Jordan is a semi-arid country, covering an area of 89,342 km2 (34,495 sq mi), with a population of 10 million, making it the eleventh-most populous Arab country. The dominant majority, or around 95% of the country's population, is Sunni Muslim, with a mostly Arab Christian minority. Jordan has been repeatedly referred to as an "oasis of stability" in the turbulent region of the Middle East. It has been mostly unscathed by the violence that swept the region following the Arab Spring in 2010. From as early as 1948, Jordan has accepted refugees from multiple neighboring countries in conflict. An estimated 2.1 million Palestinian and 1.4 million Syrian refugees are present in Jordan as of a 2015 census. The kingdom is also a refuge to thousands of Christian Iraqis fleeing persecution by the Islamic State. While Jordan continues to accept refugees, the recent large influx from Syria placed substantial strain on national resources and infrastructure.
Jordan has a high Human Development Index, ranking 102nd, and is considered an upper middle income economy. The Jordanian economy, one of the smallest economies in the region, is attractive to foreign investors based upon a skilled workforce. The country is a major tourist destination, also attracting medical tourism due to its well developed health sector. Nonetheless, a lack of natural resources, large flow of refugees, and regional turmoil have hampered economic growth. (Full article...)
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in Jordan face legal challenges and discrimination not experienced by non-LGBT persons. However, Jordan remains one of few Arab countries where homosexual conduct is not criminalized.
Same-sex sexual activity was illegal in Jordan under the British Mandate Criminal Code Ordinance (No. 74 of 1936) until 1951 when Jordan drafted its own penal code which did not criminalise homosexuality. Homosexual conduct remains legal in Jordan. But LGBT people displaying public affection can be prosecuted for "disrupting public morality" and most LGBT people face social discrimination not experienced by non-LGBT residents. (Full article...)