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Ma'an in southern Jordan, a hotbed of violent disorder

AMMAN, Jordan (Asharq Al-Awsat)--Over the past few decades, the town of Ma'an in southern Jordan has gained a reputation in the rest of the country as a hotbed of violent disorder.

A city steeped in history, it was the launchpad for the Arab Revolt at the beginning of the 20th century and has witnessed a number of dramatic events over the past few years, the result of various political, economic and social problems that have frequently pushed the town, almost 150 miles (around 220 kilometers) south of the capital Amman to boiling point.

Perhaps the most prominent factor in all of the unrest within the city is its economic problems, especially over the past two years. Ma'an has the highest rate of unemployment in Jordan, 20.6 percent compared to the current 11.8 nationwide average.

Along with the poverty, unemployment and lack of services, the city is also the scene of conflicts between the various tribes who live there, in addition to a growing hardline Salafist presence among its population, and--due to Jordan's status as a "refugee hub"--it has over the years buckled under the extra strain caused by events such as the Iran-Iraq War, the Gulf War, the Palestinian Intifada and most recently, the Syrian crisis.

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Ottoman Turks and acquisitions from 1300 to 20th century Empire

Sharif Hussein bin Ali, Emir of Mecca and King of the Arabs (and great grandfather of King Hussein), launched the Great Arab Revolt. He was the last of the Hashemite Sharifians that ruled over Mecca, Medina and the Hijaz in unbroken succession from 1201 to 1925.

The four centuries of Ottoman rule (1516-1918 CE) were a period of general stagnation in Jordan. The Ottomans were primarily interested in Jordan in terms of its importance to the pilgrimage route to Mecca al-Mukarrama. They built a series of square fortresses--at Qasr al-Dab'a, Qasr Qatraneh, and Qal'at Hasa--to protect pilgrims from the desert tribes and to provide them with sources of food and water.

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Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Wed Jun 25th, 2014 at 06:23:52 AM EST

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