Ma'an is a town in southern Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 218 km away from the capital Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

. It is the capital of Ma'an Governorate
Ma'an Governorate
Ma'an is one of the governorates of Jordan, it is located south of Amman, Jordan's capital. Its capital is the city of Ma'an. This governorate is the largest in the kingdom of Jordan by area.-History:...

. Ma'an has a population of around 50,000. The city had a population of 22,989 in the 1992 census and is estimated as being about 50,000 as of 2007 according to the Ma'an Municipality. Civilizations with the name of Ma'an have existed since at least Nabatean times - the modern city is to the north and west of the ancient town. The city is an important transport hub situated on the ancient King's Highway
King's Highway (ancient)
The King’s Highway was a trade route of vital importance to the ancient Middle East. It began in Egypt, and stretched across the Sinai Peninsula to Aqaba. From there it turned northward across Jordan, leading to Damascus and the Euphrates River....

 and also on the modern Desert Highway. Ma'an was the site of clashes between the Jordanian army and Islamic groups in 2002 after the death of a U.S. diplomat.


In the pre-Islamic times Ma'an was inhabited by the Ghassanids
The Ghassanids were a group of South Arabian Christian tribes that emigrated in the early 3rd century from Yemen to Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and the Holy Land....

, who installed Farwa Al-Juthamiyy as Emir on Ma'an. The Ghassanide kingdom was under the influence of the Byzantine Empire, and followed the Christian faith. After the Battle of Mu'tah
Battle of Mu'tah
The Battle of Mu'tah was fought in 629 , near the village of Mu'tah, east of the Jordan River and Karak in Karak Governorate, between an army sent by the Islamic prophet, Muhammad, and an army of the Byzantine Empire- The Eastern Romans.In Muslim histories, the battle is usually described as the...

, Farwa was accused of being Muslim, so the Ghassanids arrested Farwa and crucified him, near the Afra hot springs, soin response, the newly formed Muslim state in Medina
Medina , or ; also transliterated as Madinah, or madinat al-nabi "the city of the prophet") is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, and serves as the capital of the Al Madinah Province. It is the second holiest city in Islam, and the burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and...

, sent an army led by Ussama bin Zaid, who conquered Ma'an.

When the Umayyads took control of the muslim empire, Ma'an flourished, and is until today a major hub and a rest area for the pilgrims coming from Syria and Turkey on their way to Mecca. In 1559, the Ottomans built the Saraya fort in Ma'an, to be a rest area for the pilgrims going to Mecca. In 1902 the Ma'an train station connected the city to Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 in Syria, and Medina
Medina , or ; also transliterated as Madinah, or madinat al-nabi "the city of the prophet") is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, and serves as the capital of the Al Madinah Province. It is the second holiest city in Islam, and the burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and...

 in the Hejaz. Following the fall of Damascus to the French in 1920 after the Battle of Maysalun
Battle of Maysalun
The Battle of Maysalun , also called The Battle of Maysalun Pass, took place between Syrian and French forces about 12 miles west of Damascus near the town of Maysalun on July 23, 1920.-Background:...

, Emir Abdullah arrived to Ma'an to gather support and reorganize the Arab forces to reclaim Syria, on 5 January 1920, he issued a statement to call for war against the occupation of Syria, later in that year a small force was organized and named the Arab Army, and was the nucleus of the later to be known the Arab Legion
Arab Legion
The Arab Legion was the regular army of Transjordan and then Jordan in the early part of the 20th century.-Creation:...



Ma'an has an arid climate with hot summers and mild to cold winters with most rainfall falling during the winter.


Al-Hussein Bin Talal University
Al-Hussein Bin Talal University
Al-Hussein Bin Talal University is a university located close to Ma'an city in the southern region of Jordan...

 is the only university in Ma'an, it offers a range of 38 undergraduate degrees, these being across the disciplines of engineering, arts, science, business administration, archaeology, education and nursing. It also offers postgraduate diplomas in education and in higher administration.


A new economic zone was established to encourage new industries to operate in the Ma'an Special Economic Zone.

Notable people

  • Bahjat Talhouni
    Bahjat Talhouni
    Bahjat Talhouni was a Jordanian political figure. He served as the Prime Minister of Jordan between 1960 and 1962, 1964 and 1965, 1967 and 1969, and finally from 1969 until 1970....

    . Former Prime Minister
  • Tawfiq Kreishan
    Tawfiq Kreishan
    Tawfiq Kreishan is a Jordanian politician. He graduated in accounting and business administration from Beirut Arab University. He is now Member of The Senate , was minister of Parliamentary affairs for two times. He also was minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs five times. The first time he...

    . Deputy Prime Minister
  • Omar Maani
    Omar Maani
    Omar Maani is a Jordanian engineer, businessman and the former Mayor of Amman, the capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. He was appointed as mayor by Royal Decree of King Abdullah II in April 2006...

    . Mayor of Amman
  • Nabil Talhouni
    Nabil Talhouni
    Nabil Talhouni is a Jordanian diplomat who has served as an Ambassador to a number of countries around the world.-Biography:Nabil Talhouni was born in Jordan, and educated at the University of Bonn....

    . Ambassador of Jordan. Kuwait (1987-1990) Austria (1991-1993) U.A.E (1997-1999) India (2001-2005)
  • Saad Abudayeh
    Saad Abudayeh
    Saad Abudayeh , is an author, researcher, and a leading Jordanian intellectual. Abudayeh was born September 11, 1946 in the southern town of Ma'an. Abudayeh earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Jordan, in Amman, Jordan. Having scored the 2nd highest in two qualification exams,...

    . Author. Chairman of the Political Science Department at the University of Jordan
    University of Jordan
    The University of Jordan , is a government-supported University located in Amman, Jordan...

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