History of Jordan

modern Jordan.

Jordan's economy has improved greatly since Abdullah ascended to the throne in 1999, and he has been credited with increasing foreign investment, improving public-private partnerships, and providing the foundation for Aqaba's free trade zone and Jordan's flourishing ICT sector. He also set up five other special economic zones: Irbid, Ajloun, Mafraq, Ma'an and the Dead Sea. As a result of these reforms, Jordan's economic growth has doubled to 6% annually under King Abdullah's rule compared to the latter half of the 1990s. Foreign direct investment from the West as well as the countries of the Persian Gulf has continued to increase. He also negotiated a free trade agreement with the United States, which was the third free trade agreement for the U.S. and the first with an Arab country.

In 2005 BBC international published an article titled "Jordan edging towards democracy", where King Abdullah expressed his intentions of making Jordan a democratic country. According to the article, president George W. Bush "urged King Abdullah, a U.S. ally, to take steps towards democracy." Thus far, however, democratic development has been limited, with the monarchy maintaining most power and its allies dominating parliament. Elections were held in November 2010, and following the Arab Spring which started in 2011, a new prime minister was appointed. In June 2011 the King has announced a move to a British style of Cabinet Government.

Jordan Joins the Arab Spring

Starting in December 2010 with Tunisia, many of the Arab countries started to revolt against their dictators. Jordan was not an exception and became the sixth country to revolt after Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Yemen and Lebanon. One of the main causes of their first protest on 28 January 2011 was because of their prime minister Samir Rifai and his new tax policies that made the price of food skyrocket. As many as 2,500 protesters took to the streets, many of them members of the