In 1946, Jordan became an independent state officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, but was renamed in 1949 to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan after the country captured the West Bank during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War and annexed it until it was lost to Israel in 1967. Jordan is a semi-arid, almost landlocked country with an area of 89,342 km2 (34,495 sq mi) and a population numbering 10 million, making it the 11th-most populous Arab country. [53] As had happened during the Roman era, growth of maritime trade diminished Transjordan's central position, and the area became increasingly impoverished. These are subdivided into a total of 52 districts (Liwaa'), which are further divided into neighbourhoods in urban areas or into towns in rural ones. [59] Several of the Ayyubid castles were used and expanded by the Mamluks (1260–1516), who divided Transjordan between the provinces of Karak and Damascus. [38] Although the kingdoms supported the Babylonians against Judah in the 597 BC sack of Jerusalem, they rebelled against them a decade later. [23] The world's oldest evidence of bread-making was found in a 14,500 years old Natufian site in Jordan's northeastern desert. Günther Garbrecht: "Wasserspeicher (Talsperren) in der Antike", world's first purpose built Christian church, Timeline of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, Saudi Arabian-led military intervention in Yemen, Jordan–United States Free Trade Agreement, King Abdullah Design and Development Bureau, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East, Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, Jordan University of Science & Technology, "Population stands at around 9.5 million, including 2.9 million guests", "The Domination of Amman Urban Crossroads", "Jordan: The safe haven for Christians fleeing ISIL", "2015 UNHCR country operations profile – Jordan", "Jordan second top Arab destination to German tourists", "The First Traces of Man. He refocused the government's agenda on economic reform, during his first year. Around 2.9 million (30%) were non-citizens, a figure including refugees, and illegal immigrants. [252] Jordanian Christians number around 250,000, all of whom are Arabic-speaking, according to a 2014 estimate by the Orthodox Church, though the study excluded minority Christian groups and the thousands of Western, Iraqi and Syrian Christians residing in Jordan. [36] The stele constitutes one of the most important direct accounts of Biblical history. Many Iraqi Christians (Assyrians/Chaldeans) however settled temporarily or permanently in Jordan. Owen Mac. [204] Jordan also is a hub for natural treatment methods in both Ma'in Hot Springs and the Dead Sea. Multiple canals and pipelines were proposed to reduce its recession, which had begun causing sinkholes. [47] Christianity had become legal within the empire in 313 AD after Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity. "Far Side Banks of Jordan", a duet featuring Cash and his wife, June Carter Cash, is a remake of a track first recorded in 1975 for a planned Gospel album that was recorded in full, but for reasons unknown was never released (the 1975 version of the song, along with the other tracks, would not be released until 2012). [4], The Jordanian educational system comprises 2 years of pre-school education, 10 years of compulsory basic education, and two years of secondary academic or vocational education, after which the students sit for the General Certificate of Secondary Education Exam (Tawjihi) exams. [32] Ancient Egyptians expanded towards the Levant and controlled both banks of the Jordan River. [117] Although the desert parts of the kingdom reach high temperatures, the heat is usually moderated by low humidity and a daytime breeze, while the nights are cool. [184] Foreign aid covers only a small part of these costs, 63% of the total costs are covered by Jordan. 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