#0000ff">Iraqi Refugees (Wikipedia)</font></a></div> <div><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_September_in_Jordan"><font color="#0000ff">Black September (Wikipedia)</font></a></div>
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Jordan's Newspapers
<p><a href="http://www.addustour.com/"><font color="#0000ff">Ad-Dustour</font></a></p> <div><a href="http://www.jordantimes.com/"><font color="#0000ff">Jordan Times</font></a></div> <div><a href="http://www.assabeel.net/"><font color="#0000ff">Alssabeel Newspaper</font></a></div> <div><a href="http://petra.gov.jo/default.aspx?lng=2"><font color="#0000ff">Jordan News Agency</font></a> (government)</div>
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History of U.S. Relations with Jordan
<p>Since developing a close relationship with Jordan in the early 1950s, the US has sought to assist Jordan in maintaining stability and prosperity. Development assistance from the US has totaled almost $6 billion since 1952, providing funding for road and water networks, schools, education and training opportunities for Jordanians in the US, and most recently, access to water, energy, macroeconomic policy, and workforce development. Since 1951, total US aid to Jordan through FY 2009 totaled approximately $10.72 billion.</p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Jordan established diplomatic relations with Washington in 1949. The following year the United States recognized Jordan&rsquo;s control of the West Bank, while maintaining that ultimate sovereignty was subject to future negotiations and agreement. Although the United States and Jordan have never been formally linked, the country&rsquo;s small size and lack of major economic resources have created a dependency on Western aid, particularly US support.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>By the late 1950s, the United States became Jordan&rsquo;s principal Western source of foreign aid and political support. Jordan and the United States never entered into treaty commitments, but Washington sought to ensure Jordan&rsquo;s continued independence (from the Soviet Union) and stability.</div> <div>The United States assisted Jordan in equipping and training its military forces. During the civil war of 1970-71, the United States firmly supported King Hussein, although it did not become directly involved in the conflict. After Jordan&rsquo;s army had defeated the PLO guerrillas, Washington extended substantial budgetary and military aid to the Hashemite Kingdom. This aid contributed significantly toward Jordanian recovery from the damages suffered not only in the civil war but also in the June 1967 War and during the intensive Israeli shelling of the Jordan valley between 1968 and 1970. Hussein&rsquo;s close alignment with the United States before and after the civil war aroused strong anti-American sentiment among Palestinians in Jordan and elsewhere.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Following the Yom Kippur War in 1973 (which Jordan did not participate in), the US and Jordan grew much closer in political relations. Jordan joined the United States in support of UN Security Council Resolution 338, which called on the parties involved in the October 1973 war to cease their hostilities and implement UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967 providing for a peace based on Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The failure of the United States during 1974 to persuade Israel to pull back its forces from part of the West Bank as an initial step toward a peace agreement with Jordan disillusioned Hussein with respect to the ability of the Americans to pressure Israel on the issue of withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories. Although he continued to value Washington&rsquo;s reaffirmations of support for Jordan's security and economic progress, Hussein became increasingly skeptical of American assurances that the West Bank would be reunited with the East Bank. Consequently, he refrained from participation in the Camp David process between Egypt and Israel.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Throughout the 1980s, the United States continued to assign Jordan a key role in a resolution of the status of the West Bank. Hussein believed, however, that Washington did not understand how essential it was for the stability of his regime to regain full control over all of the West Bank and how politically dangerous it would be for him to agree to any partial measures.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>During the early 1980s, Hussein seriously considered expanding Jordan&rsquo;s military relations with the United States. He gave tentative approval for the creation of an unpublicized 8,000-strong Jordanian strike force that would respond to requests for assistance from Arab countries within a 2,400-kilometer radius of Jordan. The intended target of this special force was to be the Persian Gulf, where the traditional allies of both Jordan and the United States feared the potentially destabilizing consequences of the Iran-Iraq War. The United States agreed to provide the special Jordanian unit with weapons and other military equipment. In an apparent effort to obtain approval of the United States Congress for the extra funding needed to arm the strike force, in early 1984 the Reagan administration disclosed its formation. This unexpected disclosure caused consternation in Amman, and news of the Jordanian strike force provoked harsh criticism from Syria and from Palestinian guerrilla groups opposed to Hussein. In order to minimize negative repercussions, Hussein tried to distance his country from the strike force by portraying it as a United States initiative in which Jordan had no real interest or substantive involvement. Congress did not approve the requested funds, and the plan was subsequently abandoned.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>During the 1990s, Jordan was unwilling to join the allied coalition of the US and the Persian Gulf states against Iraq, damaging relations with the US. During the first Gulf War in 1991, the Palestinian population of Jordan generally supported Saddam Hussein as a champion against Western supporters of Israel. However, Jordan began to play an increasing role in the Arab-Israeli peace process throughout the 1990s, distancing itself from Saddam Hussein and Iraq and improving relations with the US.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>On October 26, 1994, President Bill Clinton witnessed the signing of a peace treaty between Jordan and Israel, and the US has continued to participate in trilateral development discussions on key issues with these two countries.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In 1996, Jordan and the US signed a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), a civil aviation agreement that provides for &ldquo;open skies&rdquo; between the two countries for the promotion of bilateral investment. On November 13, 1996, President Clinton declared Jordan a major non-NATO ally of the US.</div> <div>In 2007, Jordan and the US signed a Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement as a means to encourage scientific cooperation between the countries.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In 2003, Jordan officially backed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, although it allowed no US military presence on its soil, only logistical support.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Jordan has become more vulnerable to terrorist attacks due to its close relationship with the US, and on November 9, 2005, three western-owned hotels in Amman experienced simultaneous explosions, killing 58 people. The al-Qaeda terrorist organization claimed responsibility for this attack.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Financial support levels from the US to Jordan have fluctuated over the past six decades, but in September of 2008, the two governments agreed that the US would provide a total of $660 million in annual foreign assistance to Jordan over a five-year period. For FY2011 specifically, the administration has requested $682.7 million in military and economic aid for Jordan, which is has also seeking additional aid from Congress.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><a href="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/hussein_6-23-93.html"><font color="#0000ff">Online News Hour &ndash; 1993 Interview with King Hussein</font></a> (PBS)</div> <div><a href="http://countrystudies.us/jordan/66.htm"><font color="#0000ff">Relations with the United States</font></a> (Library of Congress)</div> <div><a href="http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3464.htm#gov"><font color="#0000ff">Jordan (US Dept of State)</font></a></div>
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Current U.S. Relations with Jordan
<p><b>Famous Jordanian-American</b></p> <div><b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div><b>Justin Abdelkader</b> is an American ice hockey player for the Detroit Red Wings whose paternal grandfather, Yusef Abdelkader, emigrated from Jordan when he was 18 years old. Justin played college hockey for Michigan State University before being drafted into the NHL.</div> <div><b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div><b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div>The United States and Jordan enjoy close relations and have done so for close to six decades. The year 2009 marked the 60th anniversary of ties between the two nations. US policy toward Jordan continues to be oriented around achieving stability and peace in the Middle East. The US has also provided grants and loans to acquire US agricultural commodities. These programs have stabilized Jordan as a country and helped to strengthen the bilateral relations with the United States.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Prior to the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Jordan agreed to allow some US forces on its soil. King Abdullah II agreed to closer relations with the US out of concern over the growing threat of al-Qaeda terrorist cells to his government&rsquo;s stability. Also, the Bush administration promised to provide $1 billion in assistance to Jordan in exchange for over-flight and troop-basing rights. Before that pledge, Jordan had received $223 million in US military aid in the past two years, according to State Department figures.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In October 2006, Jordan signed a Threshold Agreement with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and was subsequently deemed by the MCC to be eligible for a Compact Agreement in recognition of the country&rsquo;s progress on economic, social, and political reform indicators.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In 2007, the US and Jordan signed an agreement outlining potential cooperation on developing requirements for appropriate power reactors, nuclear safety, and energy technology. One year later, radiation monitors were supplied by the US at the kingdom&rsquo;s border crossings to prevent any illegal trafficking of nuclear materials.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Economic assistance from the US and cash grants from donors assist Jordan in reducing annual budget deficits, which are exacerbated by from the cost of oil, gas and electricity, which totaled $3.5 billion in 2008 alone. In September of 2008, the two governments agreed that the US would provide a total of $660 million in annual foreign assistance to Jordan over a five-year period. For FY2011 specifically, the administration has requested $682.7 million in military and economic aid for Jordan, which is also seeking additional aid from Congress. The plan for this five-year deal is that $360 million per year will be provided for Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and $300 million per year will be provided to Economic Support Funds (ESF).</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report from April 2008 charged U.S. officials of being aware that Jordan was torturing security detainees. While the exact number of detainees kept in Jordan remains uncertain, HRW asserts that the prisoners were taken there to extract facts on terrorist activities. Some prisoners have been returned to custody in their native countries while some were transported to the US Naval base at Guant&aacute;namo Bay, Cuba. The HRW report claimed that &ldquo;Some of the detainees who arrived in Jordan in 2002 were held for more than a year&rdquo; and from 2002-2003, &ldquo;the detention facility was full of non-Jordanian prisoners who had been delivered by the CIA.&rdquo; The HRW report also argues that post-9/11 the United States increasingly began &ldquo;handing people over to third countries apparently to facilitate abusive interrogations,&rdquo; rather than returning them to their home countries.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>According to the 2000 US census, 39,734 Americans identified themselves as being of Jordanian ancestry.&nbsp;The typical Jordanian immigrant is a married, middle-aged, well-educated male who comes to work in the US with his family for a decade before returning to Jordan.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In 2006, 132,543 Americans visited Jordan.&nbsp;More Americans have traveled to Jordan every year since 2002, when 41,398 Americans went to the Middle-Eastern country. In 2006, 14,714 Jordanians traveled to the US. The number of tourists has grown gradually since 2002, when 12,339 Jordanians came to America.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jordan%E2%80%93United_States_relations"><font color="#0000ff">Jordan-United States Relations</font></a> (Wikipedia)</div> <div><a href="http://www.cfr.org/publication/9200/effects_of_the_amman_bombings_on_usjordanian_relations.html"><font color="#0000ff">The Effects of the Amman Bombings on US-Jordanian Relations</font></a> (by Lionel Beehner, Council on Foreign Relations)</div> <div><a href="http://www.cfr.org/publication/15879/usjordan_free_trade_agreement.html"><font color="#0000ff">US-Jordan Free Trade Agreement</font></a> (Council on Foreign Relations)</div> <div><a href="http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33546.pdf"><font color="#0000ff">Jordan: Background and US Relations</font></a> (by Jeremy M. Sharp, Congressional Research Service)</div> <div><a href="http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/iraq/attack/2003/0202cash.htm"><font color="#0000ff">US Woos War Allies with Cash, Weapons</font></a> (by Stephen J. Hedges and Catherine Collins, Chicago Tribune)</div> <div><a href="http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=41901"><font color="#0000ff">Interrogation Centers</font></a> (by William Fisher, Inter Press Service News)</div> <div><a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8082466"><font color="#0000ff">Jordan&rsquo;s Queen Rania on US-Arab Relations</font></a> (MSNBC.com)</div>
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Where Does the Money Flow
<p>The U.S. provides substantial funding for the Jordanian government in order to support the areas of peace and security, governing justly and democratically, investing in people, and economic growth.</p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In 2009, the U.S. supplied $376 million to Jordan&rsquo;s peace and security funds and the FY2011 request is to provide Jordan with $329.9 million for peace and security. This support will provide training and equipment to strengthen Jordan&rsquo;s security and stability at home and throughout the surrounding region. Additionally, the programs implemented by U.S. funds will provide training and equipment grants to improve border security in order to reduce the flow of foreign fighters to Iraq and from Syria. Currently, Jordan is the single largest provider of civilian police personnel and the fourth-largest provider of military personnel to UN peacekeeping operations.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The area of governing justly received $14.7 million from the U.S. in 2009 and the FY2011 request of US support in this area is $16 million. This funding is intended to strengthen the government of Jordan&rsquo;s reform efforts through increased public participation and engagement in democratic processes.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Under the category of investing in people, the U.S. provided $171 million in 2009 and the FY2011 request is $129 million. This support will be focused on grants for community-based youth-led projects under the Youth: Work Jordan Program. The program will work specifically with 500 youth in various communities to compete two to three projects each, determined by the youths themselves.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In the area of economic growth, US support has decreased from $330 million in 2008 to $218 million requested in FY2011. Official poverty and unemployment rates are around 15% each. One of the major ways the US plans to support economic growth within Jordan is to complement the government of Jordan&rsquo;s efforts by creating jobs, promoting a more effective tax system, and capitalizing on bilateral agreements, such as the <a href="http://www.ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/jordan-fta/final-text"><font color="#0000ff">US-Jordan Free Trade Agreement</font></a>.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In order to promote economic growth, US foreign assistance will gradually decrease to create new opportunities for US investments and export sales.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>From 2005 to 2009, US exports to Jordan grew from $644.2 million to $1.2 billion. The leading exports were passenger cars, finished metal shapes, and rice.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The leading exports that increased from 2005 to 2009 were rice, finished metal shapes, parts for military-type goods and military trucks. The exports that decreased the most were tanks, artillery, missiles, rockets, and guns.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>From 2005 to 2009, US imports from Jordan went from $1.3 billion in 2005 to $924 million in 2009. The leading imports were apparel, household goods, and jewelry.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The leading imports that increased from 2005 to 2009 were organic chemicals and medicinal and dental preparations. The imports that decreased most significantly were apparel and household goods.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/product/enduse/imports/c5110.html"><font color="#0000ff">Imports from Jordan</font></a></div> <div><a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/product/enduse/exports/c5110.html"><font color="#0000ff">Exports to Jordan</font></a></div> <div><a href="http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/137937.pdf"><font color="#0000ff">Congressional Budget for Foreign Operations (pages 482-488)</font></a> (pdf)</div> <div><a href="http://www.amcham.jo/"><font color="#0000ff">The American Chamber of Commerce in Jordan</font></a></div> <div><a href="http://mae.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles&amp;SubSection=Display&amp;PUBLICATION_ID=32&amp;ARTICLE_ID=214275"><font color="#0000ff">Lockheed Martin wins $87 million job to upgrade Jordan's F-16s</font></a> (press release)</div>
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Controversies
<p><b>Torture in Prisons</b></p> <div>Investigations in 2008 revealed that torture remained rampant in Jordan&rsquo;s prisons, including ill treatment from prison guards towards the inmates. Prison conditions remain poor and the most common forms of torture include beatings with cables and sticks, in addition to guards flogging prisoners with knotted electrical cables. In 2008, complaints of torture decreased, however it is still a common occurrence. Overall, Jordan&rsquo;s strategies to improve prison conditions and torture occurrences are not effective. This has been a matter of concern to the United States because the U.S. has sent detaunees to Jordan to be interrogated.</div> <div><a href="http://www.hrw.org/en/node/75506/section/1"><font color="#0000ff">Report on Jordan&rsquo;s Prisons (Human Rights Watch)</font></a></div> <div><a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2008/oct/09/world/fg-jordan9/2"><font color="#0000ff">Jail torture rampant in Jordan (by Raed Rafei, Los Angeles Times)</font></a></div> <div><b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div><b>Jordan&rsquo;s Queen Responds to Pope&rsquo;s Controversial Remarks</b></div> <div>While on a visit to New York City in September 2006, Jordan&rsquo;s Queen<span>Rania Al-Abdullah responded to remarks made by Pope Benedict XVI, who said that some of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad are &ldquo;evil and inhuman,&rdquo; particularly &ldquo;his command to spread by the sword the faith.&rdquo; Jordan&rsquo;s queen argued that Muslims have been victims of stereotypes and that Pope Benedict XVI&rsquo;s recent comments about Islam underscored the prejudice many feel worldwide. She was in New York to meet with former President Clinton and world leaders at the Clinton Global Initiative. </span></div> <div><a href="http://www.abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=2472279&amp;page=1"><font color="#0000ff">Jordan&rsquo;s Queen: Pope Controversy Reflects Prejudice Against Islam</font></a> (ABC News)</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>King Abdullah Raises Controversy Over &ldquo;Shia Crescent&rdquo; Remarks</b></div> <div>In 2005, Jordan&rsquo;s King Abdullah expressed his apprehension about a pro-Shia theocracy in Iraq, warning of a &ldquo;Shia crescent&rdquo; and causing controversy in much of the Arab world. Iran, with the support of the Iraqi Shia establishment, appears to be moving towards a more conciliatory stance towards the US military presence in Iraq. Many Iraqi Shia harbor ill will towards Amman, which supported the old regime in Iraq, and Jordanians fear that a theocracy would destabilize the region even further.</div> <div><a href="http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2005/727/re6.htm"><font color="#0000ff">Trepidation in Jordan</font></a> (Mohamed Abu Ruman, Al-Ahram)</div>
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Human Rights
<p>In 2009, the government&rsquo;s overall record of human rights reflected significant problems. There have been countless accounts of the government restricting citizens&rsquo; right to change their government through the electoral law, which led to an underrepresentation of urban areas. Other restrictive legislation limited freedom of speech and press, there were reports of government-restricted journalism as well as restricted freedoms of assembly and association. Widespread violence against women and children was reported from local human rights organizations. Reports from prisons reveal widespread torture and ill-treatment of prisoners, as well as ill-treatment toward refugees residing in Jordan.</p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>Justice System</b></div> <div>Under the Law on Crime Prevention of 1954, thousands of people were held in detention under the government without charge or trial for being suspected as a danger to society. In March 2009, the government-funded National Centre for Human Rights called for the abolition of the law.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In 2009, reports showed that prisons were overcrowded and understaffed with poor sanitary conditions and inadequate food and health care. Security prisoners often were separated from common criminals in prisons but not in pretrial detention centers, and conditions for such prisoners did not differ significantly.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>Torture and other Ill-Treatment</b></div> <div>While the law prohibits practices of torture and other inhuman treatment, international NGOs found evidence of widespread torture and mistreatment in police and security detention centers in 2009.</div> <div>While local organizations claimed there was a decrease overall in cases of torture and mistreatment in the country&rsquo;s prisons, the organizations still urged the government to implement additional reforms including stronger legislation and monitoring as well as the elimination of police courts. Prison conditions remain poor in 2009 and the most common forms of torture include beatings with cables and sticks, in addition to guards flogging prisoners with knotted electrical cables. In 2008, complaints of torture decreased, however it is still a common occurrence.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>Freedom of Expression, Association and Assembly</b></div> <div>In 2009, there was new legislation proposed that would restrict the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. If approved by the King, these laws would increase government control over NGOs by requiring them to obtain official approval before receiving funds from abroad. Journalists and others continued to face restrictions and prosecution for exercising their right to freedom of expression throughout 2009.</div> <div>Additionally, informants and censors at printing presses were employed to supply the government with articles for preapproval andinform it if particularly objectionable material was slated for print.</div> <div>Citizens must obtain permits for public gatherings including demonstrations, workshops, seminars, and some meetings. The Prevention of Terrorism Act of 2005 provides for punishment of those involved in peaceful demonstrations that could be interpreted as &ldquo;disrupting of public order,&rdquo; or &ldquo;endangering public safety,&rdquo; which fall under the definition of &ldquo;terrorist acts&rdquo; in the law.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>Violence and Discrimination against Women</b></div> <div>In 2009, at least 16 women were killed by male relatives in the name of so-called honor. Laws continued to be invoked in the defense of men who had killed female relatives, allowing reduced sentences where the killing can be deemed as a result of a dangerous act on the part of the victim. Throughout the year, tens of women were detained without charge or trial, under the premise of becoming pregnant outside of marriage. A government-run shelter became operational for women in need of protection in 2009, however by the end of the year there were few women actually being housed there.</div> <div>In rural areas violence against women was reported more frequently than in major cities. Women may file a complaint in court against their spouses for physical abuse, however spousal rape is not illegal.</div> <div>During the year of 2009, the government provided men with more generous social security benefits than women, for example they continued pension payments of deceased male civil servants but discontinued payments of deceased female civil servants to their heirs.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>Refugees and Asylum-Seekers</b></div> <div>Since 2003, it is estimated that nearly 2.2 million Iraqis have fled their country due to war and subsequent conflicts, particularly the first Gulf War in 1990-1991. Following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003,nearly 100,000 refugees fled to Syria and Jordan each month. By December 2003, Jordan had received 750,000 Iraqi refugees. In 2009, the country of Jordan hosted almost 500,000 Iraqi refugees but as of October 31, 2009, only 46,656 Iraqi refugees were registered with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), providing them with legal and material assistance, as well has government-provided education and health care. The Jordanian government classified the Iraqi refugees as &ldquo;visitors&rdquo; instead of using the title &ldquo;refugees&rdquo;, allowing the government to refuse the Iraqi refugees the same benefits being enjoyed by 1.5 million Palestinian refugees residing in Jordan.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>Death Penalty</b></div> <div>In 2009, there were at least 14 people sentenced to death however there were no actual executions.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>Religious Discrimination</b></div> <div>The government continued to impose some restrictions on freedom of religion. The state religion is Islam. The government does not officially recognize all religious groups. Groups must obtain recognition with the approval of the prime minister. In order to be recognized, the group must have citizens among its constituency, and the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) must also conduct a background investigation. Islam, Judaism, and Christianity are the religions formally recognized by the government.The government did not accord the Druze or Baha&rsquo;i faiths the status of officially recognized religions but did not prohibit the practice of these faiths.</div> <div>The government did not recognize Jehovah&rsquo;s Witnesses, the Church of Christ, or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but each of these denominations conducted religious services and activities without interference. Some religious groups, while allowed to meet and practice their faith, complained of societal and official discrimination. The government has not accorded legal status to all Christian denominations.</div> <div>Anti-Semitism in the media was present and editorial cartoons, articles, and opinion pieces frequently depicted negative images of Jews in the newspapers <i>Al-Rai</i>, <i>Al-Dustur</i>, and <i>Al-Ghad</i> during the year.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><b>Children</b></div> <div>Throughout 2009, authorities received reports and complaints of physical and sexual abuse of children. In February 2009, the UN Children&rsquo;s Fund report stated that 57% of children had experienced some form of physical abuse in school. The current minimum age in Jordan for marriage is 18 years old, however a child as young as 15 can be married with the consent of a judge and a guardian. There were also cases during 2009 of forced marriages being used as an alternative to a potential &ldquo;honor killing&rdquo; in rural areas.</div> <div>Additionally, the government was unable to enforce child labor laws sufficiently to prohibit the practice entirely throughout the country, therefore recent reports show that at least 13% of working children in the country were subjected to some form of forced labor.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><a href="http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136071.htm"><font color="#0000ff">US State Department</font></a></div> <div><a href="http://www.hrw.org/en/middle-eastn-africa/jordan"><font color="#0000ff">Human Rights Watch</font></a></div> <div><a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/jordan/report-2009"><font color="#0000ff">Amnesty International</font></a></div>
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors
<p>Note: Legation Amman was established Feb 18, 1949, with Wells Stabler as Charg&eacute; d&rsquo;Affaires ad interim.</p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Gerald A. Drew</div> <div>Appointment: Feb 2, 1950</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Feb 24, 1950</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Relinquished charge, Feb 25, 1952</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Joseph C. Green</div> <div>Appointment: May 14, 1952</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Jul 31, 1952</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Promoted to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Joseph C. Green</div> <div>Appointment: Sep 8, 1952</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Sep 23, 1952</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Appointment terminated, Jul 31, 1953</div> <div>Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate. Legation Amman was raised to Embassy status Aug 27, 1952.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Lester D. Mallory</div> <div>Appointment: Aug 3, 1953</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Dec 1, 1953</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Relinquished charge, Jan 11, 1958</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Parker T. Hart</div> <div>Appointment: Feb 5, 1958</div> <div>Note: Took oath of office, but did not proceed to post, Jordan having united briefly with Iraq in the Arab Union. See notes under Iraq.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Sheldon T. Mills</div> <div>Appointment: Feb 16, 1959</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: May 12, 1959</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post, Mar 18, 1961</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>William B. Macomber, Jr.</div> <div>Appointment: Mar 2, 1961</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Apr 5, 1961</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post, Dec 25, 1963</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Robert G. Barnes</div> <div>Appointment: Mar 4, 1964</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Mar 15, 1964</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Relinquished charge, Apr 23, 1966</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Findley Burns, Jr.</div> <div>Appointment: May 10, 1966</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Jul 23, 1966</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post, Nov 5, 1967</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Harrison M. Symmes</div> <div>Appointment: Oct 18, 1967</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Nov 21, 1967</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post, May 7, 1970</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>L. Dean Brown</div> <div>Appointment: Sep 8, 1970</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Sep 29, 1970</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post, Nov 29, 1973</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Thomas R. Pickering</div> <div>Appointment: Feb 27, 1974</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Mar 2, 1974</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 13, 1978</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Nicholas A. Veliotes</div> <div>Appointment: Aug 18, 1978</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Sep 17, 1978</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post, Feb 10, 1981</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Richard Noyes Viets</div> <div>Appointment: Jul 27, 1981</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Aug 10, 1981</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 5 1984</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Paul H. Boeker</div> <div>Appointment: Aug 13, 1984</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Sep 1, 1984</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 13, 1987</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Roscoe Seldon Suddarth</div> <div>Appointment: Jul 31, 1987</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Sep 16, 1987</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 27, 1990</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Roger Gran Harrison</div> <div>Appointment: Jun 27, 1990</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: 7 Aug. 1990</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post, 9 Jul 1993</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Wesley William Egan, Jr.</div> <div>Appointment: Feb 11, 1994</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Mar 19, 1994</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 13, 1998</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>William Joseph Burns</div> <div>Appointment: Jun 29, 1998</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Aug 9, 1998</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Relinquished charge Jun 7, 2001</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Edward William Gnehm, Jr.</div> <div>Appointment: Aug 7, 2001</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Sep 20, 2001</div> <div>Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 12, 2004</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>David Michael Satterfield</div> <div>Appointment: May 12, 2004</div> <div>Note: Did not serve under this appointment</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>David Hale</div> <div>Appointment: Nov 2, 2005</div> <div>Presentation of Credentials: Nov 7, 2005</div> <div>Termination of Mission: June 2008</div> <div>Note: Served as Charge d&rsquo;Affaires ad interim, July 2004&ndash;October 2005</div> <div>&nbsp;</div>
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Jordan's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Bouran, Alia

An academic turned diplomat, Alia Hatoug-Bouran became Jordan’s first female ambassador prior to assuming her post in the United States on September 14, 2010.

 
Born in Amman, Bouran earned her Bachelor of Science degree (1979) and Master of Science degree (1980) in applied environment studies from Moscow University. Her doctorate of philosophy in environmental science and strategic planning was completed in 1983 at the Russian Academy of Science Novosibirsk Branch.
 
Bouran’s career began in academia, serving as an associate professor of environmental science at the University of Jordan from 1984 to 1998. During this time she also advised the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on environmental matters and served as senior negotiating member on environmental matters during peace talks with Israel (1993-1994).
 
From 1998 to 2001, she was secretary-general of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. Concurrently, she was head of the Jordanian team on environmental multilateral peace talks (1998-1999) and led the environment team on free trade negotiations between Jordan and the United States (1999-2000).
 
Her first ambassadorial assignment—representing the first of its kind for a woman from Jordan—was to Belgium in June 2001. She added Luxembourg and the European Commission to her portfolio six months later and Norway in March 2002.
 
Bouran left all of these posts in October 2003 to become Jordan’s minister of tourism and antiquities, a position she held for two years. She was also, briefly, minister of environment. In March 2006, she took over as ambassador to the United Kingdom, and in March 2007 she presented her credentials as non-resident ambassador to Iceland.
 
She speaks Arabic, English and Russian. Bouran’s husband, Ishaq, is an electrical engineer who owns his own company in Jordan. The couple has a daughter and a son.
 
The Ambassador (Embassy of Jordan)
Biography (Washington Diplomat)

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Jordan's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
<p><a href="http://www.jordanembassyus.org/new/index.shtml"><font color="#0000ff">Jordan&rsquo;s Embassy in the US</font></a></p>
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U.S. Ambassador to Jordan

Beecroft, Robert
ambassador-image

Robert Stephen Beecroft was sworn in as US Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on July 17, 2008. Beecroft holds a BA from Brigham Young University and a JD from the University of California, Berkeley and previously served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints in Venezuela.

 
Before joining the Foreign Service, Beecroft practiced law in the San Francisco office of an international law firm. Beecroft’s previous assignments included service in Washington in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and Executive Secretariat and overseas at the US embassies in Riyadh and Damascus.
 
Prior to his assignment in Jordan, Beecroft served as executive assistant to Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell and as special assistant to Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage
 

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