Jordan officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is an Arab country in Southwest Asia spanning the southern part of the Syrian Desert down to the Gulf of Aqaba.
It shares borders with Syria to the north, Iraq to the north-east, the West Bank and Israel to the west, and Saudi Arabia to the east and south.
It shares control of the Dead Sea with Israel, and the coastline of the Gulf of Aqaba with the State of Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
Much of Jordan is covered by desert, particularly the Arabian Desert; however the north-western area, with the Jordan River, is regarded as part of the Fertile Crescent.
The capital city of Amman is in the north-west.
During its history, Jordan has seen numerous civilizations, including such ancient eastern civilizations as the Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Mesopotamian, and Persian empires.
Jordan was for a time part of Pharaonic Egypt, and spawned the native Nabatean civilization who left rich archaeological remains at Petra.
Cultures from the west also left their mark, such as the Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Turkish empires.
Since the seventh century the area has been under Muslim and Arab cultures, with the exception of a brief period under British rule.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a constitutional monarchy with representative government. The reigning monarch is the head of state, the chief executive and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
The king exercises his executive authority through the prime ministers and the Council of Ministers, or cabinet. The cabinet, meanwhile, is responsible before the elected House of Deputies which, along with the House of Notables (Senate), constitutes the legislative branch of the government.
The judicial branch is an independent branch of the government.