Most people living in Jordan are Muslim and the official state religion is Islam; yet, several places in Jordan are important to Christians. The site where John the Baptist baptized Christ is believed to be in Jordan. Sodom and Gomorrah was probably in Jordan, as was the home of Elijah. Here, you’ll also find the ancient city of Petra, with its underground tunnels and rooms.
Jordan Facts For Kids
- Located in the Middle East.
- Capital: Amman.
- Official language: Arabic.
- Currency: Jordanian dinar.
- Historical site: Petra.
- Became independent: May 25, 1946.
- Bordering the Dead Sea.
- Predominantly Muslim nation.
- King Abdullah II is the monarch (as of 2021).
- Major river: Jordan River.
Petra, the ancient city
Petra, the ancient city in Jordan known as the ‘Rose City’ for its vibrant red, white, and pink sandstone cliffs, presents an intriguing learning adventure for kids. This extraordinary city, carved directly into cliff faces, was established as early as 312 BC as the capital of the Nabateans.
It offers an insight into a fascinating history marked by the Nabateans’ ingenious system of dams, canals, and reservoirs that managed water in the desert. Today, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Petra continues to showcase the creativity and brilliance of the ancient world.
The Dead Sea, a captivating natural marvel in Jordan, is a misnomer as it’s essentially a large lake and holds the distinction of being the lowest point on earth, situated over 429 meters beneath the sea level. Its extraordinary salinity, almost tenfold the usual seawater, creates an intriguing phenomenon, particularly for children, as it’s impossible to sink in its waters.
However, this extreme salt concentration generates an uninhabitable environment for flora and fauna, leading to its name, ‘Dead Sea’. An additional intriguing aspect is the lake’s mud, recognized for its therapeutic attributes, and is commonly incorporated in skincare products.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, situated in the Middle East and named after the Jordan River, offers a rich learning experience for kids with its captivating history, stunning landscapes, and cultural diversity.
As a monarchy, it is governed by a king or queen who possesses all the power; currently, King Abdullah II holds this position. The Hashemites, the royal family who have been ruling Jordan since its independence in 1946, owe their name to Hashem, the great-grandfather of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.
This signifies the royal family’s ancestral ties to the founder of Islam, further adding to the historical depth and intrigue of Jordan for young learners.
Wadi Rum desert
Wadi Rum, also known as ‘The Valley of the Moon,’ is a magnificent desert in southern Jordan that attracts adventurers and explorers globally. Covering 720 square kilometers, this breathtaking natural reserve is renowned for its red sand, colossal rock formations, and star-studded night skies.
It serves as a unique educational platform for children, offering insights into the captivating beauty of the desert ecosystem, the region’s ancient history, including the prehistoric rock inscriptions by the Nabateans, and the Bedouin lifestyle. Adding to its allure, Wadi Rum’s extraterrestrial landscape has made it a popular choice for filming scenes set on Mars.
King Abdullah II
King Abdullah II, the reigning monarch of Jordan since 1999, is globally recognized for his peace-loving leadership. He has devoted his rule to the advancement and progress of his nation, tirelessly implementing a variety of programs to ensure a quality education for all Jordanian children, showcasing his strong advocacy for education.
Fluent in both Arabic and English, his professional background includes service in the military prior to his ascension to the throne. In a lighter vein, his passion for Star Trek is well known, even scoring a cameo appearance in an episode, further humanizing his leadership persona.
Amman, the capital
Amman, Jordan’s capital, is an ideal destination for children to delve into the rich tapestry of history and culture. As one of the world’s oldest cities with continuous habitation dating back to the Bronze Age, Amman presents a fascinating juxtaposition of ancient and modern life.
The city’s ancient Roman theater, capable of seating 6,000 people and still in use for performances today, stands as a testament to its historical depth. The Citadel, another iconic historical site perched on one of the city’s highest hills, offers breathtaking views of the surroundings. The city’s vibrant blend of bustling modern shopping districts and serene, traditional neighborhoods provides a unique cultural learning experience.
Therefore, Amman serves not only as a historical learning hub but also as a window into the fusion of cultures and traditions in Jordan for young explorers.
Jordan, a country deeply steeped in Bedouin traditions, is a compelling point of interest for its vibrant cultural heritage. The Bedouin, originating from the Arabian and Syrian deserts, are a nomadic group, several of whom continue residing in Jordan today.
For children learning about Jordan, it’s crucial to understand the Bedouin culture’s fundamental principles of hospitality and generosity, often demonstrated through their warm welcoming of travelers with tea and food – a tradition stemming from the harsh desert conditions where resource sharing is vital for survival.
Additionally, Bedouin society is recognized for its rich oral culture, including storytelling, poetry, and music, all of which have been preserved and passed down through generations. These cultural practices remain prevalent in Jordan today, rendering it a captivating destination for cultural exploration and learning.
The Jordan River
The Jordan River, a key water body in the Middle East with an approximate length of 251 kilometers, holds a unique historical and cultural significance, particularly for children learning about Jordan. This river is not only a vital water source but also plays a pivotal role in many biblical narratives.
It’s believed to be the site where Jesus was baptized and where the Israelites crossed into the promised land. Additionally, it serves as a natural boundary between Jordan and Israel. However, despite its historical and geopolitical importance, the Jordan River is not notably wide or deep. In some areas, it’s so narrow that children could easily toss a stone across it!
Arabic language and script
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, commonly known as Jordan, is a captivating country where children have the opportunity to delve into the Arabic language and its unique script. As the official language of Jordan, Arabic is spoken by almost the entire population and is traditionally written from right to left in a script that’s been in use for over 1,500 years.
The process of learning Arabic can be an exciting journey for children, not only due to the linguistic challenge but also because it introduces them to an ancient script vastly different from the English alphabet, thereby broadening their understanding of diverse cultures and histories.
In the capital city, Amman, there are numerous language schools that specialize in teaching Arabic to an international audience of all ages, making it a global hub for language learning.
Jerash Roman ruins
Situated in Jordan, Jerash is renowned for housing some of the most well-preserved Roman architecture outside of Italy, making it an awe-inspiring spectacle of historical significance. Its array of stunning Roman ruins, including colonnaded streets, hilltop temples, theatres, expansive public squares, plazas, baths, and fountains, provides a vivid glimpse into the Roman lifestyle.
Children visiting this ancient city will be captivated by the grandeur of the structures, as they explore the magnificent ruins and experience the feeling of stepping back into history. This unique blend of education and exploration makes Jerash an indispensable destination for young learners delving into the study of ancient civilizations.
Jordan is a small, poor country that lacks the oil and other natural resources of its neighbors. The country is ruled by a monarchy. For many years, the ruling queen of Jordan was Queen Noor, an American-born queen who married King Hussein. She and King Hussein worked hard to develop schools and help their people. After his death, King Hussein’s son became King.
Fun Facts about Jordan for Kids
- Over 9.8 million people live in Jordan.
- King Abdullah II is the current leader of Jordan.
- The capital of Jordan is Amman.
- Jordan has 34,495 square miles of land.
- Jebel Um Adaami is the tallest mountain peak in Jordan, standing at 1,854 m
- The longest river in Jordan is the Jordan river flowing for 251 km.
- People in Jordan speak Arabic and English.
- Most people are Sunni Muslim; some are Christian.
- People in Jordan can expect to live to be about 61 years old.
- 91 percent of adults can read.
- If you like the Indiana Jones movies you will be interested to know that some of the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade movie was filmed in Petra – Jordan.
- Site: location
- Resources: raw materials, such as minerals, metals, oil water or trees
- Ancient: very old
Learn More All About Jordan
Check out this cool video about Jordan for kids:
This is a video showcasing the history, culture and architecture in Jordan.
Question: Is Jordan a peaceful country?
Answer: Jordan has had its share of conflicts, but it has managed to stay out of many of the recent wars in the Middle East. It has felt the consequences of these wars, though. Over 1.5 million Palestinian refugees have come to Jordan during the Arab-Israeli wars. Jordan is a small country that is mostly desert. It is hard to grow enough food here to feed all the people. With the refuges, feeding everyone has become even more difficult.
Map of Jordan
Here’s a map of the country of Jordan and all its cities and villages. Zoom in to get into street level or zoom out to see other countries around Jordan! You can see the terrain, but also see the roads, images of the buildings and even take a 3D tour through the streets of the cities of Jordan, as though you are actually there!
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