Bordered by Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Syria and Saudia Arabia, this almost landlocked country is officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. It has played a pivotal role in the history of the region going back more than 8000 years. Mentioned in the Bible, the cities of Gerasa and Gadara were part of the Decapolis, a group of 10 cities mainly inhabited by Greeks located on the eastern edge of the Roman Empire. Surrounded by mountains, the rose red city of Petra, the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom (nomads from the Negev) was carved from the facade of the mountains. These elaborate ruins were designated a World Heritage Site on Dec. 6, 1985, and on July 7, 2007 declared one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.