Glossary -- Jordan
- Basic currency unit consisting of 1,000 fils; created in 1950
as replacement for the Palestinian pound. Dinar's value was
established at parity with the British pound sterling, or a value
of US$2.80 equal to JD1. Jordan, as a member of the sterling area,
maintained parity with the British pound until 1967 when the
British devalued their currency. Jordan did not follow the pound,
retaining the dinar at US$2.80 equal to JD1 through 1972. When
United States currency was devalued in 1973, the dinar was unlinked
from the dollar, since which time the rate has fluctuated.
Beginning in February 1975, the dinar was pegged to the special
drawing right (SDR--q.v.). According to International
Monetary Fund (IMF--q.v.) data, the average conversion
rate of the dinar for trade and other purposes was US$3.04 in 1987,
US$2.1 in 1988, and US$1.54 in 1989.
- East Bank
- The area east of the Jordan River, the Dead Sea, and the series
of wadis from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. Roughly the former
Amirate of Transjordan.
- GDP (gross domestic product)
- A value measure of the flow of domestic goods and services
produced by an economy over a period of time, such as a year. Only
output values of goods for final consumption and for intermediate
production are assumed to be included in final prices. GDP is
sometimes aggregated and shown at market prices, meaning that
indirect taxes and subsidies are included; when these have been
eliminated, the result is GDP at factor cost. The word
gross indicates that deductions for depreciation of
physical assets have not been made.
- GNP (gross national product)
- GDP (q.v.) plus the net income or loss stemming from
transactions with foreign countries. GNP is the broadest
measurement of the output of goods and services by an economy. It
can be calculated at market prices, which include indirect taxes
and subsidies. Because indirect taxes and subsidies are only
transfer payments, GNP is often calculated at factor cost, removing
indirect taxes and subsidies.
- A word used in several senses. In general use and lower-cased,
it means the leader of congregational prayers; as such it implies
no ordination or special spiritual powers beyond sufficient
education to carry out this function. It is also used figuratively
by many Sunni (q.v.) Muslims to mean the leader of the
Islamic community. Among Shia (q.v.) Muslims the word is
usually upper-cased and takes on many complex and controversial
meanings; in general, however, it indicates that particular
descendant of the Party of Ali who is believed to have been God's
designated repository of the spiritual authority inherent in that
line. The identity of this individual and the means of ascertaining
his identity have been the major issues causing divisions among
- International Monetary Fund
- Established along with the World Bank (q.v.) in 1945,
the IMF is a specialized agency affiliated with the United Nations
and is responsible for stabilizing international exchange rates and
payments. The main business of the IMF is the provision of loans to
its members (including industrialized and developing countries)
when they experience balance of payments difficulties. These loans
frequently carry conditions that require substantial internal
economic adjustments by the recipients, most of which are
- Narrowly, a citizen of the British mandated territory of
Palestine (1922-48). Generally, a Muslim or Christian native or
descendant of a native of the region between the Egyptian Sinai and
Lebanon and west of the Jordan River-Dead Sea-Gulf of Aqaba line
who identifies himself primarily as a Palestinian.
- Body of Islamic law. Courts applying this law are known as
- sharif (Arabic pl., ashraf)
- An individual who claims to be and is accepted as a descendant
of the Prophet Muhammad through his daughter Fatima.
- Leader or chief. Word used to mean either a political leader or
a learned religious leader. Also used as an honorific. Frequently
spelled sheikh or sheik.
- Shia (also Shiite, from Shiat Ali, the Party
- A member of the smaller of the two great divisions of Islam.
Shias supported the claims of Ali and his line to presumptive right
to the caliphate and leadership of the Muslim community, and on
this issue they divided from the Sunnis (q.v.) in the
first great schism within Islam. Later schisms have produced
further divisions among the Shias over the identity and number of
Imams (q.v.). Shias revere Twelve Imams, the last of whom
is believed to be in hiding.
- special drawing right(s) (SDR)
- a monetary unit of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
(q.v.) based on a basket of international currencies
consisting of the United States dollar, the German deutschmark, the
Japanese yen, the British pound sterling, and the French franc.
- Sunni (from sunna, orthodox)
- A member of the larger of the two great divisions of Islam.
Sunnis supported the traditional method of election to the
caliphate and accepted the Umayyad line. On this issue they divided
from the Shia (q.v.) Muslims in the first great schism
- Narrowly, a citizen of the Amirate of Transjordan (1921-46).
Generally, a Muslim or Christian native of the region east of the
Jordan River-Dead Sea-Gulf of Aqaba line and within the approximate
boundaries of the contemporary state of Jordan, that is, of the
East Bank (q.v.).
- West Bank
- The area west of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea, which was
annexed by Jordan in 1950. Area has been under Israeli occupation
since the June 1967 War. In July 1988, King Hussein renounced
Jordan's claim to the West Bank.
- World Bank
- Informal name used to designate a group of three affiliated
international institutions: the International Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International
Development Association (IDA), and the International Finance
Corporation (IFC). The IBRD, established in 1945, has the primary
purpose of providing loans to developing countries for productive
projects. The IDA, a legally separate loan fund but administered by
the staff of the IBRD, was set up in 1960 to furnish credits to the
poorest developing countries on much easier terms than those of
conventional IBRD loans. The IFC, founded in 1956, supplements the
activities of the IBRD through loans and assistance specifically
designed to encourage the growth of productive private enterprises
in the less developed countries. The president and certain senior
officers of the IBRD hold the same positions in the IFC. The three
institutions are owned by the governments of the countries that
subscribe their capital. To participate in the World Bank group,
member states must first belong to the International Monetary Fund