The 132nd RCA Talk Salon Jordan: The Mosaic and Black Iris
The 132nd RCA Talk Salon
was held at Ryokuen Club House on Sat., April 28.
Our guest speaker was Mr. Rami M. Al-Kharabsheh,
Second Secretary of the Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Ms. Yu Arai of the Embassy also participated
in the Talk Salon and kindly served as co-interpreter.
Mr. Al-Kharabsheh’s speech included, but
not limited to, the following:
Overview of Jordan
Jordan is located in the heart of the Middle East, Northwest of Saudi Arabia,
south of Syria, Southwest of Iraq, and east of Israel and the Occupied West Bank. Jordan
has access to the (Red Sea) via the port city of Aqaba, located at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba.
9,508,887 (2018 est.) (6.6 Million Jordanian Citizens. A large number of the refugees from the neighboring
troubled areas including the West Bank and Syria are taking shelter in Jordan.)
- 2.05 % (2017 est.)
Total Area: 89,342
– 4 Million (2018 est.)
is the official language, but English is widely spoken.
Exchange Rates: Jordan's currency is the Jordanian Dinar, or JD. It is subdivided into 1000 fils. The rate of
exchange is 1JD=1.4$ & 1JD=153 Yen. (One of the audience asked about the
prices of goods in Jordan.
Mr. Al-Kharabsheh’s example made us realize the prices of
Japanese goods here seem to be relatively more expensive than
those of Jordanian goods.)
Jordan has a combination of Mediterranean and arid desert climates, with
prevailing in the north and west of the country, while the majority of the
country is desert. Generally, the country has warm,
dry summers and mild, wet winters.
System: The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a
monarchy with a representative government.
monarch, His Majesty King Abdullah II, is the Head of State, the Chief
Executive, and the Commander-in-Chief
of the Armed forces. Since 1989, all
elements of the Jordanian political spectrum have embarked together
on a road to greater democracy, liberalization and consensus building.
A. Flag: The flag of Jordan is based on the
flag of the Great Arab Revolt. The flag consists of horizontal black, white, and green bands
that are connected by a red chevron. The
colors represent the Abbasid (black band), Umayyad (white band), and Fatimid (green band) caliphates. The red chevron is for the Hashemite dynasty,
and the Great Arab Revolt. The seven points represent the seven verses
of Al Fateh in the Quran.
B. Coat of Arms: Declared
in 1934, the Crown Symbolizing the monarchy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Black Iris is the national flower of Jordan and can be found all across the
the Karak Governorate. It
blooms in the spring with dark black petals and is a national symbol of growth, renewal
D. National Dish: The national dish of
Jordan is mansaf. It is
the most distinctive Jordanian dish. It consists of lamb cooked in a creamy
sauce made of yogurt, served on a bed of rice. Feasting of Mansaf is taken very
seriously, and it can take many
hours to prepare. If mansaf is on the menu, Jordanians consider this to
represent the height of generosity. It is usually served to mark special events,
such as a graduation, a wedding or a holiday.
Labor Force: 2.5
Million (2018 est.)
Billion USD (2016 est.)
GDP Growth Rate: 2.5%
Clothing, Fertilizers, Potash, Phosphates, Vegetables, Pharmaceuticals.
Main Imports: Crude
Oil, Machinery, Transport Equipment, Iron.
History (From Antiquity to Modernity)
Jordan is a land steeped in history. It has been home to some of mankind’s
earliest settlements and villages, and relics of many of the world’s great civilizations can still be seen today. Climate
participated in shaping the history of Jordanas the northern highlands and the Jordan Valley areas have received enough
rainfall to support large populations.
Therefore, these areas have always been more settled by farmers, villagers
and townspeople. The water resources and fertility of the land can be linked to population shifts between large
urban centers and more
dispersed, nomadic tribal groups .
• As the crossroads of the Middle East, the
lands of Jordan and Palestine have served as a strategic nexus connecting Asia,
Africa, and Europe. Thus, since the dawn of civilization, Jordan’s geography
has given it an important role to play as
a conduit for trade and communications, connecting east and west, north and
south. Jordan continues to play this
role even today.
• Parts of Jordan
were included in the dominions of ancient Iraq, including the Sumerian,
Akkadian, Babylonian, Assyrian
and Mesopotamian Empires. From the west, Pharaonic Egypt extended its power and
culture into Jordan, while the nomadic Nabateans
built their empire in Jordan after migrating from the south.
• Jordan was incorporated into the classical
civilizations of Greece, Rome and Persia, the relics of which are scattered across
the Jordanian landscape. Since the mid-seventh century AD, the land of Jordan
has remained almost continuously
in the hands of various Arab and Islamic dynasties.
• After the
demise of the Ottoman Empire in the region (The Great Arab Revolution 1916),
Jordan was under the British Mandate
(Emirate of Transjordan). In 25/5/1946 Jordan became an Independent State.
Locations & Tourism:
The ancient city of Petra in Jordan is
located in Wadi Musa 246 km from the Jordanian capital Amman, the ancient city is
128 km away in the Gulf of Aqaba. Archaeologists,
scientists and engineers from various parts of the world are today involved in the task
of rebuilding Petra. So far, they could unearth only one –
twentieth of the ancient city.
Jerash is located
north of the capital Amman. Inhabited since the Bronze Age, it’s known for the
ruins of the walled Greco-Roman
settlement of Gerasa just outside the modern city.
archaeological World Heritage site in Jordan on the east bank of the Jordan
River, officially known as Baptism Site "Bethany
Beyond the Jordan" (Al-Maghtas). It is considered to be the original
location of the Baptism of Jesus and the ministry
of John the Baptist and has been venerated as such since at least the Byzantine
Is an elevated ridge
in Jordan, approximately 710 meters above sea level, mentioned in the Hebrew
Bible as the place where Moses was
granted a view of the Promised Land. The view from the summit provides a
panorama of the Holy Land and, to the
north, a more limited one of the valley of the River Jordan. The West Bank city
of Jericho is usually visible from the
summit, as is Jerusalem on a very clear day.
The Dead Sea –
bordering Jordan, the West Bank and Israel – is a salt lake whose banks are
more than 400m below sea level, the
lowest point on dry land. Its famously hyper saline water makes floating easy,
and its mineral-rich black mud is used for
therapeutic and cosmetic treatments at area resorts. The surrounding desert
offers many oases and historic sites.
elevation: -430 m. Area:
605 km² Max.
Depth: 298 m.
Also known as The
Valley of the Moon, is a valley cut into the sandstone and granite rock in
southern Jordan 60 km to the east of
Aqaba; it is the largest wadi in Jordan. Wadi Rum is Arabic for "Sand
Valley", as Rum means sand, especially light
sand that can be carried by wind, so you could even do sand surfing.
Jordan - Japan Relations
- 1954 diplomatic relations established
- 1974 Jordanian Embassy opened in Tokyo
- 1974 Japanese Embassy opened in Amman
- Friendship between Imperial and Royal is
Bilateral Treaties and Arrangements:
Technical Assistance Agreement came into effect. Currently cooperative
Solar Energy project is underway.
Aviation Agreement came into effect.
Reciprocal Visa Fee Waiver Agreement came into effect.
Agreement for Cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy came into
Number of Residents:
Number of Japanese Nationals residing in Jordan:
307 (as of October 2016)
Number of Jordanian Nationals residing in Japan:
155 (as of December 2016)
Trade with Japan: (in yen)
¥ 3.98 billion (2016) (fertilizer, phosphorus ore).
¥ 68.71 billion (2016) (transport machinery, machinery).
E. Hollywood Movies in Jordan:
The Martian (2015)
Queen of the Desert (2015)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
The Mummy Returns (2001)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962) (One of the audience inquired about this film
which was filmed in Wadi Rum.
He said he
remembers vividly the scene in which Peter O’Toole (acting as T.E.Lawrence) shouted
In the speech Mr. Al-Kharabsheh
let us know why he chose the Title--Jordan: The Mosaic and Black Iris as ollows:
Main reason for choosing the title of this presentation is to give you a
sincere hint, about the exquisite nature of Jordan; in the demographic
variety and the rich history which intertwines to create the modern state, where we adopt and enhance richness
and diversity in society, religion, and culture.
the Black Iris is a symbol of beauty, resilience, and grace in a region that
has carried many challenges and turmoil. Jordan remains strong and open to embrace
those who seek it to enjoy its culture and history. Or to find safety and peace, away
from the ongoing political and military challenges surrounding it.
welcomed the guest speaker from Jordan for the first time to our Talk
Salon. Owing to Mr. Al-Kharabsheh, we,
of Ryokuen learned a lot about the
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The two
hours with him allowed us to have the overview of Jordan from historic, geographical,
political, economic and cultural view points to say the least. It was really a very precious time for us.