People of Jordan:

The majority of Jordan’s 4.4 million people are Arabs descended from the various tribes that have migrated to the area over the years from all directions. In addition, there are Circassians, descendants of Muslim refugees from the Tsarist Russian invasion of the Caucasus in the 19th century, and a much smaller group of Chechens. Jordan also has a small Armenian population.

More than 92% of Jordanians are Sunni Muslims, and about 6% are Christians who live mainly in Amman, Madaba, Karak and Salt. The majority of Christians belong to the Greek Orthodox Church, but there are also Greek Catholics, a small Roman Catholic community, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox and a few Protestant denominations found mostly in Amman. Several small Shi’a and Druze populations can also be found in Jordan.

Jordan values its diverse population, and has consequently provided for the cultural rights of all its citizens. All of Jordan’s ethnic and religious groups have full freedom to form and participate in their own clubs, associations, schools or places of worship. Ethnic groups are also free to teach their own languages. The tradition of tolerance and appreciation for diversity has long been a hallmark of Hashemite Jordan and it has helped to provide a stable social foundation on which to build the country.

The Bedouins

One of the best known groups from Jordan’s population is the Bedouin. As they are known in Arabic, the Bedu, or “desert dwellers,” endure the desert and have learned to survive its unforgiving climate. It is difficult to count Bedouins, but it is generally known that the majority of Jordan’s population is of Bedouin origin.

Most of Jordan’s Bedouin live in the vast wasteland that extends east from the Desert Highway. All throughout the south and east of the country, their communities are marked by characteristic black goat-hair tents. These are known as beit al-sha’ar, or “house of hair.”

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