The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has been inhabited since the Paleolithic period. It was first ruled by the Nabateans, then by the Romans and the Ottomans until it became a British protectorate during the first world war. It achieved independence in 1946 to become a constitutional monarchy, similar in structure to Spain and the United Kingdom, although the king in Jordan has broader powers than in those countries.
Jordan is a western Asian country located on the East Bank of the Jordan River. It is strategically located at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe. Saudi Arabia is to the east and south, Iraq to the northeast, Syria to the north, Israel and Palestine to the west, and the Red Sea is to the southwest. The official language is Arabic, although many dialects and variations are spoken throughout the country. The Jordanian economy has robust finance, construction and communication industries.