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1/2 Dinar 1997, Jordan

in Krause book Number: 28b
Years of issue: 01.08.1997
Signatures: Governor of the Central Bank of Jordan: Dr. Ziyad Fariz, Minister of Finance: Marwan Awad
Serie: 1994-2002 Issue
Specimen of: 1992
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 131 x 62
Printer: TDLR (Thomas de la Rue & Company), London

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

1/2 Dinar 1997




The King of Jordan Hussein ibn Talal in the Keffiyeh.


1/2 Dinar 1997


The King of Jordan Hussein ibn Talal in the Keffiyeh.

Hussein bin Talal (Arabic: حسين بن طلال‎, Ḥusayn ibn Ṭalāl; 14 November 1935 – 7 February 1999) was King of Jordan from the abdication of his father, King Talal, on 11 August 1952, until his death in 1999. According to Hussein, he was a 40th-generation direct descendant of Muhammad as he belonged to the Hashemite family which has ruled Jordan since 1921.

He was born in Amman as the eldest child of Crown Prince Talal and his wife, Princess Zein Al-Sharaf. Hussein began his schooling in Amman, continuing his education abroad. Hussein was named crown prince after his father became king. When Talal was forced to abdicate by Parliament a year after he became king due to illness, a Regency Council was appointed until Hussein came of age. He was enthroned at the age of 17 on 2 May 1953. He was married four separate times and fathered eleven children: Princess Alia from Dina bint Abdul-Hamid; Abdullah II, Prince Faisal, Princess Aisha, and Princess Zein from Antoinette Gardiner; Princess Haya and Prince Ali from Alia Touqan; Prince Hamzah, Prince Hashim, Princess Iman, and Princess Raiyah from Lisa Halaby.

Hussein, a constitutional monarch, started his rule with what was termed a "liberal experiment", allowing, in 1956, the formation of the only democratically elected government in Jordan's history. A few months later, he forced that government to resign, declaring martial law and banning political parties. Jordan fought three wars with Israel under Hussein, including the 1967 Six Day War, which ended in Jordan's loss of the West Bank. In 1970 Hussein expelled Palestinian fighters (fedayeen) from Jordan after they had threatened the country's security in what became known as Black September. The King renounced ties to the West Bank in 1988 after the Palestine Liberation Organization was recognized internationally as the sole representative of the Palestinians. He lifted martial law and reintroduced elections in 1989 when riots over price hikes spread in southern Jordan. In 1994 he became the second Arab head of state to sign a peace treaty with Israel.

In 1952, when he was a 17-year old schoolboy, Hussein became king to a young nation that included the then Jordanian-controlled West Bank. The country had few natural resources, and a large Palestinian refugee population as a result of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. Hussein led his country through four turbulent decades of the Arab–Israeli conflict and the Cold War, successfully balancing pressures from Arab nationalists, Soviet Union, Western countries, and Israel, transforming Jordan by the end of his 46-year reign to a stable modern state. After 1967 he increasingly engaged in efforts to solve the Palestinian problem, he also acted as conciliatory intermediate between various Middle Eastern rivals; Hussein came to be seen as the Middle East's peacemaker. He was revered for pardoning political dissidents and opponents, and giving them senior posts in the government. Hussein, who survived dozens of assassination attempts and plots to overthrow him, was the region's longest-reigning leader. The King died at the age of 63 from cancer on 7 February 1999. His funeral at the time, was the largest gathering of world leaders since 1995. He was succeeded by his eldest son Abdullah II.

The keffiyeh or kufiya (Arabic: كوفية‎ kūfiyyah, meaning "from the city of Kufa" (الكوفة); plural كوفيات kūfiyyāt), also known as a ghutrah (غُترَة), shemagh (شماغ šmāġ), ḥaṭṭah (حَطّة), mashadah (مَشَدة), chafiye (Persian: چَفیِه‎, dastmal yazdi (Persian: دستمال یزدی‎) or cemedanî (Kurdish: جه مه داني‎), is a traditional Middle Eastern headdress from Kufa, Iraq fashioned from a square scarf, usually made of cotton. It is typically worn by Arab people, as well as by some Mizrahi Jews and Iranic nomads (especially Kurdish people). It is commonly found in arid regions as it provides protection from sunburn, dust and sand. Toward the end of the 1980s, the keffiyeh became a fashion accessory in the United States.

For decades, keffiyeh have been issued to British soldiers who now almost exclusively refer to them as shemaghs (from Arabic شماغ šmāġ).Their use by some units and formations of the military and police forces of the former British Empire and subsequent Commonwealth dates back to before World War II.

Due to its utility it was adopted by the Palestine Police Force, the Transjordan Frontier Force, the Sudan Defence Force, the Arab Legion, the Jordanian Armed Forces, the Libyan Arab Force, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

In the North African campaign of WWII the irregular raiding and reconnaissance units of the Long Range Desert Group, the Special Air Service and "Popski's Private Army" wore them while operating in the Western Desert. After the war, their use by the Army continued with the shemagh being worn in both desert and temperate environments in theatres such as Dhofar. Australian Army forces have also used the shemagh since the Vietnam War, and extensively during Iraq and Afghanistan, particularly by Australian Special Forces units. Since the beginning of the War on Terror, these keffiyeh, usually cotton and in military olive drab or khaki with black stitching, have been adopted by US troops as well, a reversal of previous policy which saw them strictly forbidden during the Gulf War.

Their practicality in an arid environment, as in Iraq, explains their enduring popularity with soldiers. Soldiers often wear the keffiyeh folded in half into a triangle and wrapped around the face, with the halfway point being placed over the mouth and nose, sometimes coupled with goggles, to keep sand out of the face. This is also commonly done by armoured, mechanised and other vehicle-borne troops who use it as a scarf in temperate climates to ward off wind chill caused by being in moving vehicles. British soldiers deploying to Iraq or Afghanistan are now issued with a tan-colored shemagh. Keffiyeh, called chafiyeh (چفیه) in Persian, was extensively used by Iranian infantrymen in Iran–Iraq War.

Left, below, in the form of a see-through image is a Bronze Age jug from the Museum in Amman, Jordan. For the pitcher, please read the reverse description.


1/2 Dinar 1997

qusayr-amra qusayr-amra

Qusayr 'Amra or Quseir Amra, lit. "small qasr of 'Amra", sometimes also named Qasr Amra (قصر عمرة / ALA-LC: Qaṣr ‘Amrah), is the best-known of the desert castles located in present-day eastern Jordan. It was built some time between 723 and 743, by Walid Ibn Yazid, the future Umayyad caliph Walid II, whose dominance of the region was rising at the time. It is considered one of the most important examples of early Islamic art and architecture.

The building is actually the remnant of a larger complex that included an actual castle, meant as a royal retreat, without any military function, of which only the foundation remains. What stands today is a small country cabin. It is most notable for the frescoes that remain mainly on the ceilings inside, which depict, among others, a group of rulers, hunting scenes, dancing scenes containing naked women, working craftsmen, the recently discovered "cycle of Jonah", and, above one bath chamber, the first known representation of heaven on a hemispherical surface, where the mirror-image of the constellations is accompanied by the figures of the zodiac. This has led to the designation of Qusayr 'Amra as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The bathhouse is also, along with examples in the other desert castles of Jordan, one of the oldest surviving remains of a hammam in the historic Muslim world.

That status, and its location along Jordan's major east–west highway, relatively close to Amman, have made it a frequent tourist destination.


The plan of castle has three parts: the main hall with its alcove on the south side; a bath with three rooms (frigidarium, tepidarium, calidarium); and a living area of two rooms, east and west, flanking the alcove, decorated with geometric pavements.

The east room mosaics.

The east room of the castle is 3.10 m. deep, 2.80 wide, with an apse. It is decorated on the south side with two vine shoots issuing from a vase in semicircular apse. The field of the floor is enclosed by a double border, the outer a plain strip and the inner a two-stranded guilloche. The panel itself has an interlace motif.


Plain strip motif.

The outer plain strip motif border extends around all four sides. This is found at other sites in Jordan, e.g. in the apse and chancel of the Khirbat al-Bediyeh church (A.D. 640).


Two-stranded guilloche motif.

The inner border is decorated with two-stranded guilloche . There are two similar examples from the Umayyad period, one in Room 4 at Qasr al-Hallabat in Jordan, the other in the Bath of the Khirbat al-Mafjar at Jericho. We can trace this motif back to the Roman and Byzantine periods and even earlier. A Roman example in Jordan is in the entrance of the Roman Building at Philadelphia (Amman).

The two-strand guilloche occurs in several Byzantine churches in Jordan. Three examples at Madaba are similar those in Qusayr Amra: in the northeast chapel of the Church of the Apostles (578), in the apse of the crypt of Saint Aelianus (607/8), and in the nave of the church of the Virgin Mary (VIII cent.). Near Madaba the motif recurs in the nave and apse of the Church of the Lions at Umm el-Rasas (Kastron Mefaa) (late VI); in the nave and north room of the church of John and Elias at Khattabiyah north of Madaba;and at Mukawir in the north aisle of the Church of Bishop Malechius (602/3). The motif also appears on the borders of the inscriptions in medallions in the apse and the chancel of the North Church at Hesban (Esbus).

In eastern Jordan, there are three examples from Khirbat el Samra: the border of an inscription in a medallion in the nave of the church of Saint Peter (637); a similar border in the chancel of the church of Saint George; and in the nave of the Egumen Church.

At Rihab we find the border of the south aisle of the church of Saint Mary (582/3) and the northern intercolumniations of the church of Saint Peter (623). In the Mount Nebo area, the motif is found at Mukhayyat, in the chancel of the church of Saints Lot and Procopius (VI) and in the south room of the church of Saint George (535/6). At Siyagha, an example is in the Memorial of Moses in the Theotokos Chapel.

Three examples are in northern Jordan: an inscription border in the Mausoleum Church at Umm Qays (Gadara), a border in the Qam chapel, and the border of the north and south aisles of the First Church at Yasileh (mid-V to early VI). There are examples at Beth Shean: in the Monastery of Lady Mary, Hall A and Chapel G (553/4). Farther afield, there are examples in Cyprus and Asia Minor: in the House of Aion at Nea Paphos (IV), and House 2 at Aphrodisias in Caria (V). In the first, each of the two strands is decorated with a guilloche. In the second, one strand shows the same decoration, the other a rainbow motif; in the eyelets formed by the loops are rosettes with dark blue crosses in the centers and petals in red, pink, and white.


Interlaced circles motif.

Within this frame, the east room mosaic consists of interlaced circles whose bands form hexagons. This multicolored mosaic carpet uses black, white, red, green, and yellow-green on a light red background. A very similar mosaic of the Umay yad period is in Room 4 of Qasr al-Hallabat in Jordan, where the design and the colours resemble of those at Qusayr Amra, but add the colour orange.

Similar motifs can be found at other locations in Jordan: at Madaba in the nave of the church of the Virgin Mary and in the Hippolytus Hall in the eighth century, and at Khirbat Hubeila in the West Bank the border of the central nave of the church. Examples are also found in Greece: on Kos in the central nave of the Major Basilica at Kephalos (V/VI), in the Basilica at Delphi (V/VI), in Basilica C in Thebes in Phthiotis (Nea-Anchialos) (VI), and at Butrint in Albania (Buthrotum) in the Baptistery (525–550).


The vase of the apse motif.

The apse on the south of the east room is decorated with two vine shoots issuing from an amphora. Other Ummayad examples of this motif are found in the Dome of the Rock.

In fact, the amphora with vine motif is considerably older, already in use in the Roman period and common in the Byzantine period. Examples in Jordan include the Bacchic

Procession (Madaba Museum), where two rams and two peacocks face each other from either side of a high-footed amphora, from which grow two vine branches with leaves rather than grapes as at Qusayr Amra. Further, in the Madaba area, at Mount Nebo-Siyagha in the Memorial of Moses; at Mount Nebo-Mukhayyat the chapel of the Priest John, Lower Sanctuary, where grape vines issue from a vase to create five volutes which contain two sheep, a running hare, another animal, and a bird; and the Monastery of Wadi Afrit, where the amphora has two bunches of grapes of different colours.

At Ma῾in, in the apse of the Church of al-Dayr (557/8) the amphora has multiple bunches of grapes. In the chancel of the North Church/Upper Sanctuary at Hesban, a panel features a high-footed jar from which sprout two grape vines, each with six grapes. On each side of the jar a gazelle faces a tree (the gazelles have been defaced by iconoclasts). The motif also occurs in the nave of the Jubaiha church in Amman, where scrolls are formed by two vine shoots issuing from a jar on a high pedestal.

In northern Jordan is an example from Gerasa, in the southern intercolumnar panel of the church of Bishop Isaiah, where grape vines issue from a vase. In the chapel at Qam two vine shoots issue from an amphora on a high pedestal to form scrolls. Similar is a mosaic in the chapel of Anastasius at Khirbat al-Samra.

Examples in the West Bank include the Aazor Church (512), where the vine trellis issues from an amphora, and the Khirbat Asida church (V); in Jerusalem we can cite the

Armenian Church (VI); at El-Maqerqesh (Beth Guvrin) an example in the small chapel (VI); and in the church of Beth oya (VI). An example in Lebanon is in the nave of St. Christopher at Qabr Hiram (575).


Squares and diamonds motif.

The entrance of the east room has a grid of diagonal squares, a square and diamond motif. The colors of this panel are red, blue, and dark blue against a red background. This motif can be found in the area and beyond: the north and south aisles of the hurch of Bishop Leontios at Ya῾amun (late V/early VI); the intercolumnar of the Second Church at Yasileh (528); at Rihab, the intercolumnar panels of the north

and south rows of pillars of the church of Saint Peter (623), and the northern intercolumnar panel of the church of Saint Menas (635).


On the right, under the image of Quseir Amra, there is a fresco from the apse of the mosaic of the western hall of the fortress.

The west room of the castle is 3.10 m. deep and 2.80 m. wide, with an entrance on the east. The entrance has a hexagon design; the room has an interlace motif enclosed by double borders, the outer with a calyx motif and the inner with a saw-tooth pattern.

The lozenge in the apse.

The apse of the west room contains a large lozenge bridged within by a large circle with loops; the outside of the lozenge is ornamented with loops. A vine-leaf is in the center of the circle.

Similar examples from the region are the lower mosaic in the Memorial of Moses, Diakonikon, at Mount Nebo (530), with a large circle with four loops; and at Yasile the intercolumniation of the Western Church (mid V–early VI). (


In top right corner is a mosais from Qusayr 'Amra "Gazelle and tree" in rhombus.


In the lower right corner is a Bronze Age jug from the Jordan Museum, Amman (as a see-through image).

These distinctive small juglets belong to the "Tell el-Yahudiyeh Ware", named after the Egyptian site where they were first discovered, although this type of ware was produced elsewhere. The juglets are of a dark color, burnished black or dark brown, and decorated with fine impressed dots which were filled with white lime. Generally, juglets of this type are small with pointed bases, thus requiring support. The type also includes some animal-shaped vessels. Middle Bronze Age, 1800-1650 BCE. From Jabal al-Jawfa in Amman, Jordan. (The Jordan Museum, Amman, Jordan). (