In 1997, Air Jordan XIII's were released to the public. This model was known for its cushioning along the feet, designed by Hatfield. The Black Panther was the inspiration for the Air Jordan XIII, the sole resembles the pads on a panther's paw. But also the panther is the hologram on the back of the shoe which imitates a panther's eyes in the dark when light is shined at them. They were re-released in 2005, which coincided with the release of the Air Jordan 8s shoe.
The last functioning part of the famous Hejaz Railway, twice-weekly trains used to arrive from Damascus (Syria) at Amman's Mahatta junction just north-east of the downtown area, close to Marka Airport. However, services have been suspended since mid-2006 due to damage to the tracks, and it's unclear when they will resume. Even when they were running, trains took a very leisurely 9 hours (considerably slower than driving), and provided a very low standard of comfort. There are no other passenger trains in Jordan.
Entry from Saudi Arabia is by bus. Jordan-bound buses can be taken from almost any point in Saudi Arabia or the Gulf. Most of these are used by Arabs. The border crossing, called Al-Haditha on the Saudi side, and Al-Omari on the Jordanian side, has been recently rebuilt. Waiting time at customs and passport control is not too long by Middle Eastern standards, but allow for up to 5 hours on the Saudi side. As the crossing is in the middle of the desert, be absolutely sure that all paper work is in order before attempting the journey, otherwise you might be lost in a maze of Arab bureaucracy. The trip from the border to Amman is 3 hours and up to 20 hours to the either Dammam, Riyadh or Jeddah on the Saudi side. The trip can be uncomfortable but is cheap.
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Jordan is classified as a country of "high human development" with 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.
Only after Ibrahim Pasha's campaign did the Ottoman Empire try to solidify its presence in the Syria Vilayet, which Transjordan was part of. A series of tax and land reforms (Tanzimat) in 1864 brought some prosperity back to agriculture and to abandoned villages, while it provoked a backlash in other areas of Transjordan. Muslim Circassians and Chechens, fleeing Russian persecution, sought refuge in the Levant. In Transjordan and with Ottoman support, Circassians first settled in the long-abandoned vicinity of Amman in 1867, and later in the surrounding villages. After having established its administration, conscription and heavy taxation policies by the Ottoman authorities, led to revolts in the areas it controlled. Transjordan's tribes in particular revolted during the Shoubak (1905) and the Karak Revolts (1910), which were brutally suppressed. The construction of the Hejaz Railway in 1908–stretching across the length of Transjordan and linking Mecca with Istanbul–helped the population economically as Transjordan became a stopover for pilgrims. However, increasing policies of Turkification and centralization adopted by the Ottoman Empire disenchanted the Arabs of the Levant.
I started the FunCheapOrFree.com we know today in February 2011 to share our progress, success, and tips with others. It took off like a wild fire in the prairie. Just as Rachael Ray became a cooking pro by…well…cooking, I quickly became a go-to everyday finance and frugal living expert that TV shows, friends, newspapers, magazines, and even my own family turned to for advice and hope. I became known as the “Fun Cheap or Free Queen”.