Jordan can be entered at the port of Aqaba via the Egyptian port of Nuweiba. There are two services, ferry and speedboat. The slow ferry might take up to 8 hours, and can be a nightmare in bad weather. The speedboat consistently makes the crossing in about an hour, though boarding and disembarking delays can add many hours, especially since there are no fixed hours for departures. You cannot buy the ticket in advance and the ticket office does not know the time of departure. You can lose an entire afternoon or even a day waiting for the boat to leave. UPDATE: prices have increased. For foreigners, the speedboat is USD70 and the ferry is USD60 (+USD10 or EGP50 departure tax from Egypt).
Jordan takes its name from the Jordan River which forms much of the country's northwestern border. While several theories for the origin of the river's name have been proposed, it is most plausible that it derives from the Semitic word Yarad, meaning "the descender", reflecting the river's declivity. Much of the area that makes up modern Jordan was historically called Transjordan, meaning "across the Jordan", used to denote the lands east of the river. The Hebrew Bible refers to the area as "the other side of the Jordan". Early Arab chronicles referred to the river as Al-Urdunn, corresponding to the Semitic Yarden. Jund Al-Urdunn was a military district around the river in the early Islamic era. Later, during the Crusades in the beginning of the second millennium, a lordship was established in the area under the name of Oultrejordain.
According to Freedom House, Jordan is ranked as the 3rd freest Arab country, and as "partly free" in the Freedom in the World 2018 report. The 2010 Arab Democracy Index from the Arab Reform Initiative ranked Jordan first in the state of democratic reforms out of 15 Arab countries. Jordan ranked first among the Arab states and 78th globally in the Human Freedom Index in 2015, and ranked 55th out of 175 countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) issued by Transparency International in 2014, where 175th is most corrupt. In the 2016 Press Freedom Index maintained by Reporters Without Borders, Jordan ranked 135th out of 180 countries worldwide, and 5th of 19 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region. Jordan's score was 44 on a scale from 0 (most free) to 105 (least free). The report added "the Arab Spring and the Syrian conflict have led the authorities to tighten their grip on the media and, in particular, the Internet, despite an outcry from civil society". Jordanian media consists of public and private institutions. Popular Jordanian newspapers include Al Ghad and the Jordan Times. The two most-watched local TV stations are Ro'ya TV and Jordan TV. Internet penetration in Jordan reached 76% in 2015.
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