In 1977 Jordan celebrated the Silver Jubilee of His Majesty King Hussein. More than a simple tribute to a much loved and progressive monarch, however, the Jubilee celebrations were an affirmation of partnership, one which has achieved impressive results over the past twenty-five years. Together the people of Jordan and their King have brought about profound changes in the country's social and economic life, bridging, in a generation, the gap between an ancient past and a technological present.
One of the many states which came into being as a result of the First World War, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is among the smaller countries on the eastern borders of the Mediterranean - that ancient zone of settlement and transit where civilization had its beginnings. Landlocked, apart from a forty-kilometer coastline at the tip of the Red Sea, more than four-fifths of the country is desert or semi-desert. While the climate is gentle, the terrain is harsh, and though this harshness provides interest and adventure for the tourist, it creates problems and challenges for Jordanians.
Jordan's ancient history and varied geography have bred a versatile and energetic people. The population of little more than two and a half million reveals a variety of cultures and reflects the legacy of the centuries. Most Jordanians today are engaged in cultivation, mining and trade, and are becoming increasingly industrialized and urbanized. The standard of education is the highest in the Arab world. Schools, health services, communications and the rapidly expanding economy all bear testimony to the quality and extent of the development that has taken place. And this despite the disastrous consequences of the 1967 war on the nation's economy.
For twenty-five years the Hashemite Kingdom has provided an example of man's ability to triumph over adversity. The natural and strategic handicaps facing the country when King Hussein acceded to the throne in 1952 endure today. The resource and vigour with which they are being tackled and turned to advantage is a model of joint endeavour. Under the leadership0 of King Hussein, the Jordanian people are building a just and modern society on the bedrock of traditional Arab values.
This Jubilee volume celebrates that endeavour. All aspects of the Kingdom's life are covered - its glorious heritage, its vigorous and enterprising present, and the social and economic goals the nation has set for the future. Sumptuously illustrated with over a hundred photographs, Jordan captures in word and image the spirit of a proud and generous race.