In 1950, Transjordan merged with part of Palestine to form the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. It lies in the center of the Middle East, sharing its northern border with Syria, eastern border with Iraq, it's southern and eastern borders with Saudi Arabia, and western border with the Jordan River, the Dead Sea, and Israel. Jordan has barren deserts, fertile valleys, and colorful rock and sand mountains.It contains the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea, and the Great Rift Valley, which was created twenty million years ago when tectonic plates shifted, stretching from Lake Tiberius south through Jordan and into eastern Africa. In 1946, the population was about 400,000; in 1997, it reached 4.6 million, a figure twice that of 1981.
The Emirate of Transjordan was the name given to this small state when it was recognized in 1921, after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the promulgation of the Balfour Declaration.
It was not until 1946 that Transjordan became a completely sovereign state. Jordan has an area of about 35,475 square miles (91,900 square kilometers).
Amman's appearance reflects a Western influence, with modern hotels and commercial buildings.
Streets are identified and numbered in an inefficient manner, and maps are hard to read and often useless. An ancient legend tells of an Arabian shepherd who six thousand years ago put his supply of milk in a pouch made from a sheep's stomach before making a journey across the desert.
The rennet in the lining of the pouch, combined with the heat of the sun, caused the milk to form curds, and cheese was discovered.
Bedouin farmers keep herds of goats and sheep whose milk is used to produce cheese and yogurt.Except for the very wealthy, most people live in rented housing. Because most of the country is desert, less than 4 percent of the land is cultivated.Natural resources are scarce, and no oil has been found.People of Bedouin descent are considered to be of the purest Arab stock. In deserts with little vegetation and water, Bedouin families have lived in the traditional way for thousands of years.They roam freely and pay little attention to borders.A covering is placed on the floor, with a large tray of rice and meat placed in the center surrounded by small dishes of yogurt and salad. When people visit family and friends, tea, Turkish-style or Arabic-style coffee, or fruit juice is served.