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Karak Governorate

Karak Governorate
محافظة الكرك
Karak Governorate within Jordan.
Karak Governorate within Jordan.
CapitalAl Karak
 • GovernorMohammed Maaitah
 • Total3,495 km2 (1,349 sq mi)
 • Total249,100
 • Density71/km2 (180/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2
 • Summer (DST)+3
Area code+(962)3
HDI (2021)0.729[1]
high · 2nd of 12

Karak (Arabic: الكرك) is one of the governorates of Jordan, located south-west of Amman, Jordan's capital. Its capital is Al-Karak. It s bordered by Madaba and the Capital governorates to the north, Ma'an Governorate to the east, Tafilah Governorate to the south, and the Dead Sea to the west.


Ancient history

The land of Karak Governorate was the home of the Kingdom of Moab, during the first millennium BC. Their capital and stronghold is believed to be near the city of Al Karak, which was known as the Qir of Moab.

For a brief period of time, the territory came under Persian rule, then the Nabateans took control of it, until the Romans invaded the Levant and occupied their capital, Petra. In the 4th century, a Roman legion, the Legio IV Martia, had a headquarter fortress at Betthorus (now el-Lejjun) in Karak.[2] Around 530 the Byzantine Empire established a vassal state ruled by the Ghassanids. The city of Mu'tah was the site of the first clash between the Muslim Arabs under Muhammad and the Byzantines at the Battle of Mu'tah in 629 AD.

The Kerak crusader castle in Al Karak is one of the largest castles in the Levant region

With the coming of the crusaders, the Principality of Kerak was established, after which Kerak was a center front between the Ayyubids and the crusaders.

Modern history

From the 15th century until 1917, Karak was under Ottoman rule, and then later under the Emirate of Transjordan. After the creation of the administrative governorates system in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Karak became a governorate on 16 January 1966,[3] with Waheeb al-Bitar as its first governor.


Wadi Mujib (Arnon River)

The land of Karak Governorate is situated along the south eastern coast of the Dead Sea and the mountain chain known as the Mountains of Moab. Wadi Mujib, biblically known as Arnon River, flows through the mountains of Karak Governorate and ends in the Dead Sea. The cities in the governorate are located at elevations ranging from over 1000 meters above sea level in the South Mazar Department to 800 meters above sea level in the northern departments to about 330 meters below sea level at Ghor Al-Safi Department. The governorate is connected to the rest of Jordan by two highways:


In 2004, according to the Jordan National Census of that year, the population of the Karak Governorate was 204,185, i.e. 4% of the population of Jordan. The male-to-female ratio was 50.6 to 49.4, Jordanian citizens made up 95.42% Among the Jordanian citizens the male-to-female ratio was 50.38 to 49.62. Of the non-Jordanians, the male-to-female ratio was 55.19 to 44.81. The estimated population as of 2010 is about 239,000.[4][5] Muslim form the majority of the Karak Governorate with 70% of its total population and Christians are 30% of its population. Karak presents a practical model of peaceful coexistence between Muslim and Christians. The next census is scheduled for 2014

Demographics of Karak Governorate 2004 Census [6] 2010 Estimate
Female to Male ratio 49.4% to 50.6% 49.4% to 50.6%
Jordanian citizens to foreign nationals 95.42% to 4.58% NA
Urban population 34.78% 35%
Rural population 65.22% 65%
Total population 204,185 238,600

The population of districts according to census results:[7]

District Population
(Census 1994)
(Census 2004)
(Census 2015)
Karak Governorate 169,770 204,185 316,629
Al-Āghwār al-Janūbī ... 32,446 54,867
Al-Mazār al-Janūbī 42,248 57,191 95,124
Al-Qaṣr 16,587 20,860 29,407
Al-Qaṭrāneh ... 6,949 10,896
'Ayy ... 9,711 8,152
Faqū'e 10,084 12,178 16,806
Qaṣabah al-Karak ... 64,850 101,377


Mutah University is the only university in the governorate, located in the city of Mu'tah, and is one of the largest universities in Jordan by number of students.[8]

Administrative departments

Karak Governorate is divided into 10 departments according to article 7 of the 46th Administrative Divisions System of 2000:

Departments of Karak Governorate by population (2004 census)

Capital Department
Capital Department
Sauth Mazar Department
South Mazar Department
South Aghwar Department
South Aghwar Department
Qaser Department
Qasr Department
Gour Al-Mazra'a Department
Ghor Al-Mazra'a Department

Department Arabic name Areas Population [9] Administrative Center

Faqou' Department
Faqou' Department
Aii Department
Aii Department
Moab Department
Moab Department
Qatraneh Department
Qatraneh Department
Moujeb Department
Moujeb Department

1 Capital Department (Al-Qasabah) لواء قصبة الكرك includes the city of Al Karak and 35 other towns and villages 64,850 Al Karak
2 South Mazar Department لواء المزار الجنوبي includes 30 towns and villages 57,191 Mu'tah
3 South Aghwar Department لواء الاغوار الجنوبية includes seven towns and villages 32,446 Safi
4 Al-Qasr Department لواء القصر includes nine towns and villages 20,860 Rabba
5 Ghor Al-Mazra'a Department قضاء غور المزرعة includes six towns and villages 12,743 Ghor Al-Mazra'a
6 Faqou' Department لواء فقوع includes six towns and villages 12,178 Faqou'
7 Aii Department لواء عي includes four towns and villages 9,711 Aii
8 Moab Department قضاء مؤاب includes five towns and villages 9,692 Husseiniya
9 Qatraneh Department لواء القطرانة includes four towns and villages 6,949 Qatraneh
10 Moujeb Department قضاء الموجب includes five towns and villages 5,818 Mugheer
Source: وزارة الداخلية - الأردن Jordanian ministry of interior


  1. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  2. ^ S. Thomas Parker, 2016, "Forty Years with ACOR", ACOR Newsletter vol 28.2 Winter 2016, page 9;G. Lankester Harding, 1959, The Antiquities of Jordan, p. 50.
  3. ^ "Karak Governorate". Retrieved 2022-10-01.
  4. ^ Archived 2011-07-27 at the Wayback Machine Al-Karak
  5. ^ DoS Jordan
  6. ^ Jordan National Census of 2004 Table 3-1 Archived 2011-07-22 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Jordan: Administrative Division, Governorates and Districts". Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  8. ^ Mutah University
  9. ^ 2004 census Archived 2011-07-22 at the Wayback Machine

31°09′53″N 35°45′43″E / 31.16472°N 35.76194°E / 31.16472; 35.76194

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Karak Governorate
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