What does it mean to be Jordanian?

Jordan is a country that’s located in Middle East Asia with neighboring countries including Israel, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Jordan culture in consisted of Arabic and Islamic principle. Their official language is Arabic, and English is widely understood among upper and middle classes. Jordan’s population is relatively small (6.5 Million), which may benefit the community by being able to build a quick relationship with the neighbors. The history goes all the way back to the Bronze Age when nomadic tribes settled in the land which is now Jordan. Going back even further in history, they were under the jurisdiction of Ottoman Empire. In recent history, there was also a period of Emirate of Transjordan when they were under the control of Britain during World War I. As one could tell, Jordan is not a strong militaristic country. They have been ruled by numerous countries over the past centuries. Being submissive for many years, they may have become more agreeable than demanding.

Jordan plays a pivotal role in the Middle East. Many biblical stories took place in Jordan. Christians, Jews, and Muslims call it the Holy Land. According to Abrahamic traditions, Moses’ resting place is located on the summit of Mt. Nebo, Madaba. Also, they believe that around 29 to 30 AD, Jesus came from Galilee to be baptized in the river Jordan by a preacher and minister commonly known as John the baptist. Sunni Islam is the dominant religion in Jordan. 93% of the population identify themselves as Sunnis. You can easily tell that the population is extremely religious. Atheism may be far from their beliefs.

In 2015, Jordan took 630,776 Syrian refugees and are now registered as refugees in Jordan. In total there are about 1.4 million Syrian refugees in Jordan. Although Jordan is relatively smaller than its neighboring countries, they were third in taking in most refugees in the Middle East. Comparing the size to other countries, the ratio equals out to be similar to Turkey which took 1.9 Million refugees. They have been accepting refugees from almost all surrounding conflicts as early as 1948. Taking in refugees puts Jordan’s economy in a tough situation. It disturbs the trade and strains public services, finances, and labor market conditions. The public debt has increased to about 90 percent of GDP. Despite the damages refugees are causing, they are still willing to accept more. This says much about characteristics of Jordan. Their openness and welcoming hospitality have saved many lives. The act of sacrificing also describes Jordan to be admirable.

When I was identifying assumptions of Jordan, I imagined a certain individual containing Jordan’s characteristics. It would be extremely difficult for me to dislike a person with these aspects. It is also evident that they were exceedingly welcoming to visitors since they came from the tradition of the nomads. They were in constant move which meant that they had to meet various groups of people during the process. Due to their nomadic background, it is evident that they were open towards their guests, and treated them with respect. I believe that many Jordanians can sympathize for tourists.

One thought on “What does it mean to be Jordanian?

  1. Jason Hartman

    I think it was important you mentioned that Jordan physically represents religious significance in the middle east. This goes to show how, while religions are a global phenomenon, they are often not traced back to the origins in which they originated. For my final project in Shaking the Spirits, I briefly discussed how the West-African religion of Yoruba became translated into the transcultural religion of Santeria. Once religions are moved across borders, they become shifted in ways that are unpredictable, but also retain many of the same ideals that were held by the patrons of the country in which it originated.


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