Country named Jordan in the Middle East

By Leen Jaber, Reporter

Have you ever heard of a country named Jordan? Jordan is a country that is located in the Middle East (Asia). Jordan, an Arab nation on the east bank of the Jordan River, is defined by ancient monuments, nature reserves, and seaside resorts. It’s home to the famed archaeological site of Petra, the Nabatean capital dating to around 300 B.C. Set in a narrow valley with tombs, temples, and monuments carved into the surrounding pink sandstone cliffs, Petra earns its nickname, the “Rose City.” Jordan’s government is a monarchy. Petra, Dead Sea, Wadi Rum, and Jerash are a few famous places in Jordan. I went to Jordan in 2015.  It was a great experience and a wonderful memory that I will not forget. I have visited Petra, Dead Sea, Wadi Rum, and Amman (a few cities in Jordan, the Capital City is Amman).

 

            One of the things Jordan is famous for is its food. One of the most common “street food” is the falafel. You can find falafel in many Arab countries, but the one from Jordan is a combination of chickpeas and spices and (in my opinion) is one of the best. Other famous dishes are moutabel, labneh and galayet bandora. One of the most delicious dishes I’ve ever had is mansaf, a famous Jordanian dish. Mansaf is a traditional Arab dish made of lamb cooked in a sauce of fermented dried yogurt and served with rice. It is considered the national dish of Jordan, and can also be found in Palestine, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Syria. Another popular dish is shawarma. Shawarma is a Levantine Arab dish consisting of meat cut into thin slices, stacked in a cone-like shape, and roasted on a slowly-turning vertical rotisserie or spit. Originally made with lamb, mutton or chicken, today’s shawarma may also be turkey or  beef. The garlic yogurt shawarma sauce is just unsweetened yogurt, a bit of lemon juice, garlic, and salt and pepper. It’s a perfect light and tangy topping that really complements the rest of the flavors in the shawarma. 

 

          An interesting place in Jordan is the Dead Sea. I went there, but didn’t swim. An interesting fact about this sea is that it’s  the lowest point on Earth. The lake’s surface is 430.5 metres below sea level, making its shores the lowest land-based elevation on Earth.The Dead Sea is one of the saltiest bodies of water on Earth, with almost 10 times more salt than ordinary seawater. A fun fact about the dead sea mud is that Dead Sea mineral mud is a natural element yielded by and harvested from the mineral-rich Dead Sea. Used topically, Dead Sea mineral mud accelerates the skin’s detoxification process, draws out excess oil, tightens, and exfoliates to remove dead skin. 

 

       Wadi Rum is one of the world’s most beautiful deserts. More than just a sea of rolling dunes, this protected wilderness near Jordan’s southern border is made unique by the dramatic sandstone and basalt mountains jutting out of its sandy floor.  This protected desert reserve in the southern part of Jordan, often called the Valley of the Moon, is known for its red-pink sands, stunning natural arches and mountains, and prehistoric rock engravings. Wadi Rum is simply stunning.

 

      Amman, the capital of Jordan, is a modern city with numerous ancient ruins. Atop Jabal al-Qala’a hill, the historic Citadel includes the pillars of the Roman Temple of Hercules and the 8th-century Umayyad Palace complex, known for its grand dome. Jordan’s capital was named Philadelphia in ancient times after Ptolemy Philadelphus, who rebuilt the city during his reign. Today, nicknames for Amman include the “City of Stairs” and “White Pigeon”, the latter reflecting ubiquitous flocks of pigeons in the Jordanian capital.  What I LOVE about Jordan and its cities is that the people are so kind and welcoming, which I love to see.

 

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