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The Fruits of Stability

Having weathered the tumultuous radicalism of the 1950s, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan entered the decade of the 1960s with renewed hope and confidence. The 1960s proved to be promising years, as the economy started to take off. The industrial backbone of Jordan’s modern economy—the potash, phosphate and cement industries—were developed during this time. In Zarqa, east of Amman, an oil refinery was constructed. The country was linked by a network of highways, and a new educational system was introduced to the Kingdom. In 1962, the Kingdom constructed its first national university, Jordan University, at Jubeiha, on the outskirts of Amman.

Prior to the 1967 War, Jordan witnessed higher rates of economic growth than most other developing countries. A thriving construction industry provided job opportunities for Jordanians, while tourism from Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the many East Bank attractions provided the Kingdom with a wellspring of foreign exchange income. The economy was further boosted by remittances from Jordanian expatriates who left to work in the countries of the Arabian Gulf. The progress the Kingdom underwent during these years gave rise to a new middle class of educated Jordanians keen on building their country. As this group of professionals grew in number and talent, Jordan became more stable.