• The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (Al Mamlakeh Al Urduniyyeh Al Hashmiyyeh, or Al Urdun for short) covers around 90,000 square kilometres – roughly the same area as Portugal or Indiana.

Of the 6.7 million population, well over 90 percent are Muslim Arabs, with small minorities of Christian Arabs, as well as Muslim Circassians and Chechens.

Life expectancy is just over 80 – slightly ahead of the UK and Luxembourg.

Jordan is a constitutional monarchy, with universal suffrage over the age of 18. The king appoints the Prime Minister and together they appoint the Cabinet. The Senate is appointed by the king and the House of Representatives is voted in by proportional representation.

• Jordan’s per-capita GDP is under US$6000. It has virtually no oil. Key economic sectors are phosphate and potash production, and tourism.

Jordanian workers are entitled to a minimum wage of JD190/month (US$265).

King Abdullah’s father, King Hussein, and mother, Toni Gardiner (later Princess Muna), met on the set of Lawrence of Arabia in 1961.

King Abdullah once appeared in a non-speaking role in Star Trek: Voyager.

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