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Preface Last Updated: 6/27/2004 7:33 AM

The land of Jordan is rich in contrasts. In the north are rolling plains and forests and in the south and east are endless rocky deserts. Mountains rise in places to 5,700 feet, while at the Dead Sea, the land falls to nearly 1,300 feet below sea level. A Middle Eastern land, without the wealth of oil, Jordan's most precious resource is its hardworking and increasingly educated population. Jordan has been home to many different cultures. It remains the repository of their relics—Canaanite cities, Nabatean ruins, Roman palaces and theaters, Muslim shrines, and Crusader castles are all found in abundance throughout the country. The capital city of Amman has expanded from a small village just 100 years ago to a major city today. Beneath the city's noise and bustle, however, life is unhurried and family relationships and traditional hospitality remain strong. The people are courteous, friendly, and dignified in their relations with Westerners. Jordan remains a pleasant place for a foreigner to live.

The Host Country

Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 7/6/2004 9:35 AM

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is located in the heart of the Middle East and the Arab World. It is bounded on the north by Syria, on the east by Saudi Arabia and Iraq, on the south by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf of Aqaba, and on the west by Israel. It covers an area of approximately 35,000 square miles. It is approximately the size of Indiana.

Most of Jordan's borders do not follow well-defined or natural features of the terrain. Rather, they were established by various international agreements. In the 1967 War, the West Bank of the Jordan River, which Jordan had annexed in 1949, came under Israeli occupation. In 1988, King Hussein relinquished Jordan's claim to administrative control of the West Bank.

The country's terrain varies. On the eastern desert plateau, average elevation is 3,000 feet; in the west, mountains rise to 5,700 feet; and at the Dead Sea, terrain drops to the Earth's lowest land point of some 1,300 feet below sea level. Although historically an earthquake-prone region, no severe shocks have been recorded for several centuries.

Jordan's countryside offers a diversity of climate and scenery. Within easy driving distance of the capital city of Amman, one can visit Irbid's temperate highlands, Ajlun's majestic hills, the fertile Jordan Valley, the southern sandstone mountains, and the arid desert of the eastern plateau.

Inadequate rainfall is a chronic problem. Rainfall usually occurs only from November to April; the rest of the year has bright sunshine daily and low humidity. In the spring, a desert wind brings higher temperatures; daytime summer temperatures can be hot, but nights are usually pleasant, cool, and dry. Autumn is long and pleasant; winter can sometimes bring light snow to the mountains and to Amman; and spring carpets the country's grazing lands with beautiful wildflowers.

The following websites provide a wealth of information about Jordan. Please be advised that the links will direct you to sites unaffiliated with the Department of State. The Department of State takes no responsibility for the information contained within these webpages:

Population Last Updated: 4/24/2005 6:55 AM

Jordan has been home to many successive civilizations. Each group introduced new elements into the country's religion, language, and architecture—influences that are still seen today. Except for the Crusader period, Jordan remained under Arab rule from the 7th century to the beginning of the 16th century, by which time the Turkish Ottoman Empire had expanded to include much of the Middle East.

Predominately Arab and Muslim, the population of Jordan today is nearly 5.5 million. The 1948 influx of Palestinian Arab refugees, the 1967 postwar waves of displaced persons from across the Jordan River, and the 1991 "returnees" from the Gulf States have resulted in a majority population of Jordanians of Palestinian origin. The vast majority of Palestinian refugees and displaced persons in Jordan were given Jordanian citizenship. Today, many hold prominent positions in society. The nearly 300,000 refugees who still live in camps run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) are not as assimilated into the Jordanian economy. In the aftermath of the Gulf War, an estimated 350,000 or more Palestinians and Jordanians returned to the country, increasing the country's population by 8%. Jordan is host to 1.7 million registered Palestinian refugees, the largest population in the region. Jordan also hosts an estimated 350,000 Iraqi refugees.

The population represents a mixture of traditions. To be a Bedouin, or to come from Bedouin stock, is a matter of pride for many Jordanians. They are known as people of strong character, with a deep sense of family and tribal pride. Harsh desert conditions have spawned a well-developed code of hospitality that is still expressed towards one another and towards foreigners.

In the wake of the Russian conquest of the Caucasus, a non-Arab Sunni Muslim minority, the Circassians, settled in Jordan. Despite their relatively small numbers, they have long been important in government and business.

Numbering roughly 3%, Christians form the largest non-Muslim category of Jordan's population. The principal points of concentration of the East Bank's indigenous Christians are the towns of al-Karak, Madaba, al-Salt, and Ajlun. A majority of Jordan's Christian population is Eastern Orthodox, with large numbers of Roman Catholics as well. The kingdom's several Protestant communities have generally resulted from American and European missionary activities.

There are also small communities of non-Christian minority groups, which include the Druze, the Eastern Rite Catholics (Malkites), and the Baha'is.

Jordan's population continues to grow steadily at a rate of approximately 2.78% per year. The population is also becoming more and more urbanized, with more than 50% of the people living in the three main cities of Amman, Zarqa, and Irbid.

A note for Jordanian-Americans. Jordan considers all Americans of Jordanian descent as Jordanian citizens for life. Jordanian-American diplomats sometime face difficulty in getting credited and receiving diplomatic status, unless Jordanian citizenship is formally renounced. This could be a time-consuming process.

In general, Jordanians are courteous, friendly, and dignified in their relations with Westerners. Many speak excellent English and are well educated, often having studied in the U.S. or at American institutions, such as the American University of Beirut. Although often critical of U.S. Middle East policy, Jordanians, on a personal level, like Americans and treat them in a friendly and respectful manner.

Public Institutions Last Updated: 4/24/2005 6:58 AM

In 1921 when the Emirate of Transjordan was created, educational facilities consisted of 25 religious schools that provided a narrow, tradition-oriented education. Today, the Ministry of Education estimates that nearly one person out of three in the kingdom is a student in one of the thousands of schools offering varied curriculums.

Because so many Jordanians place great value on educational opportunities for their children as a means of self improvement and a way to develop a responsible citizenry, much of the Arab World looks to Jordan as a source of educated skilled workers and a provider of educational services.

Public education is free and compulsory through grade 10. Secondary education through grade 12 is provided by both academic and vocational high schools for those primary school graduates with the highest scholastic achievement. Students follow a standardized curriculum that heavily emphasizes rote memorization. All students must take the "Tawjihi" examination at the end of their 12th year in school. The score on this exam is the major determinant of each student's educational future in Jordan.

At the postsecondary level, Jordan has 25,000 students enrolled in 45 community colleges, in addition to public and private universities. Students who attend community colleges are those whose Tawjihi scores are not high enough to permit them to enter one of five major public universities.

The country's first university, the University of Jordan, has a beautiful campus in the suburbs of Amman, with an expanding curriculum, including agriculture, arts, science, medicine, dentistry, law, physical education, education, administrative sciences, nursing, and "sharia" (Islamic Law). Enrollment in 1999-2000 was more than 23,000.

Jordan's second largest university, Yarmouk, is located in the northern city of Irbid. Yarmouk's curriculum focuses on liberal arts. Enrollment in 1999-2000 was 17,000.

The Jordan University of Science and Technology, a relatively new institution, has programs in medicine, engineering, and technology. Enrollment at this university (1999-2000) was 11,000.

Mu'tah University was founded in 1981 as a military college, and a civilian wing was added in 1986. In the past 5 years, it has grown into the third largest university in the country, with an enrollment (1999-2000) of more than 14,000. It is located in the southern city of Kerak and draws most of its pupils from the region south of Amman. The largest department is English Language and Literature, with 20 faculty members and a student body of more than 600.

A fifth public university, al-Elbait, opened in September 1994. Located in the northern city of Mafraq, al-Elbait University presents a general curriculum in an atmosphere of "progressive Islamic values."

In comparison with other developing countries, Jordan has a high proportion of university graduates. Since not all students who are seeking higher education can be accommodated in one of Jordan's five public universities or in other state-operated institutions of higher education, many study abroad, especially in the U.S.

A new phenomenon began in 1990, with the creation of Amman National University, a private university system. There are 7 institutions currently operating, with a possible total of 12 in various stages of planning. These will absorb many of the students who are now qualified for higher education but unable to gain public university seats or afford education in the West.

Unfortunately, students today are finding limited employment opportunities upon graduation. The previously abundant Gulf job market has virtually disappeared, and the domestic economy cannot absorb all the graduates that are currently being produced. Many Jordanian citizens who had been working in the Gulf have returned to Jordan, exacerbating an already bad economic situation.

Jordan has a fledgling but growing commitment to the arts, which are considered an important part of social development. The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage heads a varied program of art exhibitions and other activities, and private efforts are continually expanding. The Queen Noor Foundation actively promotes the arts, as well as other social concerns. With the assistance of the Embassy Public Affairs Section, the Queen Noor Foundation has established the National Music Conservatory of Jordan, which now provides instruction for 165 students of piano, wind and string instruments. Another Queen Noor Foundation project, the Jerash Festival of Arts and Culture, has become an internationally recognized event that draws numerous performing groups to Jordan during July each year. The Jordan National Gallery boasts the finest collection of contemporary Arab art in the world. The Royal Cultural Center offers exhibits, stage presentations, and special film programs and concerts by artists from the U.S. and other countries.

Arts, Science, and Education Last Updated: 4/24/2005 7:07 AM

According to the Jordan Human Development Report 2004, literacy in Jordan stands at 94.6% for men and 84.8% for women. Jordan is a source of educated skilled workers for much of the Arab world, with a large number of college educated people.

Public education is free and compulsory through grade 10. Secondary education through grade 12 is provided by both academic and vocational high schools for those primary school graduates with the highest scholastic achievement. Students follow a standardized curriculum that heavily emphasizes rote memorization. All students must take the "Tawjihi" examination at the end of their 12th year in school. The score on this exam is the major determinant of each student's educational future in Jordan.

In 2002 Jordan’s Ministry of Education embarked on a massive program to modernize the classroom and curricula, with an emphasis on interactive learning, computer skills, lifelong learning, and performance-oriented advancement for teachers and administrators. Early childhood development and an emphasis on English language skills are also important components of the education initiative. A very large number of Jordanians speak English now.

Jordan is home to eight public and 12 private universities. Among the most notable are: The country's first university, the University of Jordan ( , has a beautiful campus in the suburbs of Amman, with an expanding curriculum, including agriculture, arts, science, medicine, dentistry, law, physical education, education, administrative sciences, nursing, and "sharia" (Islamic law). Enrollment in 2003-2004 was 25,000.

Jordan's second largest university, Yarmouk University ( , is located in the northern city of Irbid. Yarmouk's curriculum focuses on liberal arts. Enrollment in 2003-2004 was 21,000. The Jordan University of Science and Technology ( , near Irbid, has programs in medicine, engineering, and technology. Enrollment at this university in 2003-2004 was 15,500. Mu'tah University ( was founded in 1981 as a military college, and a civilian wing was added in 1986. In the past 5 years, it has grown into the third largest university in the country, with an enrollment (2003-2004) of more than 16,000. It is located in the southern city of Kerak and draws most of its pupils from the region south of Amman. The largest department is English Language and Literature, with 20 faculty members and a student body of more than 600.

The Hashemite University ( is located in Zarqa on the outskirts of Amman. Its enrollment in 2003-2004 was 16,000.

Another public university, Al Al-Bayt University (, opened in September 1994. Located in the northern city of Mafraq, Al-Al Bayt University presents a general curriculum in an atmosphere of "progressive Islamic values." In 2003-2004, enrollment reached 14,000.

Al Balqa Applied University ( was established in March 1997 as umbrella institution to encompass the network of 49 community colleges spread across Jordan that once fell under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Social Development. Enrollment in 2003-2004 was 24,000. Al Hussein Bin Talal University ( was established by a royal decree in June 1999 in memory of the late King Hussein. The university is located in Ma’an, in the southern part of Jordan, three hours by road from Amman. The southern provinces of Jordan, although rich in mineral wealth, have traditionally been impoverished in terms of public services including roads, schools and health care. Al Hussein University offers diverse educational disciplines including tourism, hotel management, science, computer engineering, education, and mining engineering. In 2003-2004 enrollment was 3,200.

A new phenomenon began in 1990, with the creation of Amman National University ( , a private university system. There are 12 institutions currently operating, with several applications in the stages of planning. The most noted of these is Philadelphia University ( , located near Ajloun in the north of Jordan. New York Institute of Technology has also established a campus in conjunction with the Jordan University of Science and Technology.

Jordan has a strong commitment to the arts, which are considered an important part of social development. The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage heads a varied program of art exhibitions and other activities, and private efforts are continually expanding. In 2002, the University of Jordan established a Fine Arts Department and began offering degree programs in art, design, music and drama.

The Queen Noor Foundation actively promotes the arts, as well as other social concerns. With the assistance of the Embassy Public Affairs Section, the Queen Noor Foundation has established the National Music Conservatory of Jordan, which now provides instruction for 250 students of piano and wind and string instruments. Another Queen Noor Foundation project, the Jerash Festival of Arts and Culture, has become an internationally recognized event that draws numerous performing groups to Jordan during July and August each year.

The Jordan National Gallery boasts the finest collection of contemporary Arab art in the world. The Royal Cultural Center offers exhibits, stage presentations, and special film programs and concerts by artists from the U.S. and other countries.

Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 7/12/2004 1:57 AM


With a per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of about $1,817 and a population of 5.5 million, Jordan has one of the smallest economies in the region. Although Jordan experienced slow growth for the period 1996-2002, the economy has since begun the strengthen. Since 2002, Jordan has experienced robust economic growth—the government predicts the GDP growth will exceed 5% and may even reach 7% in 2004. Unemployment remains high at 14%, but exports have been increasing and analysts expect Jordan's situation to improve as the economic growth rate exceeds the country's population growth rate of 3.3%.

Jordan has a lopsided trade balance. It exports almost $3 billion worth of goods each year, which is not enough to cover the import bill of about $5.6 billion. The difference is covered mostly by earnings from tourism, remittances from Jordanian workers abroad, and foreign transfers.

Traditional Sectors

Services are the largest part of the economy—about 68% of output—and are nearly evenly split between the government and private sector. The latter includes such activities as banking, insurance, retailing, and the hotel and tourist trade. There is also a fast growing computer applications and software industry. The tourism industry is beginning to rebound from the dry spell brought on by regional instability. Jordan receives about 4.5 million foreign visitors in 2003, mostly from other Arab countries, and earned over $815 million in tourist revenue. Western tourist traffic is now beginning to rebound as well, with Western arrivals increasing over 60% in the first quater of 2004. The Red Sea port of Aqaba is expected to continue to develop as a tourist destination, with four new hotels currently under construction and a number of tour and leisure projects in the planning stages. Several new resort hotels along the Dead Sea are also under development.

Agriculture, manufacturing, and mineral extraction account for about 21% of the economy. Due to the scarcity of water, agriculture has been declining as a component of overall economy for years. Manufacturing employs about 10% of the workforce and accounts for about 13% of GDP. The chief manufactured products include fertilizers, cement, pharmaceuticals, processed foods, and garments. The pharmaceutical industry is particularly noteworthy because it virtually did not exist a generation ago. In 2002, pharmaceuticals made up the third largest export category, with around $200 million in total exports. With a small domestic market, most pharmaceutical products are geared for export to other Arab countries; however, Jordanian pharmaceutical companies have also penetrated the U.S. and European markets. Today, Jordan has at least 19 pharmaceutical plants in operation.

Mining includes the extraction of phosphate ore (which is used in fertilizer sand is one of Jordan's chief exports) and potash, which is extracted from the Dead Sea. The government has significant equity holdings in the mineral industry and has signed joint ventures with American and Canadian firms for the extraction of bromine and magnesium, also from the Dead Sea. Jordan Bromine Company, an American venture with registered capital over $10.6 million, is the largest U.S. investment in Jordan.

Growth through Trade Agreements

The growth is not limited to Jordan’s traditional sectors, but is due, in part, to emerging sectors such as ICT and garment and apparel manufacturing. The growth is also attributed to prudent economic policy, deregulation and privatization of several previously government controlled sectors, and Jordan’s participation in bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, namely the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US.

In April 2000, Jordan joined the World Trade Organization, a move that helped integrate Jordan into the global economy. To prepare the economy for the new challenges associated with being a WTO member, the government took major steps in improving intellectual property rights, deregulating key sectors such as telecom, privatizing state owned enterprises, and developing schemes and regulations to attract foreign investments. This effort also required an extensive overhaul of many of the country's business laws. Now, Jordan's intellectual property (IP) laws meet international standards and are regarded as TRIPS-sonsistent. Effective enforcement mechanisms and legal procedures are still evolving and improving in Jordan.

In addition to joining the WTO, Jordan entered into several bilateral and multilateral trade agreements. Most noteworthy are the FTA and Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ) agreements with the US. The QIZ agreement is driving growth of Jordan’s exports and FDI. The aforementioned "Qualifying Industrial Zones" (QIZs) are special industrial parks located in Jordan where goods can be produced for duty-free entry into the U.S. However, to qualify for duty-free entry, the goods must combine certain minimum inputs from both Israel and Jordan. The U.S. Government offered the QIZ initiative to help strengthen Jordan's economy and promote greater economic cooperation in the region. There are 10 industrial parks in Jordan designated as QIZ's. Exports to the US exceeded US $660 million in 2003, growing from under $12 million in 1997. About 80% of the exports to the US are from the QIZ. The growth in FTA exports is showing positive signs as well. The FTA calls for elimination of all tariffs on industrial goods and agricultural products by 2011. It also provides for elimination of barriers to bilateral trade in services, including energy distribution, printing and publishing, courier, audio visual, educational, environmental, financial, health, tourism, and transport services. From 1998-2000, the QIZ initiative created some 8,500 local jobs. The a special economic zone in Aqaba should also help improve trade and investment prospects for the country.

Economic Reform & Privatization

To further stimulate growth, the government has embarked on a series of economic reforms, and under the King's leadership, significant progress has been made on several fronts. Indeed, since privatization programs began in 1998, significant steps have been made because privatizing certain government services and government holdings in key companies is one of the most important pillars in the reform program.

In 2000, France Telecom bought a minority stake in the state-owned Jordanian Telecommunications Company and took over the management of that company. In February 2002, the Government of Jordan sold its remaining 14.3% stake of the Jordan Cement Factories Company to the Social Security Corporation. In October 2003, the Government of Jordan sold half of its 52% stake in the Arab Potash Company to a Canadian partner.

The government is also in the process of selling off the national carrier, Royal Jordanian Airlines, and its associated business. The government is seeking a strategic partner to buy up a 49% stake in the operating division, and is also looking to sell the engine overhaul facility and aircraft maintenance division.

Finally, the government wants to improve the business climate to attract foreign investment. Much work needs to be done in this field. Although the government offers significant investment incentives, business start-up procedures are still somewhat cumbersome.

Challenges to Economic Growth

Jordan’s population structure, unemployment, and high poverty rates remain the country's main challenges and problems. Although overall economic indicators for growth are positive, Jordanians are constantly reminded that the country lacks natural resources, is burdened with debt, and relies heavily on international aid and the remittances of expatriate Jordanians. The economy is also vulnerable to chronic water scarcity, a condition which is likely to get worse as economic and population growth increase demand for clean water. Much of Jordan's water supply comes from groundwater, which is currently being exploited at more than twice the rate of replenishment. This unsustainable use will cause long-term supply problems. The government is examining ways to increase supply, but has had difficulty in obtaining financing. Meanwhile, the residents of Amman have grown accustomed to receiving municipal water only once or twice a week during summer months.


Automobiles Last Updated: 4/24/2005 7:11 AM

Most employees at post own a car and find that it is necessary, as Amman is not a walking city. Furthermore, because public transportation in Jordan is not well developed, cars are necessary for exploring the country, visiting its historical sites, and travel to neighboring countries. American personnel assigned to Jordan can import only one vehicle duty free. American diplomatic personnel assigned to Jordan can import two vehicles duty free if the employee has a spouse. American administrative staff may import only one vehicle duty free whether they are married or not. Automobiles with tinted windows are no longer allowed into the country.

It may take several months before your car arrives in Amman. In the interim, rental cars are available. Rental vehicles are usually nonautomatic, and, since rental cost can be expensive, most employees use the inexpensive local taxi service. The average cost to rent a car in Amman is 30 Jordanian Dinars (roughly $45) per day.

Purchase of a car at post: New or used cars can be purchased duty free. In addition to purchasing vehicles from European and Japanese auto dealers in Amman, a duty-free zone in Zarka (north of Amman), also sells a variety of new and used cars. Contact the Embassy's General Services Office (GSO) if you need specifics on vehicles currently available.

Most makes and models of cars can be serviced in Amman. Supplies of spare parts, as well as reliable mechanics, are available.

Most people find that air-conditioning is preferable, especially during summer. For those who plan to do a lot of camping, a four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended.

The unleaded gasoline required for late model U.S. cars is available in limited quantities in Amman. It is not available outside of Amman. The octane level of the available gasoline (84) meets the requirements of most cars. Also, more and more service stations are carrying high-octane fuels.

At a minimum, employees must purchase third-party-liability insurance in Jordan for JD 65 per year. Fifty-percent of the employees choose the aforementioned coverage, while the other half chooses comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage is available locally at rates equivalent to those in the Washington, D.C. area. The comprehensive coverage costs 5% of the value of the car, and is payable yearly through the General Arabian Insurance Company, Ltd. The third-party-liability insurance can be purchased from any company at the Jordanian Traffic Department. Some employees prefer to purchase more comprehensive coverage from firms in the U.S., since this coverage often covers other countries, such as Syria. The Embassy GSO can obtain special insurance for trips to Syria.

Jordanian drivers licenses are required and are obtained when you present a U.S. drivers' license (which is valid for one month after arrival). If you are not affiliated with the Embassy, you may also be required to undergo an eye examination. Vehicle registration is free. The GSO will assist official employees and dependents in obtaining drivers licenses and registrations.

Note: New Jordanian regulations stipulate that cars imported by diplomatic and administrative staff may be sold to those who have the same duty free privileges or to Jordanians. However, before selling a car to a Jordanian, the owner must pay duty on the car at the Customs Department.


Local Transportation Last Updated: 6/24/2004 8:11 AM

Taxis (painted yellow) are readily available, but can be difficult to obtain in some residential areas, especially during off hours, Fridays, and holidays. Most are now metered, and costs for trips within Amman are reasonable, ranging from 80 cents to $4.

Local buses and "service" or group taxis (painted white) are also available. However, because both of these operate on fixed routes and tend to be quite crowded, most Embassy employees use the individual metered taxis for travel within Amman. Generally, the taxis are in good condition, and the drivers speak sufficient English to understand simple directions. However, there have been some reports (lately) that, due to the large influx of people following the Gulf War, there are many drivers with no knowledge of English. Employees would be well served to learn simple Arabic phrases, such as: "Stop," "Turn left or right," etc. It is customary for men to ride in the front and women and small children in the rear.

For travel outside the city limits of Amman and to places outside of Jordan, such as Damascus (popular for shopping), many Embassy employees hire a "service." This can be done through most of the major hotels in the city. The Community Liaison Office (CLO) has information on reputable drivers.

Due to traffic hazards and road conditions, the Mission advises against making out-of-town trips after dark or in inclement weather.


Regional Transportation Last Updated: 4/24/2005 7:15 AM

Queen Alia International Airport, situated 30 minutes outside of Amman, is Jordan's main international airport. Royal Jordanian Airlines (RJ) is the national carrier. With a fleet of modern planes, it maintains scheduled flights to New York, Montreal, New Delhi, Cairo, the Gulf, Athens, Rome, Paris, London, Bangkok, Singapore, and other major cities. Other Arab airlines, as well as British Airways, Air France, KLM, Alitalia, Lufthansa, and Aeroflot operate to and from Amman. No American airline flies to Jordan now, but connections with TWA, United, Northwest, or Delta can be made via London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris, and other cities. Plans are underway for Royal Jordanian Airlines to code-share with American West Airlines.


Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 6/24/2004 8:49 AM

Automatic-dial telephones are available in all quarters occupied by U.S. Government personnel. Dependability of connection and service is good. The Embassy pays the initial subscription charges for all official employees. Local telephone services cost $12 per month.

Long-distance service (direct dial) via satellite linkup to the U.S. and to most European cities is excellent. Long-distance calls to the U.S. cost about $1.10 for each minute between 8 am and midnight; calls made from midnight until 8 am cost about $0.70 for each minute. Calls made from the U.S. to Jordan cost less. Sprint, AT&T, and MCI cards cannot be used in Jordan at this time.

FAX machines are common in Jordan. The cost of a letter-rate telegram to the U.S. is about 20 cents a word, including the address.


Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 4/24/2005 7:17 AM

Mail is dispatched on a daily basis to the continental U.S. using RJ Airlines. Entry of mail into the U.S. Postal Service is made at JFK Airport. The APO also dispatches international mail, which is routed through JFK or Frankfurt according to its final destination. Certified, insured, and registered mail services are available. APO is limited to authorized personnel and their dependents. Stamp sales and all services are payable by personal check only.

The Embassy address is as follows:

Name (Rank if Military) American Embassy Unit____ Box____ (see next paragraph) APO AE 09892

Unit numbers vary by agency and specific box numbers (which follow unit number) by office; these are available from the Embassy APO.

Large parcels and registered mail arrive and depart Amman via the weekly military flight from Ramstein Air Base in Germany. If you have duty-free privileges, you can use international parcel post, although the process of clearing these packages through customs can be time-consuming. For authorized Embassy personnel, use of the APO is recommended as faster and less cumbersome. International mail takes about 4-5 days to Europe, 7 days to the U.S.

Incoming international letter mail and parcel post should be addressed as follows:

Name American Embassy P.O. Box 354 Amman 11118 Jordan

Note: Department pouch service is available to Amman for official correspondence only.


Radio and TV Last Updated: 4/24/2005 7:18 AM

Radio Jordan broadcasts in English on AM and FM medium wave, as well as shortwave for about 17 hours a day. Popular, classical and Western music are featured, as well a stalk shows and newscasts. FM reception of classical music programs from Jerusalem is possible for much of the day. Voice of America (VOA) and BBC broadcasts in English are available on medium wave during part of the day; at other times, shortwave reception is best.

Jordan has one government-owned TV station with two channels. Limited English-language programming is available throughout the day. European system TV sets (PAL) are required. European- and Japanese-manufactured sets can be purchased locally. Various satellite packages, with channel selection and price comparable to the US, are available through commercial vendors (Orbit and Showtime) in Amman. To receive the transmitted signal, it is necessary to have a TV with NTSC 3.58 (U.S. specifications or multisystem). CLO recommends that new employees bring multi-system televisions. Multi-system televisions can be purchased in Jordan, but they are more expensive than sets in the US. Small, multisystem sets (up to 14 inches) can be ordered through catalogs. The Embassy Co-Op can also provide local access to purchase larger multi-system sets.


Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated: 4/27/2005 7:41 AM

Two English-language newspapers, the Jordan Times and the Star, are published in Amman. The Jordan Times is a daily (except for Saturdays). The Star is a weekly. The International Herald Tribune, USA Today, and the main European dailies are for sale locally 1 or 2 days late, and cost ranges from $2 (USA Today) to $3.50 (The Times). Time and Newsweek, as well as British and other European magazines, are on sale locally at high prices. The Embassy prepares a daily summary translation of news items from the Amman Arabic press.

There are also a number of English language magazines that come out on a monthly basis, including: JO, Eye, and Living Well. The American council on Oriental Research (ACOR) also issues a monthly bulletin in English on its archaelogical activities in Jordan, and maintains an excellent reference (no borrowing) library of history, art and archaeology books related to Jordan and the Middle East. English language papers from the UK are usually available a day or two late at Jordanian news stands. A couple of new English language book stores have opened recently, including "Titles" and "Flower of Life", both located in Amman near the Embassy.

Paperbacks are available locally at more than double U.S. prices. The selection of hardcover books is limited, although this is improving. Books can be exchanged through a small Embassy library. The Public Affairs American Center has a library where books can be borrowed, at no charge, with a membership card. The CLO has a library (honor system) with a good selection of books, mainly fiction and a small selection of self-help resources. The British Council maintains a library as does the American Women of Amman; both are open to the public for a modest fee.

Health and Medicine

Medical Facilities Last Updated: 6/27/2004 6:47 AM

The Regional Medical Office (RMO) is staffed during normal working hours by the Regional Medical Officer, two Embassy nurses, and an Office Manager. The RMO provides orientations for new U.S. government employees and their family members, immunizations, treatment for minor illnesses and injuries, initial acute care and stabilization for on-the-job injuries, and other basic health services. The staff also monitors the care of and pays visits to those in the Embassy community who are hospitalized or house-bound due to serious illness.

Physicians are available for medical and surgical care, including obstetrics and pediatrics. Generally, they are either British or American trained. A list of recommended doctors is available at the RMO. The Arab Medical Center, a private, modern, 141-bed hospital, located near Amman's Fifth Circle, is the Embassy's main referral hospital. It has an emergency room staffed 24 hours a day. It handles all emergencies and after hours medical problems, illnesses, or accidents. There is a modern medical lab at the hospital.

Dental care is good, and most orthodontic treatments are available. As with all local medical care in Jordan, the costs are lower than in the U.S.

Health and Medicine

Community Health Last Updated: 6/27/2004 6:56 AM

Endemic communicable diseases, including infectious hepatitis, typhoid, TB, and Schistosomiasis are found among the local population. They can be controlled by observing normal precautions such as boiling drinking water, careful washing and soaking of fruits and vegetables, watching what you eat in restaurants, not swimming in fresh water, and immunizations. However, even these efforts will not completely eliminate the occasional case of intestinal disorders, such as amebic dysentery and Giardia lamblia.

The country has seen occasional outbreaks of polio and meningococcal meningitis. When such outbreaks occur, the Ministry of Health moves fast to contain the outbreaks and to keep the public informed. Malaria is not a problem in Jordan.

Dry, dusty weather, however, complicates lung, sinus, and other respiratory problems and may make wearing contact lenses uncomfortable. Contact lens wearers should bring eyedrops and cleaning solutions because these can be difficult and expensive to obtain. For those who wear contact lenses, the RMO also recommends bringing a pair of spectacles as a back-up. Additionally, many people suffer from allergies, especially in the spring.

Medical supplies are good, generally of Jordanian, American, British, French, German, or Swiss origin. Except for U.S. brands, medicines are often less expensive than in the U.S. If specific medicines are required, bring enough supplies until orders can be placed through the APO or until they can be secured locally.

Health and Medicine

Preventive Measures Last Updated: 6/27/2004 6:59 AM

Strict sanitation in the home regarding food and water is the best defense against disease. Boil drinking water for 20 minutes or use filtered water. Local, good-quality pasteurized milk is normally available (the Jordan and Danish Dairies are recommended). Do not eat uncooked vegetables or salads without taking proper cleaning precautions and avoid locally made pastries and desserts sold by street vendors.

Children and adults should be immunized against tetanus, typhoid fever, and hepatitis A and B before arriving in Jordan. In addition, children should receive all the immunizations recommended in the U.S. Adults should have oral polio boosters updated.

Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 4/24/2005 7:25 AM

Some employment opportunities are available. The various agencies within the Mission employ dependents part or fulltime depending upon the needs of the post. Most dependents who work in the Mission hold administrative or secretarial positions.

Employment outside the Mission is limited to teaching and clerical positions at the American Community School (ACS), the International Community School (ICS), the American Language Center, and the University of Jordan teaching English as a second language, tutoring, nursing, and occasionally, some sales and marketing work with American companies located in Jordan.

Employment outside the Mission is rather uncommon for several reasons. Jordan has a high per capita number of college graduates who fill most jobs that might otherwise be attractive to Mission dependents. International companies and organizations generally require Arabic language speakers, and local salaries are not very attractive. Dependents often prefer to seek employment within the Mission, the American Language Center, or the ACS. As there is considerable unemployment at present, necessary work permits for non-Jordanians (required outside the Mission) are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain. Any employment outside the Mission requires the approval of the Ambassador.

The American Embassy Employees Association (AECSA) operates the Embassy Cooperative, American Club, snack bar, swimming pool, and video club.

Teenage employment is limited to babysitting, seasonal, part-time jobs at the Co-op, the Club, and other "as needed" temporary positions. The Mission operates a limited summer work program for teenagers in various offices and agencies, budget permitting. There is also usually a summer children's camp, which needs a director and camp counselors. The CLO also encourages teens to volunteer to assist with various functions, such as the children's Christmas party. CLO maintains an updated file of teens who are willing to babysit, housesit, dog sit, and the like. Teens who wish to include their application in this file should write the CLO and include age and experience in the letter.

Recruiting for teaching positions at the ACS is done in the U.S. in February. Most staff positions are filled locally. Anyone interested in working at the school is encouraged to mail a résumé‚ and letter of interest any time during the year to the Superintendent:

American Community School c/o U.S. Embassy P.O. Box 354 Amman 11118 Jordan

The Superintendent can try to arrange for an interview in the U.S., or, if that is not possible, after arrival in Jordan. All teaching positions require an interview.

Contracted teaching positions for professional EFL/ESL teachers are regularly available at the American Language Center also. Anyone interested should contact the Director of Courses, American Language Center, at the Embassy for more detailed information.

For those dependents who are willing to donate their time, Amman offers many well-organized volunteer and charitable organizations. The American Women of Amman, private and government orphanages, rehabilitation centers, and welfare societies are some of the many opportunities for service. Spouses and dependents of Mission employees who engage in volunteer work may request a certification of this service signed by the Ambassador or his/her designee to use in finding future employment.

American Embassy - Amman

Post City Last Updated: 4/24/2005 7:26 AM

The modern Jordanian capital city of Amman is only the latest in a long series of communities that has flourished on the same spot for thousands of years. Here, in Biblical times, was Rabbath Ammon, capital of the Ammonites, descendants of Lot. The Pharaoh Ptolemy II, Philadelphus of Egypt (285-247 B.C.), ruled the city; he rebuilt it and renamed it Philadelphia. After the Roman conquest of the East, Philadelphia flourished as a member of the league of free cities, known as the Decapolis. After a brief period of prominence, under the Ummayyed Arabs in the 8th century, the whole country then sank into obscurity. During the Middle Ages, the once-bustling city was no more than a tiny village.

Today, with a diverse population of approximately 2 million, the city is not only the seat of government, but also Jordan's principal trading center, the main clearing point for commercial goods, and the center of manufacturing activity.

Amman's climate is moderate. Summer temperatures on the residential jebels (hills) range from 80°F to 95°F and occasionally exceed 100°F. The atmosphere is dry and moderate. Summer evenings are cool. Many days are windy, and dust clouds occasionally blow in from the dry hillsides and nearby desert. Little rain falls from mid-April to mid-November. In winter temperatures seldom fall below freezing, but the cold can be penetrating and the wind frequently strong. Rain falls often in January and February. Some years have seen a fair amount of snow, but several light snows a season are the norm. Even a moderately light snow, however, can cause temporary traffic and communications problems.

At first, newcomers may find Amman confusing because, at ground level, it is hard to grasp the city's layout. Most of the buildings and houses are constructed with white stone, which tends to make everything look very similar until certain landmarks can be established. Perhaps, the best place for an overall view of the city is the summit of a hill, known as the Citadel, situated in the center of town.

The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 4/27/2005 7:34 AM

The new Chancery was dedicated on July 4, 1992. This modern 213,000 square foot complex contains offices for all U.S. Government agencies represented at post, except the Peace Corps and VOA. Located in one of Amman's most affluent residential areas, the Embassy compound also includes the Ambassador's residence, Marine Guard quarters, Embassy commissary, the American Club, a swimming pool, and tennis and basketball courts. The American Club's widescreen TV provides Mission personnel access to AFRTS and CNN programming. A new Fitness Center for Embassy personnel was opened in March 2005.

The USAID Mission in Jordan supports a wide range of development programs in water, health, family planning, microfinance, trade and investment, and other areas. Some USAID staff members also have regional responsibilities extending to USAID programs in Lebanon, Morocco, and West Bank/Gaza. Within Jordan, the USAID program focuses on dealing with three specific problems that continue to plague the country; namely, not enough water, too rapid population growth, and not enough jobs. Every USAID activity in Jordan directly addresses one or more of these concerns. Given Jordan's importance to the Middle East peace process, annual economic assistance funding levels have increased in recent years to over $500 million. As a result, the U.S. is now the largest single donor in Jordan, and the USAID Mission in Jordan manages one of the largest USAID programs in the world.

The Public Affairs Section operates a library, located a short distance away at the American Language Center. The library includes 4,000 books, 10 CD-ROM database services, and some 100 periodicals on American subjects. Public Affairs also runs an active information program in Jordan, bringing in American specialists on lecture tours and disseminating policy documents, press releases, and other information to the Jordanian media and institutions. In addition, it implements a wide variety of educational and professional exchanges between Jordanians and Americans.

Several American cultural institutions operate under direct Public Affairs supervision or work under grants from the Department of State. The Arabic Book Program, which translates key works on American culture and society into Arabic for region wide distribution and the American Language Center are both under direct Public Affairs supervision. The American Language Center, a direct program of Public Affairs, teaches English as a second language to adult professionals in the Amman community. Children's English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classes are offered every summer. Cooperative teachers training activities are also carried out with Jordan's Ministry of Education. In addition, Public Affairs gives American Mideast Educational and Training Services (AMIDEAST) a grant to subsidize student advising activities for Jordanians wishing to study in the U.S., while Department of State fellowships bring American scholars to the American Center for Oriental Research (ACOR). In 1993, a Fulbright Commission was established through a bilateral agreement to foster educational exchanges of U.S. and Jordanian scholars.

The Board of Broadcasting Governors (BBG) has been a part of the Mission in Jordan since 1983. Its charter duties are to cover all major political and economic news as well as major cultural events in Jordan. Together, with the Cairo office, the Voice of America (VOA) Jordan covers the rest of the Middle East and North Africa. The VOA regional correspondents and staff are assisted by a network of local stringers in developing reports and features, conducting interviews, and producing voice actualities for inclusion in VOA broadcasts from Washington, D.C.

The Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) is the primary collector of foreign open-source information for the U.S. Government. Through its worldwide access to foreign media and other publicly available material, FBIS brings the latest foreign political, military, economic, and technical information to the analysis, warning, and operations processes. FBIS personnel review news programs, official statements, and commentary material carried by regional radio, television, and print media; translate selected material from these sources; and transmit these products to U.S. Government consumers in the U.S. and to U.S. diplomatic and military missions overseas. Translations and transliterations of foreign media, in addition to foreign language glossaries, are available to official U.S. Government customers on several electronic delivery systems. FBIS also provides maps, videos from foreign television, publications procurement services, and foreign language support.

Through the Military Assistance Program (MAP), the U.S. provides Jordan with defense equipment, as well as financial and logistical support. Financial support takes the form of foreign military sales credits and grants for military training. MAP also administers the weekly cargo flights from Germany.

The Defense Attaché's Office (DAO) also administers the APO. There are also foreign area officers and exchange officers based in Amman.

U.S. Economic Assistance Program. For the past five decades, U.S. economic assistance has played a visible and important part in the U.S. presence in Jordan. Total aid levels since 1952 exceed $2 billion. The legacy of these early programs is evident in many areas of Jordanian life. For example, programs in the early years focused on infrastructure, including the construction of roads, irrigation works, schools, and health facilities. Several important Jordanian institutions and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) working in health, education, tourism, archeology, water, agriculture, economic management, and other fields have also received significant support from the USAID Mission in Jordan over the years.

Major roads that have been constructed using USAID resources over the past 50 years include highways from Amman to Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and the Syrian border, and link roads to tourist sites at Wadi Rum, Wadi Dana, and Mt. Nebo. USAID also financed the King Abdullah Canal in the Jordan Valley as well as a number of important water and wastewater treatment facilities throughout the country. In addition, USAID has assisted in the preservation and presentation of major archeological sites at Amman, Petra, Jerash, Aqaba, Um-Qais, and elsewhere. Other areas of past USAID involvement include scholarships for hundreds of Jordanians to study in the U.S. and technical assistance aimed at strengthening a variety of Jordanian institutions involved in health, agriculture, water, management, and other fields.

More recent assistance efforts have focused on increasing employment opportunities and preparing Jordan to compete within the broader international economy. The economic situation during the second half of the 1990s has proved to be especially problematic, and significant USAID resources are now being devoted to address this concern. At a grassroots level, USAID microfinance programs are extending small loans to many thousands of poor entrepreneurs who would otherwise be unable to maintain and expand businesses of their own. At a policy level, USAID is working to improve the investment climate. In addition, programs aimed at developing partnerships between American and Jordanian businesses are being implemented. A program designed to promote entrepreneurial skills among Jordanian high schools along the lines of the "Junior Achievement" model was recently launched as well.

As one of the most water-short nations in the world, USAID is also working to help expand the availability of water and improve the management of Jordan's scarce water supplies. For example, significant USAID resources have been allocated to improve the water distribution system in Amman. In addition, a series of major wastewater management projects are either underway or planned in Amman, Aqaba, and Wadi Mousa. Efforts to promote water conservation and expand public awareness about the water problems facing Jordan are also underway.

A third element of the USAID project portfolio focuses on health and family planning concerns. Although Jordan's population growth rate remains among the highest in the world, there are signs that the country is beginning to make the demographic transition toward smaller families and lower fertility rates that most societies eventually experience. Health activities focus mainly on public health concerns, with a view toward sustaining the progress that Jordan has already made in this important sector over the years.


Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Personnel will be assigned permanent housing before arrival at post by the Inter agency Post Housing Board. In addition to the CLO's orientation booklet, Welcome to Jordan, new arrivals are furnished with Welcome Kits, which contain dishes, pots or pans, towels, linens, etc. They must be returned to the GSO stock when the employees' airfreight arrives. Because these kits are only loaned to incoming employees, employees will be billed for missing or damaged items. If permanent quarters are not immediately available, the Embassy assigns new arrivals to temporary quarters or to a moderately priced hotel.


Permanent Housing Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Government-furnished housing is available for all U.S. Government employees. The Ambassador's residence is government owned; all others are on short-term lease. The Ambassador's residence, located on the Embassy compound, is more than 16,500 square feet (including mechanical room, servants quarters, and official representational areas). The DCM's house, located within 5 minutes of the Embassy, is a private one-story residence with a large entertaining area on the lower level which has a separate outside entrance. Other housing in Amman consists of duplex houses, apartments, and a few single-family homes; most are located within an easy 10-15 minute drive to the Embassy. Quarters are assigned according to family size, square footage, and availability.


Furnishings Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Employees will find housing (usually stone structures) suitable and attractive. Residential units are equipped with all the basic furnishings, including draperies. Only official housing (Ambassador, DCM, USAID Director, Defense Attaché) is furnished with table and kitchenware, glassware, small appliances, and linens. Other personnel must provide these items in addition to decorative objects and personal effects.


Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 4/24/2005 7:40 AM

All quarters have adequate water heaters, washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, and gas kitchen ranges. All are heated by central oil. Most agencies supply ceiling fans and air-conditioners.

City water supply can be inadequate, especially during summer months. Embassy water tank trucks supplement this supply, as necessary. Each employee is responsible for monitoring the water supply at his/her home. If Embassy water delivery is necessary during nonworking hours, the employee may be assessed for any overtime costs the GSO incurs.

Most quarters are 220v, 50 cycles. Post policy is to issue transformers for all government-issued appliances, as well as a reasonable number of additional transformers.

(Note: Some U.S. electrical equipment, such as clock radios, turntables, tape decks, and electric typewriters will not operate properly in Amman, because the electric currency is 50 cycles or hertz rather than the standard U.S. 60 cycles or hertz. Bring dual voltage/cycle electrical equipment with you. Alternatively, you can purchase most of these items from Amman through catalogs, such as AAFES.)

Food Last Updated: 4/24/2005 7:41 AM

The overall supply and selection of foodstuffs in Jordan are quite good. Newcomers to Jordan will find that most staples are available, although expensive.

The fertile Jordan Valley produces a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. When in season, the availability is plentiful and the price is low. Produce prices are set by the government and listed in the English language newspaper. Local vegetables include cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, green beans, carrots, squash, cabbage, onions, eggplant, cauliflower, radishes, and beets. Locally grown fruits include oranges, grapes, lemons, melons, apricots, peaches, and bananas; other items, such as strawberries, kiwi, cherries, and broccoli, are available, but their costs reflect importation.

A variety of canned, packaged, and frozen goods are available in Amman. Locally produced items are priced reasonably although of variable quality. It is possible to obtain a wide variety of U.S. and European brands as well, but they are usually double the U.S. price. (Baby formula, because it is subsidized, is an exception.)

Local chicken and lamb are plentiful, but other meat and fish are usually imported. Local eggs are of good quality, and canned, evaporated, sterilized, reconstituted, or fresh pasteurized and powdered milk, whole and skimmed, are available.

Amman has four stores that are comparable in size and selection to medium-sized U.S. supermarkets: the International Safeway, Cozmo, C-Town, and Ahlia-Abela (Plaza). These offer a good selection of food, clothing, and housewares. While shopping in supermarkets offers convenience, better bargains can be obtained through the more time-consuming method of going to several local shops, e.g., produce stands, butchers, and bakeries.

The AECSA Co-op offers American brand names, dry and frozen grocery goods, tobacco products, and alcoholic beverages, which are difficult to obtain in Amman or, if available, are too expensive locally. The Co-op receives most of its goods by seafreight container from American export companies. Employees can special order items through the Co-op Manager. All special orders are for full cases only. Co-op prices are very similar to the prices at the International Safeway, C-Town, and Ahlia-Abela. No savings should be expected. Bring personal hygiene items.

Clothing Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Jordanians, who have adopted a Western mode of dress are, in general, well dressed and fashion conscious. Women especially tend to dress more formally than in the U.S.

The climate is moderate, but the varied seasons require a diversified wardrobe. Bring rain gear, boots, gloves, hats, and winter coats. Long sleeves are recommended for warmth, and, in certain situations, as a matter of good taste and respect for local custom.

Dress shops and boutiques sell fashionable, imported clothes from Europe. Prices are higher than in the U.S. Embassy personnel should bring or order the majority of their clothes from catalogs.

Quality athletic and children's shoes are difficult to obtain. Shoes wear out quickly because of sand, gravel, and rough streets, so bring a good supply of footwear for the whole family. Some women favor wearing thick-soled shoes in the home, especially during winter, because of the cold, marble-tiled floors.


Men Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

A basic rule is to dress conservatively for social activities. For most evening events in winter, a dark suit is satisfactory. In summer, a more varied color scheme may be adopted. Informal sport jackets are becoming increasingly acceptable. White dinner jackets are rarely worn, but a tuxedo is useful, although essential only for senior officers. If you need a tuxedo, remember that formal attire is extremely difficult to rent here, and the opportunity to borrow is limited.


Women Last Updated: 6/30/2004 6:32 AM

As Jordan is a Muslim country, good taste and sensitivity to the host country's culture must dictate your dress. For office wear, styles similar to those worn in Washington, D.C., are acceptable. For daytime wear, women normally wear cotton in summer, lightweight suits in spring and fall, and heavy suits, sweaters, skirts, and wool dresses in winter. Slacks are acceptable. Shorts and halter-tops are considered, by some, to be offensive and provocative and should not be worn in public or at the American school.

For evening entertainment, women dress as they would for informal dinners and parties in the U.S., but should keep in mind that in social groups where host country nationals are in attendance, low necklines and bare arms are not considered in good taste. Palestinian hand-embroidered dresses, kaftans, long skirts, etc., are occasionally worn to evening parties. Full-length evening gowns are seldom worn, but one is useful for formal wear, e.g., the Marine Ball. Some women wear formal length skirts for home entertaining. Bring jackets and shawls, since summer and fall evenings can be chilly during the many outdoor parties, and not all houses are centrally heated in winter.

Note: Storage facilities for furs are limited.

Newcomers to Jordan will find the dress in west Amman much more progressive than in east Amman and other outlying cities. Therefore, what is acceptable in west Amman may not be elsewhere in Jordan.


Children Last Updated: 6/30/2004 6:32 AM

Bring an adequate supply of children's clothes and include jeans, socks, underwear, dresses, skirts, blouses in both summer and winter weights, swimwear, and shoes. School children wear the same types of clothing as students in the U.S. Boys wear cords or other slacks and shirts. Girls wear either dresses, skirts, or slacks.

Note: Shorts are normally worn only within the boundaries of private sports clubs. This applies to men, women, and teenagers. Preteen and teenage girls should follow the same dress guidelines as women when in public.

Supplies and Services

Supplies Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Between the AECSA Co-op and local markets, newcomers to Jordan can find almost any product they need for housekeeping, entertaining, and personal use. As noted, many items not stocked by the Co-op can be obtained through special orders. U.S. brand cosmetics are available locally, but prices are much higher than in the U.S. Most commonly used feminine personal supplies are available at the Co-op. Most basic infant items, including disposable diapers, baby cereal, and food, are available at the Co-op. However, certain local brands of disposable diapers are good and considerably less expensive than U.S. equivalents, as is the government-subsidized infant formula sold on the local market.

Most prescription drugs and over-the counter home medicines are available locally. If you require specific medication or want to ensure the availability of a specific brand, bring a supply.

Quality toys are available, but at costs at least double those in the U.S. Many Mission personnel pack Christmas and birthday presents in their household effects (HHE) or place orders through catalogs.

Supplies and Services

Basic Services Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Various woolen, silk, and cotton goods are available, and men's suits can be satisfactorily tailored in Amman. Good dressmaker services are moderately priced, and dressmakers are available to perform the most simple to the most intricate work. A wide selection of sewing supplies is available for personal sewing. However, bring patterns, polyester thread, invisible zippers, and elastic.

Adequate radio and electronic repair are available in Amman, and several stereo shops are now in business.

Automobile body and fender work in Amman are good and less expensive than in the U.S., as is basic automotive maintenance. However, some have found that major engine repairs are not up to U.S. standards. The selection of replacement parts is good. Keep in mind that if you have a U.S. standard vehicle, it is very difficult to find parts locally and, if available, they are usually very expensive.

Shoe repair is acceptable. Local commercial laundry service and drycleaning facilities are adequate.

Amman has several framing shops that have a wide variety of frames and matting material to choose from. The quality is good, and prices are somewhat lower than in the U.S.

The city has a selection of good printers.

Barbers are quite plentiful in Amman. There are also a number of beauty shops. Appointments are usually required. Services are comparable to U.S. standards. Wigs can be serviced satisfactorily. Most hair coloring preparations, setting lotions, etc., are of European manufacture. Some women prefer to provide their own brands.

Several shops develop film in Amman. Service is quick, generally less than a day, and for color prints, the price and quality are comparable to that in the U.S. Black-and-white developing is less common.

Supplies and Services

Domestic Help Last Updated: 4/24/2005 7:44 AM

Domestic help, usually of Filipino or Sri Lankan origin, is available, but hire, initially, on a 30-day trial basis. The Embassy Security Office should complete a security check before you hire anyone. Most domestics employed by Americans speak and understand enough English for basic communication.

Many employees prefer part-time help, 1-2 days a week, and some share the same house servant. Information and recommendations are readily available. CLO maintains a file on household help available for hire.

Senior officers often find it helpful to have a cook and/or house servant full time. Most cooks are male, and their duties include shopping, preparing and serving meals, dishwashing, and housecleaning. Female domestics are available for cleaning, laundry, and babysitting. The usual workweek for domestic help is 6 days on a 6-7-hour-a-day schedule. Evening help is available for parties. Part-time gardeners can also be found.

Domestics permanently employed are given 2 or 3 days off at the end of Ramadan, if they are Moslem. Other holidays maybe granted at the employer's discretion. A holiday bonus is customary, generally equivalent to 2 weeks' pay. Severance pay is calculated at the rate of one-half month's salary for each year of service.

Following is an approximation of current wages being paid to domestics. Domestics are usually paid in JD, shown below in U.S. dollars:

Full-time live-in/out help cook — $375-$464/month cook/house servant — $250-$350/month maid — $200-$300/month

Help on an as-needed basis

cook for parties — $25-$35/day waiter for party — $20-$30/evening housecleaner — $2-$3/hour gardener — $2-$3/hour babysitter — $2-$3/hour

Employers customarily provide employees with meals when they work a full day. Some domestics, however, prefer to buy their own meals, particularly if they are Moslem. Prior arrangements may be made to compensate the employee for meals, if one wishes.

Detailed information on hiring domestics is provided in the information packet on arrival. Many Embassy personnel find that the live-in arrangement is the most economical solution.

Note: The Government of Jordan is currently revising procedures for the sponsorship of foreign laborers, which constitute the main source of domestic help. The Embassy anticipates that sponsors of foreign laborers, even those hired locally, will soon be required to guarantee return airfare to the laborer's country of origin upon termination of employment. Such regulations will add to the cost of full-time domestic help and reduce the ready availability of part-time domestic help.

Anyone who chooses to sponsor or bring domestic help with them should be aware that residence permits cost the sponsoring employee at least JD 350 (about $500) a year, in addition to round-trip transportation costs, wages, and benefits.

Religious Activities Last Updated: 4/24/2005 7:46 AM

A number of Christian churches hold services in English in Amman. Several Catholic priests perform Masses in English at various churches. Currently, there is an English-language Mass at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church on Saturday evenings at 5:00 p.m., an English-language Mass at St. John Baptist de LaSalle on Sunday evenings, and an English-language Mass at St. Joseph's on Sundays at 11:00a.m. English-language confessions can also be heard. Saint Mary's also offers religious instruction for children (CCD classes). The nondenominational Amman International Church holds its worship service on Sunday evenings; it also offers Bible school from preschool to adult, a summer Vacation Bible School, choir, and has a full-time pastor available for counseling. In addition, Anglican, Assemblies of God, Evangelical Lutheran, and Latter-Day Saint congregations are active. The daily newspaper contains a listing of pertinent phone numbers.


Dependent Education Last Updated: 4/24/2005 7:50 AM

Nursery Schools

There are several excellent nursery schools available in Amman; therefore, many Embassy employees send their young children to nursery school. Enrollment is international, and instruction is given by English and Arabic speaking teachers. Fees run much less than in the U.S. Additional information can be obtained in the CLO. The following table represents nursery schools which have been popular with Embassy employees:

# of Students Ages of Students # of Teachers Enrollment Fee Cost Transportation Language of Instruction

Amman Baccalaureate School 100 3.5 - 6 N/A $845 KG 1: $2,500

KG 2: $2,640 $564 English & Arabic The French School 68 2.5 - 6 4 + 2 aids $140 $1,795 $401 French American Community School 45 3-6 1 + 1 aid $300 $2,700 $1,000 English Little Feet 26 4 mo - 5 yrs 3 N/A $50 per month N/A English & Arabic Rainbow 25 - 30 2 - 4 3 N/A $78 per month English & Arabic Montessori Gardens 75 2 - 6 8 fulltime

2 part time N/A $1,140 $180 English & Arabic International Community School 16 N/A 1 + 2 aids N/A $2,816 $183 per quarter English & Arabic Kangaroo 30 1.75 - 4 4 N/A $63 per month $7 - $21 per month English & Arabic Al-Sahera 75 2.5 - 6 9 N/A $105 per month $42 - $70 per month English & Arabic Sunshine 70 3 - 6 6 N/A $697 $21 - $28 per month English & Arabic Queen Alia 7 1 - 4 2 N/A $112 per month $28 per month English & Arabic Small World 65 1.5 - 5.75 9 N/A $140 per month $35 per month English & Arabic British Early Learning Centre N/A 1 - 4 3 N/A $84 per month N/A English

(Arabic optional)

Tots Town 210 2 - 4 6 N/A $338 per 3-month term N/A English International School of Choueifait 40 3 - 5 N/A N/A $1,901 $563 English Iman 120 2 - 4 20 N/A $168 per month English & Arabic Kid's Castle N/A 1 - 5 N/A N/A $84 per month N/A English & Arabic Reader Rabbit N/A 3 mo - 5 yrs N/A N/A $126.90 per month N/A English & Arabic Hill House N/A 3 - 6 N/A $169 $1,760 N/A English & Arabic Little Academy N/A 1.5 - 6 N/A $70 $1,521 $380 English & Arabic

The following links will direct you to sites unaffiliated with the Department of State. The Department of State takes no responsibility for the information contained within these webpages.

Elementary, Middle, and High Schools

Established in 1981 by the Hashemite Society for Education under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Sarvath El Hassan, the Amman Baccalaureate School (ABS) offers its students the International Baccalaureate curriculum. Classes are taught in English or Arabic, and French and Arabic are offered for foreign language study. Although a majority of the students are Jordanian, many different nationalities are represented among the students.

In the past few years, ABS graduates have gone on the universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Duke, MIT, and McGill. Extracirricular activities include soccer, basketball, volleyball, music, art, dance, volunteering, and expeditions. The school's website is accessible at On this website, one will find the most pertinent information regarding the school, along with the most recent tuition charges and an electronic enrollment form.

The American Community School (ACS) was established in Amman in 1957 to provide an American curriculum for American children. The school is primarily supported by tuition payments, but also receives support from the Department of State. The student body includes Americans, Jordanians, and other nationalities. Current enrollment is about 350 students from Kindergarten through Grade 12.

The ACS has an excellent curriculum with high standards of instruction and achievement, including an individualized reading program for all grades. It is fully accredited in the U.S. A choice of French or Arabic is offered, starting with grade 5. Spanish is offered at the 9th grade level. Instruction is available in music, sports, and other extracurricular activities such as soccer, ceramics, karate, gymnastics, and modern dance.

The school year runs from the middle of August until early June. The school's website is accessible at On this website, one will find the most pertinent information regarding the school, along with the most recent tuition charges.

In 1954, the International Community School (ICS) was established in Amman. The ICS offers French as a foreign language from Grades 3-6. For the Lower School, Arabic is taught after the regular school day and because it is out of the regular curriculum, an additional fee is assessed. For the Upper School, Arabic and French are both offered for foreign language study. Enrollment at the ICS is currently around 200 students. These students represent over 42 different nationalities. This school uses the British method and calendar of instruction, meaning the ICS runs on a three term cycle and the school year lasts from September to August.

Some of the extracurricular activities include gymnastics, tae kwon do, ballet, cub scouts, and a chess club.

The school's website is accessible at On this website, one will find the most pertinent information regarding the school and their fee structure.


Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

The University of Jordan is an accredited institution that offers instruction in English, English literature, science, and medicine. The university also offers a course in classical Arabic taught especially for nonnative speakers of Arabic.

There are also opportunities for Mission personnel to arrange private, Arabic-language instruction. A number of courses, including music and Arabic, are taught at the YWCA in Amman.

The presence of the American Center for Oriental Research (ACOR) gives focus to archeological activities, and the Friends of Archeology (FOA) sponsors fieldtrips and lectures.

Recreation and Social Life

Sports Last Updated: 4/24/2005 7:52 AM

The Embassy has an outdoor pool, a tennis court, a volleyball pit, and a half-court for basketball. In addition, Embassy Amman is building a fitness center. There is a local little league, organized by Jordanians that offers children opportunities to play soccer (fall), baseball (winter), and basketball (spring) on a competitive basis.

Sports clubs in Jordan are open to international membership, although newcomers may need to be introduced by members. Many of these clubs have restaurant facilities that can be used for private parties.

The Al-Hussein Youth (Sports) City is a large sports complex. The club facilities include tennis courts, squash courts, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and a gymnasium. Sporting exhibitions are held in the large stadium. There is also a public park and large auditorium where artistic events are held.

The Orthodox Club, located near the Embassy complex, has two large swimming pools, gymnasium, fitness center, tennis courts, squash courts, basketball, soccer, and table tennis. It also has a restaurant.

The Royal Automobile Club has swimming pools, tennis courts, an archery range, bowling alleys, and billiards. Membership is limited. The club sponsors automobile rallies during the year.

Two riding clubs will stable horses for members and hire out mounts for lessons and riding, mostly English style. Children and adults enjoy taking lessons and participating in competitions.

Other sports available are shooting, chess, and racing clubs.

Bowling. There is an excellent bowling alley in Mecca Mall.

Camping. Camping sites are numerous and include Petra, Wadi Rum, and Wadi Dana. Bring your own equipment if you plan to do a lot of camping, but there are many organizations and companies, such as Petra Moon Services and the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), which offer complete camping packages.

Horseracing. The Royal Racing Club holds horse races and occasionally camel races during spring and summer.

Photography. All film prices are slightly higher than in the U.S. Furthermore, Jordan is a Muslim country, and many Muslims object to having their pictures taken. Use discretion in taking pictures of women or scenes that could be interpreted as showing poverty. Military installations, bridges and airports included, cannot be photographed.

Scuba diving and snorkeling. These are popular sports in Aqaba, where equipment and instructors are available. Underwater fishing and disturbance of coral and other underwater life is strictly prohibited. CLO, in conjunction with the Royal Dive Center, coordinates annual scuba diving lessons at the AECSA swimming pool.

Golf. One rocky course, but if you're an enthusiast, bring your clubs.

Music. Private tutors are available to teach different kinds of instruments. Instruction can also be arranged at the Royal Music Conservatory of Amman.

Recreation and Social Life

Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 4/24/2005 7:53 AM

Jordan has a good network of main and secondary roads and a sufficient number of gas stations. For long car trips, fill gas tanks and take plenty of boiled drinking water or bottled mineral water. Travel to areas not on or near the main highways is difficult, but not impossible. Main roads have been improved considerably in the past few years. Two local organizations, the Friends of Archeology and the RSCN, also provide opportunities for recreation and sightseeing. Good places to visit include:

Ajloun: Perched high atop a forested hill are the medieval ruins of the fort of Qual'at Er-Rabad.

Aqaba: Situated on the Red Sea, Aqaba is Jordan's only seaport. It has good swimming, scuba diving, and water skiing. Hotel accommodations are available.

Dead Sea: After a 45 minute descent southwest out of Amman, you find yourself at the lowest point on Earth. The Mövenpick Hotel and the Marriott Hotel provide access to the salty sea, as well as expansive pools, luxurious spas, and fine dining.

Desert Castles: Jordan is home to several well-preserved castles, each with its own unique and interesting history and architecture.

Jerash: Famous for its fine remains of a provincial Roman city.

Jerusalem: Personal vehicles are allowed into Israel at this time. Rental vehicles are not; however, you can hire a vehicle to take you to the border then ride the bus to the other side and hire another taxi to take you into the Old City. You may also do all your travel by bus. Rental vehicles are available in Jerusalem. Insurance is required and must be bought at the border. You can exchange money there too. If you plan on traveling to Syria, ask the Israeli immigration officials not to stamp your passport, and then watch carefully to make sure that they indeed do not stamp it. Border hours vary so it is best to check before departure. At this time, a visa is not required for holders of regular passports (diplomatic passport holders require an Israeli visa) and travel is fairly easy.

Kerak: A Moabite town, with one of the finest Crusader castles in the Middle East.

Madaba: A unique, sixth century A.D. mosaic map of Palestine can be found in the Greek Orthodox Church. Other mosaics are also open for viewing in several recently excavated Byzantine churches.

Ma'an: A modern resort takes advantage of these natural, hot springs.

Mount Nebo: From here, overlooking the Dead Sea, Moses is said to have viewed the Promised Land. Mosaic pavements are excellent.

Petra: The most famous attraction in Jordan is this ancient Nabatean city. The drama of visiting Petra starts with a journey through the "Siq," a winding, 1-kilometer long fissure between surrounding cliffs. Several magnificent buildings are carved in the rose rock. Visitors will want to explore the ancient treasury building (featured in an "Indiana Jones" movie), a series of tombs, the high place of sacrifice, and the ed-Deir (Monastery).

Um Qais: An excellently preserved Roman city in the north of Jordan. This site has an interesting museum, gift shop, and restaurant.

Wadi Rum and Wadi Dana: Two RSCN sites located in the southern part of the country, both of which offer enjoyable opportunities for camping and hiking.

Cairo: The capital of Egypt is 2 hours by plane from Amman. An excellent museum includes vast treasures taken from King Tut's Tomb. See the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.

Damascus: This colorful city, with a rich history, is a 3-4-hour drive from Amman, including stops at the Jordanian-Syrian border. It has a wonderful, inexpensive bazaar and an excellent museum. Travel to Damascus is available by JETT bus, air, "service" taxis, train, or private car.

Istanbul: This historic Turkish city (a short, 2-hour flight from Amman) is a popular place to sightsee and shop.

Recreation and Social Life

Entertainment Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

The Jerash Festival of Culture and Arts takes place for 2 weeks each summer in the ruins of the ancient Greco-Roman city north of Amman. The festival offers international, regional, and local performances of drama, music, and dance, as well as art displays, handicraft exhibitions, and children's activities. It is open to the public from afternoon until midnight.

Amman cinemas feature films in English (Hollywood productions) and Arabic at reasonable prices. Videocassette recorders are popular with Embassy personnel. The Embassy video club has a collection of tapes available for rent for VHS systems (NTSC). The American Club shows current sporting events on videocassette and has a wide-screen TV with AFRTS programming. Employees may subscribe to CNN and AFRTS in their homes through the Military Assistance Program.

Semiprofessional theatrical groups present productions in English and in Arabic. Theater workshops for children and adults are conducted throughout the year.

Cultural centers, such as the American Center, the British Council, Goethe Institute, the Royal Cultural Center, and the Haya Arts Center present theatrical productions, films, art exhibitions, lectures, and other events.

There are specialty restaurants, as well as American-style fast food places in Amman. Restaurants most frequented by foreigners serve continental, Chinese, German, Mexican, Italian, or Middle Eastern food. Music for dancing is available, as are discos and even floorshows at the Intercontinental, Marriott, Hyatt Regency, Regency Palace, Amra, Forte Grande, and San Rock Hotels, as well as a few nightclubs.

Amman has several parks and amusement facilities and skating arcades; however, most are not well kept or especially clean.

Several hotels have swimming pools and health club memberships. Their facilities are open to the public for a membership fee.

The American Club offers entertainment, games (pool, darts), and special weekly dinners. Membership fees are required for use of these Employee Association-sponsored facilities.

Recreation and Social Life

Social Activities

Among Americans Last Updated: 6/30/2004 6:35 AM Many Americans socialize informally in their homes or meet after work.

Softball, basketball, street hockey, Little League baseball, T-ball, soccer games, and barbecues are held at the ACS throughout the year.

The American community sponsors an active scouting program, including Daisies, Brownies, Cubs, Webelos, Girl Scouts, and Boy Scouts. American uniforms and equipment are ordered through the scouting organizations. The program includes campouts, hikes, calendar sales, pinewood derbies, awards banquets, etc.

American Women of Amman (AWA) meets monthly for a full program of activities. It promotes social relations among members and encourages exchanges between Americans and the Jordanian community. The club also contributes substantially to welfare activities in Jordan. In addition to guest speakers at monthly general meetings and newcomers' orientations, the club sponsors sewing, bridge, exercise, bowling, handicrafts, a library, children's activities, tours, shopping, and orientation trips around the city.

Recreation and Social Life

Social Activities

International Contacts Last Updated: 4/24/2005 7:54 AM Jordanians are sociable and hospitable people; many speak English. Many opportunities exist socially and at work to develop Jordanian contacts and friendships. The foreign diplomatic community in Amman is large and active and provides further opportunity for contacts outside the American community.

The Friends of Archeology (FOA) arranges lectures and tours to sites of interest in Jordan and in neighboring countries. They offer weekly Friday trips to various sites. Membership is international, and an annual fee is required.

The Diplomatic Wives' Club is open to all women and female spouses connected with foreign embassies in Jordan. They host a monthly tea, with guest speakers, organize various trips, and have a monthly gourmet club.

The Rotary and Lions Clubs are active in Amman, as are the Hashemite Hash House Harriers.

Official Functions

Nature of Functions Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Although normal Foreign Service protocol is observed at this post, newcomers to the Arab World will be surprised by the warmth and occasional lavishness of Jordanian entertainment. Cocktails and receptions are similar in character and custom to those in the U.S., but dinners and lunches start later, last longer, and have a more elaborate table than in the U.S. Senior members of the Mission can expect invitations to ceremonial occasions at the Royal Palace and to military, government, and diplomatic functions. For these functions, dark suits for men and conservative, fashionable dresses for women are suitable. Tuxedos and formal dresses are rarely required.

Official Functions

Standards of Social Conduct Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

All members of the Mission can expect to be invited to official Embassy functions and should regard such invitations as a required part of their official duties.

Informal entertaining among Americans and Jordanians is common and includes dinners, after dinner drinks, movies, and card games.

Newly assigned personnel pay courtesy calls on the Ambassador and DCM as part of the check-in procedure. Other courtesy calls for employees within the Mission are optional. The employee's sponsor or the Embassy protocol officer can be consulted on this. Calling cards are necessary for officers, and printed invitations are useful. Both can be printed in Amman, on short notice, at a reasonable cost.

Notes For Travelers

Getting to the Post Last Updated: 6/24/2004 8:48 AM

Pack HHE with care, particularly china and glassware. Liftvans should be sturdily built and should not measure more than 500 cubic feet (about 8' x 6'10''). Insure all shipments and keep an inventory of all contents. Do not box cars. Route all surface shipments via Aqaba. Vehicles are driven to Amman by U.S. Government contractors from Aqaba or on a cost-constructive basis by the employee. Due to lengthy customs clearance, forward the GSO all pertinent documents on shipment to Aqaba before the shipment is scheduled to arrive. Consign all shipments as follows:

Employee's full name American Embassy Amman, Jordan Port of Aqaba

Address airfreight as follows:

Employee's full name American Embassy Amman, Jordan via Queen Alia Airport

Note: Shipments not consigned exactly as specified above can be delayed indefinitely in customs. Telegram all travel particulars, i.e., number, date, and time of flight; number of travelers; and information regarding inclusion of pet(s), at least 2 weeks before your arrival, so that the GSO, Community Liaison Officer, and your sponsor can assure that you are met at the airport and assisted through necessary customs, health, and immigration procedures. The telegram can be sent through your agency personnel technician. Please note that customs clearance cannot be completed until you arrive at post and are announced to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Customs and Duties Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

You are permitted initial duty-free entry of HHE and a car that is less than 7 years old. Vehicles with dark tinted windows may not be imported into Jordan. Duty-free entry of goods is permitted throughout the tour of duty for those employees on the diplomatic list. A&T staff may only import their HHE and vehicle during the first six months of their tour of duty. Free entry is allowed for only one item of a kind during an employee's tour, i.e., one tape recorder, one TV, one piano, etc. Incoming packing lists will be checked by customs to ensure that only one of each electrical item is in the shipment. Limitations are also placed on the quantity of duty-free tobacco products and alcoholic beverages that officers, other than the Chief of Mission, can import.

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Passage Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

All persons entering Jordan must have a valid Jordanian visa. Visitors can obtain visas, valid for 1 or 2 weeks, at the airport on arrival in Amman at no charge. Personnel assigned to Jordan should obtain a visa at the nearest Jordanian Embassy before leaving the U.S. or overseas location. Personnel assigned to Amman must bring their passports, with the necessary documentation, to the Personnel Office to apply for a residence permit. Bring at least 20 color, passport sized photos (some black-and-white also) to expedite obtaining various required documents (drivers licenses, residence permits, etc.) for each family member.

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Pets Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Pets are not quarantined in Jordan. To enter Jordan, all dogs and cats must have current health certificates and have been vaccinated against rabies not less than 30 days or more than 12 months before entry. Isolate pets from guests when you are entertaining, because most Jordanians find animals (particularly dogs) in the home offensive. Several local veterinarians are available, and one clinic has a boarding kennel, with reasonable rates. Veterinarian care is adequate for routine matters, such as shots. More complicated care is erratic. Immunizations and veterinarian treatment costs are also reasonable.

Firearms and Ammunition Last Updated: 4/24/2005 8:01 AM

Importation of firearms into Jordan is generally discouraged by post. Most Embassy employees are not permitted to possess weapons for defensive purposes, and hunting opportunities are limited. Employees who wish to import weapons must have written permission of the Management Office, Regional Security Officer, and Ambassador before bringing firearms into Jordan. When requesting approval, state the purpose of the firearm and include the make, model, and serial number. If approved, this information, along with the Ambassador's permission, should be given to GSO-Shipping, who will inform the Jordanian authorities of the firearm importation.

Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated: 4/24/2005 8:03 AM

Local currency is the Jordanian dinar, which is divided into 1,000 fils. Many Jordanians use the term piaster (10 fils = 1 piaster). The rate of exchange is JD1=US$0.708. Travelers may import only 100 Jordanian dinars at time of entry. The Embassy's cashier exchanges personal checks and travelers checks for employees and their dependents (if the employee has completed a Power of Attorney for the dependent). The prevailing rate of exchange, is used for accommodation exchange transactions.

Citibank is the only commercial U.S. bank currently operating in Jordan. Other banks include Grindlays, the Arab Bank, and the British Bank of the Middle East. These banks exchange currency to corresponding banks outside Jordan. In addition to your U.S. dollar checking account, you can open a dinar checking account with a local bank for making local payments. The local branch of Citibank sells American Express travelers checks.

Jordan employs the standard metric system for weights and measures.

Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Embassy personnel are exempt from local taxes and fees, except for a 10% luxury tax placed on the better hotels, restaurants, and drycleaning establishments. Post permission is required to sell any personal goods. Selling a car also requires permission from the Jordanian Foreign Office. If the sale is approved, registration and transfer of title is subject to full payment of duties and taxes by the buyer.

Recommended Reading Last Updated: 6/30/2004 7:06 AM

These titles are provided as a general indication of the material published on this country. The Department of State does not endorse unofficial publications.

Abidi, Aqil Hyder Hasan. Jordan, A Political Study, 1948-1957. Asia Publishing House: 1965.

Benham, Hutchinson. Jordan. London:1978.

Browning, Ian. Petra. Chatto & Windus:1973.

Collins, Larry and Dominique La Pierre. O Jerusalem! Simon and Schuster: 1972 (paperback).

Day, Arthur R. East Bank/West Bank: Jordan and the Prospects for Peace. New York: Council on Foreign Relations: 1968.

Djebar, Assia. Fantasia: An Algerian Cavalcade. Heinemann: 1993

Esposito, John L. Islam and Politics. The Syracuse University Press: Third Edition: 1991.

Esposito, John L. The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality? Oxford University Press: 1992.

Friedman, Thomas. The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization. Anchor Books: 2000.

Friedman, Thomas. From Beirut to Jerusalem. Farrar Straus Giroux: 1989.

Fromkin, David. A Peace to End all Peace: Creating the Modern Middle East, 1914-1922. Henry Holt & Co.: 1989.

Gibb, H.A.R. Mohammedanism, a Historical Survey. Oxford University Press: 1969 (paperback).

Glubb, John Bagot. The Story of the Arab Legion. Hodder & Stoughton: 1948.

Glueck, Nelson. The Other Side of the Jordan. American Schools of Oriental Research: 1970.

Goldschmidt, Arthur, Jr. A Concise History of the Middle East. Third edition. Waterview Press, Inc.: 1988.

Gubster, Peter. Jordan: Crossroads of Middle Eastern Events. Westview Press: 1983.

Harding, G. Lancaster. The Antiquities of Jordan. Praeger, rev. ed.: 1974 (paperback).

Heikal, Mohammad. The Road to Ramadan. Harper & Row: 1975.

Heller, Mark A. and Nussiebeh, Sara. No Trumpets, No Drums, A Two-State Settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Hill & Wang: 1991.

Hitti, Philip K. History of the Arabs: From the Earlier Times to the Present. Paperback Books, St. Martin's Press: 10th ed., 1970.

Hourani, Albert. A History of the Arab Peoples. The Bell Knapp Press of Harvard University: 1991.

Hussein, King of Jordan. My War With Israel. William Morrow: 1969.

Hussein, King of Jordan. Uneasy Lies the Head. Heinemann: 1962.

Johnston, Charles. The Brink of Jordan. Hamish Hamilton: 1972.

Kenyon, Kathleen. Archaeology in the Holy Land. Praeger Publishing: 1970.

Khouri, F. J. The Arab-Israeli Dilemma. Syracuse: 1976.

Kirkbride, Alec S. A Crackle of Thorns. Transatlantic Arts, Inc.: 1958.

Lawrence, T. E. Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Viking Penguin: 1987.

Lewis, Bernard. The Arabs in History. Torchbook Series. Harper & Row: 1966.

Lunt, Charles. Hussein of Jordan. Morrow: 1989.

Lutifiyya, Abdulla M. Baytin: A Jordanian Village. Humanities Press: 1966.

Mack, John E. A Prince of Our Disorder: The Life of T. E. Lawrence. Little Brown: 1976.

Maalouf, Amin. Leo Africanus. New Amsterdam Books: 1990

Metz, Helen Chapin, ed. Jordan: A Country Study, 4th Edition. U.S. Government Printing Office: 1991.

Migdal, Joel S. Palestinian Society and Politics. Princeton University Press: 1980.

Mishal, Shaul. West Bank/East Bank: The Palestinians in Jordan, 1949-1967. Yale University Press: New Haven, 1978.

Nelson, Bryan. Azraq: A Desert Oasis. Allen Lane: 1973.

Nevins, Edward and Theon Wright. World Without Time—The Bedouins. John Day Col.: 1969.

Noor, Queen of Jordan. Leap of Faith: Memoirs of An Unexpected Life. Miramax: 2003

Peake, Lt. Col. Frederick G. A History of Jordan and its Tribes. University of Miami Press: 1958.

Quandt, William B. Decade of Decisions, American Policy Toward the Arab- Israeli Conflict, 1967-1976. University of California Press: Berkeley, 1973.

Shlaim, Avi. Collusion Across the Jordan. Oxford University Press: 1967.

Sicherman, Harvey. Broker or Advocate? The U.S. Role in The Arab-Israeli Dispute, 1973-1979. Foreign Policy Research Institute, Monograph No. 25: Philadelphia, PA.

Smith, Charles D. Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Bedford Books: 2000

Local Holidays Last Updated: 1/24/2005 4:05 AM

In 2005, the American Embassy in Amman is closed for the following holidays:

New Year's Day January 02 Martin Luther King's Birthday January 16 *Id Al-Adha January 21 & 22 King Abdullah's Birthday January 30

*Islamic New Year February 10 President's Day February 20 *Prophet Mohammad's Birthday April 21 Easter May 01 Jordanian Independence Day May 25 Memorial Day May 29 American Independence Day July 04 *Prophet Mohammad's Ascension Day September 01

U.S. Labor Day September 04 Columbus Day October 09 *Id Al-Fitr November 04 & 05

Veteran's Day November 10 King Hussein's Birthday November 14 Thanksgiving Day November 24 Christmas Day December 25

The holidays marked with an asterik (*) are religious holidays set according to the lunar calendar and the dates vary by year. Additionally, Ramadan, the Muslims' holy month, is observed by many Jordanians with fasting from sunrise to sunset and feasting at night.

Adapted from material published by the U.S. Department of State. While some of the information is specific to U.S. missions abroad, the post report provides a good overview of general living conditions in the host country for diplomats from all nations.
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