Seventy years ago on May 25, the Emirate of Transjordan became the "Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan" under the Treaty of London, in which Jordan finally gained its independence. It later became the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1949, the name it holds today.

In honor of Jordan's 70th Independence Day, we look at 7 things you may have not known about the kingdom.

1. The kingdom is named after the Jordan River, and was Arabized into "Al Urdun" after the Crusader rule of Jordan

Photo source: Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia

2. "Hashemite" comes from the house name of the ruling family

3. The lowest land point on Earth is Jordan's Dead Sea

Photo source: Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia

4. Nabateans, nomadic Arabs, established Petra as their capital; the Greeks founded new cities in Jordan including Amman, Jerash, Umm Qays, Tabaqat Fahl and Irbid

5. Jordan has one of the oldest Christian communities in the world and Christians made up 20 percent of the population in 1950

Photo source: Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia

Jordan is part of the Holy Land, being home to several biblical attractions including Al-Maghtas ruins, the place where the baptism of Jesus is believed to have occurred.

6. Although May 25 is the day of celebration for independence, the mandate for Transjordan officially ended on June 17, 1946

7. Jordan has been home to millions of refugees as early as 1948 with an estimated 2 million Palestinians and 1.4 million Syrian refugees residing in the country


This is an image of a portion of the Zaatari refugee camp, home to approximately 83,000 refugees.

And... just a little bonus:

In 2016, for the first time ever, a Jordanian film, Theeb, was nominated for the 88th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film

Happy Independence Day!