JORDAN: The Boy King

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Jordan is a country that has little or no excuse for existence. A chunk torn from the desert, with boundaries traced on sand, it has no geographical unity, national identity, political history or economic viability. It was created by the British for the British: an armed camp at the crossroads of the world, a watchtower in the center of oil lands they ruled in all but fact.

Last week this bleak land was the pivot and focus for all the tensions of the Middle East. Its 500,000 Arab refugees were the area's...

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