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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Jordan Life

The population of Jordan is almost entirely Arab. The only sizable racial minorities in the country are the Circassians and the Armenians; each group accounts for less than 1 percent of the population. Jordan is 72 percent urban; nomads and seminomads make up perhaps 5 percent of the population.

The population of Jordan (1997 estimate), is 4,322,255, yielding an average population density of 48 persons per sq km (125 per sq mi).

The term Arabic refers to the standard form of the language used in all writing and heard on television and radio as well as in mosques. The diverse colloquial dialects of Arabic are interrelated but vary considerably among speakers from different parts of the Middle East. These dialects differ from standard Arabic and from one another in pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar and are usually labeled according to major geographic areas, such as North African, Egyptian, and Gulf.

Within these broad classifications, the daily speech of urban, rural, and nomadic speakers is distinctively different. Illiterate speakers from widely separated parts of the Arab world may not understand one another, although each is speaking a version of Arabic.

The sound system of Arabic has 28 consonants, including all the Semitic guttural sounds produced far back in the mouth and throat. Each of the three vowels in standard Arabic occurs in a long and short form, creating the long and short syllables so important to the meter of Arabic poetry. Although the dialects retain the long vowels, they have lost many of the short-vowel contrasts.

The great majority of the Jordanian people are Sunni Muslims. Shiite Muslims form a small minority. Christians, about one-third of whom belong to the Greek Orthodox Church, make up about 5 percent of the population. Islam is the state religion.


Acknowledgements: ASIATRAVELMART.COM

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