Jordan (/ˈdʒɔrdən/; Arabic: الأردن al-Urdun), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (Arabic: المملكة الأردنية الهاشمية al-Mamlakah al-Urdunīyah al-Hāshimīyah), is an Arab kingdom in the Middle East, on the East Bank of the Jordan River. Jordan is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south and east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north, and Israel and Palestine to the west.
After the post-World War I division of West Asia by Britain and France, the Emirate of Transjordan was officially recognized by the Council of the League of Nations in 1922. In 1946, Jordan became an independent sovereign state officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan. After capturing the West Bank during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Abdullah I took the title King of Jordan. The name of the state was changed to The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on 1 December 1948.
Although Jordan is a constitutional monarchy, the king holds wide executive and legislative powers. Jordan is classified as a country of "high human development" by the 2014 Human Development Report. Jordan has an "upper middle income" economy. Jordan enjoys "advanced status" with the European Union since December 2010, and it is a member of the Euro-Mediterranean free trade area. It is also a founding member of the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
By Dean Hanley