August 11 - King Hussein Ascension Day in Jordan

Posted on August 11, 2017

The nation of Jordan had the longest-reigning leader of the Middle East when King Hussein he ruled more than 46 years. One reason for his longevity is that he started young: Hussein became king when he was still 17 years old and still going to school. Another reason is that he survived several assassination and coup attempts, and he grew to become very popular. He was known as a peacemaker, and he was well liked as a leader who could balance pressures from Arab nationalists and Western powers. He is considered to have transformed his country into a stable and modern nation.

It was on this date in 1952 that Hussein became king. When he died of cancer, in 1999, his funeral was the largest gathering of world leaders in years. 

Here are some things that make Jordan special:

Of course, it's a huge bonus to tourism that Jordan is stable, but this also makes it the go-to site for many movie projects. Scenes have been shot in Jordan for such varied movies as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade to The Martian, from Zero Dark Thirty to Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, from Lawrence of Arabia to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Jordan has the world's lowest altitude national park! Mujib Biosphere Reserve has portions that are 416 feet below sea level!

A more famous national park is Wadi Rum:

Jerash is one of the best-preserved towns in the world that is from the Ancient Greek and Roman civilizations.

There are many more ancient ruins. Like these:

Umm Qais and Pella

Azraq Fort

Qasr Amra

The Dead Sea is so salty, you cannot sink.

Petra, of course. This famous and spectacular archaeological city is known for its rock-cut architecture and ancient water system.

Also on this date:

(Second Friday of August)

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